|From those first steps on Redemption Road to the final destination, there was never any doubt that the Warrior team’s success of 1993 would depend on its veteran leadership. The 1992 team had entered the season with outsiders questioning the team’s experience, its ability to replace the championship seniors of 1991. Such was not the case in 1993. The team boasted three returning starters who averaged a combined 36 points a game as underclassmen during the ‘91-’92 season: seniors Joel Weyand - 14 and Justin Anderson - 12, and junior Mike Hancock - 10. Those three would be joined in the starting lineup by junior Travis Toline who had come off the bench in 1992 in support of his older brother, Trent; and Greg Hain who had started for Wahoo Neumann as a sophomore. Senior Ryan Glock would be the sixth man. Seniors Brett Eddie and Tim Bohaty would most often be the next two off the bench and junior Louie Wotipka would see some varsity playing time after playing mostly junior varsity.
The rest of the Wahoo roster would be a dramatic youth movement. Not since 1990 when Weyand, Anderson and Glock had played varsity as freshmen had the varsity roster listed so many ninth graders. While playing leading roles on the junior varsity, Mike Simons, Ryan Fiala, Josh Anderson, and Dan Brown would frequently get playing time in the fourth quarters as the starters took a seat with commanding leads.
As opposing coaches prepared to face the Warriors in the ‘92-’93 season, if they wanted to instill some hope in their players (and maybe in themselves), they would focus on Wahoo’s inside game. Coach Dale Rasmussen, whose 1993 team would face the Warriors three times pointed out, “I don’t think Wahoo is as strong inside as they have been ....” With Travis Toline as the team’s only true big man (6’4”), Coach Anderson acknowledged that the Warriors would have to keep him out of foul trouble, but expressed confidence in Toline: “He’s a smart player and he can handle it -- we’ll have to ask an awful lot of him.” Considering that Toline’s replacement would be 6’1” Ryan Glock, that was perhaps an understatement. But what Glock gave up in height, he made up for in strength. And Glock had been on the court for the Warriors for four years so the coach was confident in his ability to provide what was needed.
But while the presumed “weak” inside game would perhaps provide teams a little spark of confidence, it was quickly doused when contemplating Wahoo’s outside game. Weyand’s credentials were well established as a returning All State player and Coach Anderson labeled him “one of the best guards (all class) in the state.” Coach’s son, Anderson had shot 48% from three point range as a junior and was the third leading rebounder for the 1992 team. He had been second to Weyand in assists. It wasn’t good news for Wahoo’s future opponents when they read his father’s assessment before the ‘92-’93 season: “He’s gotten a little stronger and should be in for a fine season.” Covering Weyand and Anderson would have been a big enough challenge, but when Mike Hancock was added to the equation, it left opposing coaches throwing up their arms. Hancock had converted 60 three pointers as a sophomore. Coach Anderson called him “one of the best pure shooters in the state.” And then there was the new kid on the block, Greg Hain. Hain would quickly add to the team’s offensive clout with his ability to drive and convert athletic shots around the basket. When it was all said and done, the 1993 version of the Warriors would claim five double digit scorers. Waverly Coach Leon Bose would sum up the consternation of Wahoo’s opponents: “so many weapons and so much to stop.”
And all of this scoring potential didn’t even take into consideration what most coaches called the real strength of Wahoo’s game -- the defense. Coach Anderson gave fair warning: “It’s no secret what we’re going to do. We’re going to press and use our 1-3-1 zone.” In 1993, the press became even more a part of Wahoo’s attack. The Warriors would force opponents into an average of 30 turnovers a game. David City Aquinas Coach, Kevin Scheef lamented, “It’s almost a mystery to get the ball past half court. Scoring is almost a bonus.”
All of this talent might have made the coaches and players of 1993 somewhat complacent -- the Warriors were clearly a superior team to most of their opponents. Coach Anderson did not hide the optimism: “I guarantee you that a lot of people in town and around the state believe we are going to do quite well.” While the expectation could be guaranteed, the outcome certainly was not. The collection of talent still had to be forged into a team. That process had begun in the summer months and would continue throughout the season. Going into it, Coach Anderson recognized the pitfall: “We’ve got a lot of kids that can score and that can get some individual honors. As long as that stays secondary to what it’s all about come March, I think we’ll be ok.” The individual honors were left to the end of the season and not even Coach Anderson could have foreseen the domination that the Warriors of 1993 were about to put on their competition. There was more to this team than just the talent -- there was an edge. It was the Road to Redemption..