Packer boys basketball team receives high academic honor

Published 7:05 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not only did the Austin boys basketball team have a great season on the court this past winter, they also produced in the classroom as they took first place in Class ‘AAA’ All-State Team Academic Honors.

The Packers finished first out of 64 teams in a system that is based on players’ grade point average and class rank. Austin had 12 of it’s 14 players place in the top half of their class academically and the team’s average place was in the 75.4th percentile of their class ranks.

“We’ve got a great group of kids who get in done in the class room,” Austin head basketball coach Kris Fadness said. “It’s pretty special and I think that it carried over to our team’s success on the court.”

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A big part of the team’s classroom success was the seven senior athletes who made up half of the roster.

One of those seniors, Marcus Gunderson, was selected to the All-State Academic team which is based on grades and playing ability. Marcus Gunderson was also selected to the All-Big Nine second team.

In all, the Packers had a sophomore, a junior and a senior who at least tied for the top GPA in their class.

Austin kept it up in the classroom while going 18-8 on the court and taking second in the Big Nine.

“I hope it’s a motivating factor for more kids to get in the classroom and work hard,” Fadness said.

It is at least the first time in the last decade the Packers have won the team title and their only other Section 1AAA title in the last 10 years was last season.

Also recieving honors on the court this past season for Austin were Connor Gunderson, who was first team All Big Nine, and Will Felten and T.J. Fritz, who were honorable mention All Big Nine.