Athlete- 2019 (1993)
It didn’t take Jeffifer (Warner) Ramsey long to catch the eyes of the state’s basketball fans. The fabulous freshmen led Greeley to an unbeaten Class D-1 State Championship. She moved to St. Paul before her junior yer, bringing her winning ways with her, taking the unbeaten Wildcats to a Class B State Title as a senior. Her high school teams compiled a 91-3 record as she scored 1,583 points and dished out more than 700 assists. She enjoyed similar success on th volleyball court where she earned All-Conference honors all four years and All-State awards for three years, Greeley qualified for the State Tournament both years, and St.Paul lost hard-fought district finals. She played basketball at Iowa State for two years before transferring to the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she twice was named the Conference Player of the Year, leading the Loper to the NCAA Division National Tournament.
Athlete- 2019 (2004)
You couldn’t overlook Danny Woodhead once he stepped on the field. Scoring 28 points in a quarter in basketball, earning All-State honors in soccer and placing in the 100 meters at the state track meet, Woodhead stood out for the North Platte Bulldogs. But the football field was where he towered over the competition. A three-time All-State selection, he set Class A career records for points, touchdowns and yards; the season record for points; and the single-game record for touchdowns. At 5-foot-8, he was considered too short for major college football, but at Chadron State he became college football’s All-Time leading rusher with 7,962 yards and twice won the Harlon Hill Trophy. He went on to play 10 years in the NFL for the Chargers, Patriots, Jets and Ravens, finishing with nearly 5000 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns.
Colby Wissel, an Elm Creek native, joined the Kearney High track dynasty his sophomore year and emerged as Nebraska’s all-time premier distance runner. Wissel won nine all-class gold medals and finished with state records in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. In cross country, he won three consecutive State titles and was a member of the 2003 State championship team. On the track, Wissel won back-to-back gold medals at the State Meet in the 1600, 3200 and 4X800 relay. He was a member of three State Championship teams, just part of a record setting 11 consecutive titles. At the University of Kansas, Wissel was a two-time All-American in cross country and won the 2006 Big 12 Championship. He also won the 2007 Big 12 Championship in the 3000 meters and later achieved All-American status and set the school record in the event.
Official- Class of 2019
Joe Wells established his reputation as a top-notch basketball referee early in his career, working his first State Tournament in 1984 at the age of 24. In an officiating career that has spanned four decades, he has worked 27 State Basketball Tournaments and was selected to work 24 State Championships, including eight in Class A. Wells’ body of work included more than 4,000 basketball games in high school, NAIA and NSAA ranks. Also an acclaimed baseball umpire, Wells donned the blue for high school, American Legion, Big 12 and Missouri Valley baseball games. He worked five State High School Baseball tournaments and nearly 20 American Legion state tournaments before moving to the coaching bench. Throughout the years, he was often accompanied by his sons, Brooks and Kirby, who followed in their father’s footsteps and have risen through high school and college officiating ranks.
Bob Whitehouse has influenced sports in Nebraska at every level, including as a coach, administrator, and volunteer for more than 50 years. A coach, athletic director and administrator in the Omaha school system, he was inducted into the Omaha Public Schools Hall of Fame as a special contributor in 2012 and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame in 2015. Selected as a Hall of Fame athlete at Bellevue High School and Kearney State College, Whitehouse has been involved in numerous organizations supporting athletic programs, including the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame where he served as President of the Board of Directors on two separate occasions.
Mark Wortman turned Elkhorn High School into a football powerhouse. After his arrival in 1980, the Antlers became a cornerstone of the state football playoff field, qualifying for 20 straight years from 1995-2014. At the time of his induction, his teams had won five Class B state championships and reached five other state championship games. The Antlers also put together a state-record streak of winning seasons. A recipient of numerous coaching awards, Wortman has compiled a 333-77 record which places him near the top in both wins and winning percentage in Nebraska history.
Lincoln Southeast (Class of 1980)
Bill Weber had an attraction for the action of state tournaments. The Lincoln Journal-Star’s Athlete of the Year in 1980, Weber played in seven state high school state tournaments and three American Legion baseball state tournaments. He earned all-state honors his junior and senior seasons in football while playing defensive end and tight end for Southeast. During his playing career, the Knights qualified for the state playoffs three times and won the state title in 1977. He also picked up all-city accolades in basketball and baseball, playing on the Knights’ state runner-up baseball team of 1979 and the state runner-up basketball teams of 1978 and 1979. At the University of Nebraska, he started at defensive end for three years, earning All-Big Eight honors in 1984. He was named to the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Battle Creek (Class of 1985)
Linda Schnitzler Walker was the cornerstone of Battle Creek’s multi-sport success in the mid-1980s and ’90s. The daughter of Hall of Fame coach Bob Schnitzler, she earned all-state honors in basketball as the Bravettes won back-to-back Class C-1 state championships in 1984 and 1985 – teams that launched a streak of four straight state titles and 15 straight state tournament appearances. She was an all-conference volleyball player and a four-year state track meet qualifier, winning seven medals and capturing the gold medal in the long jump her senior year. At Wayne State, she set numerous basketball and track records while earning All-American honors in both sports. Her 2,224 points established a scoring record for Nebraska state colleges.
Athlete. The names of great Nebraska athletes who received their secondary education at Omaha Central High School is legendary, and to this list should always be included the name of Jackie Washington. She was a most versatile runner in girls high school track & field meets: A gold medal winner in the l00-yard dash; gold medal efforts on record setting 440-yard and 880-yard relay teams; three times a gold medal winner in hurdle events. Her friends, relatives, opponents, and the track experts of her era saw her greatness. Jackie Washington ran with the best of them.
Athlete, Class of 1990. The Outland Trophy as college football’s best lineman and a 12-year NFL career grew from Fremont Bergan’s high school athletics for Zach Wiegert. Playing both offense and defense, Wiegert earned all-state football honors at Bergan his senior year despite missing the first six games because of illness. He logged 67 tackles in five games. He also was an all-conference forward in basketball and a weight thrower in track. He made 61 percent of his field goals in basketball, setting a school record. Once he concentrated on football, he dominated. An anchor of the Nebraska Cornhuskers’offensive “Pipeline,” he started 46 games and allowed only one sack. He was an all-conference selection three times and an All-American in 1994, the year he won the Outland Trophy and paved the way for a national championship for the Huskers. He finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. He also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.