There's more to the old champs than a banner

March 07, 2004|by MARK KELLER

The banner hung in the gymnasium as a constant reminder of the 1973-74 South Hagerstown boys basketball team's accomplishments.

Maryland Class A Champions

As a graduate of South, I knew about the 1974 basketball team, but I knew nothing about them.

With South having a stellar year in 2004 - and a legitimate shot at a state title - and the 30th anniversary South's perfect season at hand, it seemed like a great opportunity to catch up with the 1974 team.

The only player I knew anything about was Mike Brashears - only because his picture was framed and placed in a glass case in the front of the school.


The common thought was that Brashears was the greatest athlete ever to play at the school and one of the best Washington County has ever produced.

I did have the pleasure of having Nick Scallion, the coach of the '74 team, as my Drivers' Education teacher.

I learned quickly in his class that if you did what was expected of you, there would be no problems.

If you didn't do what was expected ... well, it would be "Purple Beach." (I always wanted to ask Mr. Scallion what that meant. I knew it couldn't have been a good thing.)

One player, one coach. A banner and a trophy. That's all the 1974 South basketball team was to me, because that's all I knew.

I was amazed to find a few years back that the 1974 Rebels were the last Washington County boys team to win a state title.

There have been some pretty good teams go through this county in the last 30 years.

South and Williamsport have been to the state tournament several times since 1974. North and Smithsburg have each been there twice since then.

I guess that proves that it really is tough to win a state title.

And the stories about the 1974 South team in this section and on the front page of today's paper go a long way in showing that those champs are a lot more than a player, a coach, a banner and a trophy.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday.

The Herald-Mail Articles