’84 Reunion Night: The Transcript
Featured below is the transcript from the February 19, 2010 ceremony honoring the 1983-84 Beavers squad from P.A. Announcer Scott Govitz.
Ladies and Gentlemen: We direct your attention to the front of the scorer’s table where tonight, we are pleased to be joined by several members of the ’83-84 Beaverton Beavers Class C semi-finals basketball team.
With a starting five that would be the envy of any coach in any conference in the entire state, and a bench that included several players that could have been starters themselves if there had been room, the Beavers of ’83-84 left an indelible mark on local basketball history. Losing just once to a great Farwell team, they compiled a 13-1 record that year to capture the Jack Pine Conference while going 18-2 during the regular season and finishing the season with a mark of 23-3. This team took its fans for a season-long fairy tale ride that ended in a Class C final four appearance at the University of Michigan’s Crisler Arena.
Perhaps no team has ever been as deep on the bench or seen its talent so evenly spread amongst its starters on the floor, with all five starters averaging double digits on several occasions throughout the year. In fact, in their final Jack Pine contest, every member of the Beavers squad would go on to score. Coach Roy Johnston called this team one of his all-time favorites and still uses them as an example of perfection when it comes to unselfish team play.
Here with us tonight are the following members of the ’84 squad.
First the coaching staff. Unable to be with us this evening, we wanted to recognize a long time Beavers Coach. He coached multiple sports, spending several years at the helm of the JV squad, now living in Lower Michigan: Coach Dick Merkle.
He said, “They played together better than any Beaver team I’ve ever seen,” a long-time multiple sport coach who has spent most of his BHS career on the sidelines as a Freshman and JV coach, Hall of Fame coach and ’84 assistant, Jim Emery.
He called this team one of his all time favorites, filled with unselfish players. He also mentioned that at season’s end the Most Valuable Player Award went to the Beavers Fans because of their undying support. Happy to welcome back his ’84 squad, Hall of Fame head coach, Roy Johnston.
And now for the players. Unable to be with us this evening but playing large roles during the season were Dan Smith, now residing in Alaska; Joe Graham, now residing in the Carolinas; Brent Redman, now residing in Arizona; and Scott Stone, now residing in northern Wisconsin.
Playing in 14 games as a junior, Chris Evans won the Beaver Dive award in ’84 and was a key player off the bench during the championship year. A great worker and passer, Chris would come back the next year to start as the opposite guard with Jeff Johnston a team that went on to a 19-2 record.
With a great work ethic, a great competitor, and an all around nice guy, Mike Wyse played a key role for the Beavers coming off the bench to fill the role of power forward in every game for the ’84 team. Mike would later receive the teams Mr. Hustle Award at season’s end.
A great team player and hard worker playing in 13 games during the ’84 campaign, Tom Murray would come back for the Beavers the next year in a leadership role playing the third guard for the Beavers, helping the team on the way to a 19-2 record.
Jeff Leasher was one of those players that every team needs, always carrying a positive attitude throughout his Beavers career. Winning the Beaver Shuffle Award for the ’84 squad, Jeff Leasher also found playing time in 13 games during the season.
George Weadock also played in 13 games during the season and would return the next year as the man in the middle for the Beavers, while leading the team to yet another Jack Pine Conference Championship under Coach Johnston.
And now the starting five that season. An unquestioned leader for the Beavers during his career as a point guard, he scored in double digits 19 times that season, leading the team in scoring nine times. He set records including assists, with 11 in three different games, on his way to becoming a Class C first team All State selection, among many other accolades. Upon graduation in ’85, he went on to have a stellar career at Michigan Technical University. An unquestioned leader on the court and All State standout, Jeff Johnston.
Dave Hartner, a superb outside shooter pouring in 25 points against Harrison that year, and an excellent rebounder, Dave was also a great defensive player. Dave led the way in rebounding in ’84, including 13 against Traverse City St. Francis and sealed the deal in the quarterfinals against Iron Mountain with two free throws in the waning seconds that would help propel the Beavers to the semifinals with that 68-65 victory.
Also unable to be with us this evening, Dick Govitz. With nine games as the leading scorer and leading the team that year in scoring overall, Dick had 20 games in double digits for the squad. A great outside shooter, Dick was among the area scoring leaders for two years and received all conference honors and following graduation, along with Jeff Johnston, traveled to Michigan Tech, pursuing a college degree while playing football for a short stint with the Huskies.
Jim French lead the team with jokes. Actually, Jim was a great all around player in his own right, scoring double digits in 19 different games in ’84 including 16 against Freeland, and who could forget those great games? Jim also scored 16 in the final game, making him the high scorer in the semifinal contest. Although the Beavers lost this final game, Jim turned in one of the best performances in the season ender.
Craig Wolfe was the man in the middle for the ’84 Beavers, playing stellar defense while averaging nearly 10 points per game, including a season high 21 points against Farwell in the Beavers only conference loss that magical season. At 6’3”, Craig can be seen in the classic 1984 Beavers video playing toe to toe and keeping in check the All-State powerhouse players of Kalamazoo Christian, including the 6’10” center, JP Oosterban, and although it was the final game for the Beavers, no one can forget the gutsy performance.
By the Numbers
Final Record: 23-3
Regular season: 18-2
Jack Pine Conference: 13-1