MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC)- For the first time since 1981, the Austin Packers found themselves playing for a state championship in boys basketball. While all of the players were focused on the task at hand, what were their parents thinking before the big game?
The core group of the Austin Packers have played together for years, and today some of them played their last game in a Packer uniform. Standing with them the entire way have been their parents, and they could not be more proud.
The hard work and determination of the Austin Packers boys basketball team has been hard to hide throughout their 30 victories. A group of people that sees that effort every day?
"It's just really exciting, it's a dream come true," says Lee Aase, father of Joe Aase. "We've been watching these guys since kindergarten playing at the YMCA and all the way through. Going with them on traveling trips with AAU and everything."
"It's just been a joy to watch both my son and my nephew as they've progressed," says Mark Aase, father of Tom Aase, "and it's just exciting to watch them play their last game as high school basketball players on the biggest stage there is."
Every parent in the stands Saturday has a deep connection to the Austin Packers, but for Joe Aase's dad, Lee, his roots in Packer lore run deep.
"It's just bringing back a huge amount of nostalgia for us to be back again. First time in the title game since 1981 and I played in that game. It's pretty exciting seeing some of my old teammates coming back for the reunion. Obviously, we've got a great crowd here from Austin, super support. It's just been amazing."
Support could be one of the biggest jobs for a parent of a student in any activity, and before their boys stepped on the hardwood for the title game, they made sure everyone was ready for the moment.
"I saw the boys last night," says April Aase, Tom's mother. "We washed their uniforms for them and took them back to them and they were just chilling and enjoying life and they're going to give it their best."
"I think they're excited," shares Sherri Wessels, Zach Wessel's mother. "Very excited for this game."
It would be understandable for a parent to be nervous for their kid before a game of this magnitude. For the Packer parents, that does not seem to be the case.
"I'd say less nerve wracking and more proud and excited," shares Bob Weisert, Collin Weisert's father. "These boys have been great stewards of the city of Austin and have carried themselves well and have worked hard since they've been in fourth grade and younger to get to this point. It's always been a dream of theirs and their here and ready to get after it."
And their parents are ready to see their sons shine.
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