FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – As the Dock Spiders embark on their 5th season in the Northwoods League, they’ll have a new leader in the dugout in 2021.
After four seasons of winning baseball with former field manager Zac Charbonneau, Fond du Lac will be led by Chuck Thielmann in 2021. The reigning champions of the Wisconsin-Illinois Northwoods League Pod are looking for their third championship in five seasons and Thielmann can’t wait to get started.
“Exciting isn’t even the word. I was finishing up our college season, couldn’t wait to get out here when we got done so exciting isn’t even the word”, says Thielmann.
Thielmann isn’t a stranger to Fond du Lac. He was the pitching coach during the team’s inaugural season in 2017. Once Charbonneau stepped down with an all-time coaching record of 144-117 in Fondy, it was Thielmann’s time to come back to the team and lead the Dock Spiders at Herr Baker Field.
“I just can’t wait to get going. I can’t wait for game one. Definitely a little butterflies, but I’m excited to really get going and take a crack at this opportunity”, Thielmann explains.
Charbonneau isn’t going far, though. He entered a new role as the team’s Director of Player Personnel. Thielmann says the communication between him and Charbonneau is fluid daily while constructing the roster and he’s been instrumental in Thielmann’s transition into field manager.
The winning culture is something Thielmann mentioned that he wants to keep established from Charbonneau. Winning two championships in the team’s first four years in existence is something most don’t accomplish in the Northwoods League, but it’s something Thielmann thinks is sustainable.
“Just keeping that culture of just wanting to win and again giving the Fondy Faithful what they want with putting a great product on the field. We’re just here to steer the ship and the guys out there are going to get it done when it’s all said and done”, Thielmann says.
Players that have arrived in Fond du Lac all mentioned how the communication has been great with Thielmann and they’re excited to get going.
“It’s nice to have that communication before you get up here. He’s done a great job reaching out to us and and staying in touch”, says Dock Spiders’ infielder Seth Sweet-Chick.
Winning a championship is the goal for every team before any season, but to do it for the ‘Fondy Faithful’ again would be special for a first year coach.
“Just because they gave me my first opportunity. We fully expect to do that and kind of keep rolling through”, Thielmann says.