Jim 'Bubba' Goessling's Memory Lives On In Teams' Final Four Run
De Smet Jesuit and St. Joe's Academy have dedicated their seasons to the late Spartan alum.
When the De Smet Jesuit Spartans walked off the court and headed for the locker room at Hyland Arena at Lindenwood University Saturday after dispatching Jackson in the Class 5 quarterfinals, they received congratulatory hand slaps from the girls basketball team at St. Joseph's Academy.
The girls had their own business to attend to immediately afterward, and followed through with a win against Parkway South to clinch their own trip to Mizzou Arena.
The wins mean the #35 warmup jerseys the teams have both worn this season will get at least one more use. The jerseys honor the late Jim Goessling, the De Smet Jesuit graduate who was part of the school's first state championship basketball team. Goessling died last October after a battle with colo-rectal cancer.
The two school's teams are intertwined in many ways.
Goessling's sister Julie Matheny is St. Joe's Head Coach and another brother Bob is an assistant coach. De Smet Jesuit graduate Tim Stock is also on the coaching staff there.
"I am very happy we are playing in his honor. This is a very emotional thing for me personally. Jim was the kind of guy who never gave up on anything," Matheny said following the team's win Saturday.
The St. Joe squad was on hand at De Smet Jesuit in December when the Spartans unveiled the jersey as well as a more prominent spot in the school gym for the state title banner for that 1973 team, something friends and family said was a frequent thought for Goessling. The moves are part of the schools effort to dedicate their seasons to his memory.
The teams share something else. Both have a Barton at point guard. Mary is a Sophomore for the Angels while her brother Jimmy is a Spartan senior. Spartan Head Coach Kevin Poelker said the teams are friends off the court and share a bond and support.
He said the Angels held their game day shoot-around at De Smet Jesuit as the Spartans left for Lindenwood University.
Now both teams will take a trip to Columbia later this week to see if they can bring titles home for the man friends and family called "Bubba".
Ladue-Frontenac Patch Editor James Baer contributed information for this report.