In Memory

Brian J. Grohnke

Brian J. Grohnke

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09/19/22 07:26 AM #1    

James H. Lundquist

Remember Brian very well ,he was in quite a few of my classes throughout high school

Rest in peace 🙏Brian

09/19/22 10:10 AM #2    

Norman R. Miller

I fondly remember many times shooting baskets with Brian in Mark Nordell's driveway.  My success rate was about 20%, Mark's was 90% and Bian's 100%.  A lesson in humility!

09/20/22 01:40 PM #3    

Richard E. (Ric) Hinkie

What a teammate!  We could always count on Brian when the score was close and we needed some points.  He was an amazing basketball player and a pitcher as well.  We teased him with the name Baby Huey, only because he appeared to be this big hulking guy that was humble and unassuming, yet he had the athletic ability and the drive to win.  When I connected with him briefly 20 years after we graduated when we both lived in Northern Virginia--he retired from President Nixon's Secret Service Staff and me working for a Reagan Zealot in DC, we laughed about how for two years my nose was in his armpit during every practice in '63 and '64 as Coach Baglien had me guarding Brian...or should I say trying to guard him.  He laughed away my suggestion that I was really responsible for his outstanding play on the court.   

The team was really a bunch of decent young men.  We were all focused on doing our best, no infighting, no primadonnas,  just how could we help each other develop the skills to move us forward.  

After Brian led the team to an outrageously one sided victory in the district tournament in '64 on our way to Edina's first State Tournament, the Coach of the other team said, "The only thing good about my team is that they are all graduating and I get to start over next year."  Yikes.

I am grateful for having known Brian and especially for the free pizzas the team received in Hopkins after each of our victories.  It was a good run with good people.  The support from our class given Edina's very successful history in Football, Hockey, Tennis, Swimming, Wrestling, Baseball to us "newbies" in basketball success was very much appreciated.  We were 17-7 as I remember it in '63 and undefeated going into the state tourney in '64.  The real victories, however, were in the relationships within and around the team.  

Farewell friend, it was a pleasure.


04/16/24 03:05 PM #4    

Jay Johnson

Richard (Jay) Dick Johnson

Bryan and I basically grew up together. Living within a block of each other, we walked to school together ,most days, practiced baseball, football, and basketball depending on the season, and snuck out late at night to walk to the Dairy Queen with Kathy Sanders, in the summer.  We drove the neighbors crazy with the constant thump of the basketball playing one on one late into the night.  Our first hero was Leo C. Cabalka, the ninth grade basketball coach.  Coach Cabalka led us to an undefeated season, with Bryan averageing a bundle of points each game.  Edina was very much in love with football, swimming, and hockey at that time, not much print on the buckets. The future was on the horizon

Baseball was next, but didn't heat up for Bryan until our junior year. He had a blazing fastball and drop off the cliff curve.  The highschool baseball and basketball coach, Duane Baglien started using Bryan more as a Junior, but the real baseball man in Edina was Gordy Nevers (Legion Baseball).  A former American League professional Coach Never's, taught us more about the game then anyone.  In our junior year we made a film for Wheaties Sports Federation with Bob Richards.  Several Professionals took part in the production, (Bobby Richardson, Tony Kubek, Junion Gilliam, Warren Spaun,  Koufax and Drysdale.)  Bryan picked up some pointers and started to shine off the mound.  I think Billy Lord still has a sore hand from catching Bryan's fastball, my condolences Carol.

Coach Baglien ran us ragged for sophomore and junior varsity years, in up and down seasons, where Bryan alone outshined the opponents.  Our senior year Steve Kagol was added to the starting lineup.  It developed a balance that was hard to beat.  Bryan blew the lid off the basket, almost scoring at will.  There did not existed a better basketball high school player than Bryan in 1964. It saddens me at his passing.  We all have a cross to bear and losing to Rochester John Marshall in overtime that Friday night (State) bothered Bryan and I as well.  But what else do we have to dwell on in our seventies.  God speed my friend.

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