On Saturday fans lined Fifth Avenue greeted the bus back from the state meet. They then came to the parking lot to greet and applaud the team.
This morning a welcome back was held in the Melrose Area Public Elementary auditorium. Besides the team, Melrose gymnast, Mady Brinkman was saluted at the event.
The coaches and captains addressed the well-wishers thanking all-of the students, players, fans, parents and community. A constant them of the speeches was that it was team work that won. Coach Ryan Dusha illustrated how the seniors illustrated that concept of teamwork in a variety of ways.
He told how Brian Thielen, a senior, had accepted the role of playing the scout team, even after he had been seen a game time early in the year.
“He came up to me and said “coach that was so much fun,” Dusha recalled.
‘Zak Luetmer did fantastic job, He didn’t got much playing time, but he never complained.’
“Blake Gerads was one of the best players on the team and didn’t start and he was fine with that,” Dusha said.
“Anthony Welle he keeps everyone loose”
Isaac Herkenhoff talked to me early in the year and said he I love BB so much.
Cesar, Nobody knew how bad his ankle was. He never complained. He just kept going I asked him one time this year if he was having fun. He said “coach all I want to do is get a banner.”
The celebration came 41 years after Melrose had last won a state boys basketball championship. Activities Director Jonathan Ruoff tried to put some perspective on that.
“We estimated that in that time about 6,500 students graduated from Melrose. Let’s hope the next one comes after 115 have graduated.
Check the March 18 issue of the Beacon for photographs and stories of the team at state.
Hear Ryan Dusha talk about the team’s success at http://youtu.be/EtUU5-D7mjo