Cory Eikmeier – Dodge

ATHLETE

Cory Eikmeier covered a lot of ground in his high school football career – nearly five miles of running through, over, and away from opposing defenders. While leading Dodge to three consecutive Class D1 state championships, Eikmeier set five national records – points in a career (1,021), points in a season (448), touchdowns in a season (68), 100-yard games in a career (41) and consecutive 100-yard games (22). He set a state record with 8,763 rushing yards, including 2,965 yards in one season. He also earned all-state honorable mention playing on the basketball team that finished second in the state tournament. He went on to play football at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

 

 

 

 

Vern Ekfelt – Omaha Central

InducteeCoach–It takes a special kind of talent to coach a sport and promote the sport at the same time. Such a man was Coach Vern Ekfelt, a wrestling and baseball coach at Omaha Central High School from 1943-1948, and then more coaching at Omaha North High School between 1948 and 1974. While his wrestling teams won five state championships, he materially aided in the development of high school wrestling as a sport throughout Nebraska. He initiated a season-opening invitational tournament at Omaha North High, a unique event. From 1980 onward, that tournament was called the Vern Ekfelt Invitational.

Coach Ekfelt wrestled for four years at the University of Iowa without having had the benefit of a high school program.  He was also active as a wrestling official for some 20 years besides his coaching duties.

Karlene Erickson Herrell – Wheeler Central

Inductee
Athlete. In 1980, as a freshman at Wheeler Central High School, Karlene Erickson won a gold medal (all-class best) in the 3200 meter run. Her time as a Class D competitor was a full one minute faster than the time of the Class C winner in the event that year. For four straight years she won the 3200 meter gold, finishing in 1983 with a state record time of 10:19, high on the all-time best list to this day. She also won two gold medals in high school at state in the 1600 meter run. In addition, she helped Wheeler Central become Class D girls state champion in track & field for three consecutive years. The word legend comes to mind while checking her credentials.