Robb Battist's outstanding work as webmaster is fitting for state tournament qualifier Maple Grove
Battist grew up in the central Wisconsin town of Marathon, a basketball hotbed with a population of about 1,500. Battist said he played football and ran track at Marathon High School (enrollment: 250), “but basketball was my first love.” He played for a year at the NAIA level at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Battist’s wife, Christine, also played high school basketball at Marathon, reaching the state tournament in 1987. Naturally, the Battists’ children, sophomore Alex and eighth-grader Harrison, are adding to the family’s basketball legacy. Both play in the youth and high school systems in Maple Grove, a northwest Minneapolis suburb. Robb, who has been a coach in the Osseo/Maple Grove Basketball Association for nine years, assumed the webmaster duties for the high school program in the middle of the 2014-15 season with the idea of developing it into a communications hub. A software engineering manager for Vital Images, Battist’s technology background has helped drive him to maximize the use of Sport Ngin’s products. “I felt like they’ve got this website and they just don’t use it to its fullest extent,” Battist said about his mindset when taking over the site.
Battist helped transition the program’s site onto a mobile responsive template last fall, when he served as one of Sport Ngin’s beta testers. He’s posted photos and bios of all the Maple Grove coaches from the varsity level down to the freshman team on the Coaches page. He features a History section maintained by varsity assistant coach and team historian Ryan Smolarek that includes pages devoted to Awards, 1,000-Point Scorers, Career Leaders, Game Records and more. Battist’s creative use of the Media Slider page element at the bottom of the home page showcases the program’s sponsors. He used the Call to Action page element on the homepage to link to key content, including team and player statistics on Maple Grove’s page on the Minnesota Basketball Hub.
Maple Grove reached Minnesota’s state Class 4A tournament this spring, and Battist set up a “game tracker” page for the Crimson’s Section 8 championship game against Elk River. Son Harrison kept the score updated and Robb used the Comment Stream page element to post continuous updates. “We did that for people who weren’t able to get there,” Robb said. “There were a lot of families across the country following the game.”