Girls’ 6-on-6 Basketball Video: Rolfe at Twin Rivers (Nov. 20, 1971)


This Rolfe vs Twin Rivers basketball game was played at the beginning of the 1971-72 season. I was a junior. 1971-72 was the year following our team’s trip to State. This was also the year we were ranked 8th in the state of Iowa at the end of the regular season. We finished post-season tournaments with a 24-2 record.

For the videos below the descriptions of Rolfe players in red uniforms are as follows. Forward court: Karen Brinkman (45) short medium-brown hair; Julie Brinkman (21) short blond hair; Carol Wiegert (35) short dark-brown hair. Guard court: Michele Pomerenke (13) upper hair pulled back into a semi-ponytail, medium-brown; Joyce Baade (33) short bangs, medium-brown hair; Louise Gunderson (53) long dark pigtails.


For this game we had three officials. It was the only time we EVER had three officials. The story I heard is that for the double-header games (one boys’ and one girls’) that night, the men who showed up to officiate were subs for subs. One had never seen a girls’ game; the other had seen only one girls’ game.

Due to the lack of seasoned girls’ basketball officials, someone (I think our coach, Al Van Houten) had considered protesting the game. However, Al Gilbertson (then Rolfe’s high school track coach, athletic director and one of our math teachers) was in attendance at that girls’ game. Usually during our games Mr. Gilbertson was officiating games in gyms of other school districts. However, that particular night he was at our game because he had earlier sprained his ankle and therefore couldn’t run up and down the court to officiate.

When Mr. Van Houten saw Al Gilbertson in attendance at that TR game, Mr. Van Houten said he wouldn’t protest the game if Al Gilbertson would stand at half-court as a third official.

I remember as players we were told that Mr. Gilbertson would be at half-court. The made-known plan was that he would not call anything unless the game got rough. My recollection is rough, it was, and call, he did!

You can see the roughness in both clips in this post. In the clip below you can see more of Mr. Gilbertson at center court, including him calling a fowl on the TR player guarding Karen Brinkman.


By the way, in all the fuss about the 1970-71 Rolfe girls’ basketball team going to State, we never mentioned that as a coach, Al Gilbertson not only led teams to State, but coached two Iowa championship teams. Those were track teams. The Rolfe high school 1967 girls’ track team was the 1967 Iowa Federated State Indoor Track Champion team. The Rolfe high school 1968 girls’ track team was the Iowa outdoor championship team.

Below is a photo* of the entire 1971-72 Rolfe Community School District high school faculty. Bill Hutchinson was the superintendent; Paul Strickfaden was the principal. Al Gilbertson is in the middle row (behind Dick Barrett in the plaid jacket) in the upper right photo.

Click on this photo to enlarge it. Click a second time to magnify even more.


*This image is taken from the 1972 Rolfe RAM yearbook.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


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