Latest News

Published On: November 4th, 2013

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – October 1st, 2013. With the fourth season of Rafters baseball in the books the team has announced changes in the front office.  Liz Kern, who has served as the General Manger each of the Rafters first four seasons, has been named Vice President of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters and John Fanta, who has been Kern’s Assistant General Manager since the team’s inception, has been named General Manager.  Both Kern and Fanta will continue to reside in Wisconsin Rapids.

Fanta will supervise day-to-day operations in Wisconsin Rapids as well as work closely with Field Manager Chris Ebright to construct the team for 2014.  Fanta will also work with area high school and American Legion teams to schedule games and coordinate activities at Witter Field.  
The Rafters Ownership group that includes Steve Schmitt (Mallards Owner) and Vern Stenman, have partnered with Madison Mallards General Manager Conor Caloia to launch a third NWL club in Kenosha, WI, that will start play in 2014.  With the expansion of the group, Kern’s role will evolve to include oversight of the Rafters along with some cross-organizational duties focusing on customer service training and developing efficiencies between all three clubs. 

“The foundation of the success of our business is 100% based on our people.  As we continue to grow as an organization, it is important for us to continue to challenge the good people that have gotten us to this point and continue to put the fan experience first in each of our three markets. These moves combine to ensure that our teams will continue to do that and continue to get better,” said team President Vern Stenman.

“I am excited for this opportunity and to continue to work with this great organization,” Kern said. “We are working hard to make 2014 the best season on and off the field and look forward to continuing to work with the great fans of Wisconsin Rapids.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with our ownership group, Liz Kern, and the passionate baseball fans in the greater Wisconsin Rapids area,” said Fanta.  “This is truly a special fan base which motivates us to put the best product on the field each year.  I look forward to collaborating with our new field manager, Chris Ebright, to make 2014 the best season yet.” 

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit