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Monday, May 2, 2016

Basic Biitner: It's all in the family

Monday, February 6, 2006

This is one of those "where are they now?" features , although there may be a lot of readers who have at least a general idea of what this person has been doing. Nevertheless I'm going to give a little update anyway.

The Aurelia Atoms (yes, that really was their nickname) basketball team of Coach Daryl "Buzz" Curry had an awesome team in the late 1970s. The team won something like 40 straight regular season games (sorry, I'm not sure of the exact number) and capped it off by going to the State Tournament in Des Moines in 1978. They lost a close one to Ames in Des Moines, but that doesn't diminish what they did. It remains the only state tournament appearance by an Aurelia girls basketball team.

For you youngsters, this was in the days of the six-player game at which Iowa girls excelled- three players, called forwards, were the offensive players, staying at one end of the court and scoring all the points. The other three players, called guards, stayed at the other end of the court and defended against the opponents' forwards.

Anyway, the Atoms were led in those years by three classmates at the forward spot. Post player Kris Peterson was a four-year starter and was the second-leading scorer in the 40-year history of Atoms' basketball. Sara Gustafson, who unfortunately was killed in an automobile accident a few short years after her graduation from Aurelia in 1978, was also a valuable member of that forward court. The third forward, Marcia Winterhof (who happens to be my sister-in-law), was also a four-year starter and is the leading scorer in Atoms' history.

Marcia is also the subject of this column today. She is now known as Marcia Klett, having married Everly's Gary Klett 20 years ago. Marcia and Gary live on a farm near Everly, and she has been teaching physical education at the Spencer Junior High for many years.

Following her graduaton from Northwestern College, Marcia initially taught at Boyden-Hull, and met Gary, who does some refereeing, when he was officiating a game she was coaching. The Kletts have four talented children. Austin, the only boy, is the youngest., being in the eighth grade this year. His sisters have all played basketball (and other sports) for the Clay Central-Everly Mavericks, and the oldest, Allison, is currently a student (and basketball player) at Central College in Pella. Though Marcia teaches in Spencer, she accepted the additional job of freshman (and assistant varsity) basketball coach at C-C-E a few years ago, and has helped coach all three of her daughters.

Shanda is a senior this year, and is leading the Mavericks in scoring. Sophomore sister Leah broke into the starting varsity lineup a few games ago and is doing well.

I was at the CC-E victory over Armstrong-Ringsted Friday night and snapped a few pictures as the Kletts went about the "family business." By the way, head of the household Gary, a Clay Central-Everly School Board member, does the team's official score book , so he was there doing his job, too.

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner