Colby Wissel, an Elm Creek native, joined the Kearney High track dynasty his sophomore year and emerged as Nebraska’s all-time premier distance runner. Wissel won nine all-class gold medals and finished with state records in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. In cross country, he won three consecutive State titles and was a member of the 2003 State championship team. On the track, Wissel won back-to-back gold medals at the State Meet in the 1600, 3200 and 4X800 relay. He was a member of three State Championship teams, just part of a record setting 11 consecutive titles. At the University of Kansas, Wissel was a two-time All-American in cross country and won the 2006 Big 12 Championship. He also won the 2007 Big 12 Championship in the 3000 meters and later achieved All-American status and set the school record in the event.
Switching from tight end to running back his senior year, Aaron Golliday displayed his strength and power as he rushed for nearly 2000 yards and scored 21 touchdowns for the Dukes football team that reached the state semifinals. Golliday, a USA Today Honorable Mention All-American who also handled the kicking and punting duties for his football team, was a 12-time letter winner. All-conference in basketball, Golliday excelled in track where he scored 441 points in his career. He won State Track meet medals in the discus three times and the shot put twice, climbing his way onto the all-time charts with a 63-foot 8-inch throw. Returning to tight end, he was a four-year letterman at Nebraska and played one year in NFL Europe.
Nebraska’s high school girls’ gymnastics record book is written around the career of Millard South’s Andrea Conner. She won 13 individual gold medals, and no one else won more than nine. She swept the gold medals in the floor exercise all four years and was a three-time winner on the uneven bars and the all-around. No other gymnast won more that two gold medals in any event. Conner’s efforts helped Millard South win back-to-back team titles in 1988 and 1989, establishing another gold standard by winning five gold medals in 1990. A top ten finisher in the National Junior Olympics all-around, Conner went on to letter for two years at the University of Missouri where a torn anterior cruciate ligament cut short her career.
Nebraska’s first 13-foot pole vaulter, Jenny Green dominated the event throughout her high school years, winning the All-Class gold medal all four years. As a senior, the scored all of third-place Grand Island Central Catholic’s points at the state meet, finishing first in the pole vault, long jump and 300-meter low hurdles and finishing first in the 100-meter dash. She also was a two-time All-state selection in volleyball, leading the Crusaders to a runner-up finish her senior year, and she qualified for the State Swim meet as a diver. But the pole vault was Green’s bread and butter. Nationally, she won the Nike Indoor Classic and the USA Track and Field Junior Championships. She represented the U.S. at the Junior World Championships in Grossetto, Italy. As a Freshman at Nebraska, she rewrote the record book while finishing third at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. She won four Big 12 vaulting championships and graduated with the Huskers’ indoor record and second-best outdoor mark falling just short of 14 feet.
Official- Class of 2019
Joe Wells established his reputation as a top-notch basketball referee early in his career, working his first State Tournament in 1984 at the age of 24. In an officiating career that has spanned four decades, he has worked 27 State Basketball Tournaments and was selected to work 24 State Championships, including eight in Class A. Wells’ body of work included more than 4,000 basketball games in high school, NAIA and NSAA ranks. Also an acclaimed baseball umpire, Wells donned the blue for high school, American Legion, Big 12 and Missouri Valley baseball games. He worked five State High School Baseball tournaments and nearly 20 American Legion state tournaments before moving to the coaching bench. Throughout the years, he was often accompanied by his sons, Brooks and Kirby, who followed in their father’s footsteps and have risen through high school and college officiating ranks.
From the mid-1950s to the 1970s, no one was more dedicated to the promotion of York High school athletics than “Hub” Foster. As Sports Editor of the York News times, Foster became a local icon, committing countless hours to covering York High, York St. Joseph, York college and several high schools in the York area, writing with passion and a sense of community. A 1935 York High graduate, Foster announced numerous sporting events in the area using his own public address system. A civic leader, Foster served on the York City Council, boosting youth activities and efforts to improve city parks, the sports complex, swimming pool and tennis courts. After his retirement, Foster continued to write articles for the paper until his death in 2013 at the age of 95.
The induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be held on September 22 at Lincoln East High School. Activities will begin at 1:30. A reception will be held in the cafeteria prior to the induction starting at 12:00 PM. The exhibit hall located at 500 Charleston St. will be open from 9:00 to 11:00 AM on the morning of the 22nd.
The 2018 Induction ceremony was held on September 23 at Lincoln East. This year saw the addition of 20 inductees and recognition of Silver, Gold anniversary teams, Fischer Family winner, Gustafson Award recipient and Dominant dynasty team.
Beatrice (Class of 1972)
Walter Harrison (Ben) Plucknett, a four-year letterman in football and track at Beatrice High School and the all-class gold medalist in the shot put and discus throw in 1972, developed into the premier discus thrower in the world. At the University of Missouri, “Big Ben” won three Big Eight Championships before moving into the international competition. He qualified for the 1980 Olympic team, but was denied the opportunity to compete by the Olympic boycott. In 1981, Plucknett continued to compete internationally, and his mark of 237’4” was ratified as a North American record.