Thanks for coverage of state champs

To the editor:

I want to send my thanks and appreciation to columnist Ellayne Conyers and the Independent sports staff for their fine coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Minnesota State basketball champions.

It was and always will be one of the greatest memories of my lifetime and many other Marshallites who have reached the years of my lifetime.

In 1963, the population of Marshall was around 5,500 people, and for three weeks, the topic of discussion was mainly about an unrated bunch of hoopsters, that were a winning team of young men who set Marshall on the same community mindset that the little town of Edgerton had done in 1960.

It was the old eight team tournament of regions – big schools vs. small schools. Davids vs Goliaths.

The championship game ended with two small towns – Cloquet’s Lumberjacks and our Marshall Tigers.

Minneapolis Tribune sportswriter Patrick Reusse called it the greatest Minnesota State high school championship game ever played.

It certainly qualifies as one of the top five.

I would be remiss if I also didn’t say that head coach Glen Mattke, who was my neighbor, and coach George Korver were also two of the finest teachers who ever worked in the Marshall school system.

Marshall has been blessed with an abundance of super, giving, wonderful people in all phases of life.

That great team of 1962-63 has lost a few of the guys who have crossed over to the next life. Along with Coach Glen Mattke – Dave Markell, Brian Murphy and Dave Webb have passed on.

But with a celebration of all their lives, Marshall and all its citizens can forever enjoy a place in history, when the Marshall High School basketball boys team won the 1963 state championship.

I have a final “trivia question” on the 1962-63 champion Tigers. In the opening game of the season against the Tyler Danes, who scored the first two points, on the tip-off of the first game, on a break-away lay-up down the right side of the wonderful old MHS gym?

He’s the same great Tiger athlete who scored the last two points in the championship season.

Again, many thanks to the Marshall Independent for its coverage of the 1963 Minnesota State basketball champions from southwest Minnesota.

P.S.: One of the finest teachers in Marshall school history, along with Coaches Glen Mattke and George Korver, was my favorite English teacher – LeRoy Conyers. I believe Ellayne Conyers might know him.

Dennis Larson

MHS Class of 1966

Maple Lake