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Four decades after regional run, 1979 Marble Falls basketball team holding reunion

1979 Marble Falls High School boys basketball team

The 1979 Marble Falls High School boys' basketball team is hosting the first Coach Abbott and David Shrubar Day on Nov. 13. The Mustangs are (from left) Steve Ribera, Kevin McLean, Russ Edwards, Bill Boyd, Daryl George, head coach Pat Abbott, David Shrubar, Edward Abney, Rhonnie Lester, and Alan Sivells. Courtesy photo

After talking about it for a few years, the 1979 Marble Falls High School boys’ basketball team is getting together for the first Coach Abbott and David Shrubar Day, and they’re inviting the entire community to reminisce and catch up.

The free event is noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 13 at West Side Community Center, 800 Third St. in Marble Falls. Cookies and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. 

Attendees should “bring a lawn chair, a friendly smile, and swap stories about Coach and David and other Mustangs. It will be a great time to continue and refresh old friendships,” according to the invitation.  

Team member Rhonnie Lester said he and his teammates started talking about hosting a gathering three years ago. The recent death of teammate Daryl George moved them to action. 

“We were talking at Daryl’s funeral that it was time for us to gather,” he said. 

The 1979 team, coached by Pat Abbott, still holds a place in the hearts of Mustangs fans. 

Marble Falls advanced to a Class 2A regional semifinal to face Crockett, which was led by former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Eugene Lockhart and Philadelphia 76ers draft pick Claude Riley.

The Mustangs were down by 23 points and looked like they were going to be run out of the gym. 

“It was loud,” Lester recalled. “We came back and tied it up by hitting a last-second shot. We ended up losing 81-76 in overtime. After the game, (then)-Texas A&M (head) coach (Shelby) Metcalf spoke to us. He said that in all his years of coaching, he never saw a team fight and scrap like we did.”