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.
After two years as an assistant boys basketball coach at Elm Creek, Randy Carpenter started the girls basketball program at Lexington in 1974, creating an after-school program that would feed his varsity. The early success of his teams helped steer Nebraska into the modern era of girls basketball. Throughout his career, the passionate and colorful Carpenter earned a reputation for producing teams that played solid player-to-player defense and were well-prepared. In a coaching tenure that lasted 37 years, he led the Minutemaids to state championships in 1978 and 1987, two runner-up trophies in 1977 and 1991, 13 district championships and 12 Southwest Conference titles. He retired in 2011 with a 492-276 record. His last team set a school record with 23 victories.
Athlete. Wahoo High School Class of 1898. As a high school star, Crawford led Wahoo to two state football championships in 1896 and 1897 and was also noted for foot racing wherever he played. Crawford showed a prodigiousness for baseball at an early age and he left his home at 17 to play in the minor leagues, taking his hometown with him as a nickname, “Wahoo Sam” Crawford.
Crawford was considered by baseball experts to be the the premier power-hitter of his day and still holds baseball’s career record for triples with 312. In fact, he led the American League in triples 5 times. Sam played in the outfield with Hall of Fame legend Ty Cobb. He played with the Detroit Tigers for 15 of his 19 big league years during which Detroit won the pennant 3 years in a row. Sam became the first player in the modern era to win home run titles in both the NL and the AL. Named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957. Died in 1968 in California.
For baseball info on Sam Crawford, go to : http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=Sam%20Crawford
Athlete. Millard North (1997)
The 2001 Heisman Trophy winner, Eric Crouch was a four-year starter at quarterback for Nebraska where he finished his career as the third-leading rusher and third-leading passer of all time. At Millard North he rewrote the Class A football record book as one of the top prep quarterbacks in state history. A 1996 Parade All-American, he was named the state’s offensive player of the year by both major newspapers. He set records with 50 touchdowns, 308 points 5,134 yards of total offense over a three-year career. In track, he was the Metro Conference champion in the 100 and 200 meters as a senior and the 200 as a junior.
Coach. Conrad “Cornie” Collin coached basketball at South High for 30 years. He won 400 games. He won basketball state championships in 1937, 1944 and 1960. He also was a football, track and baseball coach. His 1960 basketball team was 21-0 and the only unbeaten Class A team for a 29-year period. At one time he was the only public-school coach in Nebraska to have state-championship teams in football, basketball and baseball.
At Huron SD, he played sports and led the high school to two state basketball titles, was all-state four years in basketball and two years in football and also excelled in track and baseball.
Captained both the basketball and football teams at Creighton. In 1933, he was an All-America selection in basketball after leading the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring. In football, the halfback was all-conference twice and he was an outstanding punter as well. Played for the Chicago Bears in the first college all-star football game in 1934 (though he never played an NFL game). He also spent one year in the Detroit Tigers’ baseball organization. He officiated in the Big 8 and Big 10 for a dozen years in football and basketball.
Athlete, Class of 1997
Kelly Cizek was a game changer. The Female Athlete of the Year in 1997, Cizek combined size, speed, grace and intelligence to dominate in volleyball, basketball and track. Ranked No. 4 nationally in the high jump (5- foot-10) by Track and Field News, listed in the “Fab 50” by Volleyball Magazine and voted to the top 100 basketball team, she graduated with Millard South records in all three sports, After her freshman year at Ralston, she transferred to Millard South, which won the state basketball championship her junior year and reached the semifinals in her sophomore and senior seasons. She was a three-time Class A high jump champion and the 1997 gold medalist in the 100-meter high hurdles. She accepted a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball and run track at Iowa State but switched to basketball after her freshman year.
Coach–Where Nebraska highway 91 meets the Cedar River in northeastern Greeley County is the home country of the Spalding Academy High School. One who dedicated his life for nearly a half century to the improvement of athletics here was Coach Ed Colleran, between 1933 and 1980. Doing double duty as both boys basketball and football coach, he doubled as a mailman-coach for several years and became a teacher when the state rules changed to require the head coaches to be on the staff. His football teams had a 169-84-8 record. This important member of the community compiled an enviable lifetime list of 648 wins in basketball and 169 victories in football. During the late 1960s, the green & white-clad Shamrocks of Spalding Academy were high on list of successful boys basketball teams in the state tournament, reaching the semifinals in Class D in 1967.
In the early stages of girls athletics in Nebraska, Donna Chvatal Schuetz was among the pioneers who quickly raised the level of play. Schuetz was a four-year starter in volleyball and basketball and a standout in track at North Bend Central. She excelled in basketball, where her coach described her as a highly-skilled, motivated, unselfish athlete who demonstrated sportsmanship on and off the court. From her jump shot to rebounding to defense, she was a complete player. Her varsity teams compiled a 58-4 record with three conference and three district championships. She scored 1,056 points, handed out 256 assists, made 301 steals and shot 51 percent. Her high school volleyball teams won 45 matches and lost 12 while winning three conference titles. She also was a three-time qualifier to the state track meet. She went on to play basketball at Creighton, but injuries plagued her and as a result, curtailed her college career.
Athlete–Just a farm boy from the village of Blue Springs in Gage County, high school statistics were rarely kept in his time but his prowess quickly was known statewide at Nebraska Wesleyan College, where he developed into a ferocious football player. He transferred to the University of Nebraska and his skills became legendary skills as an athlete became nationally noticed. One of the earlier Cornhuskers to be named an All-American, he played on the undefeated 8-0 team of 1915. A veteran of World War I, Guy Chamberlin then proceeded to play football for a variety of early professional football teams. He is now properly respected as a member of both the college and the professional football halls of fame.
Chamberlin was all-state in football in 1908, 1909 and 1910. He is in both the College Hall of Fame and the Pro Hall of Fame.
Chamberlin played professional football from 1919-1926 for such teams as the Canton, Ohio Bulldogs, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Yellow Jackets. During his football career, he played in about 160 games. In an 11-year period to time, his team lost only two games, and was undefeated in nine of these years. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1962. He played or coached for six pro championship teams in a seven-year period. George Halas called him the greatest two-way end of all time.
Dick Christie was a longtime teacher, coach and administrator in the Omaha Public Schools. He coached basketball, track, golf, swimming and football (73-39-2 career record), mostly at Omaha Tech. Among his athletes were Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers and future NFL players Phillip Wise and Les Webster. Big, strong and intimidating, yet very mild-mannered, Christie gained the respect and admiration from the students and staff.
As an athletics director, he mentored many young coaches, developing them into strong, positive influences on their athletes. He served as Omaha Tech’s athletics director from 1971 to 1983 before finishing his career with OPS at Omaha South. He developed the Dutch White Relays into Omaha’s premier track meet in the 1960s.