Shetka inducted into coaches Hall of Fame

The late Matt Shetka was  one of six coaches honored by the Minnesota High School Coaches Association during their Hall of Fame Banquet Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Crown Plaza Riverfront Hotel in St. Paul.

            Shetka was in his 33rd year of coaching high school gymnastics at New Prague High School last year when he died of a heart attack while shoveling snow outside of his home in New Prague. He was head gymnastics coach for 32-plus seasons and his teams won three state championships... four counting the championship the team won in February after his death. He also was varsity girls golf coach for 12 seasons and had two state championships. He had numerous individual state qualifiers in both gymnastics and golf. In addition to golf, he coached seventh grade volleyball and ninth grade softball for many years at New Prague.

            Members of Shetka’s family, his wife Meg and three of the couple’s four sons, were at the banquet, and Meg Shetka gave an acceptance speech. In it, she said that Matt loved coaching kids. “He was very driven and hard-headed, but he was also very motivating and loving.” She said his style was to work with the kids after a stumble and mistake, talk them through the mistake model the right way,

“then leave them with his wonderful wink and a smile.

            “What he did and said was not always perfect, but he made it a point to make sure the kids always knew he was proud of them.”

            She added that Matt felt very supported and appreciated over the years by New Prague High School and members of the community. She thanked all the parents who Matt had worked with over the years, along with his coaching colleagues and with others who had helped him along the way during his 32-plus years.

            Other inductees to the hall of fame were:

• David Barnum, Crookston, Track and Field

• Sandra Boss, Owatonna, Gymnastics and Track and Field

• Bill Bauman, North Branch, Boys Basketball

• Robert Stewart, Mounds View, Cross Country/Track and Field

• Milan Mader, Lakeville North, Volleyball and Gymnastics