When Gary and Cindy Fasching were expecting a son, dad had three names picked out.
The newborn would be named either Jeff for Jeff Hoefs, Matt for Matt Mathiasen or Nate for Nate Manderfeld.
The name Jeff won out. Jeff Fasching is now starting quarterback for St. Cloud Cathedral, which is host to Litchfield at 7 tonight at St. Cloud State’s Husky Stadium for its homecoming.
The trio that inspired the name selections will be part of an alumni celebration tonight honoring the 20th anniversary of Cathedral’s back-to-back state football championships.
“I’ve heard stories about it,” Jeff Fasching said, who knows about being named after Hoefs, a starting linebacker and fullback on the ’92 and ’93 Class B state championship teams who is a teacher and a former coach in Colorado. Mathiasen, who lives in the Twin Cities, and Manderfeld, who lives in California, also will be there.
Gary Fasching was the head coach. He is in his 17th season as an assistant football coach at St. John’s University, his alma mater. He spends Fridays as a father and not a coach. Cindy Fasching is Cathedral’s assistant principal.
“It’ll be good to see these guys again,” Gary Fasching said.”All of them were guys with great character, just outstanding young men.
“All of them were excellent students. They had a great desire to win and were very driven to succeed.”
About 35 members from those two teams are expected, according to Kathy Lahr, Cathedral’s director of alumni relations.
A tailgate party at SCSU is planned before the game. Team members will be introduced at halftime. Alumni, friends and family are invited to a post-game celebration at Holy Angels Auditorium.
They’ll see a Crusaders team that is 2-1 after a 28-13 loss at Albany, knocking Cathedral out of the state poll. Jeff Fasching leads the way. The junior left-hander has completed 24 of 53 passes for 358 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions.
“He’s doing good,” said Cathedral head coach Dean Taylor, the hall of fame coach who was an opponent of the Crusaders in ’92 and ’93 at Sartell. “He’s learning as he goes.”
He’s also recognizing the need to play better against Litchfield (1-2) than the Crusaders did at Albany.
“They were just better than us,” Fasching said. “On film, they just didn’t make any mistakes. And then when we got down, it seemed like they were blitzing six guys every time we tried to pass.”
Litchfield opened with a 30-28 win over fellow Wright County Conference member Orono, then lost 36-17 to Holy Family Catholic and 20-14 to state-ranked New London-Spicer.
While son is on the field, dad will be in the stands reminscing with members from the only state championship football teams in school history.
The ’92 team was especially compelling. It was coming off a 1-8 season and was 3-4 at one point before a turnaround game against Sartell that ended up with a 7-6 win over BOLD in the Prep Bowl at the Metrodome.
BOLD was undefeated, ranked No. 1 in the state and a two-time defending champion. The Crusaders, meanwhile, didn’t have a lineman who weighed 200 pounds and their halfback was Brian Latzka, who was listed at 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds.
Cathedral went through the 1993 season undefeated to repeat as state champion.
“I’ve had people come up to me and tell me that I’m going to be the next Fasching to win a state title for Cathedral,” Jeff Fasching said. “It’s a little weird.”