Otter boys’ coach Dave Rund a class actPublished 10:49am Friday, March 15, 2013
After another great Minnesota high school boys basketball game, the Fergus Falls Otters found themselves on the wrong end for a 57-55 win.
The Otter boys are not the little team that could, but being overshadowed by a number one ranked girls team, many fans may have missed how truly great they were.
Senior post player Mike Millard broke the Otters all-time scoring record this season and the Fergus boys even claimed the number one seed in their section.
This program has made leaps and bounds from where it was at since head coach Dave Rund took over in 2008.
After three losing seasons, the Otters were able to make a trip to the Section 8AAA finals last season and followed it up with another trip this season.
This was a team that I was really pulling for, and being a former Otter myself, was hoping they would punch their ticket to the state tournament.
As a sports writer, I have a personal connection to coach Rund.
Back in 2003, I was a stringer for the Daily Journal. I went to cover the Fergus Falls girls basketball team and extremely nervous about my first interview with a coach and it wasn’t going to be easy. The Otters fell in that game and I did not know the demeanor I would expect from Rund.
As a I sat and interviewed him, I felt more like I was talking to a sports fan and a student of the game, then some sort of dictator coach. The level of comfort that Rund had describing the game made it easy for me to write a well thought out story.
His level of coolness throughout the interview process made me think of a nickname that I still call him to this day.
A reference to the rap group Run DMC, Rund’s confidence reminded me of the famous trio. No matter win or lose, Rund was calm, cool and collected.
Rund has also showed that he is an excellent coach, both on and off the court, while leading the Fergus girls to their first state tournament appearance in 2008.
In 2010, I was again had a chance to interview Rund, this time as the boys coach. The Otters were once again on the opposite end of the win, but coach Rund and staff were extremely helpful in creating a welcoming atmosphere.
The Fergus boys struggled through the season as they finished with a 9-17 record and an early exit from the section playoffs.
Otter fans witnessed the potential of the future as Millard and, at the time, freshman Austin Rund gave promise to the Fergus faithful.
The next season, the Otters were knocking on the door to the state tournament as they took on the Detroit Lakes Lakers in the section final. The ball didn’t bounce the way of Rund’s squad as they went home with a 44-41 loss.
Last night, a slow start didn’t phase the Otters as they kept pushing for their chance to play at the Target Center. But like in year’s past, the ball fell for the Sabres and not the Otters.
The Otters were clearly upset and Rund was not happy at the end of the game, but he was able to field questions about the game and how far his team had come.
The 2012-13 season maybe over for the Fergus boys, but with an ever improving squad, I believe that Rund and the Otters will once again be competitive in the ever challenging Central Lakes Conference next season.