YAKIMA, Wash. -- Jack Sikma, Lonnie Shelton, John Johnson, Dennis Johnson and Gus Williams were the starters for the Seattle SuperSonics’ 1979 NBA champions.
Ted Wierman, Phil Timpke, James Williams, Lenny Allen and Del Carmichael started for Davis’ 1965 state champions.
First fives of monumental basketball teams, groups that did something truly remarkable, tend to find permanent places in one’s memory.
It should come as no surprise, then, that David Trimble, Cooper Kupp, Ray Navarro, Devonte Luckett and LeVonte Allen have likely been committed to the collective memory banks of many Yakima Valley fans.
They, after all, were the first unit of the 2012 Class 4A state champions, also from Davis, who won the school’s first state basketball title in 47 years.
As such, the Pirates and their state championship were chosen as the area’s top local sports story for 2012 by a vote of the Yakima Herald-Republic sports staff.
Other players, of course, contributed to the dream year for coach Eli Juarez’s squad. But Davis’ first five will never be forgotten — something that speaks to their individual talent, their collective productivity and the magnitude of their accomplishment.
The next story on our list involved both winning and losing.
Yakima’s Bears had already punched their ticket out of town, having agreed with city officials in Hillsboro, Ore., on an arrangement that would provide the Northwest League baseball team a new stadium. So in their final season here they won the East Division’s first-half championship and claimed the best-of-three playoff opener in Boise before dropping their final two games at Yakima County Stadium, which had been their home since 1993.
The modern-era Bears had played in Yakima since 1990. At Hillsboro, they’ll be known as the Hops.
Number three on our list was West Valley’s volleyball team, which had won the Class 3A state title in 2011. Having been reclassified as a 2A school for the current academic year, coach Katie Hinckley’s Rams won another title.
West Valley, which defeated Selah 3-1 in the semifinals, downed previously undefeated Tumwater 3-1 for its second straight championship.
Fourth was a story involving a player from our No. 1 story. Trimble, Davis’ best player and a four-year varsity standout for the Pirates, was voted the state’s top player for all classifications. Quite an honor considering the caliber of players Washington produces each year.
Trimble, whose father David was a multisport standout at Davis and later was a three-year football letterman at Washington, accepted a scholarship to Seattle University and has seen action this season as a true freshman.
Next came a story that was truly unique.
Air quality, which became poor due to smoke from extensive wildfires in Yakima and Kittitas counties and also in north central Washington, forced many athletic events to be moved to other locations, to be rescheduled or in some cases canceled.
Central Washington’s first two home football games were played in Bothell. And the prestigious Sunfair Invitational cross country meet was postponed for one week.
Number six on our list involved one game on one night. But what a game and what a night for Eisenhower running back Branden Curtis.
The aforementioned smoke had long since given way to a steady drizzle in early November when Davis and Ike squared off at Zaepfel Stadium in their final game of the season. But the slippery track did nothing to slow Curtis, who carried 47 times for a state record 488 yards in the Cadets’ 34-13 victory.
Our seventh story was also about football and records, this time involving Zillah junior Kurt Calhoun.
Capping a standout regular season by running for 246 yards and three scores, Calhoun established Valley single-season records for rushing yards (1,947) and touchdowns (30). The former record had been 1,804, set in 1993 by Ellensburg’s John Hallead, and the TD mark of 28 had been shared by six players, and was equaled last season by Cle Elum’s Jake Gall.
At No. 8 was a truly impressive feat made even more noteworthy since it had been done for the second straight year.
Granger’s Josh Salcedo, a 113-pound wrestler, posted his second successive 40-0 season and state championship. He was one of seven local wrestlers to win state titles.
Our ninth story involved an athlete who was on a roll, in the most literal sense.
Bowler Marshall Kent, a West Valley graduate and freshman at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa., started his year by winning the Team USA Trials in Las Vegas last January. Then he won gold, silver and bronze medals for Team USA in international competition, won a European Professional Tour event, and at the collegiate level was named men’s most valuable player and rookie of the year in addition to being honored as a first team All-American and an academic All-American.
And tenth was a story of two teams — East Valley’s girls and Zillah’s boys — who reached state championship basketball games last March in the SunDome. EV fell 53-41 to Clarkston and Oregon State recruit Jamie Weisner for the Class 2A championship, while the Leopards lost 57-45 to Lynden Christian for the 1A title.
The coaches in the latter game — Zillah’s Doug Burge and LC’s Roger DeBoer — had opposed each other as players for the 1A championship 30 years earlier in the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse in Tacoma, where DeBoer’s Lyncs edged Burge’s Highland Scotties, 57-54.
Compelling stories from a truly memorable year. Makes one wonder what’s in store for 2013, don’t they?
Happy new year.
Roger Underwood may be reached at 509-577-7694 or at email@example.com.