1974 LAKES HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL STATE CHAMPIONS

The 1974 Lakes High School Lancers were the first Pierce County baseball team to win a state prep baseball championship. They also are only one of two county teams to win the title in the highest classification, Lakes winning the AAA crown and Wilson taking a 4A championship. In addition, the Lancers were the first team in state history, regardless of classification, to win their state semifinal and championship games by shutout. To this day, Lakes remains the only AAA or 4A school to have accomplished that feat, though it has been done a handful of times in lower classifications.

Coach Ed Hardenbrook's squad defeated Tacoma's Wilson High and Kelso High in regional play to advance to the state semifinals at Sick's Stadium in Seattle. Pitching ace Mike Wholey improved his season record to 10-2 and lowered his earned run average to 0.24 in a 3-0 victory over Central Valley of Spokane. That got the Lancers into the championship game where Scott Brunick shut down Juanita in a 2-0 Lakes victory.

The Lancers finished the season with an impressive 23-4 record, and three decades later still hold a number of school records, including the mark for wins in a season. The '74 team is also the only Lancer baseball team to win a state title, though the '79 team reached the title game before losing.

While it is hard to judge if that, or any other team, is the best in Pierce County history, they certainly were the first great Tacoma-area high school team and the most dominate of their era.


Back row l. to r.: Mike Reffner (mgr.), Jim Charboneau, Rich Hendrickson, Joe Betzendorfer, Scott Brunick, Larry Corbin, Steve Anderson, Mike Wholey, Rich Rodewald (stats), and Ed Hardenbrook (coach).
Front row l. to r.: John Higginbotham, Richard Hassan, Richard Martin, Gary Olson, Jim Carberry, Bruce Roth, and Jeff Mitchell.
Missing: George Hilbish (mgr.) and Tom Mann.