Time to celebrate: Davis’ 2012, 1965 teams gather to bask in championship glow

March 29, 2012 by  

YAKIMA, Wash. — With the years that have gone by, they could be grandfathers to these kids. But for the time they shared Wednesday night and in the weeks since bridging nearly a half century with their rare deeds, it seemed as if they were brothers.

Davis High School celebrated its two state championship boys basketball teams, bringing together members of the unbeaten 1965 team to share an evening with the newly crowned 2012 squad still basking in the glow of bringing the gold ball to Yakima.

Members of the 1965 and 2012 Davis High School state championship basketball teams pose for photos after being honored Wednesday, March 25, 2012 in the Davis High School gym. (Andy Sawyer/Yakima Herald-Republic)


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And to start off the event, athletic director Bob Stanley couldn’t have picked better words.

“How cool is this?,” he asked, knowing that would ratchet up the crowd’s mood in a hurry.

Cool, indeed, considering how rare it is for a town the size of Yakima to win a basketball title in the state’s biggest classification. While it took 47 years to repeat the feat at Davis, most schools in the 4A or former AAA class have never won one.

So in the last month the natural inclination has been to compare the two teams and wonder how they might match up.

Keith Farnam, who was Eisenhower’s coach in 1965 and suffered four losses to the Pirates in an otherwise stellar 18-6 season, didn’t want any part of that.

“I’ve been asked that a lot lately and not only is it hard to do it’s unfair to both so I’m not going to,” he told the crowd. “But I will say this: I’ve been to several games this season and I really enjoyed watching this team play. I didn’t enjoy watching the ‘65 team play.”

The 1965 team bull-rushed its way to a 25-0 season as 6-foot-9 Ted Wierman led the way with a never-a-day-off 21.2-point scoring average. Jim Williams and Phil Timpke were the forwards and the backcourt of Del Carmichael and Lenny Allen featured two double-digit guards.

Those Pirates could play any type of game — methodical half-court or let it fly. Whatever the pace or circumstance, Wierman was clearly the horse — his 18 points and 28 rebounds was a major part of Davis’ 66-49 humbling of Roosevelt in the title game.

This current team had its premier player in David Trimble, but the hallmarks of this crew were depth and defensive tenacity. The best any postseason opponent could do against the Pirates was 47 points

Eight players produced double-digit games for Eli Juarez’s team, which capped a 23-2 season and 17-game win streak with a 48-42 championship victory over Central Valley earlier this month.

So there were evident differences in the construction of Davis’ 1965 and 2012 teams, but there were also some key similarities.

A loaded senior core for one.

And a mission among those seniors for another.

Larry Pryse’s 1965 team didn’t produce a 25-0 campaign out of the blue. The Pirates won 20 games the year before and just missed making the state’s final four, and in 1963 they were 16-7 with a bunch of sophomores.

Juarez’s team won 21 games last season, placing fifth at state, and two years ago the sophomores rose up to earn a state berth.

“I look at this ‘65 team — they were very tall,” Juarez said. “But we shared a determination and mind for defense that was amazing. Both teams obviously had team chemistry, which is a huge part of it.

“But it’s more than that,” he added. “These teams had smart kids who played with heart. That’s a wonderful part of school history to share.”

And inspire.

“It was a blessing for us, knowing Davis had a team that won a state title,” said senior Cooper Kupp. “We knew it could be done and we believed we could do it. It’s been an honor for all of us, and the school and community has been awesome. What a blast these years have been.”

Past and present.

Filed under All, Basketball (Boys), Davis, Featured Prep Sports, Featured Stories

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