Ski Sharks finally take the water

Solid crowd turnout for team’s first show
Shawano Ski Shark members huddle up before hitting the water for the first show of the summer on Wednesday.

Morgan Rode | NEW Media
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

Plenty of uncertainty surrounded the Shawano Ski Sharks summer show season, but the team was finally able to take the water and perform for a crowd at Smalley Park on Wednesday.

The team not only had its season on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but another issue arose when Evinrude went out of business and left the Ski Sharks down a few boats.

The result was a little bit smaller scale show and no theme for the summer, but that didn’t stop the team from providing some entertainment for the fans that filled up the Wolf River shoreline.

“I thought (the show) went very well,” said team show director Tracy Strachan. “We were happy with the crowd turnout — it was a nice sized crowd.”

“I think a great crowd on the first night shows that people like to come out and watch our shows just as much as we like performing,” said Ski Shark skier Ava Pleshek. “There is a tremendous amount of support out there from the community and we appreciate them coming every week.”

The team performed many of the same acts they’ve done in the past, but instead of following a story on the water, the various acts were announced and discussed as they were being performed in the background.

Among some of the acts performed were a pyramid, ballet line, barefoot line, team jump, swivel and strap doubles.

Along with the team being able to provide some entertainment for fans, it allowed skiers to get a piece of their summer back.

“Not only did they get the end of their school year ripped from them, all of a sudden now they’re like, ‘Okay, are we going to have a summer activity?’” said team president Dave Passehl. “We’re super, super proud to be able to get them out there.”

“I really enjoy skiing so I was happy to be back out on the water,” said Ski Shark skier Andrew Puissant.

Strachan thought that spectators were respectful of eachother’s space and maintained social distancing throughout the night.

Before the show began, Strachan told the team that, “This could be our first and last show,” depending on COVID-19 updates in the area. She said the team will keep evaluating the situation on a week-to-week basis and continue to perform shows as long as it is safe to do so.

The team was able to offer a limited concession stand, but will depend a bit extra on donations this summer.

The Ski Sharks also are selling raffle tickets during each show night, with a $100 winner chosen each time.

The individuals that win the $100 prize are also put back into a special drawing that will take place on August 12, the team’s final scheduled show night. Fifteen winners will be chosen that night, with 6th-10th places receiving $100 each, fourth and fifth place taking home $250, third place receiving $500 and second place claiming $1,000.

The first place winner will get the choice of $5,000 cash or taking one of five vehicles provided by either Prime Powersports or American Marine. The five items can be found on the Ski Sharks website,