Athlete. Larry was a three-sport athlete for the North Platte Bulldogs (Class of 1963) and earned honors in all three. He played offensive and defensive back for two years, then switched to quarterback his senior year while continuing to play defensive back. When the Bulldogs won the state championship in 1962, Larry was a consensus all-state selection and tapped to play in the Shrine Bowl as halfback on offense and defensive back. His Shrine Bowl teammates elected him co-captain of the North team. In basketball he was named all-conference his junior and senior years and was the team’s leading scorer. North Platte made it to the state tournament his senior year and lost in the quarterfinals, but Larry was selected on the Class A all-tournament team by the Scottsbluff, Kearney, Lincoln, and Omaha papers. The Scottsbluff Star-Herald also placed him on its Class A All-State team. The pole vault was his event in track where he tied for fourth in the state meet as a junior and tied for first his senior year. In the district meet his senior year he broke a 26-year-old school record. After receiving offers from 15 colleges, Larry chose UN-L. Those were the days when freshman couldn’t play varsity ball so it wasn’t until his sophomore year that he earned his starting position on the Big Red. Playing at defensive safety he also did punt returns and kicked PATs and field goals. His junior year he was selected first-team All-Big 8 and second-team All-American as a defensive back. Larry racked up a total of 452 yards on returns, which led the Big 8 and the nation until the last game where he lost the national title by seven yards. He made 36 of 39 PATs and 3 of 5 field goals for 45 total points. He was chosen a co-captain his senior year and again led the Big 8 in punt return yards. He was again All-Big 8, and this time first-team All-American. He won the Tom Novak Award presented to the outstanding senior. He finished his Husker career with 788 punt return yards, eight field goals, and 11 pass interceptions including seven in one year. In 1967 he was named by the Omaha World-Herald to its All-Time Outstanding Football Team. In 1982 he was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
Larry Wachholtz – North Platte
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