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Milwaukee Hamilton Boys Hoops celebrates 50th anniversary of state title

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-17 19:43:52-05

MILWAUKEE — Five decades later, Milwaukee Hamilton boys basketball is preparing to celebrate their championship with a reunion.

Looking forward to 50 years of memories, most of the team got together at coach's house up north. However, some haven't seen each other in years. The reunion next month, will be special.

"At 87, I'm just happy to enjoy athletics and seeing it on TV," Milwaukee Hamilton Head Coach Jerry Warczak says. "And enjoy once in awhile hearing from my players, which is always great. It's an uplight. I always ask myself, where did all those years go?"

In 1972, Milwaukee Hamilton started off as a team that didn't appear state championship bound.

"At the beginning of the season we were not gelling," Kevin Soucie says. "We were faltering. In fact, we lost three of (the) first four games."

Then they reeled off 18 straight wins, rallying from double digits down to beat Neenah for the championship.

"You can see, it says on here. The WIAA state championship," Soucie says. "So I held onto it."

But the run was marked with tragedy, as one player passed away one month later.

"Mark Cieslik had leukemia," Soucie says. "So he didn't play much. He was on the team. He was sick. We won the state championship in March and then he passed away in April."

"Being as good (as a) player as he was, they kind of dedicated I think some of the season to him," Warczak says.

This is why this reunion and what has happened with 50 years of life, makes this all the more special.

"Fourteen of my players either became teachers or coaches," Warczak says. "So I thought to myself well, I must have done some things right as far as my life is concerned."

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