STACY JAKUBOWSKI LONGACRE – Howells


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, Jakubowskiplaced 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.

STACY JAKUBOWSKI LONGACRE – Howells

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, Jakubowskiplaced 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.

Eugene “Red” Littler – Mitchell

Athlete. His blazing speed while at Mitchell High School and the University of Nebraska made the highly-respected Red Littler into a true legend. For three consecutive years until his graduation in 1937, he led the Tigers of Mitchell High to Class B State Track & Field Championships. At the close of this 1935-36-37 period, the accomplishments at the state meet were compared of all classes and Littler’s times helped make Mitchell High School the grand champion in 1937. His 9.6 in the l00-yard dash and 21.3 in the 220-year dash are still high on the all-time lists. A versatile football player, his team lost only one game in the three years when Gene was in the backfield. His teammates at NU described him as a mighty tough runner. In his senior year with the Cornhuskers behind at a Big Six Meet, he anchored the last leg of the mile relay in the winning event to wrap up the 1942 Big Six Conference title in the clocked time of 46.5 seconds. He ended his career as a successful track coach at both Beatrice and at Tenafly, New Jersey.

Kurt Lauer – Gibbon

Athlete. 1964 graduate. Kurt Lauer enjoyed the best basketball season in Nebraska history, leading the Gibbon Buffaloes to their second straight state runner-up finish in the 1963-64 season. A 6-foot-8 post player and an outstanding shooter, he set the state record with 956 points (38.2 points per game).  He scored 59 points in a single game, netted more than 50 points in five games that year and had six more games of 40 or more points. He established a career state tournament scoring record with 205 points (34.2 points per game).  He finished his high school career with 2,247 points. He played collegiately for Nebraska and Hastings College. 

Jerry Lee – Grand Island

Coach. During the 1940s and 1950s, the subject of high school football in Nebraska could not be discussed without a tip of the hat to the great Grand Island High School Coach Jerry Lee. A career of 25 years included a record of 101-23-5. The number of undefeated teams he coached at Grand Island was outstanding: 1947, 1948, 1953 and 1958. State championships with these fine teams included a span once of 28 consecutive games without a loss. He was selected as the North All-Star head coach in the first Shrine Bowl Game of 1959. In addition to his success on the gridiron, he was also a knowledgeable track coach. Wins alone do not tell the whole story. A former player of his stated, “His coaching went beyond the playing field. Because of his expertise, I was able to accomplish more than I had ever dreamed.”

 

Dave Lebsack – Lincoln Northeast

Athlete.

Dave Lebsack earned the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald’s Athlete of the Year awards in 1962 after earning nine letters at Lincoln Northeast in football, basketball and baseball. An all-state quarterback, he led the Rockets to a 9-0 record and the state ratings championship in 1961. He started from the first game his sophomore year and had a reputation for being a ball-handling wizard. He also earned all-state honors in basketball where the Rockets won the Class A state title in 1962. Lincoln Northeast was 19-2 that year, losing two games Lebsack missed with a strained knee. He averaged 22.4 points per game in that state tournament. In baseball, Lebsack was known as an outstanding catcher.

 

 

Journal Star 4/6/2012

There were no clever nicknames for Dave Lebsack.

Not “Smoothy” or “Slick” or even “Lethal Lebsack.”

And there were certainly plenty of opportunities. Lebsack quarterbacked Lincoln Northeast to the 1961 Class A state football ratings championship (there were no playoffs until 1975), then helped the Rockets to the 1962 Class A state basketball title. He was all-state in both sports and earned Journal Star athlete of the year honors in 1962.

Lebsack, one of Lincoln’s most decorated athletes, died Tuesday at the age of 67. Memorial services will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. David’s Episcopal Church.

“From the late ‘50s to the mid-‘60s, every kid in northeast Lincoln wanted to be Dave Lebsack,” said Jerry Motz, a longtime friend and teammate at Northeast. “I was one of his close friends and I wanted to be Dave Lebsack.”

Lebsack was a charter member of the Lincoln Northeast Athletic Hall of Fame, inducted in 1991, and he was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Lebsack guided Northeast to a 9-0 record in football his senior year and was a three-year starter at quarterback. He missed the first four games of the basketball season (the Rockets went 2-2 without him) after an injury during football required surgery. The Rockets won 17 straight games after he came back to earn the title, with Lebsack averaging 22.4 points a game in the state tournament. He was also a standout catcher and earned all-city honors in baseball.

“I can see a gifted athlete who made sports look ever so easy, especially handling the football in a now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t fashion,” said Conde Sargent, who covered Lebsack’s career for the Journal Star and named him athlete of the year.

“His value to Northeast athletics was never more noticeable than his return from a football injury to the basketball court. With Dave, the Rockets stepped up a level and won the state championship. He lifted that team.”

Lebsack accepted a scholarship to play both football and basketball at Nebraska, but transferred to Nebraska Wesleyan during his sophomore year and graduated from there in 1969.

“He was a class act. He never left northeast Lincoln,” Motz said. “He’s an icon out here. He’s one of the people who laid the groundwork for all the rich tradition we had.

“He treated his opponents with respect. There was no trash talk. And in return, everyone respected him, too.”

Lebsack is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sharon, daughter Lindy and her husband Doug Bonnett, son Scott and his wife Christie, granddaughter Haley, and sister Donna Spence, all of Lincoln, and sister Judy and her husband Harlan Hoy of Waverly.

“He was very humble and shy. The only thing he cared about when he stepped on the field of endeavor was to win,” Motz said. “I’ve seen a lot of high school quarterbacks in this town, and there’s no one who was better.

“He wasn’t the fastest and he couldn’t jump the highest. All he did was win.”

Reach Ryly Jane Hambleton at 402-473-7314 or rhambleton@journalstar.com.

Sue Lind Nelson – Albion

Athlete. A 1981 graduate of Albion High School in Boone County, she was the first athlete in Nebraska high school girls’ track and field to win a gold medal in the same event each year of her high school career, 1978-1979-1989- 1981. She bettered her own initial mark in the high jump from 5’8” her freshman year to a record 5’10” her senior year. She was also a double gold medal winner on occasion in the long jump. She held the all class state record in the girls high jump up to 1987. The Class B marks of Sue (Lind) Nelson at the state track & field meet and through the season are still high on the all time list.


Ted Larson – Lincoln

2010

 

Coach. Ted Larson’s teams were always on the run. As a head coach at Lincoln Southeast, Larson’s teams won 24 state championships from 1983 to 2001 – 13 in girls cross country, 10 in boys cross country and one in boys track. The girls cross country team put together a streak of nine straight state championships from 1989 to 1997. In 1992, the Knights boys and girls set scoring records at the state cross country meet, one of five years his teams won both state titles. The national Coach of the Year in 1995, he also coached two years at Lincoln East and two years at Waverly before moving to Southeast. After 2001, he became the first cross country coach at Lincoln Southwest, adding another conference championship (his 28th) and an individual state champion (his sixth) before retiring in 2008.

Don Lee – Omaha

Contributor. The contribution sportswriters make to the understanding and enjoyment of high school athletics is immeasurable. One of the best was Don Lee, who spent 44 years covering sports as a reliable scribe for the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. He was present for 35 consecutive state basketball tournaments and 35 state track meets. Though his talents extended to the occasional coverage of college sports as well as golf, boxing, horse racing, figure skating and hockey, his close ties with Nebraska high school sports remained paramount. He was very familiar with the vanishing numbers of high schools and the consolidation movement and he made sure that the small town teams as well as the metropolitan giants received proper and frequent coverage.


Kelly Lindsey – Millard North

inducteeAthlete. Millard North (1997)

Kelly Lindsey enjoyed a golden high school career in cross country and soccer. A Parade All-American, she led the Mustangs to the state soccer championship during her freshman and senior senior seasons, scoring 99 goals in her career. In cross country, she won the Class A gold medal three times – her bid to be a four-time state champion ended when with a rib injury halfway through the state meet race. She also lettered in basketball all four years for the Mustangs. A member of the under-20 national soccer team, she was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and went on to play professional soccer for three years. She has coached professional and college soccer teams.