Mount Vernon honors 1973 boys state basketball championship team

Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 11:45 PM CST
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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - Fifty years ago Mount Vernon won their first-ever state title in any sport. Saturday, they honored that group.

Members of the 1973 boys state basketball team were honored ahead of the Mustangs’ varsity game. That included players, coaches and cheerleaders.

The team made history going 27-0 that year and claimed the Class A state championship. Prior to that, 1922 marked the last time any Mustangs team had made it to a state tournament.

What made the team so memorable, was the players and their head coach Bob Landis who didn’t even start coaching basketball until he was 35 years old.

“Kids in a small town are all very close. Kids in the big schools often don’t even have anything to do with each other on a social basis - that happens. That’s a huge difference and has a lot to do with I think the success that you’re going to have,” Landis said. “They were really talented and willing to play. I’ll never forget it. It was so great last night to be with these guys again. We were hugging each other. That kind of thing just doesn’t always happen in the bigger schools, but to these kids, it was important, as well as me,” he added.

Coach Landis is now 90 years old. Mount Vernon their season opener against Cedar Rapids Jefferson to kick off the 2022-2023 season.