by Dennis Dalman
Adam Herbst remembers Nov. 25, 1994 as if it were yesterday. That’s the magic day he and his fellow Sartell Sabres won the Class A State Football Championship at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.
It’s the only time in the nearly 50-year history of Sartell High School the football team took top state honors. That victory was the culmination of a 14-0 season for the Sabres.
To this day, there is an unbreakable camaraderie – a strong bond – among those players, Herbst noted, and that is why that moment in history will be celebrated during a half-time show at a Sartell Sabres home game vs. Grand Rapids Friday, Sept. 26. After the game, athletes from 20 years ago, their spouses, parents, children, friends and supporters are encouraged to gather at the House of Pizza in Sartell for more reminiscences and celebrating.
Herbst and others have been trying to locate anyone who wants to honor the people involved with that remarkable victory of two decades ago. Many of them originally lived in the St. Joseph and St. Stephen areas. He is asking people to share the news and urging everyone to be sure to mark Sept. 26 on their calendars and be there that night.
A special honor will go to Dean Taylor, former Sartell High School coach, who led the team to the extraordinary triumph Nov. 25, 1994. Taylor, a local legend, was the head football coach at Sartell High School ever since it opened, way back in 1969. He also coached other sports until his retirement about 12 years ago. Since then, Taylor has endured with a courageous spirit several setbacks: the amputation of one arm due to cancer and more recently kidney dialysis and a broken femur.
“Dean Taylor also taught history at the high school,” Herbst said. “He coached so many hundreds of youth. He’s a phenomenal man. We want players, coaches, cheerleaders, parents, fans – anybody – to come to the Sept. 26 home game in Sartell and to the House of Pizza after the game.”
Another coach who helped the Sabres win the state title is Robert Trobec.
“He was our defensive coordinator and a really great coach, too,” Herbst said. Yet another coach to be honored is John Ross, who was the team’s offensive coordinator and went on to become the school system’s activities director before retiring last year.
After high school, Herbst attended St. John’s University and earned a degree in communications. He is currently the SJU director of alumni relations.
For more information or to let organizers know you can attend the Sept. 26 activities, email Herbst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twenty years ago, the Sartell Sabres football team hoisted its state Class A championship trophy after a win over Northfield in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. From left to right (starting with #78) are Jesse Reinert, Tom Stark, Steve Kimball (behind Stark), Paul Trobec, Jeff Muntifering, Jeff Blenkush (#7), Aaron Walters and Adam Herbst (#5). It was Sartell’s only football state championship in the nearly 50-year history of the high school. Coach Dean Taylor led the team to its victory.