Albert Lea Athletic Hall of Fame begins search for candidates

Published 1:29 pm Saturday, April 24, 2010

How many state championship team have come from Albert Lea High School? That’s the question the Albert Lea Athletic Hall of Fame Committee has been working on. So far, they believe there have been 11 teams that have received that title and they are going to feature one each week. All of the teams will be inducted in the Hall of Fame at the first Hall of Fame Banquet at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club July 9.

It is really amazing to read about the first state champion team representing Albert Lea. Ed Shannon, the true historian, wrote about this team in 2007. Would you believe that there were only seven members on this basketball team and they went undefeated, winning 17 games? They set a record by beating New Ulm in the finals 37-8. The margin of 29 points was a state record until 1956.

In most games Albert Lea scored in the 20s or 30s, but it beat Osage, Iowa 69-14 and Blue Earth 74-18. During the season Albert Lea averaged 31 points per game and held opponents to 11.9 points per game. You are probably wondering when these boys won the state title. It was one year after WWI in 1919.

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Even though Albert Lea has had many good teams and great basketball players, it did not get back to the state tournament until 2004.

Many of these great basketball players will eventually be inducted into the Albert Lea Athletic Hall of Fame. If you have a favorite player, you should nominate him or her for the honor. If you know someone who should receive this recognition, please find a nomination form and send it in. You should also buy your tickets for the banquet, which is at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club July 9, as soon as possible. Vinny Cerrato will be the featured speaker. Cerrato was an outstanding athlete, who lettered in three sports and still holds track records. He played four years at Iowa State, joined Lou Holtz’s working staff at the University of Minnesota and Notre Dame. He later worked for teams in the NFL, the last being with the Washington Redskins as the executive vice president for football operations.

Follow the story of the state champions in the Albert Lea Tribune, and in June the first 10 recipients to enter the Albert Lea Athletic Hall of Fame will be announced. Remember to buy your tickets and make reservations to play in the first Hall of Fame golf tournament July 10.