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, 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.
Official. When his standout athletic career at Auburn High School and Nebraska Wesleyan Universityended, Willie Weisbrook picked up the whistle and striped shirt, beginning an officiating career that would span more than 40 years. A basketball referee in high school and small college starting in 1966, he was selected to officiate 17 state tournaments including 14 championship games. On the football field, he refereed high school games from 1966 to 1983, including nine state playoff games and two Class A championships. He also officiated college football games for nearly 30 years, working the national championship Sugar Bowl in 1997. He has also umpired high school baseball games. Active in recruiting and mentoring new officials, late in his career Weisbrook officiated basketball games with his daughter, Robyn.
Athlete–One of the best college football tackles in America during the first half of the twentieth century, he was ever so dominating when he took the field as a high school athlete, graduating from Superior in 1921. He was an all-state halfback for Superior. He won five events in the Class B state track meet in 1921 and a total of nine firsts and five overall gold medals in his high school career. Later, his skill as a University of Nebraska Track Coach led to the naming of the present track stadium for this Cornhusker legend. His All-American playing at NU will never be forgotten in college football, for he is credited with successfully stopping both the “Four Horsemen” of Notre Dame and the “Galloping Ghost” Red Grange of Illinois.
Athlete. One of two native Nebraskans to be named All-American in basketball, Les “Beanie” Witte was an all around athlete at Lincoln High. Les was a teammate of Bernie Masterson on the 23-0-2 Links football teams from 1927-29. He starred on the 1929 and 1930 basketball teams that went 40-10 winning the 1920 state tournament. Recruited by his older brother, “Dutch” Witte, who was coaching at Wyoming, he immediately became a star, being named All-American three years in a row — 1932, 1933 and 1934. In the pre-NCAA Tournament days, Wyoming was selected as the 1934 national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation, the only collegiate voting poll of the era.
Athlete. Class of 1962
Terry Williams can stake a claim to the title as Nebraska’s fastest man. His sprint times — 9.7 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 20.9 in the 220 — ranked at the top of Nebraska’s alltime charts and stood sixth in the nation in 1962. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder swept the 100 and 220 gold medals at the state meet, running 9.7 and 22.0, respectively, and was the anchor man on the gold-medal mile relay for the Eagles. Racing against the best in the state, the nation and the world, “Terrific Terry” turned in many outstanding performances. As a sophomore at Omaha University, he ran a 6-flat 60-yard dash, tying the world record.
Coach–In the first half of the twentieth century, no Nebraska high school coach was a more successful example of great track coaching and promoting the sport of track and field. During his long career, while at Omaha Technical High School, his teams won six state track & field meet titles: 1932, 1933, 1937, 1941, 1943 and 1949. After he retired, for several years a relay event was hosted by Omaha Tech most deservedly in memory of his many accomplishments.