Mar. 17—Paul Osterhaus sat in section 111, row N2, of the Kohl Center on Friday to take in the second WIAA Division 5 boys basketball state semifinal between second-seeded McDonell Central Catholic and third-seeded Fall River.
His son, Zack Osterhaus, is an up-and-coming sophomore for the Pirates, who lost to the Macks 66-62 on Friday in Madison.
Even though the Pirates lost, Paul Osterhaus was still overjoyed watching his son play.
"I think it's extra special to be able to watch your son do something you love to do and to be successful and blaze his own path," he said. "It's been a lot of fun to watch."
The elder Osterhaus was a member of the 1992 Columbus basketball team that participated in the WIAA Division 3 state tournament.
"I'm dating myself," he said. "We played in the (UW) Field House at that time. When the doors were open, you felt the cold air on the floor. It was fun. I remember the whole town being there. I remember just how supportive the community was and I see that same thing go on in Fall River. Everybody is supporting the kids and the team."
The Cardinals lost the 1992 state championship game to St. Croix Falls in double overtime off a half-court shot by Brett Brown.
"That '92 team was special," Paul Osterhaus said. "We all worked hard together. We were a real team that didn't care who scored. We cared about getting out there and putting our best game up."
Paul Osterhaus was at Watertown High School last Saturday when his son hit a 3-pointer with 1 second left in regulation to tie the game at 63-63 and force overtime against Heritage Christian. The Pirates would go on to beat the Patriots 82-75 to punch their ticket to state.
The sectional final win brought back memories for the elder Osterhaus because Columbus beat No. 1 ranked Cuba City 56-53 during the sectional final in 1992.
"He asked me about it before the sectional game on what it was like to play in the sectional game," Paul Osterhaus said. "We've talked about what the expectations of what it's like to go to state, what it's like to be on the big stage and things you need to be prepared for, and how do you get yourself there. It's fun to share that moment with him."
Follow Mark McMullen on Twitter @mmcmull2 or contact him at 920-356-6754.