Guido: Springdale 1989 boys basketball title team reunites
The 1989 Springdale High School WPIAL champion boys basketball team will have an interesting and notable reunion Friday.
Instead of convening at a lounge or a dance hall, the 1989 Dynamos will suit up and play a charity game against this season's varsity team.
The event will get underway at 7 p.m. at Donald McGhee Fieldhouse. Doors will open at 6. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for students.
Proceeds will benefit the Dynamos Education Foundation and will give the 1989 team a chance to regenerate a scholarship fund.
Scott Andrews, point guard on the '89 team and a teacher in the Allegheny Valley School District, was approached by school district public relations director Jan Zastawniak about the impending 25th anniversary.
“We did the same thing in 1999 for a 10-year reunion, and it was pretty much a success,” Andrews said. “Jan approached me, and it snowballed from there.”
Eleven of the 14 team members from the title team will be on hand Friday.
Besides revenue from ticket sales and concessions, there will be a Chinese auction, a 50/50 raffle, T-shirts and a raffle for a Troy Polamalu Pro Bowl jersey.
That championship season
Expectations were high as Springdale's 1988-89 season approached.
Hall of fame coach Chuck DeVenzio was returning for his third stint with the boys program, which had won 130 basketball games in the previous six seasons.
Springdale began the season with a 58-53 victory over Hampton in the opening round of the Plum A.E. O'Block Tournament, followed by a win over Penn-Trafford.
Springdale's seventh win of the season at Mars was the 600th of DeVenzio's stellar career.
The Dynamos rolled through the regular season, finishing undefeated in section play and losing only to Monessen.
The Springdale title drive, however, almost never took place.
After a 15-day layoff, the Dynamos were having trouble getting untracked against Wilkinsburg in the playoff quarterfinals. Springdale trailed the Tigers, 59-49, with five minutes left in the quarterfinal game.
But the Dynamos went on a 19-4 tear to finish the game and emerged a 68-63 winner.
“That game lit a fire under us,” Andrews said. “We lose that game, we're nothing but another good team. That gave us a kick-start.”
In the semifinals, Andrews led with 19 points as all Dynamos starters finished in double figures in an 83-80 win over Rochester.
By the time the title game came into focus, the team had built a fan following to watch the Dynamos.
Jeff Clark scored 28 points as Springdale notched WPIAL honors over Brentwood, 76 -74.
The Dynamos won four PIAA games before losing a rematch to Brentwood in the state semifinals to finish 29-2.
Where are they now?
Springdale's top six:
• Jeff Clark lives in Buffalo Township and is a Fox Chapel Borough police officer.
• Scott Andrews is a sixth grade teacher at Springdale and lives in Hampton.
• Jim Christie lives in Lower Burrell and is a teacher in the Kiski Area School District.
• Jason Heininger resides in Indiana Township and is vice president of On Demand Transportation.
• Mark Hensel lives in Imperial and works for First Energy's nuclear operating unit at the Beaver Valley power station.
• John Parker, who can't attend Friday, lives in Brooklyn and is an editor/producer at Major League Baseball Advanced Media.
Coach Chuck DeVenzio died Nov. 12, 2006. Assistant coach Jack Heimbuecher died April 19, 2000.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.