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Uniforms Through the Years

Courtesy+of+AV+Yearbook.
Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

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Throughout Apple Valley High School’s 40 years, there have been many uniform changes across all sports. One thing that has never changed, however, are our classic colors – brown and gold. There have been seasons ending in state championships and seasons ending in sadness but the Eagle pride was always there thanks to our unique colors. Looking back, some of the uniform choices may look a bit different, but who knows what we will think looking back at this year’s uniforms in another 40 years?

Here’s a look at the basketball, football, girls hockey, AVaires, and cross country uniforms during the early years of Apple Valley High School, the middle years, and today.

 

The Early Years

In the early years – more specifically, our first year – our uniforms were definitely…interesting. But so was fashion in the ‘70s, so it fits.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

With the coolest warm-up pants in the nation, the 1976-77 Eagles basketball team went 20-3. Not too bad for their first year playing together. They won the Missota Conference while beating the defending state champions, Prior Lake, under head coach Paul Trewick.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

For those that grew up watching Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann, or those that have seen “We Are Marshall,” these uniforms definitely align with what was normal in football in the ‘70s. The 1976-77 Eagles football team tied for first in the Missota Conference. They defeated Mankato West by a score of 2-0 in their first-ever game, an interesting way to kick off a new season along with a new program.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

The AVaires are often imitated, but never duplicated. For the 1976-77 school year, the AVaires performed a 50s dance routine. They performed at numerous school events, a tradition that continues today. Their uniform matches their routine, another tradition that was passed to today, with flowy skirts reminiscent of classic “poodle skirts”.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

No, this is not the boys soccer team. Most of the time, cross country is associated with skinny kids running in short-shorts and a tank top. The 1976-77 boys cross country team went against this stereotype and chose sleeved tops. They were mostly underclassmen and used the season to build from the ground up under coach Ben Grockett. According to long-time head coach Rollie Greeno, these uniforms were replaced after his first season of coaching for Apple Valley.

Some of you may be wondering “Where’s the girls hockey?!” Well, girls hockey wasn’t a Minnesota State High School League sponsored sport…yet.

 

The Middle Years

In the 90s, sports were becoming more advanced and, of course, more like today. Along with the advancements of the sports themselves came updated uniforms.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Although the 1995-96 boys basketball team failed to claim a three-peat in the Lake Conference titles, they beat Cretin by two points to take third at their Christmas tournament. Nearly twenty years later in the early 2010s, Cretin was still a thorn in Apple Valley’s side. Here, the 1995-96 team uniforms are starting to reach the look of today.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

The 1995 Eagles football team was in a rebuilding season after losing numerous seniors. These uniforms are still a ways off from the football uniforms of today with the slimmer jerseys and smaller pads. Barry Sanders would have worn the same type of uniform while side-stepping defenders.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

The AVaires took on a techno routine in 1995-96, and their uniform matched that once again. They continued to perform at various school and sporting events along with some competitions of their own. They won the Eden Prairie competition that year.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

The 1994-95 season was the first MSHSL-sponsored girls hockey season. Due to this, it was also the first ever girls hockey state championship. The 1994-95 eagles completed an undefeated season with a 2-0 win over South St. Paul. They were the first ever girls hockey state champions under Coaches Lee, Scanlon, and Stewart!

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

With Coach Greeno in charge, the boys cross country team had long since traded in their heavy sleeved uniforms for lighter, cooler (in more ways than one) sleeveless tops. With only two seniors, they looked to rebuild in 1995-96. They surprised themselves along with many others, however, beating rivals Rosemount and Bloomington Jefferson at the Shakopee Invitational.

 

Today

The uniforms of today look the most sleek. Then again, that’s what everyone thought about the uniforms of the past when they were first worn. These pictures are in color, which helps to show the pride on display in brown and gold.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

The 2014-15 boys basketball team were the state champions for the second time in three years. These uniforms appeared on ESPN for a game against Whitney Young High School in the 2013-14 season In their second season with fresh, new Nike uniforms, there were new stars shining now that Tyus Jones was at Duke. Apple Valley boys basketball continued their dominance, finishing the business they started the previous year when they lost to Cretin in the section finals.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

In their last year in the uniforms pictured, the 2014 football team went two rounds deep into the section tournament. Prior to the section tournament, the Eagles beat Farmington 50-0. As football progresses, the uniforms seem to get tighter and the pads smaller.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Pictured here are some of the AVaires in their jazz performance uniform of 2014-15. Compared to the past, these uniforms are much flashier. This would be worn at competitions while a different uniform was worn at athletic event performances.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

The uniforms of the 2014-15 season (team pictured) are the same as the uniforms of the 2015-16 season, when Taylor Deforrest set the MSHSL saves record with 111 saves in a six-overtime loss against East Ridge. Sophia Leong played 117 of 122 minutes that game.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

Courtesy of AV Yearbook.

In their newest uniform, the cross country team finished third at sections in 2014. They were eleven points shy of second place, which would have earned them a spot at state. The shorts just keep on getting shorter.

What will the uniforms of tomorrow look like? Tune in to the Talon in a few years to find out.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Uniforms Through the Years”

  1. Amy Elizabeth Hessel on November 3rd, 2016 8:50 pm

    My name is Amy E. Hessel. I was the valedictorian of the first class and gave the graduation address. I was also the first team captain of the AVaires. (first row far right in the picture from 76-77) For better or worse, as I’ve heard the name gets mixed reviews, I came up with the name of the dance team. Thank you for including the AVaires in the “Uniforms Through The Years” article. From a distance I’ve watched how the “sport” has gained credibility over the years and how the AV team has been an innovator and leader in competition dance. I’d like to share with you something about what that first year was like from the perspective of someone who was there.

    That first year was rough, really rough. The school district poured a lot of money into sports like basketball, football, and wrestling to make sure that the new high school’s teams came out of the gate in good position to be on top. This wasn’t the case for the dancers. Yes, we did change uniforms for the mood of the dance routines, but in those days we had one uniform that the school paid for and the rest we made ourselves. Our first coach and faculty advisor were paid a pittance. And, much of the time the practice space allocated to us was a locker area by the front door. Hardest of all was the fact that a disproportionate number of experienced dancers ended up on the Rosemount side of the line. Many of those who came to AV with experience lost heart in the middle of the year and dropped out because things just didn’t feel the same as they had previous years without the Rosemount dancers.

    Coach Scarlett Tholen and those dancers who remained on the team forged ahead. It was discouraging to take the floor at state competition with 14 dancers. Teams like Burnsville and Minnetonka had at that time in the area of 36 dancers each. But we kept going because we had a vision, a new kind of dance team, in mind. We saw something more than just being pom-pom half-time entertainment in the future. Coach Tholen came over to AV from Rosemount where her daughter, Vikki, had been (as many of us had been) an Irishette. Scarlett had danced in New York and she brought with her the idea that high school dance team members could and should draw from ballet and modern dance techniques and discipline. We dreamed together of what could be and would be knowing that we would ourselves never achieve it. We could only lay the foundation. Michelle Rusinko, now the director of Dance at Gustavus Adolfus College, took over from there and (if my history is correct) coached the team to it’s first state title not all that many years later.

    After graduating from AVHS in 1977, I went on to attend St. Olaf College. I danced there in both the apprentice company and the main company. There I was introduced to liturgical dance. Many years later, 1991-1995, I attended seminary in St. Paul and took up liturgical dance again for a brief time. Presently, I am a Lutheran pastor in Olympia, Washington. Our church is located directly across from a high school football field. On Friday nights I am sometimes working in my office and I hear the half-time music begin knowing that the dance team will likely be stepping onto the field soon. In fact, one of my high school age parishioners is on the Olympia High School dance team. I have occasion, now and again, to reminisce with her about the early days of the AVaires.

    Knowing well the efforts of many during those early days of Apple Valley High School and the AVaires, and seeing the results of those efforts 40 years later, continues to remind me to keep an eye toward the future when starting something new is hard. I draw on that experiences of front end loading effort for success down the road. I remind myself that it’s more important to consider what we leave behind for our efforts than it is to consider what we get out of it in the moment.

    Thank you for providing this fine forum for seeing what is going on at AVHS today and for sharing something of the past.

    Sincerely,
    Amy Elizabeth Hessel

    PS – If it hasn’t been pointed out to you before, seated in the front row and center of the 1976-1977 photo is Jane Vanderaarde Bernenz, District 196 Superintendent of Schools. Jane added a lot of pizazz and lots of giggles to practice. Sometimes, though, she had to be reminded when it was time to “get down to business.” I have a feeling that’s not the case anymore 😉

    [Reply]

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Uniforms Through the Years