On Saturday, May 7, members of the 1976 District Champion Boys Basketball Team from Harmony gathered with their coaches, cheerleaders and fans at Estelle’s Eatery & Bar in Harmony. This was the 40 +1 anniversary of their winning season.
They had big plans to be in the July 4th parade last year on the 40th anniversary, even having commemorative shirts printed with their names and numbers, but it didn’t work out.But, the 40+1 anniversary came off with a bang, thanks to the planning by Craig and Clyde Scheevel and Don Shroeder.
Memories were shared with heartfelt stories and great pride. The admiration these teammates have for their coaches, Del Elston and Doug Carlson were still evident, as they only referred to them as “coach” all night. Roaring laughter filled the restaurant as each memory was shared.
The winning game back in March of 1976 came during a big snow storm, which prevented the school busses from bringing the fans and band to the game, but thanks to Harold Harstad, coach busses were secured, and to the surprise of the team, cheerleaders, coaches, and managers (who came up earlier in the day), the town of Harmony poured into Mayo Civic Center, and as Clyde Scheevel recalled best, “We won this game thanks to the sixth member on the team — the fans.” The game was played against the Caledonia Warriors, who earlier in the season had beaten the Cardinals, but not this time; the victory was very sweet, with the final score 66-59. The bad weather continued through the game, and the team, coaches, cheerleaders and managers found themselves staying at the Galaxy Hotel in Rochester that night. The team swam in their uniforms, and coaches guarded the halls all night so no one went in the wrong rooms! The morning brought sunshine and clear roads, and home everyone went to a huge “Welcome Home” celebration at the high school gym.
The memory of two teammates were recalled, as Gene Schroeder and Jody Berg have since passed and are certainly missed. Attending the reunion were teammates Craig Scheevel, Clyde Scheevel, Don Schroeder, Gary Johnson, Greg Easler, and Mitch Harstad; and of course, Coach Elston and Coach Carlson, and cheerleaders Sandy Morem Strozyk and Kari Swenson Schroeder. A fabulous night of dear memories were enjoyed by all!