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.
Official. His background as a four-time letterman in football, basketball and track at DeWitt High School in Saline County from which he graduated in 1935 helped prepare him for later life where he served as a most knowledgeable official of high school sporting events in Nebraska. Cecil Walker was an outstanding official, especially in basketball, and he was often selected to work the state tournament. For many years he served as a supervisor of officials working the Nebraska state high school basketball tournaments. He also served as a football official for the Big Eight Conference. This able gentleman contributed much to the high level of good officiating enjoyed in Nebraska high school sports. First person from the officiating community selected for High School Hall of Fame induction.
Athlete. A 1992 Omaha Benson graduate, Woolridge scored a championship-game record 50 points to lead the Bunnies to the state title his senior year. He was All-Metro for three years and finished with 1,911 points, a Class A record. A four-year starter at Iowa, he led the Big 10 in scoring and assists his senior year and earned third-team All-American honors. He set the Iowa record for career assists. He played professionally in France, Italy, Turkey and Greece.
Coach. This football coach’s career began at Ponca High School in 1950, and then shifted into high gear when he became head football coach at Schuyler High School. While guiding the fortunes of the Schuyler Warriors, he helped develop a great program, resulting in the 1958 team widely recognized as the Class B state champion. His green and white gridiron Warriors began a 29-game winning streak which lasted into 1961. He was selected as a coach for the North Squad in the first Shrine Bowl. In 1959, he joined the coaching staff at the University of Omaha. In 1971 he returned to his alma mater, Midland College, and became head football coach and athletic director. His coaching record there of 116-81-2 ranked him as the winningest coach in Midland history.
Athlete. The captain of the 2000 Olympic volleyball team in Sydney, Australia, Weston was a multi-sport standout and a 1992 graduate of Papillion-LaVista High School. The 1992 Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star Athlete of the Year, Weston was all-state in volleyball and basketball her junior and senior seasons, and she was named the Gatorade Circle of Champions Nebraska Basketball Player of the Year. She also qualified for the state track meet and was an all-state soccer player. She played professional volleyball in Italy. She is arguably one of the best collegiate volleyball players in NCAA history. Nebraska’s first three-time, first-team AVCA All-American, Weston capped an impressive career by winning the 1995 national title and sharing Player-of-the-Year honors with Cary Wendell of Stanford. The former captain of the U.S. National Team, Weston still holds school records for kills in a four-game match (37) and career kills (1,778). She also ranks in the career top 10 in nearly every statistical category and holds three of the top-10 single-match kill performances. A two-time Academic All-American, Weston was also a two-time Big Eight Player of the Year.
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.