Austin team rallies to a broomball titlePublished 8:36pm Monday, January 28, 2013
A quest that began eight winters ago finally came to fruition when a group of Austin men playing for the Fargen Iceholes wrapped up the broomball championship at the Winter Games Classic on Lake Okoboji in Spirit Lake, Iowa Saturday.
The Iceholes started eight years ago as a team that was made of Austin residents and natives who had played in the Austin broomball league and it was never able to get over the hill until this year, when it beat a younger team from the Twin Cities 2-0 in a shoot-out to take the title.
The tournament was likely the team’s last one as a group.
“We finally accomplished our goal as old men playing a kids game,” said player/coach Tommy Tauchnitz. “None of us can move today as our bodies are completely shot after five games on Saturday, but we are champions. As we fade away into retirement I’d like to thank everyone for all your hard work and the fun you provided for me and the rest of Okoboji.”
Dave Joseph, who has played on the Iceholes for all eight years, said the team always says it is finished after the tournament, but this year they probably mean it.
“We’ve been saying we’re done for the last few years, but I think we’re actually done now,” he said. “We finally won it and we’re getting too old for it.”
The Iceholes beat a team from Nebraska, Omaha that had won a state championship 2-1 and they topped teams from Des Moines, Iowa and Sioux Falls, S.D. on their way to the trophy.
The team was initially formed when Tauchnitz asked his friend Carter Wagner, who has a condo near Spirit Lake, if he would like to host a team and play in the games.
Since then, a group that includes mostly Austin players, has kept coming back for more each January.
“It’s a blast whether you win or lose. There’s a lot going on down there,” Joseph said. “Some of those young guys come fast and hard, but we’ve played a lot longer than them. It’s easier to play smart than to run around like a chicken with your head off.”