It's one of the most memorable achievements in the history of Minnesota high school basketball. More than a half-century ago, tiny Edgerton – population 900 – beat Austin 72-61 to capture the state title at Williams Arena. The Flying Dutchmen (27-0) showed great skill and heart during the one-class tournament, upsetting powerhouse Richfield in overtime in the semifinal before calmly dispatching Austin in the final.
The Tribune sports section was packed with coverage of Edgerton's remarkable run. On the front page, though, was this charming little story featuring two of the team’s “steady” fans:
Edgerton Wins Title, 72 to 61
Fans Coolly Watch Dutch Beat Austin
Saturday night was like a Buster Keaton silent movie for the fans from Edgerton.
They played it almost deadpan as their scrappy Flying Dutchmen coolly thumped Austin 72-61 in the finals of the state basketball tournament.
While a record 19,018 people packed smoky, hot Williams arena, stamping and screaming, the two girl friends from Edgerton quietly and nervously eyed their boy friends out on the court. Their calm reaction was typical of most of the folks from Edgerton.
“i’ve been nervous all day,” said Judy Roelofs, shyly showing her black onyx class ring, a present from her “steady,” guard Darrell Kreun.
“I saw him today, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him,” 16-year-old Judy sighed. “Fact is, I haven’t seen him to talk to since last Sunday.”
“Me, too,” said the tiny (5-foot, 1-inch) blonde whose steady boy friend is 6-foot 4-inch center Dean Veenhof.
“But my being tiny and Dean’s being tall is no problem,” blushed cheerleader Joyce Zwart, 15, her head just reaching over the raised court from the front-row seat.
The two girls and their boy friends double-date back in Edgerton.
“They drop us off first,” laughed Judy, who plays baritone in the band.
She tugged at her tie—“to get some air”—in the humid arena. “Dad does the knot for me.”
With her big horn at her feet, Judy nervously tweaked her nose, clapped and kept track of the score and fouls on a sheet of notebook paper.
Others in the band stood up to give a little yell when their team scored a bucket, but Judy just made a little mark with her pencil. 048
Over to the side, little Joyce smiled and turned red every time her boy friend got the ball, swooped up and dunked it in.
“I’ve been going with Dean about a month and two weeks,” she said.
She cupped her hands to her face and exchanged yells with the band as it swung into “Bleacher Boogie” and then the school song, “Wave the Flag.”
“we don’t play more than a couple of songs a night,” the girl with the clarinet behind Judy said in a matter-of-fact tone.
As the final seconds of the game ticked by, the crowd started stamping and rose to its feet.
But not the Edgerton band. They kept to their seats, waiting for the big trophies to be awarded.
“We’ll have to build a new trophy case,” smiled the clarinet player, Diane Kreun, a second cousin of Judy’s boy friend. “The one we’ve got isn’t big enough.”
Members of the team, and perhaps some of its followers, will attend church today at Riverside Reformed church, 102nd St. and Nicollet Av., Bloomington.
Because of its observance of the Sabbath, the team does not plan to return home until Monday, and there will be no celebrations in Edgerton until then.
|Edgerton players hoisted their young coach -- Rich Olson, 23 -- after winning the state title. (Minneapolis Tribune photo by John Croft)|
Follow-up: One of the double-dating couples, Darrell Kreun and Judy Roelofs, ended up getting married. I spoke with them by phone in February 2016, a little over a month after their 51st wedding anniversary. They live on a lake near Bigfork in northern Minnesota. He’s a retired high school basketball coach and teacher. She’s a retired piano teacher. They have three adult children and four grandchildren, all living in Minnesota.
What do Darrell and Judy remember about the moments after the title game against Austin?
"It was sort of anticlimactic,” said Darrell. “The big game was the Richfield game. … The Austin game was pretty easy, compared to the semifinals. We were pretty calm and collected. Never got too high or too low. We were a bit relieved."
“I don't [remember that game],” said Judy. “I remember the Richfield game. And I remember an interview with a Tribune reporter before the final game. He had heard I was dating one of the players.” That was news to her maternal grandfather. After reading the front page story, he told a relative: “I had to read the Tribune to know who my granddaughter was going with.”