Home » Opinion » It’s time for me to fly

It’s time for me to fly

Greg Seubert with a Wisconsin Newspaper Association award for his outdoor column. File Photo

Seubert resigning after 28 years

By Greg Seubert

“Time for me to fly, I’ve got to set myself free. Time for me to fly, and that’s just how it’s got to be. I know it hurts to say goodbye, but it’s time for me to fly.”

Kevin Cronin’s lyrics from the REO Speedwagon classic “Time For Me to Fly” are going through my head as I sit at my work computer in Waupaca on the night before Easter.

By the time most of you read this, my 28 years as sports editor of the Waupaca County Post – as well as 38 years in the newspaper business – will be over. I’m not going to go into the decision to move on, only to say that it was my decision and it was not an easy one to make.

My last day was April 2 and the final sporting event I covered for the County Post and its sister publication, the Waushara Argus, was the Almond-Bancroft boys’ basketball team’s first appearance at the WIAA State Boys’ Basketball Tournament March 15 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Covering teams at state individual and team tournaments and meets was one of the highlights of the job. Over the years, I was able to cover athletes and teams from Waupaca, Iola-Scandinavia, Weyauwega-Fremont, Manawa, Amherst, Wild Rose, Clintonville, New London and Hortonville high schools at state. Many of them returned home with individual gold medals or helped their team win a state championship.

Off the top of my head, I watched the Waupaca, Amherst and Iola-Scandinavia football teams, Waupaca baseball team, Iola-Scandinavia, New London and Amherst softball teams, New London boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and Amherst girls’ basketball team win state championships. I also had a front-row seat as several track athletes and wrestlers returned home from state meets in La Crosse and Madison, respectively, with individual titles.

I spent almost half of my 60 years covering thousands of athletes and hundreds of teams. I also met some fantastic coaches, teachers, athletes and other people that helped me make my job a lot easier.

Here are a few of them:

  • Former Waupaca High School football and baseball coach John Koronkiewicz.

Koronk was one of the first teacher/coaches I met after arriving in Waupaca at the start of the 1996-97 school year. It didn’t take me long to realize why his football program was the talk of the town, especially in the fall. My first season covering the Comets ended with a loss in a state semifinal game, which means Koronk’s team came up just short from a return trip to state.

He eventually won WIAA Division 3 state football championships in 2006 and 2008 and capped his 40-year teaching career in Waupaca by leading the Comets to a Division 2 state baseball championship in 2016.

One of the best and most helpful coaches I’ve ever dealt with also made an impact on me years after he retired and moved to Lake Geneva.

In 2022, he made a last-second decision to drive from Lake Geneva to Waupaca to watch his former team face Winneconne at Comet Field. Instead of hanging out on the sidelines with Waupaca fans, which he did after the game, he spent most of that game in the north end zone talking to me and me alone about trout fishing and our lives.

My only regret was that I never got to go fishing with Koronk when he lived in Waupaca. Now that I’ve got some more free time and he has plenty of that, he can expect a phone call or email from me. He told me he comes up to this area to fish.

  • Former Waupaca boys’ hockey coach and current Waupaca Learning Center Principal John Erspamer.
    He may not know it, but I considered Ersh and I as in the same boat. We arrived in Waupaca at the same time in 1996 – he as a social studies teacher at Waupaca High School and I as the County Post’s new sports editor – and I covered his teams over the years, including the two that won conference championships and helped put high school hockey on the map in Waupaca.

Ersh worked his way up the ranks from teacher to high school dean of students to elementary school principal, while my job pretty much stayed the same. He even took a break from coaching for a few seasons, but came back and even gave me a free Comet hockey sweatshirt a few years ago and apologized to me because the shirt was covered in dog hair from sitting in his truck. That was OK with me, though. Great guy and a good friend.

  • Former Waupaca High School boys’ and girls’ soccer coach Mark Polebitski.

Polo was one of the first teacher/coaches I met in Waupaca and it was a pleasure to cover his boys’ and girls’ teams that came close to heading to state a couple of times.

One of the more accommodating coaches I’ve ever worked with, Polo was happy to turn in results from his teams’ games. I remember getting a phone call at work about 20 years ago complaining about my sports coverage. The guy said there was too much soccer coverage and not enough from other sports. Hey, not my fault. Blame Polo.

Polo went on to serve on the Waupaca School Board, retired from teaching and coaching and moved to Platteville a couple of years ago. I was able to speak to him by phone for a few minutes one last time a few years ago right after he moved.

  • Weyauwega-Fremont wrestling coach Tim Potratz and photographers Perry and Melissa Thomas.

Po recently coached the Warhawk wrestling team to its most successful season in program history and Perry and Melissa helped me cover the team over the years with their photos.

Po was always there with results and comments and I can tell that he really loves the program he has overseen for more than 30 years. Perry also turned into my newest fishing buddy and I enjoyed our day trips in his boat on the Wisconsin and Wolf rivers. Perry and I were together in a packed downtown Madison restaurant in 2020 during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks later, the WIAA called off its boys’ and girls’ state tournament because of the pandemic. I can’t believe neither him or I came down with a case of covid that weekend. With all of the people we were around, we probably should have. Perry appreciated the media passes I would get for him and his wife over the years and their photos were outstanding.

  • Former WDUX sports guys Jack Tomlinson, Terry Nellis, John Wright and John Hammond. These guys were a breath of fresh air and a barrel of laughs.

Jack, known on the air at Jack Barry, was notorious for ignoring speed limits while driving the WDUX van. I’m sure he’s the only person who’s ever driven the 80 miles from Antigo to Amherst in way less than an hour. I couldn’t tell how fast we were going because it was pitch black after a basketball game in Antigo, but once he got on a straight stretch of County Trunk A between Rosholt and Amherst, it was all over. It was very impressive and kind of scary at the same time.

I called Terry “Touchdown Terry” and he was one of the most knowledgeable sports guys I’ve ever met. Like Jack, Terry could do it all – football, hockey, softball, baseball and basketball – and was very good at it. He also knew the area’s best fishing spots and took me out in his boat one spring day a couple of years ago for a story I was doing about where to fish for panfish on the Chain O’ Lakes. We didn’t catch many fish that day, but I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to go fishing with a guy who knew more about fishing the Chain than anybody I’ve ever met.

John Wright – most people call him Crow – knew the Waupaca boys’ basketball program inside and out. The road trips with him and Jack were legendary, especially the ones to Madison for state basketball. I remember one trip where the three of us covered a game together in Little Chute. Jack and Crow came in the WDUX van, while I drove myself. I followed Jack on U.S. Highway 10 out of Appleton. Once he hit the straight stretch past the State Highway 76 exit, Jack took off and a minute later, I couldn’t even see his taillights anymore. And I was going 70 mph.

John Hammond – I still call him “The Hammer” – was and is a good friend. I won’t go into our state road trips to Madison because I don’t want to incriminate myself and don’t want the authorities to come looking for us. Well, they can come looking for Hammer if they want. He’s guilty as charged, but I’m innocent.

  • Former Waupaca County Post editor Loren Sperry; current editor Bob Cloud; and former reporters Angie Landsverk and Holly Neumann.

Loren took a chance on an unemployed guy 28 years ago and hired me on the spot before my interview was done. I showed up in Waupaca for the interview in a shirt and tie – just like I had dressed for work for all three of my previous jobs – and one of the first things he said to me was, “Don’t show up to work dressed like that.” It was a big deal for me to lose the dress shirts and ties I had worn almost daily for seven years and replace them with jeans, T-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts. I was in heaven.

Loren retired about a year after I arrived and Bob, his replacement, has done an outstanding job since he arrived. Bob and I have turned into good friends over the years and I’ll miss our time together.

Angie was on board as a reporter for the County Post when I arrived and did a great job covering government in Waupaca and Weyauwega. I hadn’t seen her for a few years after she stepped down, but ran into her twice in the last couple of months.

Holly helped me cover Iola-Scandinavia and Manawa sports for years before retiring last year. I was kind of jealous because she had a better camera than I did and her photos were better than anything I could come up with. She and her husband, Tony, became good friends over the years and I still expect that fishing trip that we’ve talked about but never took together. Hint: Call me, guys. I have some free time now.

I figure I’ve covered about 2,000 games, meets and matches over the years. It’ll be strange not covering them anymore and I certainly won’t miss driving to Oconto Falls during a Tuesday night snowstorm to watch a pair of 2-18 basketball teams.

No, let me rephrase that. I miss it already.

Scroll to Top