APPLETON, Wis. (WXOW) - Prior to this week, it had been 29 years since the Viroqua Blackhawks played in the WIAA state tournament.
A different generation of players rounded the bases and took ground balls back then, but some of the names have remained the same, including the one worn by the Blackhawks No. 18, Dalten Tryggestad.
His father, Todd Tryggestad, was a member of the 1981 and 1985 state tournament teams, the last from the school known for its baseball success to make it to the state's biggest stage.
Todd watched his son play this week at the state tournament in Appleton, barely sitting down because of nerves. The Blackhawks won their semifinal game against Ripon Thursday morning 2-1 but then lost the state championship game against Jefferson 10-0 later in the afternoon.
Still, Todd said just making it to the tournament is quite an accomplishment after all these years.
Viroqua head coach Pete Swanson agreed, having spent his entire coaching career trying to get back to state. He was an assistant coach when Todd played in 1981 and 1985, but never made it back as a head coach until this season.
Dalten plays left field, the same position Todd played. He collected two hits in the semifinal game.
Viroqua finished the spring baseball season 23-7. They won't have to wait long to get back out on the field: Swanson said the legion baseball season begins on Saturday in Mankato, Minnesota.
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