Bellevue (Class of 1973)
A three-sport athlete at Bellevue High School, Rik Bonness shone brightest on the football field where he played center and linebacker, earning all-state honors his senior season and earning a scholarship to play at Nebraska. For the Cornhuskers, Bonness achieved the honor of being the seventh two-time All-American playing center. The Oakland Raiders drafted him in the third round of the NFL Draft. Converted back to linebacker, he played 59 games in the NFL for the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a member of the Raiders’ Super Bowl championship team of 1977.
Omaha South (Class of 1958)
Richard Brown played a crucial role in bringing a championship atmosphere to Omaha South. A four-time state wrestling finalist and three-time champion, he led the Packers to three straight state championships in wrestling. In football, the standout halfback and cornerback helped the Packers win the mythical state championship in 1957. He furthered his wrestling career at Iowa State, finishing third in the Big Eight Tournament in 1960. After college, Brown taught and coached at Wesley House for 26 years and served as the youth district director for USA Wrestling Nebraska.
An outstanding athlete at Geneva High School and the University of Nebraska, Larry Bornschlegl never got far away from the playing field, enjoying a long career as a coach, school administrator and referee. Considered one of the premier basketball referees in the 1970s and ‘80s, Bornschlegl completed a basketball officiating career that covered 20 years and included 10 state tournaments and eight state championship games. After putting away the whistle, he dedicated his efforts to improve the quality of officiating, offering advice while helping develop the Nebraska School Activities Association’s program of observing and evaluating officials. He has served as an observer for more than 20 years.
Chappell (Class of 1997)
Kim (Behrends) Buckendahl rewrote Nebraska high school volleyball’s record books. From her 42 kills in the state championship match to her 1,643 career kills, Behrends dominated small-town volleyball like no other. She led Chappell to back-to-back undefeated state championships and a 55-match winning streak. All-class all-state for two years and Class D-1 all-state all four years, she earned Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year honors in 1996 and was Volleyball Magazine’s runner-up for National Player of the Year. Also a basketball standout, she finished her career with 1,384 points. The Lincoln Journal-Star’s 1997 Female Athlete of the Year, Behrends went on to letter four years on the Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball team and was one of the tri-captains on the 34-0 national championship team of 2000.
Jim Barker arrived at Scottsbluff in 1988 and turned the Bearcats into a cross country power – a project that has resulted in 11 boys state championships, more than any other coach in Nebraska history. In addition, the Scottsbluff boys accumulated five runner-up finishes. In his 28 years at the helm, the Scottsbluff boys qualified for state 26 times, finishing in the top four 22 times. Dedicated to the success and improvements of all on his team, not just the best, he also coached a number of highly successful girls cross country teams, including two state runner-up squads. He coached girls and boys track and field for nine years, including the 2012 boys team that won the Class B championship and the 2013 and 2015 boys squads that placed second. He retired as the school’s track coach in 2016, but he continues to coach cross country.
Omaha South (Class of 1991)
Terrance Badgett, a two-time all-state player, led the Packers to the Class A state championship in 1990 and averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game the following year while earning honors as the Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year. A Nebraska Cornhusker recruit, he made the Big Eight All-Freshman team and, as a senior, was named to the Big Eight All-Bench team. As a Husker he played in 127 games and scored more than 200 points each season, finishing with a career total of 953. He played professionally for five seasons in the U.S. and overseas.
Athlete. At 5-9, 165 pounds, he was a high school star in both basketball and football at Omaha South from which he graduated in 1963, followed by an outstanding quarterback career at Omaha University. It was not until he played quarterback in professional football in 1968 with the Denver Broncos that the wider world began to appreciate what a truly fine athlete was the man Marlin Briscoe. In his rookie season he threw for over a thousand yards and 14 touchdowns. His career in the pros lasted with several teams, serving sometimes as quarterback and sometimes as a wide receiver, for nearly a decade. He was the first Black American to start at quarterback in the pros. Marlin was named All-Pro with the Buffalo Bills and won two Super Bowl rings with the 1973-74 Miami Dolphins.
1970 AFC PASS RECEIVING LEADER
Buffalo Bills – Led the AFC and was All-Pro
Receptions – 57
Yardage – 1,036
Yards Per Catch 18.2
Accomplishments as the First Black Quarterback
In the 1968 Season with the Denver Broncos
Passing Yards By a Rookie
Season – 1968
1,589 Marlin Briscoe
335 Briscoe, vs. Buffalo 11/24/68 (12-29)
Passing Attempts By a Rookie
Season – 224
Game – 29
Season – 14 Touchdowns
Single Game – 4 Touchdowns, vs. Buffalo 11/24/68
Completions Season – 93
Average Gain Per Attempt
7.09 Marlin Briscoe 1968
Best Average Gain Per Completion
Career (min. 100 passes)
Season (min. 50 passes)
Game (min. 12 passes)
27.92 yards Briscoe, vs. Buffalo 11/24/68
Passer Rating By a Rookie
63.1 Marlin Briscoe
Roger Berney brought his whistle to high school sporting events for more than 30 years, officiating football, volleyball and wrestling. He got his start in wrestling, the sport he competed in at Midland College, working more than 20 state tournaments as well as the 1980 NAIA National Championship. The Wolbach graduate also officiated volleyball for more than 25 years and high school and junior high football for more than 15 years, wrapping up his career when his son became a high school football player. Considered consistent, reliable and fair, Berney was named the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association Official of the Year in 2001, the year in which he retired after working in his fifth decade.
Athlete. A three sport athlete at Minden High School, “Hilly” really excelled in football and basketball. In his senior year the Whippets had an undefeated football season and team captain “Hilly” was selected as All State Honorable Mention as a running back. Basketball was probably his big sport, he was picked on the Class B All State Team as a junior and the All Class All State Team as a senior. Minden basketball teams won 62 and only lost 4 during his four years in high school. During his junior and senior years he averaged 20 points per game. The Lincoln Journal Star picked “Hilly” as a Top Ten Athlete in 1952. Going on to Hastings College he started in football and basketball all four years he was there. He received many awards during is college career. The Edgar Larson Memorial Trophy for Lineman of the Year ’55, All Conference End ’54 and ’55, Honorable Mention Little All American in football ’54, Bill Carriker Award for Outstanding Lineman in the NCC ’55, NCC All Conference ’54,’55,’56 in basketball, Third Team NAIA Basketball All-American ’56, top candidate for the World Herald State College Athlete of the Year ’56. Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce also named him the Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1955. His college career scoring of 1,775 points gave him the school record at that time. Hastings College Hall of Fame in 1990.
Official. Some advice from his father, a coach, laid the groundwork for Dale Butler’s career as an official. It requires less time, less commitment, generates fewer headaches and heartaches and the money was better, his father said.
Intramural games at Chadron State College launched Butler’s officiating career that spanned an estimated 2,000-plus games over a 45-year career. He officiated the girls state basketball tournament from 1985-1990; the state football playoffs for many years, including the Class A state championship game in 2002; and numerous American Legion baseball, summer-league basketball and youth activities. He lived in Sidney, Norfolk, Fremont and Omaha and while at Norfolk, managed the intramural program at Northeast Community College, using that program to develop more than 30 people who went on to officiate.