Thirty years ago next month, the Austin Packers – led by Coaches Howie Strey, Klem Haugen and Bill Lloyd – headed north to the St. Paul Civic Center to play in the 1981 Minnesota High School Boys Basketball Tournament.
On March 4, 2011 we’ll be having a reunion, gathering from 5-6:30 p.m. in the loft area at Torge’s at the Holiday Inn in Austin. Then we’ll head over to the school for the Packers’ final regular season game against Rochester Century, cheering the Austin boys on for what we hope will be another tournament run.
We’ll have be a brief ceremony at halftime of the Century game introducing the members of the ’81 team, which entered the state tournament undefeated at 22-0 and faced undefeated defending champion Minneapolis North in the first round. Here are some snippets from the first half of that contest:
We were down 31-24 at halftime, and next week I’ll post highlights from the second half. At the risk of giving away the ending, during the week of Feb. 21 I’ll be posting highlights from our semifinal game against Chaska (another undefeated team), and then in the week before the Century game I’ll have highlights from the championship game against Anoka.
We’ve been in touch with most of the members of the 1981 gang, although we’re still trying to track down a couple (Deryk Stilwell and Mike Pesonen.) If anyone has contact info for Derek or Mike, please pass this link along to them.
We’re looking for RSVPs to aid in planning, so I’m asking 1981 team members to please confirm your attendance by leaving a comment below.
This also is an invitation to others in the community (or our classmates) who would like to reconnect after three decades; if you’d like to join us at Torge’s before the game, please also indicate that in the comments so we have some idea of numbers to expect.