Personally Speaking

by H. Joe Weyand
-- “We may lose and we may win, but we’ll never be here again”*

Of all the teams of the “Glory Days,” I was probably least connected to the ‘87-’88 team. A great deal of my attention at that time was focused on the girls team. I was the head coach and one week before the boys marched through their district tournament, the 1987 - 1988 Wahoo Girls Basketball Team became the first (and still only) team to win a District Championship. During much of the season, rather than seeing the boys team play, I was either having practice with the girls team, or out scouting. Or going to freshman games -- my oldest daughter, Julie was a freshman (she also played for the varsity girls) and so I did see the freshman boys play frequently. I did have some interest in the boys junior varsity games as Julie was “dating” one of the junior boys, Cliff Kreizel. But then, we didn’t really allow “dating” yet and this was probably an insignificant relationship (they were married in 1994 and are responsible for three of my grandchildren). The boys had just come off their District Championship (Tuesday night) when we had our school pep rally sending the girls team off to the tournament. The Lady Warriors lost to Lexington in the first round and while some time was spent licking our wounds, by the time the boys tournament rolled around the next week, I was ready to cheer them on.

But to be honest, I must admit a degree of jealousy crept in as that tournament progressed. I couldn’t help but feel that the boys winning a championship would in some way diminish the accomplishment of the girls team. It was foolish thinking and I would dismiss the thought from my head every time it crept in .... but it did creep back in .... repeatedly. I don’t remember why, but when Steve Carmer drove in for his winning basket, I was not sitting with my family, or with the Wahoo crowd -- I was in the section reserved for coaches in one corner of the Devaney Sports Center. I stood and cheered, and was genuinely happy for their team and coaching staff. But a week earlier I had been thrilled to be coaching a team in the state tournament. Watching that team and those coaches just made me painfully aware that there was a whole other level to reach. Little did I know at the time, but over the next few years, any effort to measure success by the standard of the Wahoo boys team would bring nothing but frustration.

Over the next few weeks, the jealousy diminished (note -- “diminished” not “disappeared”) and I was able to participate in the community celebration. Our girls team even got to tag along when the boys were invited to the Lions Club luncheon (probably a “politically correct” move at the time). During the community banquet held in celebration of the Championship, Coach Anderson was even gracious enough to recognize me and Bruce Klemme as former coaches in his program (I had been his assistant from 1977 - 1981). I also saw enthusiasm for basketball growing and I knew that could do nothing but help in the development of the girls teams. I also had a son (7th grade) who very much wanted to play basketball -- maybe he could experience this someday.

As Troy Glock would mention in an interview with the local newspaper, the experience unified the community and everybody wanted to participate. So, when Coach Anderson asked me about helping to put together a video for the team, I was eager to help. I had been fumbling around with video equipment for a couple of years and had done them for the girls team -- even my first one that only won five games. Producing the District Championship girls version had been a lot of fun -- now I could make one for a State Champion.

Mick brought all of his game tapes and several tapes he had gotten from the television stations to my “video production office” at my house. We sat down together and went through the tapes picking out clips he thought representative of the season. We selected from news clippings and, using the primitive method I had at the time, we used the video camera to tape those pictures and include those as well. The result was rather crude, but we were happy to have a video that commemorated and preserved the experience of winning a State Championship. (see the highlight video page in the “Special Features” section)

Along with that highlight video, the year end basketball booklet is the major source of information for this web site. The year end booklet was something that Mick had started back when I was his assistant -- in fact I would take partial credit for its development. When I coached the girls team, I even think it got a little competitive as to who could outdo the other to produce a “quality” booklet. Of course, as the boys team racked up state championships over the next few years, I would have to admit that it was hard to compete with the wealth of material he had for his booklets. I’ve heard comments by both the current coaches (Kevin Scheef and Linda Walker) joking (I think) that they have had to maintain those traditions, and it is a lot of work!

So, although I didn’t see the boys play a great deal, I did, like everyone else in the Wahoo community, jump on the bandwagon at the end of the season. I had heard a speaker at a coaches clinic give a talk once about “celebrating the victories.” It had become a major part of my coaching philosophy and while some in 1988 thought the boys team was going a little overboard (that jealousy thing?), I was applauding all of it -- from the rings and jackets to the picture on the wall. After all, as the Eagles sang, “we may lose and we may win though we will never be here again.” As it turned out, this was not a concern.

*The Eagles -- “Takin’ It Easy”
In 1988 I was coaching the girls varsity team at Wahoo High School. This picture was taken at the Devaney Sports Center during our first round game. The next week I'd watch the boys win their championship there.

The "graphics" used on that first highlight tape weren't much -- here is an example of us taking a pictue of a headline. Note the finger showing in the upper right.

The covers of the boys and girls basketball booklets for 1988. Note that mine was much better, even having a link of the net from our District Championship stapled to each girl's cover. But then there are those two words on Mick's cover, "State Champions."