Blugolds keep "Coach Cooney" close to their hearts in state titl - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Blugolds keep "Coach Cooney" close to their hearts in state title win

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APPLETON, Wis (WXOW) - -

The Aquinas Blugolds played this season with heavy hearts.  James Coonan, a longtime friend of the program, died earlier this season on May 27.  Though he didn't live to see Aquinas win it's second WIAA state title, he was in the dugout with them as they beat Laconia.  The Blugolds say this title is for "Coach Cooney."  
"He was a great mentor.  He taught me a lot about pitching," said freshman pitcher Jess Ondell, who was the winning pitcher in the Blugolds 10-0 win over Laconia.
"We had his ashes down in the dugout.  We brought them with us.  H was here in spirit for us," said third baseman Nick Schlicht.
"He taught me how to coach.  He taught me how ot play the game the right way.  He was one of those guys if I had questions I didn't know the answers to, you need a resource.  He was my resource.  He'll be missed for sure.  Our thoughts are with him all the time.  Forever, he'll be in my heart," said head coach Scott Bagniefski.
Coonan would've been proud of the Blugolds pitching staff.  They gave up just five runs over six post season games, including back to back shutouts at the State Tournament.."

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