"The whole thing is unreal. It's going to be many years before Nebraskans can get a handle on the magnificence Mick and his Wahoo boys weaved. ... You can take this to the bank: you'll never again see something like this." -- Dewaine Gahan, Oakland Independent Editor

1992 Class B Tournament Results:
After six unsuccesful trips to the state tournament, Lincoln Pius X finally prevailed over Ogallala to claim a championship.

Joel Weyand --
LJS Class B All State
Joel Weyand became the sixth Wahoo player to be chosen to a first team all state team.

Banner recognizing the 114 game win streak
Even though Wahoo did not win a championship in 1992, another banner was added to the wall -- a banner recognizing the win streak and the five teams that had contributed.

"You can't turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again." -- Coach Anderson, from his post season scrap book.


the “and one” reality

The storybook ending for 1992 would have been another undefeated season and another state championship; a “rebuilt” team that ascended to the same heights as its predecessors. The Wahoo resume of 1992 included: Holiday Tournament Champion, Conference Tournament Champion, Conference Season Champion, and District Champion. The 1992 team came very close to matching the achievements of the previous four years. But it came up one short. There was no state championship, and the final record didn’t read 26 - 0; it read 24 “and one.”

If this were a fictional tale of basketball success, it would be appropriate to have Ogallala, the conquerer of the Warrior dynasty claim the championship they had taken away from Wahoo. But in the real world, it didn’t work out that way. Following the shock of the Wahoo defeat on Thursday night, Lincoln Pius X prevailed over Lexington in a thrilling overtime win in the other Class B semifinal. Ogallala faced Pius in the championship game the next night. Ogallala Coach Mark Etzelmiller downplayed the emotional drain of the victory over Wahoo -- “You saw the same intensity level that we had last night, and you saw us give 100 percent.” But he did allow that “three games in three days takes it out of you.” Perhaps more revealing was the comment from Ogallala senior, Chad Spady, following the win over Wahoo, “The way everyone has reacted, you’d think this was a final.” Perhaps Ogallala had left its best game on the court in the semifinal. Of course, it might have been that Ogallala faced a better team in the championship game. Behind the strong play of Adam Treu, the 1992 Thunderbolts did what their predecessors had been unable to accomplish. The Pius teams had made the tournament for seven years in a row; played in the title game three of those years. Jon Burt, whose three brothers (Charlie, Dave and Tom) had all played on those tournament teams, was a leading player for Pius. Tom Burt commented on the Pius win, “It’s ironic that this is the one team to do it because no one expected them to do it.” It was also ironic that the championship came at the expense of Wahoo, but left Lincoln Pius X with no opportunity to directly overcome their tournament nemesis -- Wahoo had eliminated Pius in its four championship runs. Again, a fictional account would have more likely featured a Wahoo / Pius championship game. But that didn’t happen, Wahoo missed that final game. The 1992 team was 24 “and one.”

As a result of the Ogallala loss to Pius, Wahoo slid in the final rankings even more than they might have. It is not unheard of for the tournament champion to be supplanted by someone else in the top spot of the final rankings, but that didn’t happen in 1992. In spite of its five losses, Pius was given the number one designation in both the Lincoln Journal-Star and the Omaha World Herald. For defeating Wahoo and making the finals, Ogallala was rewarded the number two slot by the Journal-Star, but the World Herald gave the nod to Lexington. Wahoo had been the number one team in Class B for three seasons. The Warriors dropped to number three in the Journal-Star and number four in the World Herald in 1992. The Warriors actually had a better record than the teams ranked above it that had five and two losses; Wahoo was 24 “and one.”

Even though falling short of a state championship, Wahoo players did garner a fair share of individual awards. The Warriors placed three on the All-Capitol Conference team (Joel Weyand, Jeff Simons and Trent Toline). Weyand and Toline were named to the Fremont All Area Team. Weyand and Simons were All-Area for the Wahoo Newspaper. Justin Anderson, Simons, and Toline were all All-State Honorable Mention, Class B. And Weyand was picked as Class B All-State Second Team by the World Herald and First Team by the Journal-Star. It was a noteworthy collection of awards, especially considering that the Warriors did not make the championship game and finished 24 “and one.”

In the aftermath of the 1992 tournament, there wasn’t much talk of the future of the Wahoo basketball program. There was a bit of a void as there was no ringing admonition of “let’s ride this baby out!” as Coach Anderson had proclaimed in the locker room in 1990. The arena hadn’t been filled with the Wahoo chants of “back to back” and “back to back to back” as it had in 1989 and 1990. There weren’t the splayed four fingers and chants of “Four!” that was the backdrop to the 1991 celebration. The thread that followed all those celebrations was just like the newspaper headline that had launched the 1992 team into tournament play -- “Can Wahoo Keep It Up?” Suddenly, there was nothing to keep up. And there were only a few that expressed any view of the future. Nobody in the Wahoo camp was ready to fold up the tents -- Joel Weyand said it, “We got a little more experience, and we have some good personnel coming back.” When Jeff Simons considered the prognosis for the 1993 team, he commented, “I don’t know how the loss will effect them, but I would bet that they can get back on top.” Indeed, the underclassmen couldn’t avoid the issue; it remained to be seen whether the loss to Ogallala would be a devastating defeat that would ultimately suck the energy out of the program, or whether it would be a motivating factor. It was clear that the 1993 Warriors would lack a little of the swagger of its predecessors. After all, they were not state champions, and they were not undefeated. They were 24 “and one.”

When the curtain closed on Wahoo basketball, 1992, positive words of encouragement abounded. Some were looking backward -- Wahoo Newspaper editor, Zean Carney wrote, “Wahoo has won 114 games in a row. No one will take that away.” Although there was no state championship banner to be raised, eventually a banner celebrating the 114 wins would go up in the center of the championship banners. Some of the comments looked towards the future, such as Robert Copperstone’s letter to the editor in the Wahoo Newspaper, “We’ll be there to share your victories and defeats.” In a work of fiction that chronicled a 114 game win streak by a team from a small rural community in Nebraska, that might be an appropriate ending. But reality was a bit different. Perhaps the best indication of where the Wahoo program would go in the future came from Joel Weyand’s final comment: “We’re going to be so hungry next year.” That would be the true effect of that “and one.”

Lincoln Journal Star Final Rankings:
Omaha World Herald Final Rankings:
Lincoln Pius X ascended to #1 in the rankings with its championship victory over Ogallala.

Jeff Simons
Trent Toline
Joel Weyand
Jeff Simons, Trent Toline, and Joel Weyand were all selected to the All-Capitol Conference team. All five of the Warrior starters probably deserved to be all conference, but coaches usually feel the awards should be "spread around." Justin Anderson and Mike Hancock were honorable mention.