Retired QB Sage Rosenfels drops back, demonstrating passing technique skills like footwork at the "Football Fun" clinic on Saturday, July 16. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
Retired QB Sage Rosenfels drops back, demonstrating passing technique skills like footwork at the "Football Fun" clinic on Saturday, July 16. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

SPRING VALLEY, WI – “Now drop back in 5 steps and stay in your lines…” These were the types of hands-on instructions that 32 aspiring young quarterbacks received with patient guidance from Sage Rosenfels, retired NFL quarterback on Saturday, July16 behind the Spring Valley Middle/High School. Rosenfels, a longtime family friend of Spring Valley local Gary Balwierz, donated his time for the 2-hour “Football Fun” skills clinic, which was also a Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put (SVSSP) fundraiser.

Margy Balwirz, president of SVSSP, helped organize this fundraiser. Husband Gary was the emcee that introduced his friend Sage Rosenfels to everyone, with an extended introduction about Rosenfels. According to Balwirz and Wikipedia, Sage Roenfels was born just outside Maquoketa, Iowa, a town of approximately 6,000. He was the fourth of 5 children.

He attended Maquoketa Community High School where he was a letterman in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and track, as well as a member of the National Honor Society.

Sage Jamen Rosenfels, born March 6, 1978, is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at Iowa State before he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played with the Miami Dolphins from 2002–2005, the Houston Texans from 2006–2008, the Vikings in 2009, and the New York Giants in 2010. He spent portions of the 2011 season with the Giants and Dolphins. Through 2010, he had completed 351-of-562 passes for 4,156 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions, and had a career 81.2 quarterback rating. He finished his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings (a second time) in 2012.

“Football Fun” was for kids 8 to 18, and featured coaching and special technique skills (like footwork), taught on the field by Rosenfels and assisted by local volunteers Aric, Brian, and Ricky, as well as SV High School student Lance Mc Murrin. The weather was perfect for the kids, who seemed very dedicated and enjoyed their on-field workouts with the professional QB. The kids worked hard as parents, siblings, and friends watched from the grassy slope above the fields.

Door prizes were given away, including Packer’s caps, signed Viking player photos, and free golf rounds at Spring Valley Golf Course. The SVSSP fundraiser also included volunteers (Lisa, Rachel, April, Margy, or Breanna) selling hot dogs, chips, and cold drinks.

Many generous community businesses listed in the Sun-Argus article about the event last week gave financial support to “Football Fun.” One sponsor was inadvertently overlooked, and that was Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Services (MOSES). A portion of the sponsorships helped to underwrite the cost of the clinic for participating children.

The non-profit organization Spring Valley Seniors Staying Put (SVSSP) gives a little help to people in remaining independent in their own homes. SVSSP volunteers – whose numbers have grown from 15 to 55 since January –are now providing caring attention, increased mobility, and socialization to seniors and adults with disabilities.

Volunteer orientation is offered almost every month, the next of which is Saturday, August 13 from 10:30-12 at the Spring Valley Library. To become a volunteer, or to receive services, call (715) 778-5800 or check them out Facebook. The group is also looking for some permanent office space and a webmaster.

For more photos, see this week's Sun-Argus newspaper.