MARSHALL - The Marshall boys' basketball team has been reminded of its decorated past for virtually the entire season.
The 2012-13 season marked the 50th anniversary of Marshall's lone state championship, as well as the 90th anniversary of its first state tournament berth. The buzzword for the program during the season was tradition, and with their third-place finish in the Class AAA state tournament, this year's Tigers were able to add their own page to the history books.
Unlike the 1963 state champions, who were welcomed back by half of Lyon County and presented to the masses in the middle of downtown Marshall, the 2013 team was afforded a more intimate afternoon Sunday as family and a few friends of the team gathered at the Marshall High School theater.
Photo by Travis Andries
Marshall boys’ basketball senior captains Hunter Peterson, far left, Aaron Mathiowetz and Austin Saugstad, right, address the crowd at Sunday’s welcome home celebration in the Marshall high school theater. The Tigers claimed third place in Class AAA with a 71-62 victory over St. Paul Johnson at the state tournament on Saturday.
The subdued celebration seemed fitting, as the Tiger players and coaches were candid and sincere in their remarks to the crowd that has been with them every step of the way.
As to be expected, the speeches were rife with thank yous. A high school basketball program has a lot of moving parts, and each were thanked in turn. From the pep band to the bus company, from the boosters to the families, each member of the community has a role in the success of the team, especially the fans.
"We really have the greatest fans," assistant coach Mike Christianson told the crowd. "It's incredible to be able to walk onto the court and see that sea of orange. We appreciate your support during the season and throughout the tournament run."
Basketball has long reigned in Marshall, self-propelled by its own success. Kids in elementary school see their high school idols make the state tournament and, in turn, dream of wearing that Marshall jersey on the floor of Williams Arena.
The Tigers now have nine state tournament appearances, one championship, one runner-up and a third-place trophy. The 71-62 defeat of St. Paul Johnson on Saturday made the 2012-13 season the third-most successful in program history.
As activities director Bruce Remme said to the team in his closing statement: "You have brought pride to your school and your community."