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Seward High School basketball, coached by Tom McLaughlin, made a name for itself in the era of 50 years ago, making it to the state championship game three consecutive years in 1947, 1948 and 1949. Only a handful of schools after the time when districts determined state tournament teams could boast of three-in-a-row trips to the state finals.

The Hall of Fame chose to bestow its Golden Anniversary Award, planned for an outstanding team in the school 50 years ago, on Seward’s championship teams of 1948 and 1949, both of them.

The late Roland Rivers made all the all-state teams during the 1947-49 era and was the leading Class B scorer in the state two years in a row when Seward won its state championships.

The 1948 team posted a 20-2 record and came to Lincoln for a state tournament sweep with wins over Cozad (41-33), Crete (41-33) and Ord in the finals (52-42). The 1949 team collected a prized regular season victory over Class A’s highly-regarded Hastings and its star Chuck Stickels (who is in the Hall of Fame), and the Bluejays finished off a 21-1 season with another successful trip to the state tournament–beating Loup City (51-38), Gothenburg (51-44) and Omaha Holy Name in the finals (33-29).


Dick Briggs 49
Ted Dierberger 48(s)
Don Hagemoser 48(s)-49(s)
Jim Hayes 48-49
Don Imig 48-49(s)
Dick Miller 48
Cleon Nagel 48
Roland Rivers 48(s)-49(s)
Don Rolfsmeier 48(s)-49(s)
Jack Rousselle 48-49
Bernard Scheer 49(s)
Bruce Schroeder 48
Eldon Schuknecht 49
Don Strunc 48(s)
Norman Walla 49
Dick Welsh 49
Ken Wergin 48-49
Coach Tom McLaughlin
Assistant–Cecil Walker