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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Athlete. Bob Siegel stepped into the high school basketball limelight immediately upon hitting the scene, scoring at a high level at a Fairbury High School player that rarely has been matched. He scored 31 points in his first high school game as a ninth grader and managed to average over twenty points a game most of the time during a career ending in 1973. Between 1970 and 1973, the Fairbury Jeffs basketball team had a 89-9 record and won 1971 and 1973 State Class B Championships. Siegel’s high school career total was 2,337 points, still high on the all-time list. He was one of the few Nebraska high school players invited to play in a national high school all-star game, he had a successful varsity career in college wearing the scarlet and cream of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Siegel finished his UNL career 7th all time in scoring and was inducted into the University basketball Hall of Fame in January of 1996. His uniform number 51 was retired by Fairbury High School.
Contributor. For more than 50 years George Sullivan’s name was synonymous with excellence in training, physical therapy and Nebraska athletics. In fact, he was so well thought of that the training room in Memorial Stadium is named for him. Although he officially retired in 1996 after being the head trainer for 20 years, he continued as a medical consultant to the Nebraska Athletic Department and other organizations. His induction into The Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame is merely the latest in a long line of selections into various Nebraska and national halls of fame. Many high school coaches would consider the Rockville, Nebraska, native a great asset for them because of his availability in time of injury need. In many smaller communities where there were no doctors or at least none with a sports medicine background, George was their salvation. Usually all it took was one call to the University training room and he would set up a time to evaluate the injured athlete. After his evaluation he would recommend a method of therapy, proper wrapping, taping or total rest if necessary. If the injury was of a more serious nature he would recommend physicians for further evaluation.