The Austin Packers haven’t lost yet this season on the court, but with the Rochester Post-Bulletin discontinuing publication of its Austin edition at year-end, the Packer basketball program loses one of its top media supporters, as Austin native and 1979 AHS graduate Scott Kolb will no longer be covering the games and writing his weekly column.
Austin has been blessed for more than a decade with two daily newspapers, with both the Austin Daily Herald and the Austin Post-Bulletin, and Scott has been covering the local sports beat. In his final column, he looked back on highlights of 2012, and so the Packers’ return to the state tournament led the way. Here’s what Scott had to say:
Highlight of year
When I attended the state tournament games back in the early 1980s to see the Austin Packers boys basketball team, it never dawned on me that three decades would elapse before another trip to the promised land. That dream finally came true last March when the Austin boys once again went to state.
After winning the Big Nine Conference title before a packed house on the final night of the regular season, the Packers were the No. 1 seed in the section tournament. They destroyed the first two teams at home, but then came the finals and a trip to the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
For most of the game, the Packers didn’t shoot real well and it looked like the might fail against the New Prague Trojans. It was tied in the final seconds, when coach Kris Fadness called a time-out and drew up what now must be the most famous play in school history.
Packers point-guard Zach Wessels brought the ball up the floor for the decisive possession. Off to the side, Goliath Oboyo set a back pick for Tom Aase. With the clock winding down, it initially looked like Wessels was firing up a long prayer of a shot. Instead, it was a perfect pass to Tom Aase, who dunked home the winning basket and sent Packers fans into a state of delirium.
The boys made it to the state tournament and I got the chance to sit courtside at Williams Arena, where I used to watch Minnesota Gophers games decades ago. The Packers didn’t win their tourney opener and they were eliminated from state, but the good news is the team is even better this season and their fans are looking for a return trip to the big city.
Read Scott’s whole column, and join us in thanking Scott for his years of service to the Austin community in the comments below