Pitchin with Pritch: Seven-year Plainsmen run: 154-21 record
There have been so many things happening this past winter sports season and the spring sports season that I didn’t get to put together a gathering for our last back-to-back basketball state championship teams, the 1989 and 1990 teams.
Both teams hit the 30-year mark. In the summer of 2018, we got the 1968 state championship team together and it was a really good evening of remembering the season and finding out what everyone was doing or planning to do after 50 years.
I don’t think me waiting on the ’89 and ’90 team to hit the 50-year mark would be very smart considering my age. But then when you really think about it, COVID-19 would have probably stopped a group gathering anyway.
Which one was best
I have been asked a number of times, which team do you consider your best ever? I can’t really say because we had a number of very good teams that had talent and worked hard to be successful.
We had teams that over-achieved, maybe didn’t have as much talent, or as much depth as other teams, but still had that great work ethic and got it done.
There was a seven-year stretch in the late ’80s through the middle of the ’90s where the teams won 154 games and lost 21.
Four of those teams got to the state tournament and we had two state championships and ended up ranked third one year, and were state-runner-up one year.
In 1993, the team was 19-1 but the one loss was in the district game to Hershey. We had beaten them twice that year but they made it to state and won it that year and we ended up number 2 in the final ratings.
As far as good teams go, the first state championship in 1968 had talent, worked hard, over-achieved at times and only lost two games but went undefeated in Nebraska losing only to Julesburg and Holyoke.
That team also came from 14 down in the third quarter to win by seven for the Class C championship.
Like a lot of teams, they all get better the older the guys get. By the time they reach retirement time, they probably tell their kids that they beat Duke, or maybe even the Celtics, but the time we coaches got to spend with them was special.
We saw players that worked hard, improved by the hard work, and learned how important that team work was in being successful. I hope that maybe we can get together with the teams in the near future and hear the stories that we are glad we didn’t know about back in the day!
I have to admit, the time that I spent as a coach were great times for the most part. I got to coach my own sons and that was special also. I hope that the activities part of school can run like normal this coming year because as the NSAA states, activities are the second half of education.