A lot of fun! That is the case for the Sibley East’s boys’ basketball team and its fans.
The Wolverine cagers, in convincing fashion, qualified for the State basketball tournament Friday by dunking Foley 76-57 in the Section 5AA finals at St. Cloud State University.
This is the second time in school history that the Sibley East boys have reached the State tournament. The boy cagers finished third at State in 1998. Sibley East’s Lady Wolverines went to State in 1999 and returned in 2000 finishing runnerup to Rochester Lourdes.
Excitement has grown with each post-season game and Sibley East pride was in full bloom at St. Cloud. Four-hundred advance tickets were sold here for the Section final game and Wolverine fans appeared to outnumber the Foley faithful by a 2-1 margin.
School workers were flooded with ticket and State tournament t-shirt sales this week. Activities Director Randy Walsh reported Monday that, in less than a four hour period, nearly 600 tickets were sold for Wednesday’s State tournament game. “Our school secretaries have been very busy,” Walsh said.
Multiple fan busses were also planned to make the trip to Williams Arena. All students were dismissed at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday.
From painted faces to Wolverine paws to screaming fans, there has been no shortage of Sibley East spirit. A truckload of pride could be spotted on Highway 5 between Gaylord and Arlington this week as the Tom and Ann Eckberg family used one of its tractor trailers to wish the team good luck.
“This is great for the communities,” Sibley East superintendent Stephen Jones said. “Sports is one of the things that can draw communities together. It is great to see the support and the pride in the students and the fans. This is a great accomplishment for the team and the school.”
Members of the team include Lucas Herd, Tony Haefs, Marshall Bjorklund, Ian Berg, Justin Rettmann, Eric Schultz, Jesse Schwirtz, Tim Young, Mitch Setterman, Alex Reichenbach, McKoy Rodning, Michael Bullert, Seth Grabow, Robert Harter, Noah Tackmann and Trevor Schrupp. The team is coached by Todd Warzecha, Mike Feterl and Dan Tackmann.
Other teams in the Class AA State tournament field include: Plainview-Elgin-Millville (28-2), Jordan (23-5), Minnehaha Academy (23-4), Crosby-Ironton (28-2), Windom Area (19-7), and New London Spicer (29-2).
The Class AA State semifinals are set for Friday, March 26th at the Target Center. The championship game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the Target Center.