Sports and Clubs

A Message from the WMS Athletic Director

Dear supporters of Willowbrook Middle School & the Prairie Hill District Community:

Welcome to the athletic department section of our web page! 

Willowbrook Middle School is fortunate indeed! We are blessed with some fantastic coaches, programs and student athletes. When you compile this with a supportive community it is a formula for success. 

Our History: Do you realize that it was over 60 years ago (1949) that the one room schools, here in northern Winnebago County, named Nichols, Hayward and White decided to consolidate into one? Three years later it became a reality, but due to the building of the I-90 Tollway the original school needed to be moved. The new school named Prairie Hill was opened in 1959. Prairie Hill School, the cornerstone of our district, is now over 50 years old! In 2009 Prairie Hill School went from a kindergarten through 8th grade building to a K-4th grade with the creation of Willowbrook Middle School (5th-8th grades). In over 150 years our district has gone from several one-room schools to a two-school district!

As a member of the Northern Conference, Willowbrook Middle School gives its students many opportunities to compete athletically in the sports program. We offer girls volleyball, soccer (boys & girls), cheerleading, poms, boys and girls basketball and track. From the grassy fields of soccer to the shine of our wood floor our sights are set high! 

If you are a member of the community, a Past Prairie Hill or Willowbrook team member, or an interested sport enthusiast we would love to have you come see us. We promise our teams and players will sweat, compete and push to do their best as they learn how to personify what it takes to be a team player.

From Willowbrook Middle School (on the eastside of I-90 under the shadow of the Hill),

Michael Rhines, WMS Athletic Director

Extracurricular Handbook

23-24 Updated Athletic Handbook

Sports (6th-8th Grade)

Boys Varsity Basketball

Coach: Mike Gilbertson

Boys Junior Varsity Basketball

Coach: Kevin Smock

Co-Ed Track & Field

Coaches: Doug Elfstrom (Email) and Jessica Vallette (Email)

All students in grades 6, 7, and 8 may participate without try-outs. The season runs from mid-March to mid-May.

Track and Field do not currently offer a summer camp.

Co-Ed Junior Varsity Soccer

Coach: Tony Pipitone

Co-Ed Varsity Soccer

Coach: Robyn Heitman

Girls Cheerleading

Coach: Kelsi Eyster (Email)

Girls in grades 5, 6, and 7 may try-out in April/May for the upcoming fall season. Practices begin in September and the girls perform throughout the Boys Basketball season, which ends in mid-December.

A summer Cheerleading camp is held in July for girls who make the squad.

Girls Varsity Basketball

Coach: Mike Rhines (Email)

Try-Outs are generally held in the first week of December and the season ends in late February. 6th - 8th grade Girls can participate.

Girls Junior Varsity Basketball

Coach: Allison Keller (Email

Try-Outs are generally held in the first week of December and the season ends in late February, 6th - 7th grade Girls can participate.

Girls Junior Varsity Volleyball

Coach: Bailey Mitchell (Email)

The volleyball season runs from August through October. Volleyball camp is held in early August and tryouts are conducted in mid-August. 

Girls Varsity Volleyball

Coach: Sara Betti (Email)

The volleyball season runs from August through October. Volleyball camp is held in early August and tryouts are conducted in mid-August. 


Coach: Kim Hatfield (Email)

Try-outs are held in April of the year preceding their season. The season runs from October to the end of Boy’s basketball, which is late December or early January. Girls in grades 5, 6 and 7 may participate. 

A summer Dance camp is held in August for girls already on the team.


Band (5-8th)

Band Director: Robyn Heitman (Email)

WMS offers band to 5th-8th grade students of all musical and non-musical backgrounds. Every year, the band performs at the Roscoe Fall Festival Parade, Fall Concert, Winter Concert, the Java Jam Fundraiser, Spring Concert, and the 8th grade Promotion Ceremony.  Students register for band as a regular class period that meets every day during school. Band is an excellent way to develop as a musician and a well-rounded person, and typically leads to strengthened leadership skills, self-confidence, discipline, and a close group of friends to rely on. Extracurricular activities are also offered such as Pep Band and Jazz Band. Students receive group lessons each week as a part of the class, and are expected to practice at least 15 minutes a day!

Chess Club (5-8th)

Club Advisor: Danielle Vanek (Email)

Chess club is open to all 5th - 8th grade students! You do not need to be a chess mastermind to join; students of all skill levels are welcome! In this club, you will learn the names of the chess pieces, where the pieces are allowed to move, and other tips and strategies. You will then get to put your skills to the test and face off with other students. We meet in Ms. Vanek's classroom. Feel free to come to any of the meetings. If you are in sport for a season, please join us when you're season ends. See you there!

Choir (5-8th) 

Choir Director: Hayley Gotzsche (Email)

For those of you who love to sing, there is a choir for you at WMS! 5th-8th graders sign up for chorus as a class, and perform in the Fall Concert, Winter Concert, Java Jam Fundraiser, Spring Concert. Concert Choir (7th &8th grades) perform in all of the concerts in addition to the Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags and the 8th grade graduation. Contact Mrs. Gotzsche for more information about chorus! 

Cooking Club (5-8th)

Club Advisor: Julie Mattlig (Email)

Meets every Wednesday   Oct- Dec and March - May.

Grades 5-8 are encouraged to participate. The goal of Cooking Club is to teach students how to make a variety of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for themselves. We also explore menu planning, nutrition, and shopping strategies.

Game Club (5th-8th)

Club Advisor: Melissa Henschel (Email)

Students can take some time to enjoy playing games together after school every other Wednesday in Mr. Kalhagen's room. Both board games and video games are allowed! Board games are provided by the school, but students will need to bring their own devices if they want to play video games. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 2:30 to 3:30. 

Math Team (6-8th)

Club Advisor: Kim Hatfield (Email)

Students in 7th-8th grade may try out to become members of the Math Team. The top ten “mathletes” will be chosen to become members!

The team attends one competition, which is the Mathcounts Regional Competition, at Rock Valley College in February. The math team starts meeting in September on Fridays and continues until after the competition. If you love math, come try out!

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month (5-8th)

Club Advisor: Andrea Cox (Email)

Do you love to write? Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Nanowrimo is an exciting writing program that takes place throughout the months of October and November where writers endeavor to write a novel in a month! Any age student may participate, and Ms. Cox looks forward to seeing you there!

PermaCulture Club

Club Advisor: Doug Elfstrom (Email)

In PermaCulture Club, students in grades 5-8 work together to care for the school garden (including planning, planting, tending, harvesting, and eating!), and also work with and enjoy the school pets, which currently include goats and ducks. Students in this club have the option to sign up for the Pet Patrol as well, which helps with pet chores after school when they are available throughout the year. The club also helps guide the school composting system, to divert food scraps produced at school from the landfill and into our compost pile for the garden. The club will also explore other projects to implement to increase our sustainability efforts at Willowbrook. The club meets approximately 2 times per month for the entire school year.  

Quiz Bowl (7/8th)

Club Advisor: Kim Hatfield (Email

7th and 8th grade students who love trivia should try out for the WMS Quiz Bowl Team. Tryouts take place just before winter break and the season runs until spring break. If you are interested in being a part of the WMS Quiz Bowl Team, then "buzz in" for some trivia fun! Please contact Coach Hatfield if you have any questions.

Run Club (5th-8th)

Club Advisor: Doug Elfstrom (Email)

Run Club is open to all students at Willowbrook! They meet once per week from the beginning of the school year until the end of December. Run Club puts the fun back in run, and is an opportunity for runners of all abilities to come together and to keep moving!!  

Servo Terra Environmental Club (5-8th)

Club Advisor: Mike Rhines (Email)

One of our largest, most popular clubs at WMS is Servo Terra- our Environmental Club. Students in 5th-8th grade are welcome to join! Outdoor activities of all kinds take place, with an emphasis on responsible stewardship of natural resources. There is also a summer environmental camp offered.

Student Council (5-8th)

Club Advisor: Kelli Houghton (Email)

The WMS Student Council is a group of eager students who are willing to help make a difference in the school community. The Student Council consists of four officers; President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two homeroom representatives per class. Together we collaborate twice a month to discuss and plan for the community’s needs, fundraisers, spirit days, and Wolverine events. The WMS Student Council serves as a voice for the student body and helps organize school-wide goals. The overall expectation for a Student Council member is to demonstrate leadership, coordinate extracurricular activities, and help others! Join us!

Theater (5-8th)

Director: Hayley Gotzsche (Email)

Are you dramatic? Do you love the spotlight? Each year, the theater department produces a show, rotating between a play or a musical. All WMS students are welcome to participate. Try-outs are held after winter break, and the play or musical is performed in the spring. Contact Mrs. Gotzsche for more information!

Yearbook (5-8th)

WMS Coordinator: Robyn Heitman (Email)

During the school year, a chosen panel of 10-12 students compile pictures and information to produce a yearbook distributed in the spring. Students meet to write text, work on layout, and edit photos. Talk to Ms. Heitman if you’d like more information on how you can get involved! The WMS Yearbook Crew meets once a week December - March.