"They might have the best team in the tournament. But on the other hand, the odds are not with them." -- Plattsmouth Coach Steve Daniell

George Toline presents his son, Trent, at the community pep rally
Being the 6th consecutive trip to state, the Wahoo cheerleaders had learned to get everybody involved -- the players' parents took their turn presenting their sons to the crowd.

1992 Class B State Tournament Bracket

Among the Class B teams at state, Wahoo was the #1 seed and had the highest scoring average (81) and the lowest defensive average (45.73)

"Ten years ago, we never knew if we'd ever get to state, let alone win a state championship. Now, for some of our fans, it's not good enough to get there. We have to win it all." -- Coach Anderson

FALLING DOWN

common ground

The 1992 Wahoo team entered the state tournament in Lincoln ready to compete for an unprecedented fifth consecutive championship. Tagging along was a 113 game win streak that had spanned five seasons. A team that many had expected to fall short had responded with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder and now sought to take the final step to claim their own state title and raise another banner in the Wahoo gym. The team was confident, but there was always that little bit of apprehension. As Coach Anderson had put it, “Every game we play, we’re one step closer to defeat. The odds are catching up to us. We obviously know it’s not going to go on forever.”

For some teams, just making the tournament was a huge reward. Among the Class B field in 1992, there were three teams who were clearly having a unique experience. One of them, Nebraska City, hadn’t been to the tournament since 1965 -- none of these players were even alive the last time the Pioneers journeyed to state. Wahoo’s first round opponent, Plattsmouth, hadn’t been there since 1978 -- the last time Plattsmouth townsfolk had loaded the cars and headed to Lincoln for a tournament game, none of the current Plattsmouth players were even in school. Grand Island Central Catholic was in the tournament for the first time since 1984 -- at best those players had been in grade school and perhaps had stayed home. It would be easy for these teams who were unfamiliar with the tournament experience to be overwhelmed; or to have the approach of enjoying the moment, as certainly there was little expectation of actually winning the whole thing. True, they would bluster that they had every intention of competing and they would certainly give their best effort. But it was all new and it was a lot of fun.

While Wahoo was the most experienced of the Class B teams, the others were fairly well acquainted with tournament time in Lincoln. Schuyler had been in the tournament just two years previously (1990) and had lost to Wahoo in the first round. Lexington, Pius X, and Ogallala were, like Wahoo, veterans of the 1991 tournament. Ogallala was making a fourth consecutive appearance, and Pius X was in the tournament for the seventh consecutive year. Just being there wasn’t going to be enough for those teams -- they had experienced losing at the state tournament and they had a little better idea of how much poise and effort it would take to walk away a winner.

Wahoo at 23 - 0 was the number one seed and the other Class B teams all had respectable records. Lexington (20 - 1), Grand Island Central Catholic (20 - 1) and Ogallala (18-1) were close behind, each having only one loss. When Coach Anderson surveyed the Class B entries, he concluded: “From top to bottom, this may be one of the more exciting classes at state. I’ve heard a lot of great comments about Lexington, Ogallala and GICC, and Pius has played lights-out the last month.”

All of that meant the Warriors would have to battle to claim another state title. And, of course, the other teams were all gunning for Wahoo. First round opponent, Plattsmouth, most assuredly had Wahoo on its mind and Blue Devil senior, Scott Stoehr claimed “You only get one chance to take it to them, so we’re going to make the most of it. I really admire what they’ve done, but we’re not going to be intimidated by them.” But even the teams who had other business in the first round were admitting Wahoo was on their minds. Lexington had no more than grasped the District title plaque in their hands when Coach Ron Skwarek noted, “Wahoo’s been in a lot of our peoples’ minds.” Even Pius X Coach Tom Seib admitted to looking ahead a little to a Wahoo championship game; and after tournament losses to Wahoo the previous four years, commented, “If anybody has a chance, why not us?”

Of course, being at state, being the top seed, being everyone’s target -- none of it was new to the 1992 Warriors. Many had been on the 1990 and 1991 teams who had run the same gauntlet. This was common ground. They dressed in the familiar locker room at the Bob Devaney Sports Arena in Lincoln and prepared to take the court for their first round game. The players and coaches knew they’d been there before. Perhaps they thought of those four banners hanging in the Wahoo gym. Coach Anderson wrote a “3” on the chalk board. This was common ground

With six years of state tournament experience, the gathering in Lincoln was becoming a kind of reunion. Above, Randy Hoffman ('90), Rob Brigham ('89), and Scott Tingelhoff ('88) were in the crowd for the Plattsmouth game.

Todd Kaiser speaking at the community pep rally
For the Wahoo seniors, the trip to state had become routine. But of course, in 1992 it was special because it was their senior year.

Wahoo State Tournament Roster:
Wahoo had 14 players (maximum allowed by the NSAA) in the program for the state tournament. Just as in the district tournament, Brett Eddie and Tim Bohaty alternated as the twelfth player suited up for games.

Class B Enrollment (NSAA 3 Year)
Lincoln Pius X 510
Lexington 398
Plattsmouth 387
Nebraska City 290
Ogallala 281
Schuyler 242
Wahoo 183
GICC 172
One of the criticisms of Wahoo's 113 game win streak was the level of competition that the Warriors played in the regular season. One defense was that Wahoo played schools in the Capitol Conference with similar enrollments (some being Class C1 schools). In the 1992 Class B State Tournament, Wahoo's enrollment was significantly smaller than all but GICC.

4/12/12