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An Unforgettable Season: 2012 State Champions in Boys Basketball, Iowa

As told by Drew Adams, Nick Leopold, Casey Noska, Max Siders, and Garrett Welch
Mount Vernon, Iowa

Story Narrative:

In 2012, the Mount Vernon High School Boys Basketball Mustangs won the State Championship in Class 2A. Players recall the tragic circumstances that inspired Mount Vernon to come together in joy for the team and the lasting impact that season had. Coach Ed Timm is also highlighted while he and his son Jake amusingly reflect the trials and tribulations of being coached by your dad. This was the first State Championship by the Boys Basketball team since 1974 and the team finished with a record of 23-4. Video by Drew Adams, Nick Leopold, Casey Noska, Max Siders, and Garrett Welch


Steve Brand: [0:07] What was it like to have the 2012 state basketball championship come back to Mount Vernon? You know, it was, it was awesome. What else are you supposed to say about it?

Calvin Kragenbring: [0:21] All 22 guys and I think that were practicing with us, every single person bought into what he was saying and what we were doing that year just really clicked with every single person that we had.

Jake Timm: [0:33] Mount Vernon basketball, for as long as I can remember, has been a bunch of undersized, not quite as talented kids as everybody else has. You play really hard and you play together and you're a team.

Calvin Kragenbring: [0:44] We're not going to be a team that scores 80, 70 points. We didn't do a whole lot as a team but we did, we did really, really well.

Jake Timm: [0:49] We were really small and we were just really scrappy.

Calvin Kragenbring: [0:57] And so, we didn't have to come out and try to surprise anybody. We just came out and did our same things that we needed to.

Steve Brand: [1:05] They believed in each other, they believed in a system, they believed in a process.

Male Student: [1:10] It's like we've got a bunch of kids who aren't really good basketball players but here we are in the state championship game.

Steven Brand: [1:15] There was nobody six five. There was nobody that could probably dunk the basketball but they had a lot of guys who knew their role, played their role really well and trusted their teammates and trusted the process and trusted the coach and had a belief that they would not get beat.

Nick Leopold: [1:37] The state championship game from 2012, I remember it was pretty packed. Towards halftime, I thought we were gonna lose. I think everyone was planning on us losing so spirits weren't very high and then we ended up coming back towards the end of the game.

Drew Adams: [1:49] We were down pretty big if I remember, things weren't going very well for Mount Vernon and then all a sudden it just kinda changed and I don't know if it was a shot or a single play that happened but it was like the momentum just totally flipped and it felt like Mount Vernon couldn't do anything wrong then.

Male student: [2:05] It probably would've been, so we were down what, 15, I think with two, three minutes left in the third and I think we got trapped in the corner and they threw out of it and Shaffer stole, Conner Shaffer stole it. We ended up getting a lay up on the other end and it just kind of, you know, we had only scored like 15 points up to that point and so it was kind of like a little bit of a boost. That's the one thing I remember from that game, just being okay, it kind of calmed us down a little bit and now it's the moment where, hey, if we're gonna go, if we're gonna win this game, it's gotta be now.

Ed Timm: [2:41] They didn't think they were gonna lose. That's a group of guys, it got to the point, the advantage they had is basically I coached that same group of kids from sophomore,junior, and senior year. We talk about all the time, about getting better every day, they had three years to do that, there's not very many times that happens.

Nick Leopold: [2:58] I think Coach Timm is a really good coach. He knows what he doing, he's very smart, you can tell he puts a lot of time into basketball.

Drew Adams: [3:06]  I think it's nice to be playing under a coach where you know he's been successful and it gives you a little more confidence as a player.

Steve Brand: [3:14] In terms of what am I thinking of Mr. Timm? I think that he works incredibly hard to get his kids to be the very best that he can be.

Calvin Kragenbring: [3:21] He was one of the best coaches I've ever had, if not the best. He knew how to push guys, he knew when to really get on you when not get on you, when to call you out in the big picture with everybody listening and when to take you to the side and tell you something. Something that pops in mind right away is just the way that we practiced so hard. I remember Mika Russel and Jake Timm were going after a loose ball and they came up with it together and Jake had the ball and he took one hand off of it and he open hand slapped Mika Russel right in the face and everyone just kind of stopped right in the moment and Jake, he just went up and shot the lay up because I think the ball was on his side of the court. Guys just really, really competed that year.

Jake Timm: [4:07] Well, for those of you that know my dad, he's obviously very, he has a lot of high expectations.

Ed Timm: [4:14] I made a point not to coach my kids because I'm kind of intense and I realized that wouldn't be a good situation but that journey is really really special.

Jake Timm: [4:24] It was tough. Looking back on it obviously it was really rewarding but it was hard at times to balance the dad and coach aspect of it and sometimes you just want your dad to be your dad.

Ed Timm: [4:39] I would say when he was a sophomore, I handled it about as poorly as a coach slash dad can handle it. We had mutltiple incidents between the two of us.

Jake Timm: [4:52] It was sketchy at times, I think he kicked me out of practice my senior year and I took the car home.

Ed Timm: [4:59] I had to walk home without a coat and it was 13 degrees outside.

Jake Timm: [5:03] I just remember him walking home, he's got no hat on and he looks at me and I just shrugged my shoulders as I walked away but that's just kinda how it was. It was tense at times but looking back on it, it was pretty memorable I guess.

Ed Timm: [5:20] That process, I never had to go through that with my son, we never lost our last game and it's now over and I think that's really special. Because 99 percent of the other people who coach one of their children, the last game, you know, there's this utter sadness, there's all these kinda things and that was one of those things, the last game I ever gotta coach him was one of the most joyful moments and we got to share it. I mean, forever, that's something we share and can never be taken away from us.

Steve Brand: [5:49] Excellence can happen without winning and especially without winning a championship but I think in this case, it was really dedication of our students and our community to a process and to achieving greatness.

Calvin Kragenbring: [6:09] I think that it got some energy back into basketball in Mount Vernon. It really showed that Mount Vernon is serious about basketball and I think that that really kind of eclipsed that moment there.

Jake Timm: [6:20] You know, obviously the year before, we'd gone through a lot of crap with a couple kids dying. They were in my class and a couple classes below so it meant a lot.

Ed Timm: [6:30] After we had won, you know all of our student section was right there and this is the thing that was very personal to me, the last time I remember a whole bunch of our students like that was at one of the funerals for a suicide in 2010. In that moment, in this big church and in the balcony, there's a whole bunch of students and it was the same, I felt the same thing, it brought to mind that this sadness, this utter sadness that people had at this event, and then to be a year and a half later, to have all those students and I recognized all the faces, and just to have joy in that moment, it was really moving to me.

Asset ID: 2018.10
Themes: Sports, determination, parenting, relationships, coaching, family
Date recorded: 2018
Length of recording: 7:21 m
Related traveling exhibition: Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), Mount Vernon, Iowa
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