Forty years after a 1978-79 state basketball championship was brought back to Glenwood Springs High School by the Demons under head coach Bob Chavez, the members of that historic team will reunite for a celebration between the girls and boys games Friday night inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
During the 1978-79 season, the Glenwood Springs Demons boys basketball team went a perfect 23-0, defeating Denver Christian 80-62 in the 2A state championship game. In the championship season, just one team — Fruita Monument — came within 10 points of the Demons at the end of the game, marking a dominant season.
“We knew how good of a team we were going to have that year,” said Mike Vidakovich, a junior on that team. “We had the belief that anything less than a state championship was a complete failure. That’s how we approached the entire year.”
Nearly every player from that state championship team will be at Friday’s reunion, with just Kelly Fix and Glenn Samuelson, then seniors on the squad, unable to attend. Samuelson is part of the family that previously owned the Glenwood Post for four years in the late 1960s.
Members of the team will meet in the high school cafeteria at 6 p.m. for pizza and a chance to catch up prior to the celebration following the girls game against the rival Rifle Bears Friday night. At halftime of the girls game, Chris Massaro, the Director of Athletics at Middle Tennessee State University, will be interviewed on KMTS, while Chavez will be interviewed on KMTS at halftime of the boys game.
Following the celebration between games and after the conclusion of the boys game, the 1978-79 state champs will head over to the 19th St. Diner for a get-together from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the front room, allowing the former teammates and classmates to really catch up after all of these years apart.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone,” said Vidakovich. “In the last 20 years I’ve probably only seen [Chris] Massaro one time; the same with Jim Brockway. Even guys that are close by in Grand Junction, everyone is kind of busy with their lives, and you don’t keep in touch as you’d like to. So I’m really looking forward to that and reliving some memories from years past.”
That state championship team was as close knit as they come. Aside from Kevin Flohr, who moved to Glenwood Springs in junior high school, every member of the team was born and raised in Glenwood Springs. They went through elementary school, junior high and high school together, playing Little League baseball, youth football and basketball together.
“I’m still really close to those guys,” said Massaro. “We all grew up together and played a bunch of sports together all those years. Just to be able to renew those old friendships and see those guys again will be special.”
Now, nearly 40 years after raising the 2A state championship trophy, they’ll get back together again just down the hall from their old stomping grounds in the new Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.