“Magical little Edgerton, a team touched by stardust…"
Those were the opening words of the game story written 60 years ago today by Minneapolis Star sportswriter Jim Klobuchar when Edgerton High School pulled off one of the most dramatic tournament runs in Minnesota high school basketball history.
The story of the Flying Dutchmen, from a small town in southwestern Minnesota, has been often told: How they took on and defeated the better-known basketball powers of that era – Chisholm, Richfield and Austin – to win the 1960 state title.
This week, Twin Cities PBS (Ch. 2) released a short film about Edgerton, which was part of an hour-long documentary about Minnesota sports in the year 1960 released last year.
Narrated by former Ch. 4 sportscaster Mark Rosen, the film features Dean Verdoes, a retired Twin Cities school administrator who was one of the key players on that team. There’s video from the games as well as all of the excitement before and after.
Seeing those scenes made an impact on those who weren’t around to witness it first-hand, including Lynx basketball analyst Lea B. Olsen. Watching what unfolded at Williams Arena, in front of more than 19,000 fans, “sounded like no other event I can imagine, really,” she said.
One thing Verdoes in the film noted was that Edgerton was such a religious community, with a heavy Dutch Reformed church influence, that the team stayed in the Twin Cities on Sunday before returning home to an area-wide celebration Monday.
“They did a lot of things in Edgerton to help us celebrate,” said Verdoes, who was a college basketball star at Macalester, recalling that bands from several schools joined the celebration in town. “They butchered a steer on Main Street that day.”