Times Gone By

The 1968 Kennard Little League baseball team was led by head coach Madelon Hansen and assistant George Watts. Front row, from left: Jeff Hoier, Raymond Wiblishouser, Mark Jensen, Steve Andreasen and Doug Klotz. Back row: Ted Japp, coach Hansen, Jeff Jacob, Steve Harper, Dan Lauritsen, assistant coach Watts, Paul Jensen and Bruce Goolsby.

Editor's Note: “A Look at Times Gone By” is an in-depth look at weekly Times Gone By entries compiled by the Enterprise's Debbie Kellogg since 2015. These articles will appear in each edition as local teams anticipate new seasons, whenever they should resume.

Even today, women coaching boys sports teams garner headlines.

In 1968, Enterprise Media Group published a story entitled, “Female mentor proves successful.” Madelon Hansen had coached her Kennard Little League baseball team to an 8-1 mark alongside her father, assistant coach George Watts.

“As the Kennard Little League team nears a possible championship in the Washington County Little League, a fan for an opposing team glances towards the Kennard bench and, to his surprise, finds a woman piloting the successful ball club,” the article read.

Hansen and Watts coached three Kennard baseball teams at the time, though the Little League squad was likely the most successful. It was winning games at an 89-percent clip and had just one to go against the Blair Aces.

Coach Bill Hardy's Blair Duces were the only team to best Hansen's.

“This is Madelon's first year at the helm and, if happy Kennard baseball fans have anything to say about it, it won't be her last,” the Enterprise wrote.

Hansen died in 2014 at age 79. Her obituary stated a love of athletics, which included her coaching career, but also her efforts to play fast-pitch softball until she was 52.

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