Omaha Central (Class of 1984)
Keith Jones’ legacy is stamped into his nickname: “End Zone”. A speedy and powerful running back at Omaha Central, Jones broke records that belonged to the legendary Gale Sayers. Jones rushed for 1,710 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior, including a 235-yard effort against state champion Omaha Creighton Prep. His speed resulted in gold medals at the state track meet in the 4×100 relay and the 200-meter dash. Jones went on to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers where he became the third-leading rusher of all time, piling up nearly 2,500 yards and a stunning total of 32 touchdowns. A sixth-round draft pick by the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, he played two seasons in the NFL.
Lincoln Northeast (Class of 1999)
In the classroom and on the playing field, Trevor Johnson excelled. In the top one percent academically, the unanimous prep athlete of the year excelled in three sports. After missing most of his junior football season with a broken leg, the tight end/defensive end caught 42 passes for 736 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year. On defense, he was credited with 54 tackles, including 13 for a loss, seven sacks and eight pass break-ups while leading the 10-2 Rockets to the state semifinal. All-state in football and basketball and an all-class gold medalist in the discus, he helped the Rockets to three straight basketball championships. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he was a four-year football letterman. He played four years in the NFL.
Howells (Class of 1981) A proven winner, Stacy Jakubowski led Howells to the state championship in volleyball and a state runner-up finish in basketball. A four-year, three sport letterman, Jakubowski placed in the high jump at the state track meet all four years, winning gold medals her junior and senior seasons. A three year starter in volleyball and basketball, she helped the Bobcats to a 79-5 record on the hardwood and a 74-9 record on the volleyball court. Her senior season in basketball, she averaged 16.8 points and 10 rebounds per game. A hard-worker who often stayed an hour after practice to perfect aspects of her game, she earned all-state honors in volleyball and basketball her junior and senior years. The Fremont Tribune Athlete of the Year in 1981, she played volleyball and ran track at Kearney State College, earning NAIA All-American honors in the high jump.
Lincoln High (Class of 1964)
The face of Lincoln’s Hillcrest Country Club as the resident teaching professional who stresses fundamentals and a respect for the game, Charles Borner, Jr., forged a very successful competitive golf career that included back-to-back Class A state championships in 1963 and 1964, a feat not matched for 49 years. The first junior golfer to win the Lincoln city championship for adults, Borner led Lincoln High to the state team championship in 1964 and went on to letter three years at Nebraska. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championships three times and played in the U.S. Senior Open. In the Western Amateur in Wichita, KS, in 1970, Borner lost in the final to future PGA Champion LannyWadkins and, on the way to the final, defeated Paul Purtzer, Tom Watson and John Mahaffey. His early teaching experience included seven years as coach at North Platte High School.
Contributor. Rex Jones retired in 2002 after a 50-year career in Nebraska athletics that saw him rise from the playing fields to the board room. Jones played quarterback on an undefeated Chadron High School football team of 1954, played for an undefeated Chadron State football team in 1958 and coached an undefeated Rushville football team in 1966 before embarking on a 27-year career as an Associate Director of the Nebraska School Activities Association. A rules maven, he served on the national football rules committee for 25 years, the national wrestling rules committee for 12 years and the national track rules committee for four years, frequently serving as a presenter at national rules interpreters meetings.
Athlete. This 1968 graduate of Schuyler High School received well-deserved plaudits from Nebraska newspapers as one of the best high school basketball players ever in this part of the country. In 1968, the year of the Class B state championship title for the tall green and white lads, Chuck Jura averaged 30 points per game in scoring. They were state runners-up a year earlier. Later at the University of Nebraska, Chuck Jura managed to record an average of 20 points a game one of his years, a rare and difficult feat in that tough conference. Following college he played professional basketball in Europe, but high school fans will not forget the years when Chuck Jura made the “Jolly Green Giants” of Schuyler High truly a happy crew to observe. He scored 1431 career points and built a reputation as one of the state’s best high school basketball products. His feats lasted for years and year in the state tournament record book for the most points in a tournament (Class B, 1968), 109, and the most field goals in one game (B, 1968), 20. His 201 career state tournament points was still in the top 10 in 2006. After a strong college career at Nebraska, Jura was chosen in the third round of the NBA 1972 draft by the Chicago Bulls. Ultimately, he played pro basketball in Europe. He averaged 31 points a game for three-year-period in Italy.
Class of 1994
Jodi (Janssen) Harper established the standard in Nebraska high school diving, becoming the first to sweep the gold medals all four years at the state swimming and diving meet. She set the state record in 1994, breaking the previous mark by 20 points. That record still stood at the time of her Hall of Fame induction. She was named a high school All-American by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association of America. She competed for four years at Texas A&M, setting school records in the platform, 1-meter springboard and 3-meter springboard competitions and qualifying for the NCAA national championships in all three events her senior season.
Coach–It is no accident that Cambridge High School has done well through the years in athletics, regardless of class. Always good coaching has been their fortune and this gentleman was no exception. A pharmacist by profession, in the early part of the 20th century he turned to high school coaching for which he definitely had the gift. Between 1915 and 1930 the Trojans of Cambridge High did well under his guidance in both football and track. Three times during the roaring twenties Coach Clint John led the orange and black clad athletes to state championships in boys track & field: 1925, 1926 and 1929, all in Class C. One could argue that Coach John was in a class all by himself.
Tom Jaworski kept the Creighton Prep football team in the upper echelon for nearly 40 years. He retired in 2010 as the all-time leader in football coaching victories in Nebraska. His 39-year career resulted in 343 victories against only 92 defeats. His Junior Jays won nine state championships, including five straight from 1985 to 1989, made 16 straight playoff appearances, reached the finals 15 times. Not one of his teams had a losing record. His work ethic, intensity, desire and enthusiasm helped kids reach their potential.
Coach. Bill James made a couple of Central Nebraska stops in his coaching career (Arapahoe and Loup City) before landing in Bellevue where he coached football for nearly four decades, a coach who won in one of the toughest competitive conferences. Head football coach at the original Bellevue High School (which became Bellevue East) from 1957 and 1995, he saw the changing patterns of top-notch football in Nebraska high schools and just kept on succeeding. The 1960s was a good example of his creative coaching, as the Bellevue High football team was almost always at the top. In 1965, Bellevue played Boys Town High for the re-aligned Metro Conference championship, with one pass in the last minute the only difference between both fine teams. His teams won 195 games at Bellevue and his lifetime coaching career number was 210.