Dennis Harrison – Ralston



Dennis Harrison competed at the top of a very elite group of gymnasts, winning two state high school all-around championships and a total of nine state gold medals. For the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Harrison was an 11-time All-American and the 1994 NCAA all-around champion. A five-time Big Eight champion, Harrison and the Huskers qualified for the NCAAs all four seasons, earning runner-up finishes in 1992 and 1993 before winning the national title in 1994. He set the Husker record in the floor exercise (9.90) and his career-best all-around score of 58.50 ranked second. He competed for the U.S. National Team 10 times, winning the all-around bronze medal at the 1993 World University Games.




Harold ‘Swede’ Hawkins – Oakland

Coach. Swede coached golf for a total of 23 years at Oakland-Craig and more than half of that time he had state championship teams. He picked up a total of 13 state trophies with 11 in a row in Class C. That feat established not only a state record but set a national record as well. The trophy cases had to be bulging because this did not take into account the numerous district and conference titles his teams picked up during this time.

His personal honors include being named Region 6 National Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1991 plus Nebraska Coaches Association Golf Coach of the Year in 1986,1987, and 1989. The Nebraska School Activities Association awarded him a service award for golf in 1990 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1994. His winning record was recognized by the Hall of Fame as one the Great Moments in High School Sports.


Cedric Hunter – Omaha South


Cedric Hunter dribbled through one of the greatest eras of basketball in Nebraska High School history. The Omaha South guard who lettered in all four years, averaged more than 23 points per game as a junior and then scored 27.3 points per game as a senior and was selected the captain of the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska squad. He went on to play at Kansas, starting eight games as a freshman and 107 in his four-year career. He finished with 1,022 points for the Jayhawks and set the school’s single-season record for assists. He went on to play for the Charlotte Hornets for three years before a long career in the CBA/WBL where he set career records for assists and steals.


Gene Harmon – Schuyler

Athlete. The 6-foot-7 forward from Schuyler starred with center Chuck Jura on the 1968 Class B state championship basketball team.  Referred to as the “Jolly Green Giants,” the Schuyler Warriors were considered by some to be the best Class B team of all time.  During his high school career, Gene was a noted rebounder and defensive player, while maintaining a scoring average of 24.3 points per game.  Gene scored 53 points against York in 1969 for a single-game school record.   Gene racked up a career total of 1,466 points.  He also played football and was a gold medal champion in the high hurdles. He played college basketball for Creighton University graduating with a business degree in 1975.

Russ Hochstein – Hartington Cedar Catholic

Russ Hochstein

Hartington Cedar Catholic


Russ Hochstein turned an all-around athletic career at Hartington Cedar Catholic into a football career that culminated in three Super Bowl Rings.  A BlueChip Illustrated football All-American as a senior, Hochstein was a 12-time letterman at Cedar Catholic, earning all-state honors for three years in football and basketball and broke the schools 23-year -old shot put record in track.  He came close to logging more that 100 tackles three years running and averaged a double-double on the basketball court (15 points, 10 rebounds) as a senior.  An all-class, all-state offensive lineman as a senior, Hochstein signed to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers where he was a first-team All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection.  In his 12-year NFL career, he became the second player to win a Super Bowl ring in three consecutive years.

Jeff Hayes – Lyons

InducteeAthlete. The 1979 Lyons grad garnered many individual honors in his four years of basketball. He was named to the East Husker all-conference basketball team for three years, then selected Class C All-State his junior and senior years.  With Lyons making the trip to the state meet, he was twice named to the all-tournament team in Class C and the all-class all-tournament team his senior year.  Jeff had to be one of the major factors in Lyons being picked as the No. 3 team in the all-class rankings in 1979.  He had a high school career scoring record of 1,585 points with game highs of 45 points and 27 rebounds.  Jeff was selected to the KCAU Channel 9 All-Area Team and a member of the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star team.  He went on to play ball at Hastings College where he was all-district and all-state-college his junior and senior years. He played in the NAIA District 11 All-Star game for three years.  His college scoring total was 1,990 points.  After college Jeff played basketball in Australia.  He played on the National Championship Adelaide Buffalos and three years on the Noarlunga City Tigers.  He was elected MVP of the Grand Finals for Adelaide, scoring 38 points and hauling down 28 rebounds.  He was also chosen MVP for three years at Noarlunga.  Jeff now teaches and coaches all sports at Albion Middle School.


Cindy Hays Klepper – Osceola

Athlete.  Cindy (Hays) Klepper started rewriting records right off the bat.  Just in the sport of basketball she was all-conference, all-state, all-area and Most Valuable Player in her freshman year.  These honors were all repeated in her sophomore and junior years.  One addition in her junior year: Osceola won the state championship and she was placed on the all-tournament team. It was more of the same her senior year with the addition of being consensus all-class all-state and Scholastic Coaches, Gatorade and Converse All-American Honorable Mention.  She was also featured in Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd.  A further honor was being selected honorary captain of the all-state and all-class all-state teams.  In basketball she scored 2,077 career points, which places her fifth in 2003 on the all time scoring chart in the state; set a state single-game record with 65 points, which still stands, averaged 40.33 points per game and grabbed a total of 973 rebounds.  She still holds the Class C-2 state records for the most field goals in one state tournament game (19) and most points (45). Her volleyball accomplishments are practically a carbon copy of basketball as she was named all-conference, all-state and MVP three of her four years in high school.  In her senior year she added all-class all-state.  Track wasn’t left out. She was a two-time state qualifier in the shot and still holds school records in the discus and shot.  Competing for Midland College she set records for points in a game (42), points in a season (689), points by a freshman (554) and a career total of 2, 567 points.  One almost unbelievable stat was shooting 100 percent from the field in one game.  She won many honors including Team MVP, all-conference, Kodak all-district and World-Herald and Journal-Star all-state honors all four years. She earned All-American Honorable Mention her freshman year, All-American third-team honors her sophomore and junior years, and first-team All-American and Kodak All-American honors her senior year.  Also in her senior year she was selected Journal-Star and World-Herald College Athlete of the Year.

Ed Husmann – Ogallala

Athlete.Ed Husmann’s road to a professional football career began at Ogallala High School. Where he earned all-conference and all-state honors in 1948. He also lettered in basketball and track at Ogallala High School before moving to the University of Nebraska where he was a star on the Cornhusker football and wrestling teams. In football, he lettered in 1950, ’51 and ’52. He was the captain of the Husker football team and named the most valuable defensive lineman in 1952. He also played in the East-West Shrine Game. On the wrestling mat, he was the 1953 Big Seven heavyweight champion and finished third at the national meet. He went on to play professional football for the Chicago Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers, playing on the Oilers’ AFL championship team of 1961. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he set the Oilers’ single game sack record of four in 1961. Lives in Conroe, TX.

Jim Hartung – Omaha South

Athlete–Disciplined muscle strength is the essence of the difficult sport of gymnastics. Jim Hartung had it, really had it, perhaps like no other Nebraskan ever and few in the world during his athletic prime.  He completed his high school gymnastics career with 18 individual event championships and won the Nebraska School Activities Association all-around state championship from 1975 to 1977.  Omaha South won the state gymnastics championship each season Hartung competed.  At the University of Nebraska, he became only the second person in NCAA men’s gymnastics history to win seven individual titles in a career, including all-around NCAA champion in 1980 and 1981.  He was a record-setting 22-time NCAA All-American.  Nebraska also won team NCAA titles during the Hartung era. He achieved a boyhood dream and earned spots on the 1980 and 1984 United States Olympic teams, the latter winning the Gold Medal.

A Jim Hartung quote:

There have been a lot of highlights, but when I was twelve years old I watched the Olympics and I remember saying to myself, that looks pretty cool, I think I might like to do that. I decided that that was what I was going to do, and from the time I was about 14 or 15 I thought about the Olympics every day of my life.  Those other things, getting married and having kids, they weren’t lifelong goals, I guess I just figured down the road it was something I was going to do, but making the Olympics was something that motivated me every day of my life for a lot of years and I can’t think of anything else that’s made me feel anything like that.

From Omaha Sports Hall of Fame:

There are definitions that define athletes, however mere description does not begin to illustrate the impact Jim Hartung has on Nebraska gymnastics or the way in which his name has become synonymous with the sport in the state.  A standout from the time he entered Omaha South High School, Hartung would go on to become one of the greatest high school gymnasts ever, winning eighteen career individual championships, including three All-Around championships, while leading South High to state championship four straight years.

Upon entering the University of Nebraska in 1979, Hartung did not skip a beat, continuing to lead teams to championships and establishing himself as the best collegiate gymnast in the country.   Hartung led Nebraska to four straight national championships, during which time he was a twenty-two –time All-American, and won the NCAA All-Around titles in 1980 and 1981.  Titles in the Still Rings from 1980-82 and the Parallel Bars in 1981 and 1982 solidified Hartung’s status as the greatest gymnast in the history of the Cornhuskers.

After the 1980 season, Hartung was chosen to represent the United States in the Olympic Games; it was his performance on the 1984 squad, though, that made Hartung an international legend.  For the first time in Olympic history, the United States won a gold medal in gymnastics, with Hartung competing in the All-Around and placing ninth.  Hartung was also a member of three World Championship Teams for the United States, finishing his career with an amazing thirteen championship team titles.

Jim Hartung still holds the University of Nebraska records in the All-Around, Still Rings and the Pommel Horse, was the first Husker to win the Nissen-Emery Award for the nation’s best gymnast  and was elected to the Nebraska Sports High School Hall of Fame in 1993 and the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.  He currently is an assistant coach for the University of Nebraska and a gymnastics judge.

Other honors:

  • 1984 – Member of the United States Gold Medal Winning Gymnastics Team
  • 1980 and 1984 – Member of the United States Gymnastics Team
  • 1979-1984 – Member of Four National Championship Teams at Nebraska
  • 22-time NCAA All-American
  • 1980 and 1981 – NCAA All-Around Champion
  • 1980,1981 and 1982 – NCAA Still Rings Champion
  • 1981 and 1982 – NCAA Parallel Bars Champion
  • 1982 – Nebraska’s First Nissen-Emery Award Winner
  • 1994 – Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
  • 1997 – USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame Inductee

Steve Hokuf – Crete

Athlete. An all-around athlete who stood out in football, basketball and track through high school and college, Hokuf was called “The greatest all-around Cornhusker of them all,” by Omaha World-Herald sports editor Frederick Ware. In high school, Hokuf was a two-time all-state selection in basketball and as an end in football. He also won the 1928 high school state pentathlon. At the University of Nebraska, he earned nine letters He was All-Big Six in football in 1929, 1930 and 1932 and was All-Big Six in basketball in 1931 and 1933. He earned All-American honors in 1933. He was the Big Six javelin champion in 1933. He played three years of professional baseball for the Boston Redskins and tried his hand at minor league baseball. He was an assistant football coach at Wyoming, Columbia and Pittsburgh universities before becoming head coach at Lafayette College and Baltimore Junior College. He has been inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Basketball Hall of Fame and the Maryland Football Hall of Fame. Deceased.