Few football coaches lead a school to 100 victories. Carl Tesmer did it at two schools, climbing into the rarified air of 300-plus coaching victories. At the time of his induction, Tesmer had put together a 339-89-2 record, 39 winning seasons, 13 undefeated regular seasons and more than 25 top-ten teams in a 41-year career as head coach. He led his alma mater, GICC, to the state finals three times. He then won three state titles at St. Cecilia in 2000, 2009 and 2010. Known for his passion about coaching, Tesmer has a reputation for building up those around him.
Jim Tenopir took the path from small-town Nebraska to the peak of high school sports in the United States. The Chief Operating Officer of the National Federation of State High School Associations from 2010-15, Tenopir oversaw the day-to-day operations of the organization that governs high school sports across the nation. He drew on experience gained as the Nebraska School Activities Association Executive Director from 2001 to 2010 – a position he returned to in 2015. A Harvard High School graduate, Tenopir’s coaching and teaching career started at Otis-Benson High School in Kansas in 1970. He returned to Nebraska two years later as a coach, teacher and administrator at McCook. He went on to serve as the athletic director at Scottsbluff and superintendent at Cambridge before accepting his position with the NSAA. During his career he has tackled several difficult issues, including athlete safety and transgender rights.
Athlete. A seven-year NFL player, Charlie Toogood got his start as a high school star in North Platte. Toogood was a two-time all-state football player in 1943 and 1944 at tackle. He also won the gold medal in the shot put at the 1945 state track meet with a throw of 47 feet, ¼ inch. Toogood went on to play college football at the University of Nebraska. Besides being a 1950 team captain, Toogood was an All-Big Seven selection in 1949 and 1950. In 1950, he played in the East-West Shrine Bowl. Toogood played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1951 to 1956 and was part of the Rams team that beat the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship. He then played for the Chicago Cardinals during the 1957 season and for the New York Giants during the 1958 season. In 1984 Toogood was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Athlete–When Lexington High School graduated this husky young man in 1958, he had just completed two years as a terrific center on football teams of the Minutemen. In the fall of 1957, for example, they had an undefeated season over almost all Class A opponents ending the year as state champion according to many observers. As a University of Nebraska Cornhusker, he lettered three years between 1959.and 1961, including the great victory in 1959 over Oklahoma. He then played for 17 years in professional football as starting center for the Minnesota Vikings, getting to the Super Bowl four times. Unlike some former football players, Mick Tingelhoff emerged from his great football career without serious injury.
Athlete, Class of 1976. In the early days of girls athletics, Laura Tietjen dominated. A four-year starter in volleyball and basketball, Tietjen made her mark early, scoring 30 points in her first basketball game as a freshman. Throughout her career she had multiple games of 40 points or more, twice scoring 49 points and twice more breaking the 50-point barrier. Tietjen’s 57 points against Ohiowa, stood as the Nebraska single-game scoring record for the next 12 years. In her senior season, Tietjen led Byron to a 14-0 record, averaging 38 points and 15 rebounds per game. An all-class, all-state selection, she went on to play at the University of Nebraska, setting a single-game records for free throws (14 of 14) and the single-season record for free-throw percentage (.861). Professionally, she served as coach and teacher at Columbus High School and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She entered into athletics administration at UNK and in 1998 became only one of 19 female Athletics Directors in Division I while serving at the University of Evansville.
Athlete. In the last half of the 1970s, during the sprouting of sports programs for girls in Nebraska high schools, a scant few saw much more than the heels of Cindy Tatum of North Platte High School. If and when Cindy Tatum lost a high school race, it was to someone who was setting a state record or winning a gold medal. Her sprint resume is a good as it gets: Seven gold medals at the state meet, three consecutive gold medals in the 100 yard dash and 220-yard dash, district record holder in 50, 100 and 220 and Class A or state record holder in 50, 100 and 220. She paced her school to a team state championship.
Athlete. Class of 1959. Larry Tomlinson earned his place in Nebraska history when he caught the first touchdown pass for the first touchdown of the Bob Devaney era with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The O’Neill St. Mary’s standout had more than one play in his career. Tomlinson earned all-state honors while leading St. Mary’s to a No. 1 eight-man ranking in 1958, catching 26 passes for 560 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also set school scoring records in basketball where he was a four-year starter and averaged more than 20 points per game his senior year. In track, he set school records in the mile, the 120-yard high hurdles, the 180-yard low hurdles, the shot put, the discus and the 880-yard relay. He finished second to Hall of Fame inductee Bob Hohn in the state pentathlon meet. In college, he lettered three years for the Cornhuskers, playing end and linebacker. He went on to play three seasons in the Canadian Football League.
Athlete. Without question one of the best left-handed shooters ever to take the floor in Nebraska high school basketball, Kerry Trotter was a 1982 graduate of Creighton Preparatory High School in Omaha. His sensational career began as a freshman there and he was three times selected All-Metro and twice All-State. He scored a total of 1,672 points while in high school. In 1981 he led the Junior Blue Jays to a Class A Boys State Championship in basketball. His senior year he averaged 26.8 points a game and once scored 46 points in one game. Following graduation he had four fine years playing at Marquette University. One of the most significant historical facts was his inclusion in 1982 on the McDonald’s High School All-American Basketball Game where, as expected, he did well.
Class of 1995
Ed Thompson wasn’t the typical small-town superstar, he was the prototype. Whether it was football, basketball or track, Thompson excelled on teams that excelled. A three-year starter at quarterback, Thompson led the Cambridge Trojans to a 38-1 record. He earned all-state honors on offense, defense and as a punter. In basketball, he made 17 free throws in the district final, most in the fourth quarter, to get his team to the state tournament. In track, he set three school records, medaled at state all four years and scored 28 points his junior year to lead the team to the state title. At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he led the Mavericks to two North Central Conference championships and in 1997 became the first player in NCAA Division II to run and pass for 1,000 yards, a feat he repeated the following year.
Athlete. This 1970 graduate of Broken Bow High School was a wrestler, a football player and a track man while there, but is best known for his accomplishments in the rough-and-tumble world of rodeo as a most athletic cowboy. While still in high school he was named nationally as champion in all around and calf roping in 1970. He was part of the professional rodeo circuit from 1977-1986. He was world champion calf roper in 1970, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association awarded him the World All-around Champion title in 1980.