Basketball – 1997: Fairbury, 1973


Greg Rosener
Bob Kujath
Mark Hansen
Mark Bangert
Greg Gibson
Dell Schmidt
John Krause
Russ Vanous
Bob Parks
Bob Siegel
Roger Stewart
Kim Kujath

Greg Hansmire, Student Manager
Ken Milius, Student Manager


Charlie Moore, Head Coach
Don Mahlman, Assistant Coach

The team ended the ’73 season with a record of 25-2 and a Class B State Championship. Fairbury’s two losses came at the hands of fellow Central Conference member Crete, 66-76 and 78-88. Fairbury avenged these losses with a 72-60 District win. The Jeffs had state tournament wins over Albion 74-52, Lincoln Pius X 52-47, and Sidney 60-54.

Basketball – 1996: Columbus Discovers, 1971-72

Do you know how many teams not from Omaha or Lincoln have won the state’s big school basketball championship in the last 40 high school seasons (written in 1996)?

Three: Fremont in 1961, Columbus in 1972 and Norfolk in 1987. And Silver Anniversary team winner, the ’72 Columbus bunch, won its title at the Nebraska Coliseum with a 71-67 conquest of defending champion Lincoln East.

Coach Jack Johnson’s team, a regular basketball contender in this era, flashed its talent and balance by almost making a rout of the championship game, getting a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter. Then, typical of what happens in the state tournament, they had to dig down and show some grit to survive a rally by East to pluck the championship.

The Discoverers won 19 of 23 games, were Class A’s high scoring team that year and a well deserving state champion.

Roster from the 1972 State Tournament Program:

Frank Brower
Roger Brown
Larry Cattau
Les Cattau
Vernon Davis
Keith Davy
Tom Heiser
Rick Joseph
Dan Lannan
Dan Miller
Paul Potter
Scott Troffiolz
Jon Wagner
Mike Wagner
Coach: Jack Johnson
Assistants: Dennis Van Fossen
Richard Babst

Scorer: Don Holscher
Student Manager: Bruce Friedrichsen
Student Manager: Neil Dankert

Basketball – 1995: 1971 Lincoln East Spartans

There were Nebraska high school teams more heavily favored to be a state champion in their sport than Lincoln East’s 1970-71 boys basketball team. The Spartans weren’ t necessarily big by basketball standards. They had a scrap on their hands just to get out of districts.

What sets the Hall of Fame’s Silver Anniversary Team winner off from the others that year was how they won their state championship. They had the best won-lost record in Class A, 19-2, and they had a great state tournament, a thrilling run to the 1971 state championship in a era filled with great basketball players and teams.

East’s exciting three days began with a 76-69 win over Alliance. Next was Hastings by 84-83 and that one could have gone either way. And the 74-72 title win over Papillion came on a last-second shot by Scott Copple on an out-of-bounds play regarded one of the most thrilling windup of any boys basketball state tournament game. Ever.

1971 Lincoln East Spartans:

10 Jack Ball 5-10 Jr.
42 Tom Bothwell 6-0 So.
24 Bryce Carlson 6-0 Jr.
40 Scott Copple 6-2 Jr.
52 Reg Gast 6-2 So.
20 Steve Joekel 12 Sr.
30 Rob Ogden 6-0 Sr.
22 Kent Reckewey 6-1 Sr.
44 Rick Samuelson 6-3 So.
14 Chris Siefkes 5-11 Jr.
32 Gene Smith 6-0 Jr.
34 Kurt Stacey 6-0 So.
Student Manager-Joe Bryant

Head Coach-Paul Forch

Assistants-Ken Rippe, Rudy Stoehr, Ed McPherren