2017: John Williams, Played on Great Hoover Team

Name Hoover’s starting five in 1959-60 and Johnny (Bo) Williams probably would be the fifth to come to mind.

But Williams, a 6-foot, 1-inch guard, was an effective offensive player (269 points in 27 games) and outstanding defender for arguably the finest San Diego-area team before Bill Walton and Helix arrived a decade later.

Williams, 75, passed away recently at his home in Modesto, California.

The ’59-60 Hoover Cardinals were 23-0, the first major area team with an undefeated regular season, and the No. 1 seed in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Cardinals fell short, losing to Anaheim, 39-34, in a stunning upset in the semifinals round and to Ventura in the third-place game, 53-50.

The losses left Hoover with a final record of 26-2.

The Cardinals’ starting lineup also included 6-foot, 7-inch Walt Ramsey, 6-5 Bill Wylie, 6-0 John Bocko, and 6-1 Dave Morehead.

Morehead teamed with Williams in the backcourt, later signed a bonus baseball contract , and pitched a no-hitter for the Boston Red Sox in 1965.

Hoover players Dave Morehead, Bill Wylie, Johnny Williams, Walt Ramsey, and John Bocko (from left) give coach Charlie Hampton a boost after finishing regular season with 24-0 record.

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4 Responses to 2017: John Williams, Played on Great Hoover Team

  1. Don Jones says:

    I was at that game also Rick. Poway got the opening tip and Muir immediately went into a half court trap. Muir was very athletic and huge inside. There was no shot clock and Poway worked the ball for over a minute trying to get an opening. Suddenly Buechler breaks to the free throw line, the ball goes into him, he head fakes and takes the ball to the hoop. Muir’s three giants all go up with him and Buechler two hand slam dunks over all of them! Both crowds went crazy and people were still talking about that dunk in the 4th quarter. That group did not have a weakness anywhere.

    • Rick says:

      Loved that Poway team. Lost to the great Crenshaw team of Stevie Thompson, etal, 82-73, in semifinals. Trailed by two with a minute to go and would have had pulled off a great upset.

  2. Rick Potter says:

    Hi Rick,
    Thanks for the kind remarks about John. He was a business partner of mine in one of
    my businesses. We grew up in Talmadge Park and played ball together for thirty years.
    I would like to add some data to his legacy. In his senior year he made twenty four free throws in a row without a miss, during a period of several games. He was a backup for San Diego State. His best achievement was the love and guidance he gave his two sons. One an all San Diego CIF basketballer for Grossmont and a two-year starter for Cal Baptist. His other son was all-league in Football for Grossmont. I would like to add to your comments about the 1960 team. As you said this was the best high school team in San Diego prior to the Walton years, but also maybe the most balanced. As you know Charlie (coach Hampton) never built a team around an individual. He could have built the 1960 team around anyone of the seniors. Williams was six-foot, Morehead was five-eleven at the most, Bocko was six-three, Wylie was six-seven, and Ramsey was a large six-seven. Ramsey Played for the University of Hawaii, Bocko was all- league for Fresno State (league champions), Wylie played one year of a four-year scholarship at BYU and then left to pursue a career in engineering. Morehead pitched nine years in the Majors. Some of the backups Like my brother played one year at SDSU, Wilson Moore Played on the City College team that came in second in the state, and Nick Barkett was the SD-CIF player of the year in 1961. The 1960 team was really 27-1 as Charlie chose not to play the seniors in the consolation game. Typical of Charlie that season was over after the loss and he was already looking to the next year. Let me share some light on the loss. The coach of the Anaheim High School team was Don Liebhart, who I played golf with at my country club for several years. He said they didn’t out play us or out coach us. They out-scouted us. They kept jumping in front of our front line going down the court and getting charging calls with their flopping until our front line was gone. Even with that it was a close game.

    The 1960, 1961 and 1962 teams were a combined 76-7. How about some coverage on those teams and the Poway teams with Judd Buechler and Dominick Johnson? Talk about a team that could have rivaled the Walton Teams. I remember seeing them beat Pasadena Muir with Stacy Augmon in the Southern Section playoffs.

    • Rick says:

      Thanks for the very nice comments, Rick. A few of my thoughts: Ramsey, Bocko, Al Catlin, Nick, and Clifford Ashford made for an outstanding San Diego City College team that was beaten by Fresno City in the state finals in 1963. I’m curious as to why Ramsey and Bocko didn’t play at City their first year out of high school. I think they played there in the ’61-62 and ’62-63 seasons. I went with the heights that I had read during my research of the newspapers. I also figured Morehead to be only about 5-11 but his google baseball info said he was 6-1. i was at that Poway-Muir game in ’87. i think Buechler made 15 straight free throws in the fourth quarter and Poway won, 77-75. I’ve written on every San Diego-area year in football from 1891-2016. It took me about 5 years. Basketball is more complex…many more games, but I’ll be working on those years and the teams you mentioned. All the best.

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