NEW ULM - When talk centers around baseball coaches here in New Ulm, you bring up the names Jim Senske, Stan Wilfahrt, Bob Weier and Ken Brueske along with Kurt Moelter and Mike Wenninger.
But one coach that has flown under the radar of local coaches is that of Las Vegas Aces Legion coach Paul Buboltz, a 1999 graduate of New Ulm Cathedral.
Buboltz, the son of Bob and Monica Buboltz of New Ulm, graduated from Rochester Community College and then St. Cloud State University after graduating from CHS.
Buboltz then headed west to Las Vegas, where he got a teaching and coaching job at Sierra Vista High School.
He taught Physical Education and Health there and was the pitching coach and JV coach there.
"Two years ago I took a job at Desert Oasis High School which is a school right next to Sierra Vista," said Buboltz, who is also the head baseball coach at Desert Oasis. "When I went there, we combined both high schools for legion baseball."
And coaching legion baseball for the Aces has been a great experience for Buboltz.
"We have a Gold team and a Silver team," he said. "The Silver team are players who are not quite good enough to be on the Gold team. We have two junior teams (ninth graders) and we have a rookie team made up of seventh and eighth graders."
Buboltz lived a dream in 2010 with the Aces when they advanced to the American Legion World Series in Spokane, Wash.
"That was one of the best experiences that I have had as far as playing or coaching," he said. "It was awesome and the kids still talk about it - that was one of the greatest experiences that we can have. We went 2-0 in our first two games and then we faced Eden Prairie. We were up 4-1 but ended up losing the game to them. The next day we lost to a team from Oklahoma and were eliminated. We finished third in the World Series. We had five players from that team go on to play D-I baseball and we had another player get drafted in the first round. That was the same yer we came up and played in the Upper Midwest Classic (and won it)."
Buboltz said that legion baseball in Las Vegas is not like around New Ulm.
"It is all self-funded," he said. "The players go out and fundraise, their parents write out a check for the trips and fees. If families are really struggling we find a way to help them out. We are kind of on our own so to speak. We coaches push each other to get these guys as good as they can get."
Following their game here Sunday, the Aces immediately left for La Crosse,Wis. for games. "Then we go to Moline, Illinois for a doubleheader, " said Buboltz. "Then we go to Milwaukee for a Brewers' game. Then we to Eau Claire fo play them before we go to Eagan for the Gopher Classic. Then we fly back home on July 16th."
Buboltz said that being a good coach is having a commitment to the players "and getting them as good as they can get. We put a ton of hours in to get these guys better and better. That is the rewarding thing about coaching. I want to build this program up."
TOURNAMENT STUFF: When New Ulm Gold and Chaska played, the game reunited New Ulm Gold's Tanner Kluis and Grant Kannegiesser and Chaska's Ryan Sweeney, who all played fall ball last year for the Minnesota Millers. Sweeney and Kluis faced each other in the game on the mound. When the Minnesota Millers played in a tournament in Las Vegas, they used Buboltz's team facilities there...If you hung around during the rain delay that happened during the Gold-Chaska game you saw two teams entertain the crowd with skits during the wait. It was great.