1988 Home

Introduction -- the one loss
High Expectations
Crash Test
Lessons Learned
Get Back
The Last Word

Introduction -- the one loss

As Kevin Jeppson’s desperation three pointer found nothing but air and the horn sounded, the scoreboard in the Wahoo gym displayed the disappointing reality: Wahoo 45, Syracuse 48. As the month of January came to an end, Wahoo found itself on the short end of the score for the first time in the ‘87 - ‘88 season. The bitter taste of the loss was doubly so as it denied the Warriors the Conference Tournament Championship and it put the lie to all the hype the early season success had brought. A good team, and Wahoo definitely had a good team, shouldn’t allow an opponent they had beaten two weeks earlier to get the best of them in a championship game. But as the gym cleared and the players dressed , that was the reality for Coach Anderson and the Wahoo players. Wahoo had entered the game ranked number one in Class B and with their 11 - 0 record and decisive victories over most opponents, they had received plaudits from the press and even opposing coaches. After scouting the Warriors, Yutan coach, Mike Nannen, commented “They’re going to be tough to beat” -- his team lost to Wahoo by 28. Schuyler coach, Steve Peterson declared the Warriors to “have a legitimate shot at the title” after losing by 24. And the Omaha World Herald had seen enough of the Warriors to make them the number 10 team in the state -- all classes, pointing out that "on a given night they could hold their own with most Class A teams." Perhaps so much praise and such a declaration of superiority had, as the saying goes, “gone to their heads.” Coach Anderson saw the loss in this light, proclaiming “At least this will bring us back down to earth.” And the next week when Wahoo bounced back with a decisive 41 point win over Ashland, Kevin Jeppson would comment on the Syracuse loss that it “shows us that we are not unbeatable and we have to continue to play harder and improve.” In retrospect, the significance of that January 30th loss is clear. They did come “back down to earth.” They did improve. And the ‘87 - ‘88 team won the rest of their games. But while some at the time might have (as Coach Anderson did) seen the silver lining and predicted such a finish, it’s doubtful that any at the time would have seen the true significance of Wahoo’s loss to Syracuse: Wahoo wouldn’t lose again for 114 games.

"One loss isn't the end of the world." -- Coach Anderson

"Losing a game may have been the best thing that happened to Wahoo High School's boys basketall team this year." -- Kim Heusel, Fremont Tribune sports writer

The 1987 - 1988 Team