BLAST FROM THE PAST: New fall season underway; all-decade search continuesWORTHINGTON — Once again the fall sports season is in full swing. With the “chill” in the air, one of the most exciting times of the year has rapidly descended upon us.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Once again the fall sports season is in full swing. With the “chill” in the air, one of the most exciting times of the year has rapidly descended upon us.
I have already had the opportunity to “cover” a trio of high school volleyball matches, a cross country meet and one football game — in addition to writing six “previews” for the Globe’s annual football tab, which was included in the Sept. 3 issue.
The Twins continue to lead the American League Central and tonight, the Vikings open their season with a game at the Superdome in New Orleans — where they “helped” the Saints end Minnesota’s memorable 2009 season.
With the new season, I have at least three “Blast” ideas that I would like to write a feature about this fall.
Twenty-five years ago, the Westbrook Wildcats won their second 9-Man Prep Bowl State Football Championship in a four-season span. I did a story on the 1982 state champions in December of 2007. I had promised to write-up the 1985 Wildcats when the fall of 2010 came around.
That same year, Jackson won the 11-Man Class B state title. There was a “Blast” about that ‘85 Bluejay campaign in November of 2005 — 20 years after the accomplishment.
Twenty years ago, in 1990, Hills-Beaver Creek repeated what Westbrook had done in ‘82 and ‘85, the Patriots won the 9-Man state championship at Prep Bowl IX.
I have been planning to research and write a story about that team.
The third team which has a “rounded number” anniversary this fall, is the 2000 Windom Eagle volleyball team, which marched to the Class AA state finals and was leading Stewartville before the Tigers rallied to win, 3-2, giving Windom its second state runner-up trophy. The Eagles had finished second in the 1978 Class A state volleyball tournament.
I wrote a “Blast” about the 1974 WHS volleyball team — a squad that I “covered” when I was a sports reporter for the Cottonwood County Citizen in Windom.
That feature was written-up in October of 2006. Now, it’s been suggested that I tell the story of those 2000 Eagles.
Those three projects will keep me plenty busy, as will the ongoing search for the area’s best basketball players from 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Girls’ basketball began in Districts 7 and 8 in the middle of the ‘70s, so that is the next All-Area “Team” that will be selected, followed by the ‘70s boys, the ‘80s girls, etc.
That’s eight more groups and the process looks to become increasingly more difficult. Again, advance input is welcome.
Kleven tops ‘50s list, Veenhof was leader from the 1960s
While researching the selections for the 1950s and 1960s teams, I was attempting to find out how many points each player scored during their high school careers. I was not able to complete that search.
But now, thanks to some great help from basketball stats “guru” Matt Pederson of Starbuck, I have a list with most of the players who scored over 1,000 points in high school during the ‘50s and ‘60s, while playing for one of the 28 schools in Districts 7 or 8.
By the way, how many of you “old time” readers can name all 14 schools and their nicknames from each district?
I said “most” of the players because I know of some — from later years — who scored over 1,000 points and are not on the list.
Also, there are no Luverne players on Matt’s list. I would think that there may be several Cardinals — including first-team ‘60s pick John Beyer, a three-year starter, playing in two state tournaments — who would have scored more than 1,000 points.
Anyway, the list contains seven players from the ‘50s (graduating in 1960 included) who topped the 1,000-point mark and four of them are 1959 graduates.
Westbrook’s Gary Kleven (‘59) — a first-team ‘50s pick — tops the list with 1,554 points.
Rod McNab (Brewster, ‘59) is second with 1,285 points, followed by Mark Aamot (Jackson, ‘59) with 1,239; Sid Bostic, (Pipestone, ‘60) 1,235; Gene Polzin (Jeffers, ‘55) 1,205; Lee Bondhus (Storden, ‘57) 1,110 and Gordy Thompson (Storden, ‘59) with 1,088 points.
Bostic joined Kleven on the ‘50s first team, while Aamot was on the second team.
McNab, Polzin, Bondhus and Thompson were not mentioned in the ‘50 story (Aug. 18), but obviously all four were big scorers.
Bondhus was better known for his football career, which included playing at both the collegiate and professional level, while later coaching in the college ranks before returning to the area and working in the insurance industry. Doing a story on Bondhus has also been a suggestion.
McNab spent many years as a teacher, coach and athletic director at Lake Crystal.
There are 11 players from the 1960s included on the list, which is headed by legendary Dean Veenhof (Edgerton, 1961) who scored 1,887 points and led the Flying Dutchmen to their famous 1960 state championship.
A close second is Dean Krogman, who played for Lismore’s outstanding Catholic school teams prior to finishing up his career at Adrian (‘68). Krogman finished with 1,728 points.
Terry Arends (Hills, ‘64), who scored a remarkable 48 points against Pipestone as a junior in the 1963 District 8 quarterfinals, is next with 1,395 points.
Darrell Kreun (Edgerton ‘61) ranks fourth from the ‘60s with 1,268 points, followed by Jim Heinitz (Mountain Lake, ‘68) with 1,225; Vern Schoolmeester (Edgerton, ‘64) 1,211; Darwin Busselman (Lake Wilson, ‘64) 1,183; Gary McNab (Brewster, ‘63) 1,117; Marv Martenson (Lake Wilson, ‘62) 1,114; Marty Jorgensen (Worthington, ‘66) 1,052 and Kent Borchard (Jackson, ‘63) with 1,026 points.
Veenhof, Schoolmeester, Jorgensen and Borchard joined Beyer on the ‘60s first team (Aug. 27), while Kreun (second team); Arends and Busselman (third team) and Krogman and Heinitz (honorable mention) were all included in that selection.
Gary McNab (Rod’s younger brother) and Martenson were not mentioned in that story and join a large list of top-notch players from the decade who were also not included.
Like I said, the selection process has been difficult — and it will become more so as we get closer and closer to the present.
I know that attempting to “balance” out the selections among the many schools and even between the two districts has been uneven. For example, District 8 has had a much higher percentage of selections than has District 7.
I have taken lots of input from the coaches who were a part of those time frames and will continue to do my best to give the selection process a fair and accurate assessment.
But, I’ll bet one could come up with a very good list of players who were not on the list.
I am not even going to attempt to start mentioning them here — but, who knows maybe someday I’ll write a book and the list will get expanded.
Enjoy the fall — it’s here, ready or not.