In what could be a first for the Interhigh League, H.D. Woodson High School held a special dedication ceremony last week to name its gymnasium after former coach and teacher John P. Davis. Davis, the school's first boys basketball coach (1972-82), died in 1984.
Among the dozens of relatives, friends and former coworkers in attendance were regional superintendent Dr. Bill Brown; James Curry, the former principal at Woodson; Frank P. Bolden, former superintendent of physical education for the D.C. schools; Claude Moten, principal at Kelly-Miller; Vinna Freeman, director of physical education for the D.C. system; Otto Jordan, the league's athletic director, and many members of the Woodson staff.
"John was a great coach and it is fitting for him to be honored in this manner," Moten said. "He spent much of his life working with kids in gymnasiums."
Langley Junior High School, which won its fifth basketball championship in six years and finished 20-0, will return four of its top six players next year, according to first-year coach Steve Milam.
One of those returnees will be 6-foot-6 eighth-grader Donald Ford, who first gained area-wide attention two years ago when he played for the Washington 12-and-under AAU team that won several titles. Also returning are 6-5 Chris Brummitt, 6-2 Rufus Clark and 5-8 Sean Robinson.
"We should have a good team next year, too," said Milam, an educational aide at the Northeast school. "The closest any school came to beating us was eight or nine points. I have to give much of the credit for our success to my assistants, Thurman Hawkins and my brother, Wesley Milam."
Kelly-Miller, beaten by Langley in the tournament final, 68-55, deserves praise for its 20-2 season and fourth trip to the playoffs in five years under Coach Dickie Wells. Unlike Langley, Kelly-Miller didn't start a player taller than 5-8.
"Our little boys did just fine," said Moten. "Every team we played had more height, but our guys hustled and came away winners."
The top scorers for Kelly-Miller in the title game were Curt Smith, the younger brother of Georgetown guard Charles Smith, with 17 points, Leon Parker with 16 and Eric Murray (15).
In the girls junior high tournament, Alice Deal, led by Nadria Ricks and Colletta Harrod, edged Roper, 38-34, to win the championship. Top players for Roper were Rene Watson and Pasha Patton.
In the boys consolation game, Garnett-Patterson defeated Hines, 67-50, and, in the girls game, Jefferson topped Woodson, 36-20.
In the elementary tournament, Payne defeated Parkview in the boys title game and Meyer was a winner over Marie Reed in the girls championship contest.