Great Moments, 2005

  • Softball: “Queen of Whiff”:
    Molly Hill turned in one of the great performances in Nebraska softball history by pitching the Wayne High School team to the Class C state championship. Hill had an ERA of 0.00 and struck out 543 during the 2004 season while leading her team to a 34-0 record.

  • Volleyball: “Volleyball Aces”:
    The Columbus Scotus volleyball team’s state record winning streak reached 115 matches before a loss in the 2004 state championship match to Lincoln Lutheran. The Shamrocks’ last loss was in the 2000 state final when they lost to Central City. After that, the Shamrocks went 29-0 for three straight years and were 28-0 entering the match with Lincoln Lutheran.


Great Moments, 2004

  • Football: “On the Run”:
    Fillmore Central’s Michael Brower, the first 11-man football player in Nebraska to rush for 1,000 or more yards in each of his four seasons. His season totals in order were 1,063 yards, 1,321, 2,342 and 2,374 in 2003 and 6,099 yards in his career.
  • Track & Field: “Lift Off”:
    Grand Island Central Catholic pole vaulters Gable Baldwin and Jenny Green setting state records (16-4, 13-3, respectively) at the Central Nebraska Track Championships and state meet records (16-0, 13-0) in 2003.
  • Wrestling: “No. 1 Every Year”:
    Four-time wrestling champions Chris Oliver, 125-0 from Omaha Creighton Prep, and Jason Katusin, 139-5 from Springfield Platteview.


Great Moments, 2003

  • Basketball: “The Big Barn”:

    “The Old Barn,” which is what the Nebraska Coliseum was affectionately known to high school basketball fans, played host to the state tournament from 1926-76.

    In the Twenties, practically any team with a way to get to Lincoln came to play in the state tournament. In the Coliseum’s first year, 339 teams were on hand and were divided into 22 classes (A to V). It was the biggest field ever. Games were played from early in the morning until close to midnight, using other venues in Lincoln for the early rounds as well.

    They broke up the Coliseum floors in ’26 so seven games went on at the same time. For several years, four courts were in use –two on the main floor (one went crossways), separated by curtains), one on the stage and a fourth in the basement (eventually became a swimming pool).

    By 1961, only the larger main floor was used.

    Meanwhile, attendance greatly increased so the Coliseum practically every year had a semifinal or championship game (or both) that resulted in full houses and spectators locked out.

    With all 1976 state finals in the then new Bob Devaney Sports Center, the Coliseum was an early round host its final year, with the Class C semifinal in 1976 the last high school game played there (Walthill 56-54 over Howells before a crowd of 3,421 and Brian Blum of Howells scored the last basket).

  • Officials: “Fifty Years of Officiating”:
    Vern Plambeck of Kearney approaches 50 years in stripes. A referee who has officiated football since 1954, he missed only the 1957 season while serving in the Army Reserve. He also officiated basketball for many years and has been an observer of officials.
  • Wrestling: “Kingpins.”:
    Four-time state wrestling champions Dirk Desmond of Hebron (136-3), Kasey Kohl of Omaha Skutt (139-1) and Jake Rucker of Louisville (140-5. with 104 pins).


Great Moments, 2002

  • Boys Basketball: “Huge Jump Shot”:
    Matt Kelly, Millard South. With two seconds left, Matt made the jump shot that defeated Columbus in the 1989 Class A State Championship game. This win for Millard South cinched the first undefeated season for a Class A team in 29 years and gave the team a No. 23 team ranking in the nation.
  • Track & Field: “A Track & Field Machine”:
    Tony Little, the one-man track team from Mullen, won the 220, long jump, and triple jump and came in second in the 100-yard dash to score all of Mullen’s 38 points in the 1977 State meet to win the Class D state championship single-handedly for his school. Runner-up Cambridge followed by four points.
  • Wrestling: “Unbeaten, Untied Career”:
    Brett Allgood, Bennington, completed his high school career in 2002 without a single loss. and a record in his four years in NSAA sponsored competition with 140 wins, which placed him in that select group of only ten young men in the history of the sport to gain this elite status of being a four-time State Champion. He was also undefeated in club level competition during those same years. Brett was awarded the Guy Mytty Outstanding Senior Wrestler Award in Class C by the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association plus being named to their All Star team for the year 2002.
  • Wrestling: “Champion Every Year”:
    Todd Menelly, Omaha Skutt Catholic, joined that very elite group of four-time high school state wrestling champions. His high school record was 135 wins and only one loss, which was to Brett Allgood, another four time champ crowned in 2002. Todd received the Guy Mytty award for the outstanding Class A wrestler by the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association and was also selected for their all-star team.


Great Moments, 2001

  • Boys Basketball: “In Focus”:
    The 1976-77 newspaper photograph by Rudy Smith of the Omaha World-Herald, shot at the conclusion of the thrilling boys basketball tournament championship game between Holdrege and Aurora, captured the essence of high school sports: the joy of the winners, the anguish of defeat and the compassion of a dedicated coach.
  • Boys Basketball: “Point Parade”:
    1934 basketball game. With Avoca winning by 100-0 against Syracuse, a game which is believed to be the only Nebraska high school game mentioned in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”
  • Football: “Action Packed Final 2 Seconds”:
    In a 1960 high school football game, Broken Bow and Hall of Famer Kent McCloughan lead Valentine by 21-18 with two seconds go. Jim Murphy of Valentine intercepted a Broken Bow pass in the end zone and the clock ran out while he was running 102 yards for a game-winning touchdown. Final score: Valentine 24, Broken Bow 21.
  • Track & Field: “Achievement of the Century”:
    Gale Sayers’ 24-10 1/2 long jump in 1961 state track meet, coming on his last jump in a duel with Lincoln High’s Bobby Williams, continues to rank as one of this state’s best achievements in high school sports. Now 40 years later, it hasn’t been seriously challenged for the state record.


Great Moments, 2000

  • Girls Basketball: “Nothing But Net”:
    Karen Moore’s 1982 field goal, from 73 feet, at Pershing Auditorium. This shot ended Lincoln Northeast’s championship game against Kearney. It was the longest basket made in the history of the girls state tournament. However, it was only good for two points because it was made before the inception of the three-point rule. Northeast lost by one point.
  • Football: “Unbeaten, Untied, and Unscored Upon”:
    Class B Ravenna’s 1968 team completed the season not only undefeated but allowed no opponent to cross their goal line or score a point. Gibbon came the closest, coming within six yards but the threat ended with Gary Reiter’s pass interception. The Blue Jays netted a total season output of 275 points to their opponents nil. Add to this a third consecutive conference championship and things were to be right with the world in Blue Jay land. Dick Roberts was the head coach.2000


    Dana Christensen
    Terry Ripp
    Kerwin Stover
    Don Ondrak
    Henry Heider
    Mike Gillming
    Doug Roth
    Steve Haught
    Larry Heathers
    Barry Solomon
    Mike Rager
    Ron Schroll
    Kenny Bock
    Dave Johnson
    Dean Psota
    Kerwin Stover
    Steve Shrader
    Henry Heider
    Don Hervert
    Don Blaschko
    Gregg Hanna
    Don Lammers
    Cordell Bullis
    Greg Ondrak
    Don Kusek
    Dan Rogers
    Dave Johnson
    Kim Stover
    Gary Reiter
    Gary Zeller
    Alan Schmaljohn
    Ben Rager
    Rick Fox
    Terry Miller
    Mike McKeon
    Ron Young
    Doug Roth
    Larry Heathers
    Mike Rager
    Kenny Bock
    Dean Psota
    Steve Shrader
    Don Hervert
  • Football/Basketball: “Historic Double”:
    In 1975, the first year of the NSAA-determined football championships, Nelson High School won the Class D 11-man football title and followed it with the basketball championship in March, thus becoming the first official winner of state championships in the two sports in the same year. Gary DeBoer was the football coach, Tom Murray the basketball coach.

    Team Members:

    Dan Buresh
    Randy Garvin
    Terry Jensen
    Craig Jones
    Dan Judy
    Marlin Meyer
    Mark Collins
    Tom Garvin
    Vic Jacobitz
    Leon Michels
    Mike Wilford
    Dave Wroughton
    Paul Grueber
    Dennis Holsteen
    Calvin Meyer
    Larry Miller
    Randy Porter
    Greg Bohling
    Ivan Culbertson
    Jeff Harris
    Brent Jensen
    Todd Jensen
    John Mazour
    Allen McClure
    Steve Melvin
    Jon Meyers
    Tom Schleif
    Marty Sunday
    Randi Thomberry
    Roger Biltoft
    Steve Gerbers
    Curt Jensen
    Rick Mazour
    Byron Myer
    Lorrell Peterson
    Doug Porter
    Nick Biltoft
    John Ensign
    Scott Farver
    Dan Mazour
    Brian Soulek
  • Wrestling: “Shades of Dan Gable”:
    The 2000 state wrestling tournament wrapped up a phenomenal high school career for Brad Metzler of Omaha Westside High School. He became the first Nebraska high school wrestler to complete four consecutive seasons undefeated. This also placed him in that elite group of four-time state champions.


Great Moments, 1999

  • Football: “End of an Era”:
    Six-man football, the salvations for years for the sport in small schools, was invented in Nebraska in 1934, spread across the country in rural America and flourished for most of the rest of the 20th century, until school consolidations provided schools with larger enrollments and less need for the six-man game. The Hall of Fame inducted its inventor, Stephen Epler of Chester in 1995, and chooses today to honor the sport once more by saluting the two teams playing last November in the final six-man state championship sponsored by the Nebraska School Activities Association–Milligan and Benedict. Milligan won game at Memorial Stadium by the score of 35 to 28. The teams are honored equally here today for making their contribution to high school sports history.

    Team rosters:

    Eric Allen
    Nate Wittgren
    Josh Larkin
    Adam Watson
    Stuart Nickel
    Jacob Schall
    Justin Schoch
    Brian Burhoop
    Nate Doremus
    Gregg Heiden
    Gertjan DeVries
    Andy Bowman
    James O’Rourke
    Reggie Wittgren
    Joe Friesen
    Nick Lott
    Ryan Doremus
    Coach Mark Rotter
    Assistant Coach Phil Burhoop
    Matt Filipi
    Corey Koca
    Arich Uldrich
    Tyler Bartels
    Brent Kassik
    Dustin Filipi
    Jeff Havel
    Jon Halama
    Tim Uldrich
    Jon Vavra-Fong
    Jeff Graham
    Lance Lock
    Corey Vavra
    Dan Hadherny
    Jason Pribyl
    Mike Uldrich
    Coach Dean Filipi
    Assistant Coach Craig Rafert
  • Track & Field: “A Century of Gold”:
    The state track meet, which recently passed its 100th year, is the longest standing high school championship event. The state track meet has produced great entertainment in those 100 years and the Hall of Fame chooses to honor the event for its 100 plus “Great Moments” by saluting those who directed this great meet. In the last 40 years of the century: Charlie Foster, Burton (Bud) Feaster, Willa Scudder, Merle Bauer, Tom Hallstrom, Rex Jones and Duane Haith.
  • Track & Field: “Barrier Breakers”:
    The pole vault is one high school event which has a measuring stick to specifically identify when an athlete “takes it to the next level.” A Great Moment came when the following athletes were the first over the vaulting bar at the even-foot levels.

    12 Feet – John (Choppy) Rhodes, Ansley, 12-0, 1922.
    13 – Merlin (Beanie) Lawrence, Alliance, 13-3/4, 1958
    14 – Randy Reeves, Omaha Benson, 14-0, 1965.
    15 – Bill Lauer, North Platte, 15-1¼, 1971.
    16 – Bump Novacek, Gothenburg, 16-0, 1985.

    11 – Jaime Volkmer, Kearney Catholic, 11-8, 1999.


Great Moments, 1998

  • Boys Basketball: “Multi Miracles”:
    Wahoo High School in 1989 was in the early segment of a state record winning streak that eventually in 1992 reached 114 games, The streakest biggest scare came in the finals of the 1989 boys state tournament when the Warriors won a state championship with two dramatic three-point goals in a Class B finals overtime victory. Down by 61-55 with 11 seconds left and no timeouts remaining, Bernie Inbody made a 30-footer , then made a steal and got the ball to Troy Glock whose last-second field goal did some dramatic bouncing from rim to backboard and back, sending the game with Lincoln Pius X into overtime. Inbody started the overtime with a three-pointer and Wahoo went on to win by 68-66.
  • Girls Basketball: “Girls Basketball’s Biggest Shot”:
    Girls Basketball had its greatest finals crowd at the 1996 Class B state tournament, had one of its finest finals games ever regardless of class and perhaps was headed for one of the sport’s greatest upsets, as Lincoln Pius X led favored South Sioux City into the final seconds. Alas, what the sport got was its most dramatic state tournament finish, via a last-second three-point goal by South Souix City’s Kim Sublet that won the championship game by one point, 67-66.
  • Football: “End Zone Blitz”:
    John Cook, Beatrice, for 98 points scored in 1912 in one high school football game. His team won by 128-0.
  • Track & Field: “Awesome 800”:
    State record run of 1:51.7 by Ryan Barrows, York, in the 800 Meters at 1997 State Track and Field Championship Meet, beating a 20-year-old record many believed would be good for another 20 years.
  • Wrestling: “Pin Master”:
    A career of record-setting wrestling wins by pin by David Miller of Kearney during 1995-98. His state records: Most pins season (36), career (120), state tournament (13), consecutive (41). He also holds the Class A record for most career victories (141).


Great Moments, 1997

  • Boys Basketball: “Fantastic Final”:
    The 50 points by Andre Woolridge of Omaha Benson in one game during the 1992 Class A state tournament, an individual showing in terms of inside-outside that had a huge Devaney Center crowd in awe of what took place on the floor in front of them.
  • Football: “Running Wild”:
    Cory Eikmeier of Dodge, competing in eight-man football, established state records for one season rushing, of 2,965 yards, career rushing of 8,330 yards; one season touchdowns of 68 and career touchdowns of156. His career covered four seasons, 1994 to 1997. His Friday night gains covered almost five miles.
  • Track & Field: “Miracle Mile”:
    1947 State Track Meet, Class A mile run between Marvin Zimmerman, Nebraska City, and Bill Mountford, Red Cloud, a meeting of talented athletes that captured the attention of track and field that season and remains even after 50 years one of the great high school head-to-head competition of all time of any sport. Mountford’s winning time was, of course, a state record 4:26.2. 1997. After 58 years, they meet again.