Cambridge (Class of 2003)
Christina (Houghtelling) Hudson enjoyed the high school career of dreams. All-class all-state in volleyball and basketball, three all-class gold medals in track, superior ratings in music and class valedictorian, the 2003 Prep Athlete of the Year led Cambridge High School to the state volleyball and basketball tournaments while earning letters in all three sports for four years. Her legacy of honors continued at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she played an integral role in the Huskers’ four Big 12 championships and two Final Four appearances. Named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year as a junior, she was a two-time All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Kearney High (Class of 1967)
Tom Heller was the epitome of the natural athlete. Name the sport, Heller, the 1967 Athlete of the Year, excelled. Bob Devaney once said he could have played all 22 positions at college football’s highest level. Heller was the first Kearney High football player to rush for 1,000 yards, earning all-state honors while leading the Bearcats to a 10-1 record. He also earned all-state honors in basketball and qualified for the state track meet in the hurdles. At Nebraska, he was a part-time starter as a defensive back and kick returner before leaving after his sophomore year to join the Navy. After his military service, he went on to coach in Colorado where he was a positive influence on many young athletes
DON “TOT” HOLMES
As the sports editor of the Tri-City Tribune, Don “Tot” Holmes used his story-telling skills and a fascination for statistics to develop the newspaper into the center of attention in Dawson County and the surrounding area. Focusing on the Southwest and Hi-Line Conferences, Holmes brought attention and notoriety to thousands of high school athletes. An avid sports fan, Holmes launched the Gothenburg Little League baseball program and was active in other youth programs. He also published comprehensive annual reviews of the Los Angeles Dodgers. An avid historian, he has written books covering 100-year histories of Gothenburg High School football and track.
Rick Hesse put Clearwater on the map. Called a “true mentor” who taught life lessons along with basketball, Hesse built a dynasty that became the first school to win four consecutive boys’ basketball state championships from 1984-87. After 22 years at Clearwater, Hesse moved on to Valentine where he wrapped up his career with 440 wins and 12 state tournament appearances. Noted for rewarding positive actions with a wink or a smile and not raising his voice while correcting his players, he also coached Clearwater’s volleyball team for 10 years, leading the Cardinals to its first state tournament appearance.
Title IX and Pat Hoblyn arrived at Ansley High School at the same time, and they had an immediate impact. In her first year as the school’s volleyball coach, she led the Warriors to a 19-0 record and a state championship. She continued to coach the team for more than 40 years. At the time of her induction, she had celebrated five state championships, one runner-up finish and had compiled 681 victories and a .748 winning percentage. Her teams won 25 Loup Valley Conference titles and a total of 37 tournaments. In addition to coaching volleyball, she was head basketball coach for two years and coached boys and girls track for 17 years, winning a total of 13 conference championships and two girls’ state runner-up trophies.
Few teams have ever enjoyed the dominance of Coach Brad Hildebrandt’s Skutt Catholic wrestling teams. During his tenure from 1993 to 2015, he led the SkyHawks to a total of 20 state wrestling championships – 17 team titles and three dual championships. The run included 13 straight Class B titles from 1998-2010. After a runner-up finish in 2011, the SkyHawks embarked on another string of state titles that carried on beyond his retirement. An Omaha firefighter whose passion was coaching wrestling, Hildebrandt strived to use wrestling to prepare for life. His teams produced 63 individual champions, six high school All-Americans, 101 state medalists and 154 state qualifiers.
Athlete. Class of 1974. When the Lexington Minutemen made a run at state championships, they put the ball in Ted Harvey’s hands. A 5-foot-9, 140-pound leader, Harvey played quarterback and running back on Lexington’s state championship football teams of 1972 and 1973. He started for three years at point guard, leading Lexington to a runner-up finish in 1974, when it lost by one point in the state championship game. And, as a sprinter in track, he ran on two gold-medal relay teams as Lexington won the Class B team title. All-state in football in 1973 and all-state tournament in basketball, he started at cornerback for three years for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Athlete–In 1960 at Wilsonville High School, this lanky high school athlete completed the highest scoring record in Nebraska high school history in the sport of basketball. He scored a total of 2,748 points and was picked as an all-state player three years running. He was all-state for three straight years. He was the state’s leading scorer in 1959 (890). He averaged 27.9 points per game his senior year, 31.8 as a junior, 33.4 as a sophomore. Wilsonville played in two state tournaments in his time. His enthusiasm for and talent in athletics continued thereafter, leading Aurora High School to the 1976 State Championship as their basketball coach. He also mastered volleyball officiating, becoming the best in the state for a period of time and was chosen many times to work the state tournament.
Athlete. The 6-foot-7 forward from Schuyler starred with center Chuck Jura on the 1968 Class B state championship basketball team. Referred to as the “Jolly Green Giants,” the Schuyler Warriors were considered by some to be the best Class B team of all time. During his high school career, Gene was a noted rebounder and defensive player, while maintaining a scoring average of 24.3 points per game. Gene scored 53 points against York in 1969 for a single-game school record. Gene racked up a career total of 1,466 points. He also played football and was a gold medal champion in the high hurdles. He played college basketball for Creighton University graduating with a business degree in 1975.
Class of 1993
Few people have ever run faster or jumped farther than Bellevue West’s Angee Henry. A winning sprinter on the international circuit and a successful distance runner in masters competition, Henry made her high school mark in the 200, 400 and long jump, sweeping all three all-class gold medals as a junior. A chance to repeat her senior year ended when she was injured the week before the state meet. However, she graduated with the state record in the 400 (55.36 seconds) to her credit.
She went on to set a national age-group record in the long jump and competed on the USA Junior World Team in 1995. At the University of Nebraska, she was a two-time NCAA long jump champion, a three-time Big 12 Conference champion and a 10-time All-American.