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Readers Blog: Wave Championship Moments

Going home again


He’s a North Shore guy through and through. Joe Hammes (No. 24, above) grew up in Cedarburg. His parents still live there, and attend all the Wave home games. Joe and his wife, Katie, live just down the way in Mequon, and when he’s not playing for the Wave he’s the director of coaching for North Shore United, formerly Cedarburg Soccer Club.

Only when he was in college, starring for St. Louis University, did he call some other place home. So it was ironic that in his first full season playing for his hometown professional team, this hometown guy found himself playing for a championship in his adopted city, St. Louis.

The Wave won Game 1 of the two-game MISL Championship Series in 2005 in Milwaukee; in order to accommodate ESPN, Game 2 was in a pre-determined site. So even though Cleveland was the opponent, St. Louis was the host for the deciding game.

“It felt like a home game to me,” said Hammes, who had plenty of friends and family in the crowd. “It was literally a mile away from where I had lived the last five years.”

His wife-to-be also played soccer in college and had a brother on the staff of the St. Louis Steamers, who were the host. So that created even more familiarity for Hammes, who joined the Wave midway through the 2003-04 season and then was a full-time player in 2004-05.

One interesting anecdote about that Game 2 – because it went to double overtime, a lot of his friends who were taping the game simply missed the ending. Their tapes ran out. But Hammes – who with Katie is ready to welcome twin girls – has plenty of memories anyway.

“I just remember the postgame party, having the big trophy, drinking out of that cup at the Adams Mark downtown,” Hammes said.

Check back for more Championship Moments prior to the 2010 MISL Championship Game, presented by the Journal Sentinel, Sunday, April 4 at 5 p.m.


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