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.
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.
Athlete–A 1950 graduate of Omaha Technical High School, this fine athlete excelled in the sport of wrestling. Showing that size is not always an indication of toughness, he showed championship style by winning his weight class every one of his four years in high school: as a freshman in 1947 in the 85-pound class, as a sophomore at 95 pounds, as a junior at 105 pounds, and finally as a senior at the 112 pound weight class. Four state titles in wrestling is the ultimate athletic accomplishment in that sport, and Fred Brown can take pride in that rare status.
After one year as an assistant coach in 1978-79, Dan Brost went to work producing a wrestling dynasty in the small town of Mullen in the heart of the Sandhills. In 31 years as a head coach, Brost guided the Broncos to five Class D state wrestling championships, three runner-up finishes and three third-place finishes. He produced 29 individual state champions and 66 other medalists. Five times he was named the Nebraska Coaches Association Coach of the Year in his class and in 1990 was presented the Coach of the Year award for all classes. Brost also was an assistant coach on Mullens three state championship football teams.
As Omaha South’s gymnastics coach from 1967 to 1988, Rich Beran coached Olympians Jim Hartung and Phil Cahoy (Hall of Fame inductees, too) among his 64 individual state champions. His boys teams won seven state titles and 12 Metro Conference titles and had a 158-27 dual meet record. His girls teams won two state invitational titles and two Metro titles. He is a 1962 graduate of Omaha Central.
Contributor. A Kansas native, Roger Barry has been an organizer and promoter of wrestling and girls track in Nebraska since graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan in 1959. As an assistant football coach at Neligh, he helped turn around a struggling program that went 17-1 in 1960 and 1961. He also inaugurated the school’s wrestling program, bringing home the state runner-up trophy in the program’s third year. He started a girls track club that competed on the AAU level. After moving to Schuyler in 1963, he repeated his efforts, launching the high school wrestling team, a youth wrestling program and a girls track club. When track became a sanctioned high school sport, he served as Schuyler’s first girls track coach from 1971 to 1998. After coaching, he continued to be active in organizing the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association and the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. The director and organizer of the NSWCA wrestling ratings and a charter member of the NSWCA Hall of Fame, Barry produces the audio-visual productions used at the NSWCA and NHSSHOF induction ceremonies.
Coach. No one understood the sport of swimming better than this great aquatic coach. Arriving at Westside High School in Omaha in 1963, he became their swimming and diving coach until 1977. During his tenure there the Roman Warriors of Westside High became a dominating force in the state, gaining plaudits across the nation. Westside won ten state championships in swimming and diving while under the direction of Coach Cal Bentz. His next twenty-two years were spent serving as men’s head coach and director of men & women’s swim programs at the University of Nebraska, winning fifteen men’s conference championships: three women’s titles, and numerous top 10 national finishes with both squads. Cal Bentz is a co-founder of American College Connection.