Ben Plunknett-Beatrice

Athlete 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 […]

Laura (Pilakowski) Buttermore-Columbus

Laura (Pilakowski) Buttermore excelled on every field and court. The first female four-year, three-sport letterman at Columbus High School, she earned all-state honors in volleyball and basketball and qualified for the state track meet all four years. The consensus 1999 Female Athlete of the Year, she was the Nebraska Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year […]

JIM PAIGE – Official

Official Jim Paige spent more than 50 years calling fouls and penalties in football, basketball and track at Nebraska high school athletic events. Described as “quiet, unassuming and hard-working,” Paige displayed a respect for athletes and coaches while maintaining fairmindedness in the implementation of the rules. Selected as the Nebraska Football Official of the Year, […]

MIKE PURDY – Contributor

Contributor           No one could account for all the athletes and students who have benefitted from the unselfish contributions Mike Purdy has made to their lives. A coach and administrator in the middle school and high school ranks for more than 40 years, Purdy pioneered and promoted programs and activities that […]

Glenn Presnell – DeWitt

Athlete.  An all-state football player from DeWitt, Glenn went on to UN-L where he was all-conference for two years and part of the team that beat Illinois and Red Grange in 1925.  After college Glenn moved on to pro football passing up a contract with the New York Giants to play for the Ironton, Ohio […]

John Petersen – Columbus Scotus

COACH John Petersen’s coaching career in volleyball and basketball set the gold standard for girls athletics. He built Columbus Scotus into a volleyball dynasty, winning 15 state championships and seven runner-up trophies in a 36-year span (1973-2013) that included 28 state tournament appearances. Nine of his teams went undefeated. Including a brief stint at Newcastle, […]

Adolph “Pat” Panek – Fullerton/St. Paul/Norfolk/Denver

Coach. Ranked fifth nationally among high school football coaches in 2004 with a 328-117-29 record over 52 seasons. A Kearney native who excelled in sports in high school and at Kearney State, he coached Fullerton in 1925, St. Paul from 1926 to 1929 and Norfolk from 1929 to 1938 before spending his final 40 years […]

George Pfeifer – Boys Town

Coach. After serving in the US Navy and completing college studies, George Pfeifer came “home” to Boys Town, his alma mater, early in the 1950’s and enjoyed an outstanding head coaching career in basketball and track, and helped with football. His Cowboy basketball teams won the Class A state championship in 1965 and 1966 and […]

Louise Pound – Lincoln UNL Latin School

Contributor.  Louise Pound was a pioneer among women athletes in the state of Nebraska, enjoying much success during her high school age years although never participating in structured high school athletics. Tennis and golf were her top sports, but she gained acclaim in figure skating, skiing, cycling, basketball, swimming, riding and bowling. She was captain […]

Vern Plambeck – Kearney

Official.  It is enough said, perhaps, that Vern Plambeck has officiated high school sports since 1954. That’s six decades, and it would have been continuous except for a 1957 Army tour of duty. In the whistle-blowing fraternity, he developed into one of the best — calling seven state basketball tournaments, including the 1973 Class A […]