HHS Class of 1970 State basketball champs honored

The 1970 State Champion Class M players, team managers, a couple cheerleaders and the coach’s wife were recognized last Friday evening in the Hermann High School gymnasium, for their outstanding basketball season. From left, Mrs. Margaret Gosen, Chris Thiessen, Jim Schirmer, Hansi Bloch, Duane Kraettli, Lindsey Gerkin, Doug Stock, Bob Ruffner, Steve Huenefeld, Tim Shaw, Joni (Thiessen) Grotewiel and Merry Green.

It was a homecoming of sorts when members of the Hermann High School Class of 1970 State Championship basketball team arrived to be recognized during halftime at the Hermann - Chamois game. Amid torrential rain and tornado warnings that caused the evacuation of the gymnasium, the champions were ensconced in the school library and were joined by fans and players from both teams. The 40 minute wait was an opportunity for the old-timers to catch up with fans and each other and after the storm warnings expired and the games started up, they took a seat in the stands behind the varsity bench. 

At halftime, the champions were called to the gym floor, along with a couple of cheerleaders from that eventful year. Leah Lerbs emceed the recognition ceremony, bringing on Bob Koerber to read a proclamation that summarized their winning season with 33 wins and no losses, winning regular season tournament championships at St. Francis Borgia, Owensville, and Bowling Green and winning all 14 Four Rivers Conference games, culminating with the State of Missouri Class M Basketball Championship.

He then recognized the players and student managers on that team—Hansi Bloch, Russell Ellis, Lindsey Gerken, Phil Horton, Steve Huenefeld, Duane Kraettli, Bob Ruffner, Tim Shaw, Doug Stock, Bud Tumy, Chris Wilson, Larry Kallmeyer, Jim Schirmer, Chris Theissen and Head Coach Don Gosen. The late-Mr. Gosen’s wife, Margaret, joined the team for their recognition.

It may have been a different gymnasium where this team congregated together once again, but one thing hasn’t changed—the excitement of the hometown crowd, the squeaking sneakers on the gym floor and the jubilation of a Bearcat basketball win, 70-54 against the Chamois Pirates.

Mayor Koerber proclaimed “January 10 through January 12, 2020, as 1969-1970 Boys’ Basketball Championship Weekend throughout our City, and urge all Citizens of Hermann to show their appreciation to every member of this team, who is present for this event and to tell them about the pride that this basketball team provided to us during and after this incredible basketball season.”