Over the past decade, names like J.R. Salzman, Darren Hudson, and Shana Verstegen have mostly dominated the landscape of professional Log Rolling. In 2016, a group of young rollers took the baton and ran with it. And in doing so, gave a glimpse of what the next decade might look like.
After a successful 2015 campaign, 18-year Ellie Davenport turned the sport of log rolling on its side with a remarkable five victories in 2016, including her first World Championship. Davenport won five of the seven tournaments she competed in and finished in second in the other two. Also on the women’s side, Meredith Engbretson, the 2015 World Champion, had three top 3 finishes in 2016. Emily Christopherson came in second at World Championships, one of two runner-ups for her in 2016, and Abby Hoeschler took home the La Crosse Open title and finished third at LWC. On the men’s side, 25-year old Will Hoeschler took home his first World Championship and won three tournaments (La Crosse Open, Midwest Championships, LWC) overall. Also for the men, 19-year old Garrick Birdsong won twice (Three Rivers Roleo, Namekagon), and came in second at the U.S Logrolling Open.
The 2016 professional Log Rolling season was undoubtedly injected with a strong dose of youth. And now the stage is set. Several top ranked veterans will be looking to bounce back in 2017. And Pro Log Rolling’s young guns will try and build off of last year’s momentum. 2017 promises to be a big year ahead.