Annandale boys basketball coach Skip Dolan shares something in common with Mark Olberding.
Both he and the legendary 6-foot-8 Melrose star were on the same Minneapolis Tribune all-state team in 1974.
Dolan was a guard for Renville. Olberding was leading the Dutchmen to the state Class A and overall championships. And, after one year at the University of Minnesota, was playing in the pros.
“He went on to make millions in the NBA and I went on to coaching at Annandale,” Dolan quipped.
It hasn’t turned out too badly, of course.
Now retired as a social studies teacher, Dolan has coached where needed.
He notes with pride that he has won conference championships as a football, basketball and softball coach and doesn’t plan to give up anytime soon.
“It’s a joy,” he said of coaching.
The Cardinals fell to the Esko Eskomos 60-41 in the state Class 2A championship game Saturday afternoon at Target Center.
Top-seeded Annandale (25-7) played second-seeded Esko (29-3) with a state-wide television audience watching.
Annandale won the state Class A girls cross country championship in the fall right about the time the boys basketball team was starting practice.
That was the first team championship in any sport for the Cardinals, though individuals in other sports have won titles.
Annandale was the last winter sports team standing in the area after all three girls basketball teams in section finals lost Friday night.
Here’s a salute to Albany (Section 8-3A), Annandale (5-2A) and Sauk Centre (6-2A) for their runner-up finishes and outstanding girls basketball seasons. St. Cloud Tech (top seed in 8-4A) had an excellent year, too.
The highlights for the winter sports season were many, as usual. Melrose won a state gymnastics title. Tech made it to state, too.
In wrestling, Foley, Milaca and Pierz were all in the state team tournament. Quentin Berres of Kimball and Mitch Lange of Royalton/Upsala were state champions.
The boys swim teams at Tech, Sartell and Melrose/Sauk Centre all did well at state.
St. Cloud Cathedral took fourth at state in boys hockey. Sartell/Sauk Rapids and the St. Cloud Icebreakers had great girls hockey seasons.
In Nordic skiing, the Tech boys and Little Falls girls again did well.
Thanks for the memories.