Janet Kruse Sellon-Blair

Athlete

Blair (Class of 1987)

Janet (Kruse) Sellon shredded opposing volleyball defenses. With nearly half of her attacks resulting in kills, she proved to be a dynamic volleyball player, starting four years at Blair and earning all-state honors her junior and senior seasons. She also started for three years in basketball, earning all-state honors, and she was a state champion high jumper. But volleyball paved the way in college where she became a three-year starter and a four-time letterwinner for the Nebraska Cornhusker volleyball team. She was Nebraska’s first three-time All-American and an NCAA Woman of the Year while leading the Huskers to the NCAA Tournament semifinals twice.

Jerry Stine-Omaha

Contributor
As a coach, historian, promoter and documentarian, Jerry Stine dedicated countless hours to the betterment of Nebraska high school sports. Throughout his 40-year career, Stine coached boys’ basketball & track at Wheeler Central – Bartlett and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ track at Bertrand. After leaving the coaching ranks, Stine continued to contribute to high school sports as a long-time member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation’s board of directors, documenting and organizing the board’s historical research. A past-president of the Nebraska Coaches Association, Stine is the creator, author and secretary of the NCA milestone awards that bear his name.

Daryl Stovall-Bellevue West

Bellevue West (Class of 1978)
A lock-down defender on the basketball court and a speedy outfielder on the baseball diamond, Daryl Stovall used his athletic skills to allow him to be selected by the Chicago White Sox in the Major League Baseball draft, and the San Diego Clippers in the NBA draft. At Bellevue West, he averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds as a senior all-stater. On the baseball diamond, he was a two-time all-state selection. At Creighton University, he continued to play both sports, setting a freshman home run record and averaging double figures in basketball his last three years. He signed with the Chicago White Sox before his senior baseball season.

Anne Shadle-South Sioux City

South Sioux City (Class of 2001)
The road under Anne Shadle’s feet often seemed to fly by. At South Sioux City, where her father was the coach, Shadle took the first steps to becoming a premier runner. She won three Class B and two all-class gold medals at the state cross country championships and three all-class gold medals at the state track meet. She went on to earn seven track and cross country letters at Nebraska, making the jump to the next level when she won the indoor mile and outdoor 1,500 at the NCAA championships in 2005. She graduated from Nebraska holding two individual and three relay records. After college, she ran professionally for three years, competing in the 2008 Olympic Trials.

Renee Saunders-Omaha Marian

Omaha Marian (Class of 1995)
Renee Saunders kept her eye on the ball. Named all-class all-state in volleyball and basketball her junior and senior seasons, she led Omaha Marian to the state basketball tournament every year and a state runner-up finish her junior year. She graduated as Marian’s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding. On the volleyball court, she garnered All-American honors, logging 335 kills as a senior. She also lettered in softball and track and field at Marian and was the consensus athlete of the year by The Omaha World Herald and The Lincoln Journal Star her senior season. Saunders went on to play basketball and volleyball at the University of Nebraska. Though her basketball career was short, she was a major contributor for the Husker volleyball team.

LAURA SPANHEIMER DECHANT – Omaha Marian

Omaha Marian (Class of 2001)
The Athlete of the Year tag stuck to Omaha Marian’s Laura Spanheimer, who twice earned the honor from the Lincoln Journal-Star and as a senior from the Omaha World-Herald. She led Marian to back-to-back state basketball championships those years, earning all-metro and all-state accolades. An outstanding runner as well, she burst on the scene by winning the All-Class gold medal in the 1,600 at the state meet as a freshman. She went on to win two individual 800 gold medals and ran on four state-champion 4×800 relays, including one that set a state and state meet record. In cross country, she finished second in state as a sophomore and junior and won the event as a senior. At Creighton University, she earned All-Missouri Valley basketball honors and finished her career with the most steals in Bluejay history and the second-highest total of games played.

SARAH SASSE-KILDOW – Lincoln High

Lincoln High (Class of 1998)

In spite of her diminutive size, Sarah Sasse-Kildow cast a long shadow on Nebraska high school girls golf. After tying for fourth at the state meet as a freshman and second as a sophomore, she won back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior. She also dominated the amateur golf ranks, winning three state junior match-play championships and the first of five women’s state amateur championships the summer before her senior year. At the University of Nebraska, Sasse-Kildow was a three-time All-Big 12 pick and the conference champion and Player of the Year as a senior, the year she claimed first-team All-American honors. She established Husker records for the lowest 36- and 54-hole scores and went on to compete in three U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships.

Amy Stephens – Alliance

Athlete. High school basketball state scoring leader in several categories for a number of years. Career points: 1,656. Points in one season: 779. Points in one game: 48. Frankly, there was nobody quite like her. She was a four-year starter at Nebraska. She averaged over 17 points. Kodak District V All-American. Twice All-Big Eight. Second in career scoring at Nebraska (1,976), first in assists (444) and steals (280). Played for the United States National Team and professionally in Germany for a year. Fifth year as head coach at University of Nebraska-Kearney. Record: 97-23. National ranking of 9th and 10th the past two years. Twice conference coach of the year.

Debbie Spickelmier Noble – Hayes Center

inducteeAthlete. (1985)

A small-school superstar who, along with her twin sister, Donna, made Hayes Center a player on the state tournament scene where the Cardinals won back-to-back Class D state track championships in 1984 and 1985, the Class D-2 state basketball championship in 1985 and finished second in volleyball in 1984. Debbie excelled in track, winning 15 medals at the state track meet, including two all-class gold medals in the 800 meters, penning her name on the all-time charts in that race. On the basketball court, she was a Class D-2 all-stater as a junior and a senior. She also garnered all-state honors in volleyball as a senior. In college, she was a seven-time All-American running for Kearney State and Chadron State.

Bob Schnitzler – Battle Creek

Coach. The three-sport athlete in both high school and college came to Battle Creek in 1962 and the rest is history.  His football teams won 293 games with 89 losses.  They qualified for the state playoffs 16 times, winning four championships and runners-up five times. He coached the boys track team to four state championships, twice state runners-up, 20 district championships and 169 invitational championships.  Bob took on the job of girl’s basketball coach in 1974 and amassed a record of 485 wins and 83 losses.  His girls made 18 trips to the state tournament winning it five times and runners-up three times plus 18 district championship.  Nebraska Coaches Association Level 4 rating on all three sports he has coached.  Nebraska Coaches Association Coach of the Year, Omaha World Herald Coach of the Year, Lincoln Journal Star Girls Basketball Coach of the Year, Mid-State Conference Coach of the Year, and Iowa Siouxland Coach of the Year.  He was nominated no less that five times for National Coach of the Year and received the Region 6 award twice.  He was inducted into the Wayne State College Hall of Fame in 1982.