Personally Speaking

by H. Joe Weyand
“You know I've always been a dreamer (spent my life running 'round); And it's so hard to change (can't seem to settle down). But the dreams I've seen lately keep on turning out and burning out and turning out the same.”
-- The Eagles*

Everyone should have dreams. Sometimes we get to realize those dreams; sometimes we have to abandon one dream and pursue another. The 1991 Warriors, especially the four seniors, are among the fortunate ones who got to live a dream. For me, personally, 1991 was a year of changing pursuits.

The ‘90-’91 basketball season was my first season out of coaching and my videography hobby helped to fill the void. And I must admit that it was also somewhat of a crutch. With Julie playing on the varsity girls team with a new coach (Jerry Voboril) and Joel seeing significant action with the boys varsity, a great deal of the time from December through March was spent in gymnasiums. Rather than just sitting in the stands and having the opportunity to give voice to any criticisms that journeyed through my brain, I was on the floor with camera in hand, trying to concentrate on capturing the moments. And with a camera running, one rarely speaks out as those comments would also be “captured.” I must also admit that as a former coach, I had a sensitivity level that also made being on the floor better than being in the stands. When sitting in the bleachers I quickly learned that some fans were often less than kind. When others would grumble about coaching decisions or even ridicule players for making mistakes, I would cringe and fight to keep such thoughts from escaping from my mouth. I fear that might have been a losing battle, but the camera on my shoulder provided me an escape from that dilemma.

Thus, there is ample video footage of the 1991 team -- each game has at least some video and as the team entered district and state tournament play, nearly all of the contests were recorded. Needless to say, the highlight video produced at the end of the season was rather lengthy -- it even included a segment that gave thorough coverage to the junior varsity team. In fact, in 1991 I was actually producing a “Year in Video” for the school. It was an endeavor that took me and my camera to nearly all school activities and included footage taken during the school days. The video camera was beginning to make an indentation on my shoulder. The model used in 1991 was much larger than today’s compact units, and of course only capable of producing lower resolution video. However, at Christmas time in 1990 I did invest in a new camera that recorded SVHS -- slightly higher resolution, and I acquired equipment that was capable of achieving at least some special effects. Looking back at those videos today is somewhat embarrassing -- both due to the quality, and in some cases, the somewhat cheesy content. But at the time, I’m sure I was quite proud of them.

One example of questionably cheesy content was the introduction to the 1991 highlight video. In 1990, the Patrick Swayze / Demi Moore movie, “Ghost” was popular, and the tag line was “You will believe.” For the 1991 highlight introduction I used that idea and my newfound special effects capabilities to produce a collage of clips from the previous championship years, superimposed over video of an empty Wahoo gym. The intent was to present a “ghost” like image and the sentiment was that the 1991 team was “haunted” by the ghosts of teams past that could only be exorcized by winning another championship. The sentiment wasn’t all that misplaced as players and coaches did express such feelings during and after the season. You can judge for yourself just how cheesy it was.

Regardless of the quality of the video, the ‘90-’91 season was certainly an exciting one. Julie’s senior season with Coach Voboril produced another winning record. And although the Lady Warriors had upset Raymond Central earlier in the season, the Mustangs won the district tournament matchup and Julie’s basketball career came to an end. A high degree of stress was injected into Joel’s sophomore season, as he was a player “on the bubble.” His status as a sometime starter produced a degree of uncertainty and when he was on the court, unlike during his freshman season, there was a high level of accountability -- this was no longer “mop-up time.” In the end, while Joel’s playing time declined during the state tournament, and he didn’t start a game after the Conference Tournament, he played significant time in every game except for Yutan when he was held out with a sprained ankle.

I find it significant that as the curtain fell on the 1991 championship, there were no signs that said “Bring on #5!,” or “88, 89, 90, 91, ?”. And perhaps that was fitting as Jason, Ryan, Steve and Bernie had carried the team to a fourth title and they would be gone. There was no doubt that Jason Glock was irreplaceable and Coach Anderson had said as much. Most outside the Wahoo community, and many within saw this as a possible ending of a great four year run. But for some of us, our eyes had already turned to the road ahead. The “Quad Squad” of 1991 had taken it to the limit. The words of an Eagle song was their anthem of triumph, and at the same time a declaration of a new dream for Joel and the other underclassmen: “Put me on a highway, show me the sign. And take it to the limit, one more time.” *

“Take It To The Limit” -- The Eagles

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The introduction to the 1991 highlight video was a takeoff on the movie, "Ghost." Cheesy? -- you can decide.
With Joel playing on the varsity in 1991, his gtrandparents made it to some of the games. In this video still you can see his grandfather, Lyle Weyand (white hair, glasses) on the far right, then grandmothers Darlene Weyand and Dorothy Tassler, and grandfather Melvin Tassler. Judy is seated in front.

"The one thing we won't have is the superstar player, which I think great teams need. We can't have a great team, but a good team might be a 26 - 0 team. To go to the ultimate level you need a superstar like Jason and we won't have it." -- Coach Anderson

Bob Lilliedahl and Jim Simons hang the '91 on the side of a truck parked south of town, adding it to the other three championships.

"I'd give anything to be a guy and to be the fifth senior on this team -- they've really worked hard for this. We all grew up together. This has been a great year." -- Julie Weyand