HOF Announces 2018 Induction Class

LINCOLN — Major League All-Star Alex Gordon highlights the 25th induction class of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation.

The Lincoln Southeast graduate, along with 11 other athletes, five coaches, two contributors and one official will be inducted Sept. 23 at Lincoln East High School.

Tickets to the induction ceremony are $25 for adults and $10 for K-12 students. Pre-kindergarten children are admitted for no charge. Tickets will be available through the Nebraska Sports Council in Lincoln (402) 471-2544. Ticket sales will begin August 1.

This year’s inductees are:


–Rik Bonness, Bellevue East (1973): He was a two-time all-state selection in football for the Chieftains, and a two-time All-American at center for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He played five years in the NFL.

–Richard Brown, Omaha South (1958): A four-time finalist and three-time state wrestling champion, he played halfback and cornerback on the Packers’ mythical state champions of 1957.

–Alex Gordon, Lincoln Southeast (2002): The Prep Athlete of the Year as a senior, the future major league all-star was a three-year all-state and the Gatorade Player of the Year in baseball and all-class all-state in football. At NU, he led the Huskers to their first College World Series appearance and was the consensus Player of the Year in 2005.

–Tom Heller, Kearney High (1967): The 1967 Athlete of the Year, he was the first Kearney High football player to rush for 1,000 yards, earning all-state honors. He also earned all-state honors in basketball and qualified for the state track meet. At Nebraska, he was a part-time starter as a sophomore before joining the navy.

–Christina (Houghtelling) Hudson, Cambridge (2003): A four-year letterwinner in volleyball, basketball and track, she achieved all-class all-state honors in volleyball and basketball and won three all-class gold medals in track. She lettered four times for the NU volleyball team and was the National Player of the Year in 2005.

–Trevor Johnson, Lincoln Northeast (1999): All-state in football and basketball and an all-class gold medalist in the discus, he helped the Rockets to three straight basketball championships then went on to play football at Nebraska, where he was a four-year letterman. He played four years in the NFL.

–Keith Jones, Omaha Central (1984): Breaking records set by Gale Sayers, Jones ran for 1,700 ards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He helped Central to back-to-back state track titles, winning the 200 in 1984. As a Husker, “End Zone” Jones rushed for 32 touchdowns and nearly 2,500 yards.

–Janet (Kruse) Sellon, Blair (1987): A four-year letterman in volleyball, a three-year starter in basketball and four-year state qualifier in track, she became a three-year starter and a four-time letterwinner for the Cornhusker volleyball team. She was Nebraska’s first three-time All-American.

–Jack McCartney, North Platte (1944): A track standout, winning all-class gold medals in the broad jump and 220-yard dash, “Bullet Jack” earned all-state honors in football and a three-year basketball letterman.

–Ben Plucknett, Beatrice (1972): The American record holder in the discus, “Big Ben” won the all-class gold medal in the shot put and discus at the state meet in 1972. At the University of Missouri, he won three Big Eight discus championships.

–Danis (Richards) Willett, Benkelman (1975): A four-time Class C gold medalist in the 440-yard dash, she won the all-class gold medal in 1974 and 1975. At Kearney State College, she ranked in the top 25 of all collegiate runners in the 400.

–Katie (Robinette) Kock, South Sioux City (2001): A four-time all-state basketball player, she led the Cardinals to a 102-5 record and three state championships during her career. She played collegiately at Nebraska and Iowa State, earning All-Big 12 second-team honors as a senior for the Cyclones.


Max Kurz Millard West: During his 47-year tenure at Millard, Millard South and Millard West, his cross country teams won three state championships and finished in the top 21 top-four finishes. His boys track team claimed one title and seven top-four finishes. He was named the Metro Conference track and cross country coach of the year 14 times.

Duane Mendlik, Wisner-Pilger: He has compiled 650 victories coaching boys basketball at West Point Central Catholic and Wisner-Pilger high schools. His West Point CC teams won back-to-back state titles in 1998 and 1999.

Russ Ninemire, Sandy Creek: The architect of the Cougars’ dynasty that includes a 95-game win streak and 10 state championships, Ninemire departed from the program with 583 coaching victories.

Rochelle Rohlfs, Omaha Marian: Her run as volleyball coach of the Crusaders has included four state championships, four other state finals appearances and 718 victories. Her teams have qualified for the state tournament in 21 of 26 years.

Diane Rouzee, Grand Island Northwest: Her 30 years as head coach of the Vikings produced three state championships, six runner-up finishes, 23 trips to the state tournament and 768 victories.


Don “Tot” Holmes, Gothenburg: As the sports editor of the Tri-City Tribune, Holmes developed the paper into the center of attention for the Southwest and Hi-Line Conferences. An avid sports fan and historian, he has written books covering 100-year histories of Gothenburg football and track.

Bob Whitehouse, Omaha: Recently inducted into the National High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, Whitehouse has been a coach and administrator since 1967. He has served on the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation since 1995, serving as President for six years.


Dick Morrissey, Omaha: Officiating from 1972-2013, Morrissey worked approximately 300 football and 1,300 basketball games. He refereed five state championship basketball games and was selected to work playoff games in 20 years.


In addition to the inductees, the all honors people, teams and programs for exceptional performances in and around high school sports. This year’s honorees are:

–Great Moments in Sports: Friend High School football, 1933, completed a 6-0 record playing 11-man football with only 11 players on the roster.

–Dominant Dynasty: Spencer-Naper boys basketball team, 1999-2007, compiled a 216-19 record including a 56-game winning streak, two state championships and three runner-up finishes.

–Ron Gustafson Inspiration Award: Sam Schukei, a senior at Kenesaw High School who lost his lower left leg in a lawn mower accident at age six, but is a four-year letterman in football, played basketball and qualified for the state track meet in the discus.

–Fischer Family Award: Del and Marilyn Stracke Family of Stuart.

–Golden Anniversary Team: Aurora football, of 1968.

–Golden Anniversary Team: Valentine wrestling of 1968-69.

–Silver Anniversary Team: Deshler Girls Basketball of 1993-94.

–Silver Anniversary Team: Hastings Football, 1993.