Isaiah Goetze, a senior center on the Edgewood boys’ varsity basketball team, was named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month.
Goetze was nominated by Rams head coach Sarah Friedman, who coached him on the JV team during his sophomore year and has coached him on the varsity team during his junior and senior years.
“He works hard. He never complains. I’ve never heard him put one of his teammates down,” Friedman said. “The only thing I’ve ever heard Isaiah say is … ‘Coach, how can I get better?’ He completely understands that when he’s on the court he’s not there to be the show. He’s there to kind of play his role and do what’s asked of him.
“He’s very reflective. ‘Hey Coach, how can I get better at doing this? How can I get better at doing that?’ And when he is on the court, he’s not the guy that looks to shoot first. He’s the guy to look to pass first.”
The 6-foot-5 Goetze makes his mark on the court with his rebounding ability, which allows Goetze keep possessions alive on the offensive end of the floor and trigger fast breaks from the defensive end. He plays volleyball in the fall and runs for the track and field team in the spring, and both sports develop skills that transfer over to the basketball court, like jumping, quickness and agility.
Those aren’t the only things volleyball and track provided him, according to Goetze.
“Playing multiple sports and different sports, you’re around a lot of different personalities, different people,” Goetze said. “With volleyball, that team I had, it was a really welcoming environment. I didn’t actually know how fun volleyball was until I tried out. I didn’t realize how fun track would be until I tried it out.”
“Feeling welcomed and seeming like I have an important part to play comes back to basketball,” he added. “I really realize how important I can be on the team and how much I really need to make an impact and play my role so as a team we can get better, be better and just achieve great things.”
Part of Goetze’s role on the basketball team is to lead on and off the court, according to Friedman, who said it’s not uncommon for Goetze to help a JV player with his homework. That leadership extends beyond the school’s walls. He volunteers at the EPICENTER of Edgewood, a nonprofit community center and a partner of Mountain Christian Church.
Goetze helps out with MCC’s Mt. 54 (grades 5-4) Echo (grades 6-8) and Collide (grades 9-12) programs at the EPICENTER, part of a faith-based life for Goetze.
“I see a lot of things that happen in the world, so I volunteer in different aspects with high schoolers, middle schoolers and little kids because I don’t want them to make any mistakes that I’ve seen people make, that I might have made myself,” Goetze said. “Being able to see them grow up throughout their life with God — knowing that there’s a brighter side to things — and knowing that I can help guide them through that path, it makes me feel better about myself because I know that I’m helping someone to have a better and happier life.”
Goetze is currently looking at Christian institutions like Liberty University and Milligan College as his college decision comes to a head. He’d like to pursue aviation long term, though he’s afraid how tall he is might make becoming a pilot a bit of a challenge.
“If I could fly certain planes, that’d be cool,” Goetze said. “It’s nice. I like being up in the sky. I like heights.”
Watch video of the award presentation:
To nominate a student-athlete for the U.S. Army Impact Player award, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Impact.
The Impact Player of the Month award is given to an individual who has impacted his or her team in a positive way, both on and off the field.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of CountySportsZone