“Packer Fever” Returns To Austin

Created: 03/14/2014 7:27 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- With the Austin High School boys basketball team back in the state championship game, “Packer Fever” has once again taken over the city.

On Saturday morning, Packer fans will once again climb aboard buses and fill their cars as they travel up to Minneapolis for the state championship game.

The Packers will face the DeLaSalle Islanders, the same team they lost to in the state title game last year.

And fans say they're definitely looking for a little payback.

"I tell you what, the rematch is exciting,” said Corey Anderson, who’s been to every game this year. “I think that especially these kids that are on the court, they believe they can win and I think the fans believe it too."

But as much as fans might want redemption, the Packers’ coach said the team isn't looking at it that way.

"It's another game,” coach Kris Fadness said. “Obviously they're extremely talented, they're very well coached, we're going to have to play extremely well. But we're not looking at last year, this is a different year."

And while everyone would like to see the players return with the championship trophy in-hand, city leaders said the team has already brought something valuable to the people of Austin.

"I think it means everything to the town,” said Austin mayor Tom Stiehm. “It's all about the kids and community, and it just gets everybody together rooting for Austin."

And all of the community support isn't lost on fans or the team.

"We are definitely the talk of the cities because we come in such big droves of fan support," Anderson said.

"We feel like we're playing at home when we're in Williams Arena, we feel like we're playing at home in the Target Center because our crowd is dwarfing our opponents crowd,” Fadness said. “It's definitely a help for us."    

The game will be broadcast live on channel 6.2, This TV Network. It starts at 6 p.m., and in case you can't watch the game live, ABC 6 will have full highlights on the news at 10 p.m..