Here’s the story:
On another note, as most of you know, John Olas was laid to rest Tuesday night and I just wanted to give all of you a little background about our league and how it was started.
The league started in 2008 and from what I can gather from all my documents, this is the 10th year. Some of the story below may be a little out of date, but I think most of the timing is correct. I apologize in advance if I left anyone out, but we tried to reconstruct the beginnings at John’s service.
It all started when John, Jeff Wanderski and I played at the Crystal Woods Thursday Night League together for about 17 years prior to the league here at Prairie Isle. About into our 11th year at Crystal Woods, I believe Marcus King and Mike Giglio joined the Crystal Woods League as well. During the 17th year at Crystal Woods, the five of us said we need a change and that it would be nice to play at another course once in a while, but the other people in the league did not want to switch courses or change things up.
So that winter, we had a meeting at Fin McCools in Crystal Lake and if my memory serves me correctly, it was the five of us (John, Wando, Gigs, Marcus & I) and the Wheelands and the Kirchbergs. We had a meeting to try and figure out if we could start a league or not. So after the meeting, myself, Marcus and Wando decided that we weren’t really sure if this was going to work and we decided to stay at Crystal Woods with the other league.
Wando and I tried to talk John into staying at the woods with us, but John made up his mind and said “I’m starting a league at the Isle”. So John being the stubborn mule that he was, started the league on his own with the help of Gigs and again I believe the Wheelands and the Kirchys helped as well. John also came up with a lot of the team names that are still being used today and he also came up with some of the greatest nicknames for people. Well, they got the league running the first couple of years and got about 4-6 (5-Man) teams in the league. John was the President doing the clerical stuff like I do now and Gigs was doing the score keeping on the software that we still use today and that Lou does now. After the first year, Gigs had many obligations (5 kids) that popped out of nowhere and that’s when Lou “The Ass Pipe” Sikora took over Gig’s job. After the second year, John was sick of getting all the stuff organized every week and he knew that I enjoyed doing that type of stuff. Then, John being the great salesman that he was, talked me, Wando and Marcus into joining his league. At the same time, John then also talked me into taking over all the clerical stuff and getting it more organized, man did I get sold a load of crapJ
From there, the league has kept on growing, and we are now up to 84 guys strong and we have our own website that was started by Rick Lucchetti about 5 years ago. We are kind of bias, but we believe this is the best league around with some of the greatest comradery to boot!
This was all made possible because of John. So since John was the founder and since he was such a great friend to many of us in the league, Lou & I decided to re-name the league from the “Prairie Isle Thursday Night Golf League” to the new name of “The John Olas Thursday Night Golf League” in his honor. If you look at our website: www.PIGL.mobi , Rick has already made some changes and will be doing some more work on it in the coming days.
So to John, we thank you for starting this great league and we will miss you sackgrabber!
May you rest in peace Jacko!
Your friend always,