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Westbrook, Minnesota
March 27, 1991     Sentinel Tribune
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March 27, 1991

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@ Sunday afternoon at 2:00 the Westbrook Walnut Grove Charger Basketball team was officially welcomed home. After the playing of the national anthem and the singing of the school song, principal Bill Richards started the program. Athletic Director Leo Theisen welcomed the players and fans: Stephanie Kjorness was introduced as one of the eight finalists for the State triple A award. Stephanie received a finalist medal during the half time break of the WWG - Chisholm game Friday afternoon at the St. Paul Civic Center. Westbrook mayor Harold Schmidt spoke saying "you can be proud of your season." With a break of emotion Schmidt said," thats why it is so difficult for me to watch basketball games." Schmidt gave recognition to the team and coaches for a job well done. Greg Hansen Walnut Grove ! mayor said, "It's great to be a part of a winner. Thanks for the enjoyment you have given us, Walnut Grove is very proud of yOU." KDOM's Dave Cory said, "I think the way Steve and Gary work together, it must be like a marriage. This is a team you can be proud of for many reasons. They withstood the pressure of great expectations - You could see by the play of Wayne (Hanson) and the cooperation we have gotten from Leo (Theisen) that Westbrook Walnut Grove has really come together." Westbrook board chairman Gene Kronback told the crowd, "This team had a dream that started way back in the 5th grade. Yesterday 99% of that dream came true. He talked about all the memories of the season, district, region and state tournament. Congratulations to Juhl, Nick and Jason on being selected to the All State Tournament Team. In closing he said, "Thanks for the Memories." Walnut Grove board chairman Arlen Knott was unable to attend due to illness. At this point in the program the girls show choir performed the number "One." Coach Steve Kjomess addressed Coach Gary DeBates first stated that, "I don't have any notes for anyone to take. I really was not excited about the pile of snow in front of my house, especially when Jeff said "Dad I'm fired." Also he said, "I don't know about a marriage between me and Steve, but we did have a pre-nuptial agreement. Nick Kuehl Speaking to the youngsters in the crowd he said, "Someday you young men and women can do the same thing: Even though they just finished a State Tournament, "I think these guys just can't get enough basketball." DeBates thanked both the communities. "These kids have really come together." Coach Steve Kjorness said, "I Steve thanked Gary, Leo, Bill, Burt and "Cultural Affairs Director Trevor Johnson." "As a former metropolitan, Trevor took us to a lot of great places. " Steve also said "We had the best band there thanks Mr. Vondracek" He also thanked Connie Knott, the Cheerleaders, and the communities of Westbrook, Walnut Grove, Revere, and Dovray. He thanked the media for their support. To the parents and fans he said, "We couldn't have done it without your support." "That dream did come true, thank you all very much." Trevor Johnson said, "I know your cities could not have been represented better than these fine young people right here. Johnson mentioned a play they attended. The rest you will hear through the grapevine". "Thank you very much as your friend, teacher, and cultural affairs director." Then saying, "Thanks for the great welcome back, it makes the silver look a lot more like gold." "It was great having Juhl, Jason, Wayne and the rest of the seniors for making a guy like me look good." Wayne Hanson thanked the seniors stating, "the seniors were such a great bunch to play with. I made the right choice coming over here." the players took their turn. Nick Kuehl was first to speak - have only been embarrassed by , one thing so far. What Gary said about the pre-nuptial agreement, thats really not true, morn." He went on to say, "In the past 22 years here I have had the opportunity to coach many good young men. But I had a dream about this ball club - I don't think a day went by the past few months i '35 that I didn't think about iL ' A "These kids went out the same '| way they came in, fighting all the % 9: * way. With 1:41 left in the game I ' "~ told them not to foul any more. Their response was "No way Dana Klontz coach." the fans at the welcome home ceremony last Sunday Fans waited to shake hands with the Chargers after Dana Klontz said "after going to all the different schools I'm glad to be here. It made my senior year special going to state." "We set a lot of goals and we achieved a lot of them." Juhl Erickson said, "of any one I wouldn't want to follow it's Klontz." "rm going to miss playing with Nick, Jason, and the other seniors." "We really wanted to win l st," said Tim Fowler, "but you are treating us like we did win." "rll really miss not playing with the seniors next year, we were more than a team we were friends." Jason Bakke thanked the coaches, saying, "this was great to play in the state as seniors." He thanked Nick and Juhl for not getting much sleep the past four days. Klontz Jason thanked his dad saying, "he taught me a lot about the game of. basketball, but more about the game of life." Chad Bakke said "I would like to thank my mom for my brothers." Jim Vosberg and Parker Lien dedicated the next year saying they would like to do it again next year, and work hard to do it. In closing Bill Richards said," :. you're number 2 in the state, but .~ number one in our hearts!" ~:, After the program the team members received the fans with great gratitude. Listening to the testimony of those involved it became apparent just how much love and pride we show in our fine communities. It may be the end of a dream for this team, but it is the beginning of dreams and goals for our young people for years to come. After In a sense the dream really never ends, it just grows stronger. I the welcome home ceremony gets "five" from 2 year old Brian Thelsen ! < wetting his lips, duhl Erlckson made some remarks I III II II I Mediterranean Club Restaurant & Catering I iwy. 14 West Tracy, MN (.r ~29-4400 The hardware, District, Region and State trophys SENTINEL & TRIBUNE 12 Walnut Grove - Westbrook, MN - Wednesday, March 27, 1991 ENDERSON - CLOTHING FOR MEN & YOUNG MEN 157 Third Street 629-3320 Tr.'~"y, MN ~ copies of O Of Walnut Grove Of Westbrook