QHS All-Time Starting XI: Deft touch, high IQ turn Reeves into one of Blue Devils’ greatest players
This is the fourth installment in a series highlighting the Quincy High School boys soccer players the Muddy River Sports staff has named to the program’s all-time starting 11 in conjunction with the Blue Devils’ 50th season.
Dev Reeves, Midfielder, Class of 1985
QUINCY — The debate over the best boys soccer player Quincy High School has produced invariably comes down to Everette Abbey or Dev Reeves.
Former coach Dick Stewart, who guided the Blue Devils to 105 victories and three regional championships between 1979-85 and remains involved with the girls’ program, is quick to cast his vote.
“Abbey was flashy and scored more goals, but Dev is the best all-around player in Quincy history,’’ Stewart said.
“He was the smartest player I’ve ever seen in high school, mainly because of his sense of play. Like a chess match, he was always three steps ahead of everybody else. His touch was the best you’ll ever see, and he had the capacity to give passes that people he was playing with could handle.
“He was a super player, yet he didn’t have an elitist attitude. He was a worker, a class person. He still is.”
Reeves, who spent most of his four years (1981-84) on the varsity team as a midfielder, earned back-to-back all-state honors as a junior and senior and graduated as the program’s all-time leader in goals scored with 45, with 21 of those coming his senior season.
“He was basically a fullback when we got him and we switched him to midfield,” Stewart said. “We were having a terrible time scoring his senior year, so we moved him on top.”
The Blue Devils were considered one of the best teams in Illinois during Reeves’ career yet won only one regional championship. This was during the one-class era when geography was a consideration for postseason play, so they were placed in the same regional as Quincy Notre Dame.
The Raiders won three of the four regional championship matchups during that time frame, including Reeves’ final game when Chris Bichsel scored off a Kevin Koetters corner kick with 2:44 remaining to give QND a 1-0 victory.
QND and QHS, as usual, met twice during the regular season that fall and both games went into overtime, showing how close the teams were in talent.
The Raiders went on to finish second in the state in 1984, the first of three straight teams to earn a trophy (second, first and third). They made the state tourney five times between 1981-86.
“If you look at it from a realistic point of view, it was really a super-sectional final,” Reeves said of the postseason clashes with the Raiders. “Notre Dame didn’t face a lot of competition when they got past us until the state finals.
“There was so much talent in Quincy that we knew we had to beat Notre Dame to get anywhere. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the better of them except for my sophomore season. It’s just the way things go. Timing is everything.”
The 1982 Blue Devils featured three all-staters in forward Roger Wilson, midfielder Jim Sandercock and goalkeeper Jim Bruce — along with Reeves. They rose to No. 2 in the state poll behind Granite City South, and Reeves scored the first goal in their 2-0 victory over the Raiders in the regional finals.
QHS only needed to get past Springfield Lanphier, a team it had beaten 5-1 during the regular season, to earn its first state tournament berth since 1975. The outcome was a foregone conclusion.
Instead, the Lions upset the Blue Devils 3-1.
“The worst moment of my soccer career,” Stewart said. “On the bus over there, I kept telling them not to take this for granted, but they were and they did and we lost.”
“We had a great team that year but had a disappointing finish to it,” Reeves said.
Reeves went on to play four years at Quincy University during the NCAA Division I era, starting 70 of 71 games he played and finishing with 13 goals and seven assists. He was named one of the top 30 seniors in the nation in 1988 and turned professional the following spring.
He was the No. 1 draft pick of the Chicago Power of the National Professional Soccer League but instead signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cleveland Crunch of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He appeared in 39 games and finished third in the league’s Rookie of the Year balloting.
He spent part of the next year playing professionally in Sweden and returned to the United States and spent six seasons playing with the St. Louis Ambush of the NPSL and the Dallas Sidekicks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League before a fractured vertebrae and nagging calf injuries cut short his career.
Dallas won the 1993 CISL title, with Reeves scoring the first goal in the championship series against the San Diego Sockers. The Ambush lost to Cleveland — and QND and QU graduate Mark Thomas — in the 1994 NPSL finals.
Reeves has been president of IAC The Group, a successful independent sporting goods representation firm in Frisco, Texas, since his career ended. He also is a broadcaster for the Texas Outlaws (formerly the Sidekicks) of the CISL and for the Dallas Cup, the largest youth tournament in the world, which has been aired by ESPN Plus the last six years.
“It’s a lot easier than playing,” Reeves said of being behind a microphone.
He remembers growing up in Quincy and the people who helped him along the way, beginning with legendary QU coach Jack Mackenzie, who also coached him as a youngster and was a major influence on his life.
“I didn’t live far from (Flinn Stadium) and I used to walk up to watch the Blue Devils play,” Reeves said. “It was really neat. I told myself I would love to do that.
“It was such a blessing for me. The program was solid. Mario Camacho was there, so was John Schneider and (George) ‘Sparky’ Nelson. The thing about Quincy is that there are so many people who help you along the way, whether it’s athletics or business. They help make sure you’re going in the right direction.”
To read more of the Starting XI profiles as they are published, follow the links below:
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