Golden Anniversary Team: Holdrege basketball and golf, 1967. The Dusters went 23-1 in basketball, losing only to Grand Island, one of eight Class A games on their schedule. They defeated Schuyler’s “Jolly Green Giants” 66-54 in the state final. In golf, the Dusters shot the lowest single-round Class B score (237) to date while winning the first of back-to-back state titles.
Golden Anniversary Team: Rushville football and wrestling. The Longhorns went 11-0 in football, scoring 44.5 points per game while giving up 4.9, and claimed the Class C wrestling title while crowning two individual champions.
Led by Booby Allen, Jim Hunter and Joe Orduna, Coach Frank Smagaczs Eagles repeated as Class A state champions, winning five events to outscore runner-up Omaha Tech 58-33.
Lincoln Northeast Football 1963
Front: Assistant Coach Max Hester, Mark Holm, Chuck Turek, John Mayfield, Dick McConkey, Bob Scott,. Tom Harris, Doug Campbell, Jack Handa, Ralph Garcia, Head Coach Art Bauer. Middle: George Manske, Dan Cunningham, Roger Woods, Marlin Brodd, Jim Brox, Jerry Morford, Roger Galloway, Rich Bowker, Rod Dewey, Daryl Schuckmann, Dick Johnson-SM. Back: Bob Parker, Dan Ellis, Gary Thompson, Dennis Bargman, Ken Jones, Jerry Egger, Marty Jacobson, Terry Monk, Don Riggert, George Knight, Mike Clinkenbeard.
Football 8-0 Mythical State 8-Man Champions
Track Class “D” State Champions
In 1946, McCook High School utilized a blend of the speed from a state track championship team and the experience of a talented senior class to win the school’s first and only football state championship (written in 1996).
The Bison went 9-0 and defeated Fremont, 7 to 0, in the Big 10 Conference playoff game in the final game of the year. The prized victory for this team was 40-7 over Grand Island. This victory put McCook in line for the championship because Grand Island later defeated the Lincoln champion Lincoln High, which had defeated Omaha champion Omaha South.
In those pre-football playoff days, comparative scores were the basis for final ratings and state title selections.
McCook also won the Southwest Conference championship and scored 176 points for the year, giving up 26. Coach Russ Sautter’s team usually won easily but in the few close games they had, they showed a knack for the big play.
Mary Lou Shubert Drake
Mary Ann Wagner
Lee Avis Coler Rutt
Grand Island Senior High School’s post-World War II athletic surge produced state championships in both football and basketball in the 1947-48 school year, with the junior class that year being able to boast that their teams won two football championships and two basketball championships while they were in school.
The basketball titles came in 1947 and again in 1948. Football titles came in 1947 (although the mythical state championship had to be shared with Creighton Prep) and again in 1948 when they were unanimously No. 1.
The 1947-48 teams had great coaches in football’s Jerry Lee and basketball’s Aubrey Givens. The football star was Bobby Reynolds and the basketball stalwart was Dale Toft. But they were not one-man teams.
Memorial Stadium was a buzz word for the 1947 football team. They opened the season with the first game in Grand Island’s new high school stadium, called Memorial Stadium, and then played in Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium late in the year, defeating Lincoln High by 25-14 before a crowd some estimated close to 20,000.
The basketball team built a Class A state record winning streak during its 1947-48 school year only to have the streak ended by Hastings in the district finals. In those day, the district champion and runner-ujp advanced to the state tournament so the Islanders moved on to Lincoln.
Once in Lincoln, Grand Island won two easy games and then defeated Lincoln Northeast in the championship game by 50-24. The basketball team’s season record was 22-1. The football team finished 9-0 with its Big Ten Conference playoff win over North Platte.
Basketball Coach Aubrey Givens
Football Coach Jerry Lee
Undefeated (9-0), giving up only one touchdown in the last five games. Their average score was 38-4
Unbeaten North High had great depth and a versatile backfield which gained a lot of notoriety for its productivity and nickname—the Four Norsemen, a moniker created by The World-Herald’s Don Lee. Bob Churchich, Ricky Davis, Rook Taylor and Dan Miller did gridiron mayhem through the Metro Conference during the Vikings’ 9-0 season. Guard Bert Hetrick and end/linebacker Dave Krause were all-state.