Mark Wortman turned Elkhorn High School into a football powerhouse. After his arrival in 1980, the Antlers became a cornerstone of the state football playoff field, qualifying for 20 straight years from 1995-2014. At the time of his induction, his teams had won five Class B state championships and reached five other state championship games. The Antlers also put together a state-record streak of winning seasons. A recipient of numerous coaching awards, Wortman has compiled a 333-77 record which places him near the top in both wins and winning percentage in Nebraska history.
Lincoln Southeast (Class of 1980)
Bill Weber had an attraction for the action of state tournaments. The Lincoln Journal-Star’s Athlete of the Year in 1980, Weber played in seven state high school state tournaments and three American Legion baseball state tournaments. He earned all-state honors his junior and senior seasons in football while playing defensive end and tight end for Southeast. During his playing career, the Knights qualified for the state playoffs three times and won the state title in 1977. He also picked up all-city accolades in basketball and baseball, playing on the Knights’ state runner-up baseball team of 1979 and the state runner-up basketball teams of 1978 and 1979. At the University of Nebraska, he started at defensive end for three years, earning All-Big Eight honors in 1984. He was named to the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Battle Creek (Class of 1985)
Linda Schnitzler Walker was the cornerstone of Battle Creek’s multi-sport success in the mid-1980s and ’90s. The daughter of Hall of Fame coach Bob Schnitzler, she earned all-state honors in basketball as the Bravettes won back-to-back Class C-1 state championships in 1984 and 1985 – teams that launched a streak of four straight state titles and 15 straight state tournament appearances. She was an all-conference volleyball player and a four-year state track meet qualifier, winning seven medals and capturing the gold medal in the long jump her senior year. At Wayne State, she set numerous basketball and track records while earning All-American honors in both sports. Her 2,224 points established a scoring record for Nebraska state colleges.
Athlete. This outstanding football and track star was selected to the All State second team and All City halfback his junior year. During this season he totaled up the most kickoff return yards in the state which included the longest at 92 yards. His senior year netted him both All City and All State honors. He packed the pigskin mail for an intercity scoring record of 72 points and set a new record of 8.6 yards per carry. Dick racked many more honors in track where he led Benson in total points scored in his freshman through senior years1950 was his banner year which included the state pentathlon championship, being undefeated in both hurdle races the entire year plus setting a new record every time he ran the lows and tying the state record. He was the only high jumper to clear six feet that year while scoring the most individual points in the “A” division of the state meet. Weston was considered by local sports writers as one Omaha’s greatest prep athletes, often comparing him with the late Nile Kinnick another Benson alum who gained All American honors at Iowa. Dick accepted a football and track scholarship at UNL but a knee injury on the football practice field dashed his collegiate hopes.
Athlete. A 1924 Gothenburg graduate, Welch attended Berwyn High School until his junior year. He played football at Gothenburg and was a four-year letterman in basketball at Berwyn and Gothenburg, but track is where he excelled, never losing a mile race in Nebraska. As a junior, he won the mile and was second in the 880 at the state meet. He won the 880 and mile as a senior and competed in the National Interscholastic Track Meet at the University of Chicago, beating 53 runners in the mile under rainy conditions with a winning time of 4 minutes, 35.3 seconds. His only loss in the mile was at the Drake Relays. At Hastings College, he was all-conference in football and basketball his junior and senior years, and on the track, set the state conference records in the 880 and mile as a freshman.
Coach. Lyle started his coaching career at Daykin and from there moved to Glendo, Wyoming, for one year. Then it was back to the “Good Life” in Nebraska for Lyle where he took a job at Lincoln Bethany. It was here that he won his first basketball state championship in Class B in 1938. Moving then to Lincoln High, his teams repeated this feat five more times in ‘42, ‘43. ‘46. ‘58, and ‘59. He coached two perfect seasons at Lincoln High, 26-0 in 1946 and 19-0 in 1959 his last year of coaching. His basketball coaching record at Lincoln High was 283-73 which gave him an enviable .795 winning percentage. Lyle remained on the Lincoln High faculty until his retirement in 1974.
Athlete. Class of 1968. Whether on the basketball court or the golf course, Jim White mastered the athletic skill of putting the ball in the hole. At Hastings High School, he earned the Lincoln Journal Star athlete of the year award while leading the Tigers to the state golf championship and the state basketball tournament. On the basketball court, he set single-game and season scoring records for the Tigers, earning all-state and all-state tournament honors. In golf, he shot a state tournament record-tying 70 in 1968 while winning the individual medal and leading Hastings to the state title. He had similar success at Hastings College, earning all-district basketball honors in 1971 and 1972. He won every college golf tournament in 1972, except the NAIA National Championships, where he tied for third in 1972. He continued to have a successful career as an amateur and a professional golfer, winning the PGA Senior National Championship in 2004 with a record 14 under par.
Athlete. Bobby was considered by many the finest all-around athlete in Lincoln High history. In football he was mentioned for all-state his junior year and unanimous all-state as a senior. In 1960 as a senior, he led the team in scoring with 29 touchdowns and six extra points to make him the second highest scorer in Lincoln High history. As a sophomore he competed in wrestling where he was all-city champion at 175 pounds. Then he played basketball as a junior and senior. Track was a real forte for him. He was perhaps the fastest prep athlete ever in the state of Nebraska. He was the winner (:09.5) of the first 100-yard dash run in Nebraska where the first four across the finish line were under 10 seconds at the Hastings Invitational in 1961. His time moved him into a tie for the fastest time in the nation that year. Bobby was the first Nebraskan to break the 24-foot barrier in the long jump and is still high on the all-time chart in that event. He went on to play football at University of Central Oklahoma as a four-year starter at halfback. Totaling his rushing and kickoff return yards, he amassed a career total of 3,094 all-purpose yards. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966 and after two years he went to the Detroit Lions for four years. He led the NFL in kickoff-returns in 1969.
Athlete, Class of 1990. The Outland Trophy as college football’s best lineman and a 12-year NFL career grew from Fremont Bergan’s high school athletics for Zach Wiegert. Playing both offense and defense, Wiegert earned all-state football honors at Bergan his senior year despite missing the first six games because of illness. He logged 67 tackles in five games. He also was an all-conference forward in basketball and a weight thrower in track. He made 61 percent of his field goals in basketball, setting a school record. Once he concentrated on football, he dominated. An anchor of the Nebraska Cornhuskers’offensive “Pipeline,” he started 46 games and allowed only one sack. He was an all-conference selection three times and an All-American in 1994, the year he won the Outland Trophy and paved the way for a national championship for the Huskers. He finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. He also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.
Athlete. One of the few big men in the state in his day at 6’8’, Bus Whitehead graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1945. An outstanding senior year contributed to a trip to Lincoln for the Class A State Basketball Championship. One of the few losses for the season was in the finals when Scottsbluff lost to Creighton Prep. Actively recruited by a number of major universities, he selected the University of Nebraska. His improvement as a college player was beyond expectations: during both his junior and senior years he was selected to the All Big 7 team. As a senior, he was the only unanimous selection to the All Big 7 team. In both of his last two years Nebraska was a Conference Co-Champion. Bus graduated from Nebraska holding seven Nebraska scoring records and was selected as a District 5 All American, and later was selected to the All-Time University of Nebraska Basketball Team. Played in College All-Star East –West game at Madison Square Garden. Outstanding player for the Phillips 66 Oilers in the National Industrial League. Nebraska Basketball Hall of Fame, Lincoln Journal Star Hall of Fame, and the Scottsbluff Hall of Fame. Longtime Lincoln resident Bus and his wife Ruth have three children and five grandchildren.