Schuyler’s “Jolly Green Giants” 1968 Class B Boys State Champions regarded by many as the all time best team in Class B. The Warriors featured two future Hall of Fame Inductees. Chuck Jura, Class of 1995, and Gene Harmon, Class of 2003.
Football, Cross Country, Wrestling, Track and Field
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.
Unbeaten, untied, five shutouts and a 27-21 victory over Omaha Creighton Prep in the high school game of the year. Those were the Swedes of Gothenburg and Coach Dutch Zorn in 1945, the winner of the Hall of Fame’s first Golden Anniversary Team Award, announced at the 1995 Hall of Fame banquet.
Gothenburg’s 10 wins came in this order: Curtis Aggies 18-0, Holdrege 25-0, North Platte 34-0, Callaway 59-6, Cozad 31-6, Gibbon 46-0, Cambridge 51-0, Creighton Prep 27-21, Broken Bow 19-7 and Lexington 19-7.
The key win was in Omaha on Nov. 10 against No. 1 rated Prep. The game was a during-the-year arranged contest between outstanding teams, a regular occurrence in the years prior to the football playoffs. A crowd estimated by a World-Herald writer at 2,000 watched the Swedes jump to a 20-7 lead that, despite a rousing comeback at the end, Prep was not able to overcome.
Gothenburg Roster – 1945:
51 Dick Arnall 155 B Jr.
81 Kenneth Bauman 170 G Jr.
62 Douglas Beath 155 T Jr.
32 Dale Block 134 G Jr.
55 Bob Bullock 141 G Jr.
79 Corky Campbell 185 T Jr.
.20 Dale Clark 129 C Sr.
41 Robert Clark 114 G So.
70 Harold Cumpston 134 B Sr.
71 Jim Cunning 170 E Sr.
88 Don Dyer 168 G So.
75 Keith Gruber 186 T So.
89 Jim Gustafson 220 T So.
85 Ted Haney 134 B Jr.
50 Wade Haynes 135 HB So.
46 Melvin Hicken 130 E So.
77 Jim Holmes 172 B Sr.
61 Ermal Jones 176 G So.
60 Tom Loutzenheiser 155 E Sr.
50 Don Mann 113 B So.
52 Jack McKim 129 B Jr.
52 Bill Mundell 187 E Sr.
22 Jack Ostergard 131 G Sr.
53 Duane Peterson 130 E Sr.
80 Glenn Peterson 168 T Sr.
43 Clark Reeves 116 B Jr.
55 Bill Rubenthaler 119 E Jr.
66 Virge Schulz 134 E Jr.
54 Dale Smallfoot 126 G Jr.
40 Virge Stebbins 126 B So.
62 Paul Sulc 135 B So.
69 Tom Swancutt 114 B Jr.
43 Don Turner 111 C So.
59 Elliott Wagner 134 C Jr.
35 Scott Ward 142 E Jr.
65 Jim West 131 E Sr.
33 Jim Williams 130 B So.
42 Bud Wilson 150 B Jr.
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
Take away a three point loss opening the 1946-47 season to Class A Creighton Prep and Atkinson St. Joseph would have won 78 games in a row over a three-year period, a streak which nobody would have touched in Nebraska high school basketball until the 70’s.
In those days, St. Joseph went looking for competition, more times than reaching out to schedule a Class A team. Beyond that game, St. Joseph ‘s size was Class D and that’s where the NSAA had them assigned. But the Bluejays opted to play up to Class C come tournament time and won state championships in that class in 1946 with a 27-0 record and again in 1947 with a 28-1 record.
St. Joseph then won its first 23 games of the 1947-48 season for its official 51-game winning streak.
Members of all three teams are honored:
Tom Slattery, Jr.
Coach Tom Slattery
Assistants: Harold Grof, Frank Mancuso
Cheerleaders: Gladys Domina, LaQuita Parsons, Marianne Tasler (Jensen), Norma Jean Parson, MaryCoonnelly, Ethel Pettinger, Rita Troshynski, Dorthy Wilkinson, Mary Ellen Engler, JoAnn Seger. Mascots: Pat Keating, Bob Faust.
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