LINCOLN — The success of the Sutton boys athletics program has been an impressive subject all season long. By now, many around Tribland know the Mustangs followed a football state runner-up finish with a berth in the Class C-2 basketball state championship. Include the fact that the Sutton American Legion baseball team won the 2011 juniors state championship and the 2012 seniors title (along with a boys golf Class C state championship in the spring of 2012), and the town of Sutton has dominated the sports world.
"I think we're fortunate in Sutton to have solid coaching and great support from the community," said Sutton head basketball coach — and head baseball and assistant football coach — Steve Spongberg. "(The community is) behind you. They're willing to let their kids practice baseball in the summer, do summer basketball camps, do some summer football things, have late dinners during the season and things like that.
"There's a real active faculty and administration behind us, even when things don't go that well."
But things are going well for the Mustangs as of late, and Spongberg tries his hardest not to accept credit for that. He said the success in football is mostly because of head coach Steve Ramer and assistant coach Chad Wiseman. In basketball, Spongberg said assistant coaches Jon Ladehoff and Matt Eichinger do most of the work. As for baseball, Spongberg said he couldn't have brought the structure that the program needed without the help of assistant coach Ty Yost.
And virtually all of that is true. But Spongberg does deserve some credit as well. After all, he's the common factor in all three sports.
"A lot of people make a big deal and say I'm a fairly decent coach, but I'm not sure it's that as much as it's that we have great athletes," Spongberg said.