Davie sports from 50 years ago

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

A look back at Davie sports 50 years ago …

The Davie star athletes from 1974 are in their mid-60s now or pushing 70, but we’re here today to make them feel young again.

We’re talking about basketball players like Dwayne Grant (freshman phenom that year) and Doug Quarles from coach Bob Henry’s boys and Debbie Burton and Nancy Reavis from coach Bill Peeler’s girls. You had Marcus Wilson dominating in football and wrestling; there was Jeff A. Ward, Jeff H. Ward, David Bean and Tom Anderson helping anchor on a strong football squad in 1973; and don’t forget Ron Anderson, who was beating virtually everyone on the mat.

Here we go: The Davie girls basketball team put South Iredell to bed before you could blink, winning 60-28 as Burton and N. Reavis combined for 37 points and Pam Reavis chipped in 10.

The Davie boys looked asleep in the first quarter, but with Quarles, Jeff A. Ward (aka “Snapper”) and Eddie Wilkinson pouring in 56 points between them, the War Eagles wound up prevailing 79-74 over North Iredell.

Bobby McGee (107 weight class), James Neely (114), Brad Middleton (121), R. Anderson (143), Wilson (187) and Greg Pulliam (heavyweight) pounded out pins as Davie wrestling slipped by West Rowan 39-27 at home. Curtis Stiles (128) threw in a decision for good measure.

The Davie girls were basically unbeatable in the North Piedmont Conference when N. Reavis (17 points) and Burton (16) were both hot, and they both were against North Stanly, which also had to deal with Debra Ward’s 14. The thrilling Burton/N. Reavis combination – they had 21 and 16, respectively – was the difference in a 55-52 win over East Rowan.

The incomparable Grant, who would finish his Davie career with over 2,000 career points, gave fans goosebumps as he carried the War Eagles past North Stanly, 64-60, by pumping in 31 points.

Lineman Allan Barger of Lenoir Rhyne College was named honorable mention on the All-Lutheran football team.

N. Reavis went off for 23 points, but it was beautiful balance that allowed the Davie girls to survive 59-55 over Mooresville. Patricia Dwiggins had 12, while Burton and P. Reavis contributed 10 each. Interestingly enough, Davie trailed 37-27 before storming in front with a 12-0 run.

The Davie boys produced four double-figure scorers in a 67-49 win – Grant with 12, Snapper Ward and Quarles with 12 each and Wilkinson with 10.

At the athletic banquet for fall sports, football coaches Peeler, Henry, Ronnie Riddle, Burt Barger, Julius Suiter, Randall Ward and Steve Roeder presented trophies to Wilson (most outstanding offensive back), Snapper Ward (most outstanding defensive back), Jeff H. Ward (most outstanding offensive lineman), Bean (most outstanding defensive lineman) and Dave DesNoyers (most improved). Barger, who was also the cross country coach, handed awards to the following runners: Danny Robertson, Tim Austin, Mark McIntyre, Andy McIntyre, Gary Lowdermilk, Robbie Graves, Ricky Spry, Barry McBride, Perry Reavis, Neely, Mike Barnhardt, Craig Williams, Reggie Lyons and David Steele.

The Davie girls just kept finding ways to win, the next triumph a 52-48 squeaker over North Davidson, which was burned by N. Reavis’ 23 points. D. Ward (13) and Burton (12) helped the cause. N. Reavis (23) and Burton (20) thrilled fans during a 64-55 win over West Rowan.

The Davie boys came at North Davidson in waves. When Quarles wasn’t knocking down some of his 21 points, Grant was putting in 16. When Snapper Ward wasn’t working on his 15-point performance, Wilkinson was pushing toward a 13-point effort.

The girls game against North Iredell went down to the wire. You can probably guess who the hero was with 30 seconds remaining and the score tied at 40-40. N. Reavis hit what proved to be the clinching free throw in an eventual 43-40 victory as she finished with 18 points.

Incredibly, the Davie boys cracked triple digits against North Iredell. Grant (22), Quarles (14), Wilkinson (11) and Robert Pulliam (11) shared the spotlight in a 101-82 romp.

Two wrestlers remained perfect as Davie handled Kannapolis 49-15. Wilson’s pin at 188 pushed his record to 13-0. R. Anderson’s decision at 135 lifted his mark to 10-0-1.

T. Anderson, a 6-0, 190-pounder and an all-conference split end in the fall of 1973, received a grant-in-aid to attend Catawba College. He had great speed and outstanding hands, according to Catawba assistant coach Ray Oxendine. Anderson also played defensive back for the War Eagles, and he was planning to double up in track at Catawba. He was set to join former Davie teammate Johnny Munday, who was a rising sophomore tailback for the Indians.

With Neely finishing second at 108 and Billy Boger fourth at 138, Davie wrestling placed 10th out of 34 teams in the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association tournament at Catawba.

It was announced the Davie girls tennis team would join a conference – the South Piedmont – for the first time. The program was under the direction of Dennis McCarthy, who was counting on players like Darlene Smith, Candy Everidge, N. Reavis, Kelly Erickson, Jill Beaver and Mary Lynn Eaton to lead the way.

N. Reavis delivered an electrifying 25 points despite leaving the game for good in the third quarter with muscle spasms. Burton picked up any slack with 21 as the Davie girls closed the regular season with a 70-54 win over South Rowan, which meant Davie tied for first in the regular season.

The Davie boys got double-figure scoring from Quarles (21), Snapper Ward (19), Grant (10) and Bill Cozart (10) in a 67-50 decision over South Rowan. In a nailbiting win over North Stanly, it was Wilkinson’s turn to become the hero. Davie coughed up a 16-point, second-half lead as North rallied for a tie at 71. A Wilkinson bucket at :28 – his 18th and 19th points – saved the day, 73-71. The balance was amazing as Grant (17), Quarles (16), Snapper Ward (15) and Wilkinson accounted for 92 percent of the offense.

The Advance girls basketball team won the regular-season title, finishing with only one loss to the Mocksville Tigers. In the semifinals of the tournament, Cynthia Peoples (14 points) and Wanda Beal (10) led a 29-18 win over Pinebrook. Elizabeth Shoaf was a factor on defense for Advance by holding high-scoring Teresa Chappel to six points. In the championship game, Advance edged the Wildcats 30-26. Sherri Smoot, Sebrina Foster and Deanna Thomas had the ‘Cats in command for three quarters, but Beal, Renae Jones and Jill Carter made sure Advance’s comeback held up. The defensive standouts were Peoples, Donna Eaton and Shoaf.

On the boys side, the Cooleemee Indians completed a legendary season with a 35-27 championship win over the Shady Grove Panthers. William Goodlett had 12 points as the Indians put the finishing touches on a perfect season. Goodlett and James Clement averaged 15 and 12 points, respectively, for the season.

Four Davie wrestlers were named to the all-conference team: Brad Middleton (119), R. Anderson (132), Boger (138) and Wilson (185).

The top four scoring averages for the Davie boys belonged to Grant (15.6), Quarles (13.5), Snapper Ward (12) and Wilkinson (10.4).

The dynamic duo for the girls were, of course, N. Reavis (16.7 average) and Burton (14.4).