Athlete. A triple-talented athlete in the sports of volleyball, basketball and track; this 1983 graduate of Beatrice High School ranks high on the list of best women athletes in the state. All-state in volleyball (178 ace spikes, 93 per cent server), she was also all-state in basketball, leading South all-stars to its first win in the Coaches All-Star Game. She was a gold medal champion in track in the 100-meter hurdles, never losing a hurdle race in the last three years of high school. An All-American volleyball player at the University of Nebraska, she led the Lady Huskers to their first NCAA volleyball final four appearance.Drafted by professional Minnesota Monarchs.
Athlete. Despite his height – 6 feet, 6 inches – Willard Schmidt did not start playing basketball until his junior year when he joined the team coached by Hall of Famer Joe Sukovaty. His junior year, Schmidt led his team to a Class L state basketball championship. Schmidt scored 43 of the 107 points the team tallied in four games. His senior year (1928), Schmidt, by then an inch taller, led Swanton to a 22-1 record and a Class F title. Swanton outscored its opponents 109-46, and Schmidt had 45 of the 109. Schmidt went on to play for Creighton University from 1931 to 1934 and was a three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection. Creighton was the MVC champion the 1931-1932 season and runner-up the next two seasons. Schmidt played for the AAU national championship team from McPherson, Kan., in 1936 and was picked for the 1936 Olympic team that won the gold medal in Berlin – the first American team to win an Olympic gold medal.
A mirror image of her sister, Debbie, the Spickelmier twins dominated Class D throughout their high school careers that included two state track championships, a state basketball championship and two state track and one volleyball runner-up finish. Donna won 16 medals at the state track meet, including an all-class gold medal in the 1,6000-meter run. She put her name on Nebraska’s all-time top 10 charts in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. On the volleyball court, she led the Cardinals to three state tournaments and earned all-state honors as a junior and a senior. She was second-team all-state helping Hayes Center to the Class D-2 state basketball championship her senior year. At Kearney State College, she earned eight All-American honors and won NAIA national championships in the mile, the 1,500 and the 3,000.