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Undefeated 1963 DMLHS Rams Basketball Team Returns to Campus

MLC was privileged to have members of the Dr. Martin Luther High School’s 1962-63 basketball team join us on campus for a reunion on Saturday, Dec 1. Fifty years ago, this group of gifted young men was the only team in the state to finish with an undefeated record at 19 wins and 0 losses. That winning streak started with a season finale victory over Bethany in 1962 and continued into the next season before a loss ended it at 31 consecutive victories.

The team was coached by Prof. Harold “HAK” Kaiser whose 1958-64 teams compiled a record of 99 wins and only 16 losses with no season containing more than 5 losses.

Perhaps the team’s dominance can be best understood when considering they averaged a then city record 69.3 points per game average while opponents managed  just 40.5 points in return. This means the average margin of victory was over 28 points! Only twice did an opponent come within 10 points and both ended in nine point victories for the Rams.

At the time, non-public schools held state tournaments that were by invitation only. The Rams were invited in 1962 and again in 1964, but for some reason they were not invited during their undefeated 1963 season. The following year they were invited and finished 2nd. Over half of the team continued their college careers playing for the DMLC Lancers or Northwestern Trojans. Several took part in the first game ever played here in our present gymnasium.

A brief ceremony was held at halftime of the MLC men’s basketball game. Team members recreated a “19” formation which they posed in back in 1963 after completing their 19th and final game of the season without a loss. Students and spectators gave them a standing ovation in honor of their efforts on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.

MLC is proud of these alumni and thank them for taking the time and making the effort to reunite here on the hill. In addition to the ceremony, their reunion included campus, chapel, and city tours; lunch in the cafeteria; and a special dinner banquet prepared by our very own Pioneer College Caterers.

If your class or small group would like to reunite on campus, contact Steve Balza in the alumni office at 507-217-1731 or alumni@mlc-wels.edu and he will be glad to help you get the ball rolling.

Pictured is the team in its “19” formation…in 1963 and again fifty years later. Team members included: Dale Walz, Jim Tjernagel (in eternal glory...represented by his son Jeff), Jim Duehlmeier, John Tjernagel, Louis Sievert, Gene Cook (unable to attend), Al Jeffers, Jack Gronholz, Bob Schroer, Max Radloff, Quincy Wiley, Coach Harold Kaiser (in eternal glory...represented by his son Dan), and Carl Eisenman (unable to attend).