Lannon's family tree keeps growing
Fathers and sons take the field together for top-tier Land O'Lakes baseball team
In Lannon, they're just carrying on an old family tradition.
When Lannon Stonemen coach Bruce Mayer fills out his lineup card in the Land O'Lakes Western Division baseball league, he needs first and last names. The team already boasts a storied past with names like Reimer and Wnuk stealing headlines summer after summer, and the recent success is due in part to players such as Ron Kozlowski and Jim Barwick. Their sons are having just as large a role.
Kozlowski starred at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, while Barwick is a former University of Wisconsin standout. But that's yesterday's news.
Zach Kozlowski, Ron's oldest son and a sophomore-to-be at Carthage College, is one of the top hitters in the Land O' Lakes Western Division. Zach is almost a shoe-in for LOL Western Division Rookie of the year, and younger brother Tyler just completed his freshman season for the Hamilton varsity team - coached by his father."
"It's really something," Mayer said. "On Saturday at Slinger, Zach had been bugging me to let him pitch, so he pitched the ninth inning," Mayer said. "And we got Tyler in, so they were all in the game at the same time."
"At one time, I hoped I could play in a game with Zach," Ron Kozlowski said. "But I never dreamed I would ever play with Tyler, but to play with both of them really is something."
Ron credited wife Kelly with keeping him around long enough for the opportunity.
"I was ready to shut it down a few years ago once I got to play with Zach, but she said you should stick with it, and maybe play with Tyler, too."
The Barwicks are in a similar boat.
Jim Barwick's youngest son, Danny, just finished his prep season with the Brookfield Central varsity baseball team. Now, he's become the newest branch in the ever-growing Lannon family tree.
"We've got a really nice team, with veterans and young players," Mayer said. "My job should be easy, but it isn't so easy. It's my fault if I can't get all five of these guys on the field at the same time this season."