LA CROSSE, Wis. -- As the Loggers rushed the field after the final out Friday night, Manager Andy McKay is slowly walking, pumping his fist, still humble.
"I'm getting way too much credit for this," McKay said. "We had a phenomenal group of kids, and they invested themselves completely into it."
His players would disagree.
"He's the best coach I've ever had," said pitcher Jake Stassi. "The mental game, he really helps get your mind right, ready for the game."
"You know, Coach McKay, I'll admit, he single-highhandedly, he and Coach Katz, they helped turn my career around, and I owe everything to those guys," said pitcher Jacob Dorris.
"I heard he was a great coach, I got to experience it for myself," said second baseman Brendan Farney. "That's a great man right there. They retired his number."
And in his last game as the Loggers skipper, McKay added yet another line to his legacy in La Crosse: a championship.
"Coach McKay's been the best coach in the Northwoods League for five years, and I think it wouldn't have been right if he didn't win a title," outfielder Bobby Juan said.
"Storybook ending, it meant everything," said General Manager Chris Goodell. "I mean, we owe him so much. Five years of his dedication and what he's done for our organization, and for what he's done for all these guys, our players."
"It just seems like icing on the cake," said outfielder Matt Chapman. "I wouldn't want to win it for anyone else."
And the one thing McKay says he'll most remember about La Crosse?
"Honestly, it's the ballpark. It's that river behind it. I don't know what the smell is, but it is unique. I'm not going to say it's bad or good, but you just, you know you're here, and you know that smell. And the city is lovely."