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    The Quest For 65

    Back in the late 1970s and into 1980, the Armour Packers boys basketball teams led by the legendary South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame coach Burnell Glanzer, recorded 64 straight wins.   This winning streak is still a South Dakota high school boys basketball record. 

    Look out record watchers!   Bridgewater Emery, 2016-17 Class B champs will charge into this season on a 26 game winning streak.   OK my friends tell me: Mr. Jackalope, don’t get so excited about some current era team breaking the Armour record when it will be impossible to accomplish that feat this season considering Bridgewater Emery will likely play a maximum of 26 games again this season ….. 26 plus 26 still only puts BE at 52 straight victories and 12 wins shy of even tying the iconic Armour Packers ….. And that is assuming the Huskies go undefeated in a season that has not yet tipped off.     All right, I am beginning to see why this record has stood since 1980! 

    Another question to consider: Will one of these Bridgewater Emery teams crack the list of “Top 10 Teams of All Time”? ….. BE circa 2016-17?  BE 2017-18?   BE 2018-19?     The 1979 Armour Packers sit at number 5 on the list. 

    CLICK HERE

    This is what was posted about Armour 1979:

    5. 1979 Armour Packers … Armour still holds the state record for consecutive victories with 64.  The 1979 team was undefeated and contributed to that record string of wins.  It was hard to choose between the Barry Glanzer undefeated state champs of 1978 and the 1979 version and I ultimately opted for the ‘79 team because the young players who helped Glanzer in ’78 were all a year older and more mature in ‘79.  All state players on this team included: Brian Bindert, Dan Friedel, and Dennis Tiefenthaler.  Sophomore Jeff Tiefenthaler was a future two-time all-state player.  Of course, Burnell Glanzer, the infamous long time Armour coach was on the bench for this amazing stretch of outstanding teams.

    The South Dakota Sports Buzz article sheds some light on what it takes to be recognized as one of the best teams in SD history. 

    • Armour had a great coach: Burnell Glanzer is a Hall of Fame coach with a 617-209 career record and three state championships.  

    • Armour had great players ….. multiple all state players: Barry Glanzer, Brian Bindert, Dan Friedel, Dennis Tiefenthaler, Jeff Tiefenthaler.   Barry Glanzer went on to star at USD where he led the North Central Conference in assists one season and scoring and steals another season.   He is in the Coyote Sports Hall of Fame.   Glanzer followed up his stellar college career by playing professionally in Sweden and in the Continental Basketball Association.   Dennis Tiefenthaler was one of the best athletes this state has produced.   He was an all-state football standout, an all-state basketball star, a state champion track athlete, and a stellar baseball player.  Dennis was the second round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles ….. the 49th player drafted in 1982.  He played professionally and advanced to play AA ball.  Dan Freidel was also a multi-sport athlete.  Several D1 colleges recruited him as a defensive back ….. including the University of Minnesota.  But, Dan chose to stay closer to home ….. and play two major sports at Augustana: football and basketball.   Freidel is in the Augustana Sports Hall of Fame.    Jeff Tiefenthaler was also a multi-sport standout for Armour ….. football, basketball and track.   Jeff was a track all-American and football all-American for the SDSU Jackrabbits.  He still holds pass receiving records for the Jackrabbits.   Tiefenthaler is in the SDSU Sports Hall of Fame.   The quality and depth of athletic talent walking the halls of Armour High School in the late 1970s and early 1980s was truly amazing. 

    • Armour had players who were confident/cocky and who backed up that confidence/cockiness by simply beating everybody they played ….. Even though all the best teams brought their best when they played the Packers.   Burnell Glanzer said: “It was us against the world.  We stressed team over self – and the fact that everyone was against us made that an easier sell.”   Armour had three straight undefeated regular seasons beginning with the state runner-up team of 1976-77 who lost in the title game to Webster ….. except for a Dave Waldowski fueled Webster state tournament run, South Dakota might have been looking at an Armour win streak of 90 games!

    • Armour had players who could not stand to lose.   In 1977, before the “big” winning streak started ….. and after an undefeated regular season brought the Armour Packers into the State B championship game at 25-0, a very young Armour team lost in the title game to the Waldowski led Webster.   Three Armour High School players failed to accept their second-place medals after the championship game.  Dave Fuller, Barry Glanzer and Dennis Tiefenthaler left the court after losing to Webster 63-49. The South Dakota High School Activities Association later reprimanded Armour's coach, Burnell Glanzer.   Fuller led the ’76-77 team as seemingly the only player old enough to drive after dark.   These Armour teams were loaded with leaders who had hearts of champions: Glanzer, the Tiefenthalers, the Freidels, Fuller, Bindert, et.al.   It’s not too difficult to see why some of these young men didn’t stick around to receive second place medals after expecting to win the championship game.   

    How does Bridgewater Emery stack up when considering these parameters?

    • Great coach: Huskies coach, Scott Schultz has a long run of coaching Emery and now Bridgewater Emery.  The 2017 State B championship was his first.   Scott’s coaching record stands at 361-227.  That is a career record that most would love to have.    You can expect the next couple of teams to push the win total north of 400 and not add very many losses …… possibly no losses in the next two years??

    • Great players: Bridgewater Emery had multiple all state players on last year’s undefeated state champs … Sophomore Sawyer Schultz was first team, Sam Arend was second team, and sophomore Jamin Arend was third team.   Schultz and Jamin Arend will likely be three time all state players.   Who will join them on the all-state team this year?   Next year?   Cole Gassman?    Carter Dye?   Is there enough quality and depth of talent to keep the win streak going through this year and into next?   

    • Confident/cocky players: Bridgewater Emery was a very confident team last year as they ran through a 26-0 B championship season.  Their best players and on-court leaders were often the non-seniors ….. And especially sophomores Sawyer Schultz and Jamin Arend as well as junior Cole Gassman.    Sawyer is the best player and also the type of player who brings out the best in his team mates ….. exactly what you need with a player who has the ball in his hands a lot.  All-state football player, Cole Gassman was another on-court leader last season.   This fall Cole had his senior football season cut short with a season ending knee injury.     With good rehab and a little luck, it is expected that Cole will be back at some point in this basketball season.   The young man is an excellent guard and will help the Huskies with his basketball skills and on-court leadership. 

    • Bridgewater Emery has players who cannot stand to lose.   Many of the same boys who starred on the basketball team are also leaders on a very good football team.   This year’s version of the Bridgewater Emery Ethan Seahawks played up in the 11B class and extended their season all the way to the state championship game where they were defeated by Sioux Falls Christian.  This is a very competitive group of athletes.   The final chapter of this group of athletes and their run at BE is still baking in the oven ….. but expect a significant amount of success for these boys on the football field and the basketball court and the track.  The Bridgewater Emery Huskies are true representatives of their team name: Huskies.  Huskies are differentiated from other sled dogs by their fast pulling style ….. Last season the BE Huskies also differentiated themselves from Class B opponents by their fast and athletic style. 

    This group of young men has already experienced a lot of athletic success.   How much more they enjoy will be determined over the next few years.   Back to the question of the day: can Bridgewater Emery challenge the all-time record of 64 consecutive victories?  

    • Langford will be tough to handle with a standout Mason Larson.

    • Clark Willow Lake would have been a top 10 team if they had stayed in Class A ….. Their move to Class B and led by Jacob Prouty means the Cyclones will be a formidable top 5 rated foe.

    • Sully Buttes put up a good fight in the state tournament semi-finals eventually falling 61-58 to Bridgewater Emery ….. Lincoln Jordre, Jacob Howard, Devan Kleven, and Nick Wittler are all back for Sully Buttes.

    • Colman Egan returns Bodee and Kade Gross making them a tough out also.

    • Irene Wakonda with Trey King and Tate Gale will have a very good team.

    • Canistota led by Scott Jolley will be good.

    • White River, coached by Eldon Marshall, always fields a competitive team.

    • Bridgewater Emery will be a hot commodity for every basketball classic this winter and will likely find themselves paired with the most challenging available opponent. 

    • Reference the above bullet: The Huskies might not even make it to 2018 undefeated; as they will play the defending Class A champs from Tea in the Mike Miller Classic at the Sanford Pentagon on December 30th.  Tea returns a trio of juniors who are as good as any threesome in the state: Noah Freidel, Kade Stearns, and Justin Hohn-Mack. 

    The “Quest for 65” will be an interesting side light to watch ….. for as long as it lasts.   But, the drama that will play out in gyms across the state this winter will involve all the top teams in the “Quest for State Championship Hardware”.   The basketball season is fast approaching as the first practice is on November 27th ….. the excitement is building already!   Get prepared to sit back and enjoy the games!

    1 Response

    1. Skippy Says:

      +2 likes

      Great read Jackalope. Will be fun to see BE compete this year. They open up at Dell Rapids St Mary on Monday Dec 11th. Also a member of the top 10 team of all time and new assistant coach Colby Fitzgerald who was a member of the 2004 team and 3 time all stater.

      Keep these articles coming on Class B hoops. Love em!

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