Curt Shockey- Ralston

Coach- 2019

As Head Baseball Coach at Ralston High School from 1982 to 2004, Curt Shockey’s Rams enjoyed a litany of success.  As one of the smallest Class A schools, Shockey led Ralston to six state titles, including a “three-peat” in 1986, ’87 and ’88.  As the skipper of the Rams, he surpassed the 1,000-win mark in 2004.  He was named the All-State Coach four times, the Regional Coach of the year twice, and one of eight finalists for National Coach of the year on two occasions.  More than 120 of his players earned college baseball scholarships.  He coached three All-Americans, and five former players went on to play professionally.  He has published several articles on hitting, infield play, coaching philosophy and baseball’s mental game.  After a decade away from the high school game, he returned to the bench as an assistant on the staff of his son, Jason, at Bellevue West.

 

Janet Kruse Sellon-Blair

Athlete

Blair (Class of 1987)

Janet (Kruse) Sellon shredded opposing volleyball defenses. With nearly half of her attacks resulting in kills, she proved to be a dynamic volleyball player, starting four years at Blair and earning all-state honors her junior and senior seasons. She also started for three years in basketball, earning all-state honors, and she was a state champion high jumper. But volleyball paved the way in college where she became a three-year starter and a four-time letterwinner for the Nebraska Cornhusker volleyball team. She was Nebraska’s first three-time All-American and an NCAA Woman of the Year while leading the Huskers to the NCAA Tournament semifinals twice.

Jerry Stine-Omaha

Contributor
As a coach, historian, promoter and documentarian, Jerry Stine dedicated countless hours to the betterment of Nebraska high school sports. Throughout his 40-year career, Stine coached boys’ basketball & track at Wheeler Central – Bartlett and girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ track at Bertrand. After leaving the coaching ranks, Stine continued to contribute to high school sports as a long-time member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation’s board of directors, documenting and organizing the board’s historical research. A past-president of the Nebraska Coaches Association, Stine is the creator, author and secretary of the NCA milestone awards that bear his name.

Daryl Stovall-Bellevue West

Bellevue West (Class of 1978)
A lock-down defender on the basketball court and a speedy outfielder on the baseball diamond, Daryl Stovall used his athletic skills to allow him to be selected by the Chicago White Sox in the Major League Baseball draft, and the San Diego Clippers in the NBA draft. At Bellevue West, he averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds as a senior all-stater. On the baseball diamond, he was a two-time all-state selection. At Creighton University, he continued to play both sports, setting a freshman home run record and averaging double figures in basketball his last three years. He signed with the Chicago White Sox before his senior baseball season.

Anne Shadle-South Sioux City

South Sioux City (Class of 2001)
The road under Anne Shadle’s feet often seemed to fly by. At South Sioux City, where her father was the coach, Shadle took the first steps to becoming a premier runner. She won three Class B and two all-class gold medals at the state cross country championships and three all-class gold medals at the state track meet. She went on to earn seven track and cross country letters at Nebraska, making the jump to the next level when she won the indoor mile and outdoor 1,500 at the NCAA championships in 2005. She graduated from Nebraska holding two individual and three relay records. After college, she ran professionally for three years, competing in the 2008 Olympic Trials.

Renee Saunders-Omaha Marian

Omaha Marian (Class of 1995)
Renee Saunders kept her eye on the ball. Named all-class all-state in volleyball and basketball her junior and senior seasons, she led Omaha Marian to the state basketball tournament every year and a state runner-up finish her junior year. She graduated as Marian’s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding. On the volleyball court, she garnered All-American honors, logging 335 kills as a senior. She also lettered in softball and track and field at Marian and was the consensus athlete of the year by The Omaha World Herald and The Lincoln Journal Star her senior season. Saunders went on to play basketball and volleyball at the University of Nebraska. Though her basketball career was short, she was a major contributor for the Husker volleyball team.

LAURA SPANHEIMER DECHANT – Omaha Marian

Omaha Marian (Class of 2001)
The Athlete of the Year tag stuck to Omaha Marian’s Laura Spanheimer, who twice earned the honor from the Lincoln Journal-Star and as a senior from the Omaha World-Herald. She led Marian to back-to-back state basketball championships those years, earning all-metro and all-state accolades. An outstanding runner as well, she burst on the scene by winning the All-Class gold medal in the 1,600 at the state meet as a freshman. She went on to win two individual 800 gold medals and ran on four state-champion 4×800 relays, including one that set a state and state meet record. In cross country, she finished second in state as a sophomore and junior and won the event as a senior. At Creighton University, she earned All-Missouri Valley basketball honors and finished her career with the most steals in Bluejay history and the second-highest total of games played.

SARAH SASSE-KILDOW – Lincoln High

Lincoln High (Class of 1998)

In spite of her diminutive size, Sarah Sasse-Kildow cast a long shadow on Nebraska high school girls golf. After tying for fourth at the state meet as a freshman and second as a sophomore, she won back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior. She also dominated the amateur golf ranks, winning three state junior match-play championships and the first of five women’s state amateur championships the summer before her senior year. At the University of Nebraska, Sasse-Kildow was a three-time All-Big 12 pick and the conference champion and Player of the Year as a senior, the year she claimed first-team All-American honors. She established Husker records for the lowest 36- and 54-hole scores and went on to compete in three U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships.

Conde Sargent – Lincoln

Contributor.  A faithful keeper of the lighthouse of Nebraska high school sports, this sports writer and association executive spent the better part of a lifetime supporting the pursuit of excellence in both academics and athletics. As a long-time sports writer for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal & Star newspapers, his expertise was put to good use when he became a member of the executive staff of the Nebraska School Activities Association. Through his careful keeping of high school athletic records and tournament lore, the history of secondary education is enhanced by an accurate account of its athletic activities–developed/maintained records and state meet championship history in all high school sports and made information available to press and public via news releases, state tournament programs and through the NSAA internet website, which he developed. On the founding Board of Directors of the high school hall of fame.

Chapter out of a book aboout high school sports by Tad Styker.

If you like high school athletics, take a moment to cheer for Conde Sargent, because few have done as much for Nebraska prep sports.  Sargent, who graduated from high school in Indiana, will be forever linked to the Cornhusker State as a journalist, then as an assistant director of the Nebraska School Activities Association. He has written about, campaigned for, eaten, slept and dreamt prep sports.

He took the lead in promoting high school activities during the last three decades, and is one of the leaders responsible for Nebraska’s system of well-organized and well-run state tournaments.

Sargent was a prep sports beat writer with the Lincoln Journal-Star and the Omaha World-Herald. That included a stint as the World-Herald’s famous (or infamous) prep rater, a rather high-profile job in this state. Being the prep rater is somewhat like coaching–everyone is interested in your opinion, but they reserve the right to criticize it to the ends of the earth. It’s also like beekeeping–you’re likely to get stung every couple of weeks.

After leaving daily journalism, Sargent joined the executive staff of the NSAA, where he worked for 22 years. His efforts at getting information to the media in a timely manner have been remarkable. Time after time, he has gone out of his way to help players, coaches, administrators and members of the media, even when they were less than appreciative. Even heart surgery has not diminished his hospitable spirit.

“His dedication to the job stands out,” said Jim Riley, executive director of the NSAA. “The main thing he brought us is that he understands the necessity to publicize activities, and he brought the expertise to do it. The time of the day or the day of the week doesn’t matter to him. He just gets the job done.”

The game has not passed him by. Sargent stayed current. He was responsible for developing the NSAA’s efficient, informative website (http:www.nsaahome.org).

One of his favorite causes has been the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame. Sargent has championed that fledging organization, and now, fittingly, he has been enshrined it it. Even more fittingly, he was honored as a “contributor.”   Few have given more to the cause.

He retired in 1998, and the world of Nebraska prep sports will miss him.

Like many leaders, Sargent has had to weather some criticism with grace, but hopefully, he’s enjoyed a lot of sunny skies along the way. He left us with a much clearer view of the prep sports scene than we had before he came along.

John Sanders – Grand Island

Athlete. Outstanding letterman in three sports for Grand Island High School earned nine varsity letters and collected numerous personal honors: All State football quarterback in 1963; basketball All State and All State Tournament First Team in 1964; record for the most field goals in one state tournament game; single season and career scoring records for Grand Island High; 1964 Gold Medal discus winner in the State Track Meet breaking the 24 year old state discus record set by Howard Debus of Lincoln High.  He was the 1964 High School Athlete of the Year.

In June of 1964, John received two important documents–his high school diploma and a bonus contract from the baseball Kansas City Athletics.   Manager Whitey Herzog was present to do the signing honors.  It launched a lifetime in baseball. John was in the minors one year and then was called up to the majors with the Kansas City A’s in 1965. He was a long-time head baseball coach at the University of Nebraska. John is presently a minor league manager for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, a Boston Red Sox farm team as well as manager for major league players on rehabilitation leave. He also has responsibilities in player development.