South’s only trip to state baseball happened 25 years ago
Eventually, Jeff Goetz would have remembered.
To this day, only one Sheboygan high school has won a WIAA spring state baseball tournament game.
It was South, coached by Goetz, which advanced to the semifinals in 1994.
“Oh my God! This is 25 years already,” Goetz said. “I didn’t really think about it until probably right around Christmas time.”
It was South’s one and only trip to the baseball tournament – North is 0-2 at state in the spring season – and Goetz says it was the best team he had ever been a part of.
Back then, the tournament was held in Wausau and South defeated Fort Atkinson, 1-0, in the quarterfinals.
Will Madson was not only the pitcher, he scored from third base on a double steal for the lone run of the game.
The following day, Sun Prairie beat the Redwings, 8-7, in the semifinals and went on to win the championship.
South had the bases loaded late in the game when Jason Kometer hit a two-out blooper that turned into a shoestring catch by the left fielder to end the rally.
Ryan Koenig was on third base at the time.
“I can say with 100% certainty it was a trap!” he posted on Facebook.
Goetz, coaching third base, says it was too close to call.
“My kids swore he trapped it; I couldn’t tell,” he said. “It was such a close play. I was hoping (the umpire) wouldn’t call it a catch, but he did. And there was nothing to really say about it. It was disappointing.
“We were definitely one of the best teams in the state at the end of the year. I would’ve put my team up against any team in the state. Any team.”
Goetz thought South had a window of opportunity to return shortly after, but the only Sheboygan school to reach spring state since then was North in 2001. That was also the last year for Goetz as coach.
“We had a couple of really good athletes coming back and I thought we would probably go back a year or two after that,” Goetz said. “Circumstances just didn’t allow it.”
Goetz says he keeps in touch with about seven or eight players.
The team picture, which he recently displayed on social media, had been hanging in his room until this past spring when he retired as a social studies teacher at South.
“Dang we looked good back then!” Joe Hennen posted. “That was a fun time, the most fun I ever had playing baseball. Unique group of guys that came together to win baseball games. There was a point in the season I didn’t think we were going to ever lose a game!”