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Ty Ketz takes over as SCC girls basketball coach

Ty Ketz is working hard this summer to engrain himself in the fabric of St. Croix Central athletics.

Having a small-school perspective is something that Ty Ketz hopes to use to keep the St. Croix Central girls basketball program at the top of the Middle Border Conference.

Ketz was an all-state basketball player at Clayton High School, before playing collegiately at Ripon College and UW-Superior. Clayton’s enrollment is quite small, usually between 115 to 130 students for the four high school grades. Enrollments that low meant there were going to be a limited number of athletes on each team. Ketz saw that the Clayton coaches did their best to find the skills in every player.

“From an athletic standpoint, the secret is spending the majority of your time at the youth level. We couldn’t rely on our depth,” Ketz said of his Clayton teams. “That was the biggest takeaway for me.”

Ketz said he saw his coaches work with every player, with the idea that each player had skills, and it was the coach’s job to find them and put them to their best use. Ketz saw first-hand that practice at work; his Clayton basketball teams were 25-2 his junior season and 21-1 his senior season.

The Clayton system works in girls sports too. His sister’s team went to state three times in basketball and volleyball. Ketz is a 2011 graduate of Clayton High School.

Ketz was highly dedicated to refining his skills as an athlete. Now he plans to carry that into his coaching. At Ripon, he holds the career record for free throw accuracy and he holds the season free throw accuracy record, making 91.4 percent of his free throws in the 2015-16 season. Ketz also played baseball at Ripon.

Last year, Ketz started his teaching career when he was hired as an elementary teacher in the Baldwin-Woodville School District. He helped coach football, basketball and baseball at B-W. He will continue to teach at B-W, but his coaching efforts will be concentrated solely on the Central girls program. Ketz said the staff at B-W has been supportive of him taking the Central coaching position.

Ketz said he has tried to learn from every coach he’s played under or worked with. He said that helped him develop a patient coaching style.

“I’m a very calm person. I think players respond to that,” he said. “I’ve got my own (coaching) ideas, but adjusting to the girls is important.”

If you stop at Central this summer, you are likely to find Ketz there. He said he’s trying to spend every available second there, getting to know his players. In a meeting before the end of school, 36 girls showed interest in playing basketball in the upcoming season. Central is coming off its first Middle Border Conference championship season.

“There’s a ton of girls who are still hungry. They’re excited things are moving forward,” Ketz said.

Ketz takes over the position from Luke Fritsche, who resigned following the 2017-18 season.

An accident in November 2016 caused Ketz to move back to the area. His dad, Barry, was left partially paralyzed after falling from a tree stand while deer hunting. Ty, the oldest of the Ketz children, moved home to help in his dad’s recovery. His dad needs a wheelchair. An addition was built to the family home to accommodate his needs. Ty said he was recently able to rent an apartment in Baldwin because of his dad’s progress.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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