Questioning the Locals | Billy Noss
“I got a trophy case full of firsts, seconds, thirds, golds, silvers, bronzes, all kinds.”
WHO: Billy Noss, 69
WHAT: Special Olympics medalist & ball boy for loads of area sports teams
LIVES: Eau Claire’s downtown
IN THE CITY FOR: “A long time”
If you consider yourself an active member in Eau Claire’s sports scene, you probably already know Billy. Maybe you’ve seen him chasing down balls for Regis High School’s football team, or the Eau Claire Crush football team, or the Chippewa Valley Predators football team, or the Eau Claire Bears baseball team. “I’m an all-American ball boy,” Billy said. If you haven’t seen him there, maybe you’ve spotted him taking score and helping with the down markers for the university’s flag football program. Don’t think Billy just stays on the sidelines, though, as he’s a multiple medal winner for Special Olympics in softball, basketball, volleyball, and bowling. “I’ve got a lot of them,” he said of his medals. “I got a trophy case full of firsts, seconds, thirds, golds, silvers, bronzes, all kinds.”
How did the football season go? It was OK, but Regis just got beat. We ended up 6-5.
How did you first get into being a ball boy? I worked for Chris O’Connell at Regis and asked him if he needed one and he said, “Yeah,” so I started going on trips with them and all over.
What do you do as ball boy? You take the ball out to the referee and change balls and go out for field goals and stuff like that. And keep the ball dry so it doesn’t get wet.
Do you like it? Yeah, I like it a lot.
Have you had any favorite local athletes from teams around here? I like them all. A really good one this year was Campbell. He was cornerback and kicker. He kicked a football way out in the woods this year. He can kick, boy. I had to go after it and I couldn’t find it right away.
What’s your favorite sports team? The Packers.
Who’s your favorite athlete? Brett Favre, except he’s not here anymore. He’s with the Jets.
Have you met any big sports stars as a ball boy? No, but I got to direct traffic for the Fire Department at Carson Park, and I got to be on TV for that and Karen Kraus did a story on me. But she’s not there anymore. And I helped the police on the Fourth of July directing traffic.
What’s your favorite local event? The softball season. I used to play for the Eau Claire Falcons, now I’m on the Eau Claire Eagles. The retired chief of police is the coach.
What does it feel like to win a medal? Oh, real good. I still got those up on my board on my wall.
What is your favorite place to visit in the Chippewa Valley? Perkins, I like it. I go with my friend Dave Hanson all the time. He’s a sports announcer on the radio and he takes me to lots of games.
If you could only eat one thing from a local restaurant for every meal of every day, what would it be? Mashed potatoes and a beef sandwich from Perkins.
What Oakwood Mall store do you visit most often and why? I like Radio Shack. I buy different electronics there.
Do you think the university should have a mascot? Yeah I think they should.
Do you think it should be a bird or something different, like a pair of blue and gold crayons? I don’t know.