MUSCODA - Curt Thompson, Riverdale teacher and coach recently attended the 2022 Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Banquet to celebrate his 2021 induction in to the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Thompson, who will be marking 33 years coaching with Riverdale noted that the announcement of his induction was a welcomed shock.
“It was Thanksgiving morning when I got the call and I was just in shock,” Thompson recalled. “Because of COVID we weren’t able to have our usual holiday family gathering so we Zoomed dinner and were able to share the information with everyone.”
For Thompson the longevity of his career coaching with Riverdale has been in large part to the great support he’s received not only from players, but from the district and community as a whole.
“I love the game of baseball, its huge in my family,” Thompson explained. “I’ve been very lucky at Riverdale to be apart of a community that also loves baseball and we’ve been blessed with a lot of good teams.”
Thompson shared, that his family’s love of baseball and growing up playing the sport helped to shape his ideas as a coach as well.
“I grew up in Cazenovia and it’s just what we did,” Thompson said of the game. “Every day the local kids would just gather at the field and play. Or my brothers and the neighbors would go out to the back yard and play. If we didn’t have anyone to play with, well we’d just throw the rubber ball against the house and practice catching fly balls. It really helped instill the love of just playing in us. It wasn’t so organized as it is now. A lot of kids these days are becoming more specialized in the game with so many games, organizations, clinics and what have you and there can be more pressure. I think it is important to let kids just develop a positive attitude about the game play, of course we want to win, but we also want to make it fun for them. In the early days of my coaching career I was more old school, some former players may say I was more tough, but as I’ve been here for such a long time I’ve realized its more about learning to have fun, and having the team work together. Mistakes happen, but what is important is working on finding a solution and moving on. We want to win, but we also want to develop a family atmosphere. Kids these days have a lot of things going on already, and we want to make this experience a positive one in their lives.”Over the year, Thompson notes the teams at Riverdale have had many wonderful accomplishments, including going to sectionals during his first year of coaching. Although winning at State is still a goal for the coach, over all, he says he’s had a very fulfilling career working with the Riverdale teams and was deeply honored to be selected as a Hall of Fame coach.