The Goetz family of Creston in the late 1970s and early 1980s embodied the definition of living the wrestling lifestyle.
Dr. Larry and Patsy Goetz and their children Devon, Dana, and twins Lauren and Lance will be honored as 2018 inductees into the Creston Wrestling Hall of Fame Nov. 17 at the Creston Eagles Club.
Dr. Larry Goetz, longtime Creston physician now living in Des Moines with Patsy, was the unofficial team doctor for Creston wrestlers and their opponents for several years as sons Devon and Lance were coming up through the ranks.
Dana was involved as a wrestling and football cheerleader, avidly cheering on her brothers and their teammates, as well as participating in golf and being in the CHS homecoming court. Lauren was an all-around athlete as well as being a part of many other school activities. As an equestrian, she won the Iowa State Fair barrel racing competition one year.
Larry Goetz was honored by the Iowa High School Athletic Association with a “Team Doctor Award” at the State Wrestling Tournament finals in 1983, just before the medals presentation on the same night Lance was on the medal stand as a senior.
Patsy had worked as a surgery recovery nurse and was closely involved in their son’s dedicated lifestyle and weight management through proper nutrition.
Devon began the Goetz wrestling tradition, starting with a 19-1 JV record his sophomore year before posting a 58-11 record on varsity. He had two fourth-place finishes at state and earned a spot in the North-South All-Star Dual Meet in Charles City after his senior season.
As a pre-med student at the University of Iowa, Devon was an intramural wrestling champion at 126 pounds and recruited to join Dan Gable’s Hawkeye wrestling team to fill an anticipated vacancy at 118 pounds for the upcoming Iowa vs. Iowa State dual.
“Watching Dan Gable coach and motivate was the best thing,” Devon recalled.
Devon suited up for that dual after making weight, but a late decision by Gable put regular starter Dan Glenn on the mat in the dual after Glenn’s knee was drained from an injury.
Dr. Devon Goetz has been a partner orthopaedic surgeon at Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons in West Des Moines since 1993. He graduated from the UI College of Medicine in 1987 and following a fellowship at Harvard University, he started his work in Des Moines. He served the Creston area with weekly visits for orthopaedic services for many years.
He has received many honors and published more than 90 orthopaedic research papers. Devon and wife Kathy are the parents of five children — Katelyn, 29; Kristen, 28; Maggie, 25; and twins Jake and Jeff, 22.
Lance Goetz made two trips to Veterans Memorial Auditorium for the state tournament, finishing fifth at 112 pounds his senior season. In that tourney he wrestled four-time state champion Mark Schwab of Osage and lost to four-time placewinner Brian Forgy of Winterset before defeating East Union’s Butch Hoffman 6-5 for fifth place in 1983. His senior record was 28-8.
As fate would have it, Lance’s toughest battle was ahead. He suffered a near-fatal car accident in 1984.
“I never gave up hope that things would continue to get better, day by day, even when I knew that walking wasn’t a possibility,” Lance said.
Dr. Lance Goetz became the first wheelchair user to graduate from the UI College of Medicine. He is a staff physician at the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, and associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. He has done more than 100 manuscripts, chapters and presentations as well as started Jobs for Life Chapter in Richmond with $35 million in grant funds raised to generate employment for 7,150 veterans with SCT.
Married to Eva Sonnier in 2000, the couple has 14-year-old twin sons, Devon and Daniel. He is a member of the Creston Community High School Hall of Fame.
Dana Goetz graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in speech pathology. She won a sales competition working for Miller Beauty Supply in 1988 and met her future husband during a Carnival Cruise that was part of the prize. She and Michael Langley were married in January 1990 and now reside in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Their children are Taylor Langley and spouse Hope of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Phillip Langley of Shawnee, Oklahoma; and Daniel Langley of West Palm Beach, Florida.
Lauren Crippes, Lance’s twin sister, is a freelance artist with a fine arts degree from the University of Iowa and an active volunteer. Lauren and husband Joe reside in Cedar Rapids and enjoy an active life with their three children Kylie, 25; Landon, 23; and Gonnor, 20.
In 1983 Lance and wrestling teammate Roger Baker were CHS co-valedictorians and Lauren was salutatorian.
Perseverance and trust has guided this family through various trials, including Patsy’s and Dana’s recent battles with breast cancer, in addition to Lance’s courage and his medical field accomplishments along with those of Devon and Larry.
In providing some family information to the nominating committee, Dana thanked the committee and chairman Dannie Stephens “for this wonderful and humbling opportunity” to be recognized as a family not only for their accomplishments and support of the Creston High School wrestling program, but also for their willingness to cheer on their fellow teammates, classmates and family members throughout their life journeys.