Taleah Williams was an honor student at Norfolk High School and in spite of being born without a lower left arm she also excelled in athletics. She held several track records and qualified for the State Meet in 4 events her junior and senior seasons and was All-Conference on the basketball team. She lettered all 3 years in both sports. Tara won the gold medal in the Paralympics Trials in the long jump and she was a member of the 2016 Paralympic team in Rio. This summer she competed in London where she won the gold medal in the long jump and is World Champion in her category. Taleah is currently a member of the Doane University Track team.
Sofia Tate began dancing in kindergarten. She was inspired to pursue cheerleading after watching a performance by a University of Arkansas cheerleader on the internet. She cheered for Columbus High School, incorporating athletic feats such as back handsprings into her routine. She is currently a cheerleader at Nebraska Wesleyan, studying communication.
Directing a wrestling club for years, Joe exposed countless Omaha youngsters to the benefits and lessons of competitive sports and provided the wrestling foundation for several state champions. He organized a national youth sports program, supervised the Kiewit Physical Fitness Center, coached the Blue Jay wrestling club. He has received no less than 13 service awards for his work with outh from the local to national level. He has a masster of sceience degree in criminal justice. Did we mention that he did all this from a wheelchair?
Graduating in 1974 from Nebraska City High School, “Budge” earned 10 varsity letters in three sports for the Pioneers. He was a two time All Conference competitor in football, basketball and track and state honors in track for two years. He received a “full ride” to play football at UNL, making him the third generation Porter to play for the Huskers. This being the days of frosh football, Budge was a starter at defensive cornerback for the freshman. Things were looking up in the spring of 1976 when he came out of winter weights as the strongest defensive back in Husker history at that time. However that ended on April 21st of that year when during practice he made a tackle on I.M. Hipp that resulted in a broken neck and total paralysis. That didn’t stop “Budge” with a strong heart and many years of physical therapy he earned his degree in 1981 in Business and Distributive Education, He still lifts weights daily and when not working he goes fishing with his wife Diane in their six-wheel amphibious ATV which he also uses for hunting. Claire, the eldest of his three children, might sum it up the best when said, “My daddy is real strong, did you know that?”
After learning of Olinda’s diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease some 20 years ago, Rich and Olinda just dug down deeper to raise their young children. Countless hours were spent at their kids’ activities, especially if it involved basketball, since Rich is varsity girls basketball coach at Millard South. Even after she couldn’t climb the bleachers, Olinda would sit on the bottom row offering her praise and encouragement. Over time, as the disease took its toll, she became more determined to see her children grow up, graduate, get jobs, and even marry. Year after year she still makes the games sitting in her wheel chair unable to walk or speak, but she still communicates with her eyes or by mouthing the words to her interpreter. There is a lot of post-game analysis that takes place at home, and she even writes letters of instruction and encouragement to many of Rich’s players. Rich is always near by for Olinda, making sure her health services are in place, and if not, he takes care of her needs himself. Rich never complains because he admires the courage of his wife and draws inspiration from her.