MILWAUKEE — Family, friends, and coworkers honored Mike Wenzel Friday night for his 60 years of service to Milwaukee Public Schools and South Stadium.
Wenzel was surprised at halftime during the game between Rufus King and Marshall High Schools. He received a standing ovation as he was presented with a plaque.
"Whatever’s going on, Mike’s going to be at South Stadium," said Bobbie Kelsey, Commissioner of Athletics for MPS.
Officials say Wenzel has been part of South Stadium since 1961—he has played on the field, worked the chains, worked concessions, officiated games and served as the field manager. Wenzel played a role in the South Stadium renovations back in 2014. He also served as a physical education teacher for 34 years.
His family at MPS wanted to make sure Wenzel's dedication did not go unnoticed.
"I know he’s not expecting anything tonight," said Bill Molbeck, the former MPS Commissioner of Athletics. "He doesn’t do this to get recognition. He does it because he really loves to do it."
Wenzel said he has so many stories about the people he has met through his career.
"If you really like something, from the time you start into whatever direction you think you are going, don’t give up on that direction," Wenzel said. " Go with it. Give it a good, honest chance, and you might surprise yourself. You might actually really wind up enjoying that direction, and you might end up doing it a long long time."
His son, Marcus Wenzel, also teaches at MPS.
"I am a teacher at Ronald Reagan, I’ve worked here for 32 years, and maybe I’ll get to 60 myself," Marcus Wenzel said. "We’ll see."