By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Wisconsin Rapids native Vince Biegel is spending some of his off time in the area giving back.
The second-year Green Bay Packer was in Wisconsin Rapids, along with his wife Sarah, on June 21 to visit the Boys & Girls Club of the Wisconsin Rapids area.
“Jon Russell is a family friend of ours,” Vince explained. “He coached my brother and I back in high school – he was offensive line coach at Lincoln High School. I keep in contact with Coach Russell all of the time.
“He asked me if I would be interest in coming to the Boys & Girls Club.”
When the Biegels arrived at the facilities, all of the staff and youth were dressed in dark green t-shirts with the Boys & Girls club logo on the front and “Biegel” and the number 45 on the back.
“Pulling into the (parking lot) and seeing all of the Biegel 45s was really humbling,” he added.
Biegel said that enjoys coming to the area and being a source of encouragement to area kids and providing a positive example.
“I’m proud of where I come from; I went to Lincoln High School and the University of Wisconsin, and got drafted a Packer,” he said. “I am proud of my home state; I am proud, especially, of the city of Wisconsin Rapids. So, it is important to me to come back and give back – that is the most important thing. There is nothing better than coming back and talking to the kids.”
Vince said that he enjoys being able to speak to the youth and connect at a one-on-one level and will return next month to the Marshfield area for Farm Technology Days.
There, Biegel will visit the Future Generations area on July 12, at 9:30 a.m., speaking on how he grew up in Wood County and how farming and technology has affected him and his family’s cranberry marsh, as well as what it is like to be a Green Bay Packer.
“Not only is the community important to me, but I am very proud of growing up on a cranberry marsh,” said Biegel. “That’s a different side of me that not a lot of people know about. It’s been fun introducing Sarah to the farming world… Being able to go to Farm Tech Days in Marshfield is important because I want to be able to talk to the kids about working hard and growing up on a farm.
“Sometimes growing up on a farm isn’t necessarily the coolest thing – it is hard work, it’s humbling – but those types of values that you learn doing that stuff pays off, not just in your youth, but the rest of your life.”
Preparing for the season
Biegel has limited time to dedicate to giving back, as he squeezes it between training for the upcoming football season.
“We had some good training in the off season, then started our OTAs (Optional Team Activities) on April 15, and we just got done Thursday (June 14) with our OTAs,” Vince explained. “From that, we’ll go to mini-camp and we start training camp on July 24. We’ve got a month before we report back.”
Biegel said the first couple of weeks of the team’s OTAs consisting of lifting, combined with some running.
“Phase two was lifting, running, then we had position work with our coaches,” he added. “Phase three was full-on practice. Basically, we just had helmets and jerseys, but we didn’t have any shoulder pads – that was the last three or four weeks.
“We had a great amount of work in there, had a good time.”
Biegel said that he felt really good coming off of foot surgery and having his first OTA under his belt.
“Last year, I didn’t have any OTAs; I didn’t have training camp,” he explained. “I didn’t have preseason.
“For me to be able to get those reps is extremely important, because those reps pay off come season-time because you are polished. You are not seeing stuff for the first time.”