Book cover credited to William Fields of Two Soaring Hearts Photography and the retoucher was Steve Neher of JSN Studios
Hermann, Mo. - During the 1968-69 basketball season in the State of Missouri the small community of Hermann sported two high school teams that had an outstanding chance of claiming two out of the three state championships.
Hermann High in Class M, and St. George High in Class S, had both qualified as one of the four finalist in their class and were now playing in Brewer Fieldhouse at the University of Missouri for a chance at winning a State Championship, something that neither school had accomplished.
One school would claim this championship while the other would lose in the semifinals in a game that was one of the most anticipated events in high school basketball.
For two years the Hermann community would enjoy the success of both teams as they became known for more than their German Maifest celebration.
The success that both of these teams were experiencing was a direct result of the two outstanding coaches that were leading these teams.
Don Gosen, the coach at Hermann High, and Dennis Kruse, the coach at St. George High, were both back at their alma mater, guiding their school’s team they once played on. Both of these coaches would serve their country in the military, one of them doing so during the 1950s while the other would be drafted and almost sent to boot camp in the middle of this magical season.
While other communities in this area and throughout the State had outstanding teams representing their community in high school basketball, what makes this story so unique is that Hermann had two teams from this relatively small town experiencing success at the state level, thus drawing from the basketball community throughout the state and earning the label as the “Basketball Capital of Missouri.”
This is the story of the middle school coaches who laid the ground work with these young men, the competitive games in the summer time on the playground at the elementary school, and the game by game account of the 1968-69 season that most people felt were the two best teams that these schools put on the court.
This story will live on, hopefully forever, in the hearts and minds of those who lived it and for today's players of the game that will realize the uniqueness of what these two teams achieved.
It was a special time; it was a magical time; it was a time that will live forever in the minds of those involved.
For the Hermann Double Team was a small town hoops story that is as unique as it is memorable.
Details of it's release have not been announced.