Leading lumberjack

UWL student earns national Timbersports title

UWL senior Chas Haas keeps his lumberjack skills up at a show in Wisconsin Dells.

Little did Chas Haas know that growing up cutting wood with his dad would lead to him getting national attention. The senior UWL biology major earned the Stihl Timbersports collegiate national title in August.

The competition featured eight participants who qualified from across the country and pitted them against each other in four events. Haas won two of them, including a record setting performance in the standing block event.

Haas started competing in timber sports three years ago, though he’s been fascinated with it since he first saw competitions on TV. “It looked like a real manly, macho sport,” he says. “I thought it would be cool to swing an axe.”

With his victory, Haas earns a bid to next year’s professional-level series.

Practice makes perfect

Before his competition, Haas honed his skills in front of a crowd.

He’ll let out a mighty “yo-ho” as he shows off as a member in the Dells Lumberjack Show — a family-friendly show that mixes competitive lumberjack events with comedic skits and opportunities for young guests to participate.

“It’s the best summer job I’ve ever had,” says Haas, whose parents, Ned, ’87, and Carolyn (Nicholas) Haas, ’88, are proud UWL alums.

Forestry & Timber Sports Club

Haas is working to share his passion on campus. He formed the Forestry and Timber Sports club at UWL.

“It’s a great experience to talk about my sport, and being an ambassador is cool,” says Haas. “There’s a tremendous amount of history in the sport, and La Crosse itself was a huge center for floating logs. It’s a vital part of local history to bring knowledge and awareness to the people of La Crosse and Wisconsin.”