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Memories of the 1937 Edison high school team

  • Blog Post by: Sid Hartman
  • March 21, 2012 - 6:22 PM

This is the time of year for a lot of people to rate all the great high school basketball teams. While others rate teams that they read about -- because they weren't born yet -- I can talk about teams that I have seen, including a team that was approached to fix the high school championship game.

The team was the 1937 Minneapolis Edison boys basketball team that went 15-1 and won a state tournament. They beat Crosby Ironton 38-27 in the title game.

Edison had, in my book, the greatest starting lineup of any high school team. Don Carlson, a future Laker, was on that team after playing for the Gophers. Joe Mernik, one of the greatest high school athletes in Minneapolis history, later played for the Gophers football team and was on the 1940 national championship team, kicking an extra point as the Gophers beat Michigan 7-6 in a key game. Willie Warhol went on to play basketball for the Gophers. The Edison center was Walt Andrewski.

Around tournament time it developed that a local fan tried to fix the game by bribing one of the Edison players, something that never happened before in state high school sports.  The Edison player reported the attempt to police, and the fan was arrested.

The Edison coach was Ray Parkins, and for years his team dominated the city of Minneapolis when there were only eight schools. The football team, coached by Peter Guzy, was almost as dominant.

In those days, they played every Friday at the Minneapolis Auditorium -- two games in the afternoon and two games at night. All the state tournament games were played at Williams Arena, with crowds of more than 15,000.

 

 

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