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Live Blog Championship Saturday State Track


Area Kids Participate in Junior High "State Track"

The Nebraska Junior High Championship Meet was Saturday in Gothenburg. It is the unofficial "State Track" for junior high teams, and has grown by leaps and bounds to include over 100 schools every year. Individuals all compete in one class. A number of young athletes from the KBRX area went to the meet in Gothenburg to prove that the sport will continue to be strong around here in the years to come.

Makenna Fowler and Taya Rainforth of O'Neill

Coach Gary Hostert reports seventh graders Makenna Fowler and Taya Rainforth represented the O'Neill Eagles. Fowler competed in the long jump. Rainforth competed in the 200 hurdles and earned the 7th place medal with a time of 31.6.

Other participants from the area were:
West Holt
Leighton Mlady, Kooper Jelinek, Garrison Hansen, Ben Thiele, Jordan Tasler
West Boyd
Garret Boettcher, Chase Harmon, Evan Reiman, Austin Koenig, Lexie Lowery, Elise Magwire
Reaghan Engel, Wyatt Paxton
Grace Rittscher, Jacob Long (won the high jump)
Elkhorn Valley
Alison Stineman, Sierra Rystrom, Josh McFarland
North Central
Taylor Fales, Colton Munger, Byron Pfister, Sean Manning, Girls 4x800 Relay team
Sam Wilkins, Miah Wiebelhaus, Shania Johnson, Erin Kuchera, Rylee Rice (set the record in the 1600), Girls 4x800 Relay Team

Results from the meet can be found here. More information is at the meet website.

Huskies Win C-3 District, Bulldogs Runner-Up in D-3

Almost all of the state's golf districts were held Monday, and now most of the field has been determined for next week's State Championships.

Among those were two teams and five extra individuals from the KBRX coverage area. West Holt and Creighton both qualified teams, while Boyd County, Elgin Public/Pope John, Plainview and Bloomfield will also send golfers to State.

The Huskies claimed the C-3 District title by turning in a 359, seventeen strokes better than runner-up Battle Creek. Hartington CC was two strokes back to claim the final team qualifying spot in the district. For Coach Todd Hale's West Holt crew, Mason Hale and Alex Fritz led the way with a pair of 86's that were good for 3rd and 4th. Austyn Ramm-Lech shot a 91, Bryce Kerkman a 96 and Theo Stenka a 105 to complete the team scoring. Colin Wright of Plainview was the District Champion by five strokes, hitting a 77 on a windy day at the Norfolk Country Club. Quinn O'Brien of Bloomfield was the other area qualifier with a 6th place 88.

While Randolph took the team title in the D-3 District with a 347, Creighton notched a 358 for the runner-up place. The Bulldogs had a comfortable lead over Osmond, who finished with a 371. The Bulldogs were led by outstanding freshman Chase Largen's 82, which was good enough for 2nd place. The rest of Coach Ward Baldwin's group were consistent, with Cole Wetzler placing 7th with a 90, Brady Brockhous shooting a 92 to tie for 10th, and Connor Baldwin's 94 and Alex Zimmerer's 100 supplementing the team score. Two golfers out of Elgin will be in Lincoln next week to compete, as senior Kyle Heithoff placed 3rd with an 83 and Chad Bode was 9th with a 92 for the Wolfpack. Heithoff pulled the impressive feat of qualifying for State in every year of high school, as he had been part of three straight EPPJ teams at State in his first three years. Squeezing into the field with a tie for 10th was Mitchell Atkinson, a junior from Boyd County who shot a 92 and now has qualified for his 3rd State Tournament. Randy Jochum's Osmond squad featured medalists Seth Gutz and Zach Kumm (both 87's), Aric Kreinert (98), Dante Schmit (99) and Alex Kumm (101).

The O'Neill Eagles were the lone area team that wasn't in either of these districts. They were in Hastings for the B-3 District. They finished 8th as a team, and were thatclose to getting two golfers in individually.

The results for these districts are in the Pinnacle Bank Scoreboard. Since there are just a handfull of districts that have yet to play on Tuesday the entire field isn't yet set for next week's championships. State Golf is next Wednesday and Thursday. Class C will play at Lincoln's Holmes Golf Course and Class D at Meadowlark in Kearney.

O'Neill Eagle State Track Qualifiers

The O'Neill Eagles are the lone KBRX area team that have a class to themselves, as their track team competes in Class B this year. The team traveled to Pierce for the B-4 District on Thursday. Out of 10 teams the boys were the district runner-ups while the girls team placed 6th.

The Eagles had a lot of top end succes with a number of individual champions and medalists. Additionally, Aurora Gutshall was not an automatic qualifier by way of placing in the top three, but did have a good enough time to qualify as one of the 6 extra individuals in the 100 Hurdles.

Here are all of the Class B State Track qualifiers from O'Neill:
Aurora Gutshall - 100 Hurdles
Mikayla Marvin - Pole Vault
Jon Marvin - Pole Vault
Walker Liewer - Discus
Kedron Koehler - 300 Hurdles
Grant Johnston - 1600, 3200, 3200 Relay
Blake Johnston - 1600, 3200, 3200 Relay
Tyson Hostert - 800, 3200 Relay
Nathaniel Jennings - 3200 Relay

back row: Nathaniel Jennings, Walker Liewer, Tyson Hostert -- front row: Kedron Koehler, Jon Marvin, Aurora Gutshall, Mikayla Marvin, Grant Johnston, Blake Johnston
photo courtesy of Micheal Peterson


Area Class C State Track & Field Qualifiers

With the second day of district track done, we now can get all of our area State Track qualifiers settled. Below is a list of all those who qualified for next weekend's meet in Omaha.

Any event marked with an asterisk* means that the individual or relay is one of the "wild cards". Keep in mind that these are unofficial until the NSAA releases their information. A field event followed by (AQ) means that individual didn't make the top two but met the automatic qualifying standards set by the NSAA.
West Holt
Girls 400 Relay, Boys 1600 Relay, Boys 3200 Relay*
Jayden Reiman - 1600
Alyssa Reiman - 3200
Micheala Jensen - 110 Hurdles, 400 Relay
Jenae Osborne - Triple Jump, 400 Relay
Tori Huston - 400 Relay
Bailey Kraus - 400 Relay
Kolby Cone - 400, 1600 Relay
Josiah McAllister - 800, 1600/3200 Relays
Bo Jensen - Long/Triple Jumps, 110 Hurdles, 1600 Relay
Riley Bilstein - Triple Jump, 3200 Relay
Viktor Jonseth - 1600 Relay
Connor McDermott - 3200 Relay
Payton Williams - 3200 Relay

Boys 400 Relay, Boys 1600 Relay*, Boys 3200 Relay
Logan Clark - 1600, 3200, High Jump
Laura Peters - 100/300 Hurdles, Long Jump
Shayden Platt - Pole Vault
Hailey McBride - Discus
Holden Smith - 100, 200, 400 Relay
Austin Harthoorn - 800, 1600/3200 Relays
Hunter Martin - Pole Vault, 800*, 1600/3200 Relays
Brady Delimont - 1600, 3200, 3200 Relay
Payton Allen - 110/300 Hurdles
Hayes Chohon - 300 Hurdles
Josh Finley - 400/1600/3200 Relays
Jayden Philben - 1600 Relay
Luke Peters - 400 Relay
Jacob Fernau - 400 Relay
Ben Allen - Shot Put, Discus

Kailee Reiftert - Pole Vault
Brittany Waldow - 100/300 Hurdles
Nicole White - High Jump (AQ)
Kinzly Macke - 100, 200, 1600/3200 Relays
Kylie Thiele - 400, 800, 1600/3200 Relays
Alexis Pokorny - High Jump, 1600/3200 Relays
Mallory Cooper - 1600/3200 Relays
Jagger Smith - High/Long Jumps
Andy Kerkman - High Jump

Rebecca Eggerling - Long Jump
Beau Schindler - Shot Put, Discus
Zac Hazen - Triple Jump
Kurt Wortmann - 200
Eli Kliment - 110 Hurdles

Boyd County
Tori Wendell - 100, Long/Triple Jumps
Amber Bendig - Shot Put
Blake Ahlers - 1600

Elgin Public Pope John
Jill Schindler - 200
Taylor Schumacher - 800, Pole Vault
Austin Meis - 200
Ryan Pelster - 3200

Bailey Frey - 300 Hurdles
Kristin Rice - Discus
Marquis Granville - 100
Ben Lingenfelter - Shot Put
Dylan Kaup - Discus (AQ)

McKenna McClintic - 400
Sarah Gumb - Shot Put
Ty Chaffin - 400
Lane Helgoth - Discus
Kale Gideon - Pole Vault


Area Class D State Track & Field Qualifiers

With all eleven Class D districts completed, we can now get down to business on setting up State Track. In general, the top two individuals in the field events qualified, with several athletes hitting the automatic qualifying marks to punch their ticket to Omaha as well. The top two individuals and top relay team in the running events qualify for State, but then things get interesting with additional "wild cards" based on time. Individually, only two wild cards are earned. In the relays the next 5 fastest times other than district champions qualify for the meet at Burke.

With all that in mind, here are the qualifiers from our area schools who earned a trip to State Track at the D-4 District meet in O'Neill on Wednesday. Any event marked with an asterisk* means that the individual or relay is one of the "wild cards". Keep in mind that these are unofficial until the NSAA releases their information. A field event followed by (AQ) means that individual didn't make the top two but met the automatic qualifying standards set by the NSAA. More information on the extra qualifiers is below.

St. Mary's
Girls 1600 Relay*, Girls 3200 Relay
Bridget Schneider - 100, 200, 1600 Relay
Alejandra Vergara-Kersenbrock - 800, 1600, 1600/3200 Relays
Paula Zakrzewski - 3200
Taylor Colman - 1600/3200 Relays
Breanna Hedstrom - 1600 Relay
Logan Connot - 3200 Relay
Mackenzie Wecker - Pole Vault, 3200 Relay
Tracy Chvala - Shot Put
Sydney Hupp - Shot Put (AQ)
Emily Pongratz - Discus
Kendra Kozisek - Pole Vault
Brant Shoemaker - Long Jump
North Central
Girls 3200 Relay*, Boys 1600 Relay, Boys 3200 Relay*
Lexy Heyden - 1600, 3200, 3200 Relay
Caitlin Orton - 800*, 3200 Relay
Rachel Stewart - 100/300 Hurdles, High Jump
Addie Shaw - Shot Put, Discus
Jaycee Fleming - Shot Put (AQ)
Skylar Cosgrove - 3200 Relay
Megan Erickson - 3200 Relay
Colin Erickson - 1600, 3200, 1600/3200 Relays
Justin Palmer - 1600/3200 Relays
Sage Osborne - Triple Jump, 1600 Relay
Cash Cosgrove - 1600/3200 Relays
Phillip Lewis - 3200 Relay
Girls 400 Relay, Girls 1600 Relay
Harlee Fischer - 400, 800, 400/1600 Relays
Rachel Kaup - Triple Jump, 400*, 400/1600 Relays
Hailey Paxton - High Jump, 400/1600 Relays
Monique Schafer - 400/1600 Relays
Alex Kunz - 100, 200
Mitchell Dvorak - 300 Hurdles
Conner Paxton - Shot Put, High Jump
Chase Broders - High Jump
Girls 400 Relay*, Boys 3200 Relay
Jacie Laetsch - 100, 400 Relay
Meagan Carr - 200, 400, 400 Relay
Marissa Koenig - 400 Relay
Tami Jo Marcellus - High Jump, Triple Jump, 400 Relay
John Walnofer - 800*, 1600*, 3200 Relay
Jayle Hinkle - Shot Put, Discus
Chase Hoffschneider - Discus
Connor Croxen - Pole Vault, 3200 Relay
Nick Haburchak - 3200 Relay
Derek Mahony - 3200 Relay
Lydia Fry - 100/300 Hurdles, Long Jump
Katie Koenig - Long Jump
Cameron Moes - 800, 1600, 3200
Kyle Swallow - Long Jump
Boys 1600 Relay *
Conner Wilson - 200, 400, 1600 Relay
Kyle Young - Pole Vault, 1600 Relay
Quinten Moles - 1600 Relay
Nathan Hingst - 1600 Relay
Elkhorn Valley
Boys 400 Relay
Michael Knievel - 100, 400 Relay
Jayson Larson - 110 Hurdles
Noah Rutjens - Triple Jump, 400 Relay
Tyler Rautenberg - 400 Relay
Chris Petersen - 400 Relay

In addition, several individuals from Wausa qualified from the D-3 District. Austin Hegge won the Long Jump, Triple Jump, 100 & 200 to lead the Vikings. Nick Story qualified in the High Jump, Kyle Kleinschmit in the 110/300 Hurdles, and Tori Clausen in the Shot Put.

Results from the D-4 meet can be found in the Pinnacle Bank Scoreboard.

Several of the extra qualifers not only posted times that were good enough to qualify for State but have marks that are very competitive in the state. Both North Central 3200 relays came in 2nd, but have times that are among the top 5 at state. They were the best times among teams that weren't district champions. The St. Mary's 1600 relay was a close one, as I had them as the 4th fastest extra team, only two spots and a few seconds away from not qualifying. You can't yet declare the CWC 400 relay dynasty dead, as the girls' team nabbed a wild card (I had them as the 3rd team). Bloomfield's 3200 Relay was 3rd in the extra team standings, with Elkhorn Valley just tenths of a second out the final spot. Individually, John Walnofer was the fastest 800 time to not place 1st or 2nd, and likewise Caitlin Orton would have won most districts in the 800 and nobody was close to Rachel Kaup in the 400. Walnofer also slipped into the 1600 field with his time. Mackenzie Wecker and Jayson Larson were both just short of being one of the two extra qualifiers in the hurdles.

Classes B and C hold districts on Thursday. All State qualifiers should be officially determined by the NSAA sometime on Friday, with lane assignments and flight information released after that. KBRX will keep you updated.

Three WSC Throwers Qualify for NCAA DII Outdoor Championships

Wayne, Neb. ---  Three athletes from Wayne State College have qualified in five events for the NCAA Division II Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships that will he held Thursday, Friday and Saturday May 21-23 in Allendale, Michigan at Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium.  Senior Sara Wells and sophomore Michaela Dendinger each qualified in the shot put and discus while freshman Shandan Platt qualified for nationals in the hammer throw.

Wells, a graduate of Boone Central High School, has qualified for nationals in the shot put and discus for the third straight year.  She recorded an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 169’ 5” in the discus at the Concordia Invitational in Seward on April 11 and is ranked third in NCAA Division II entering the event that will take place on Friday, May 22 at 1 p.m. Central Time.  Wells will also compete in the shot put on Saturday, May 23 at 10:15 a.m. Central Time.  She is ranked first in NCAA Division II in the shot put with an automatic qualifying throw of 54’ ½” on May 8th at the NSIC Championships in Sioux Falls.  Last season, Wells was second in the shot put and won the NCAA Indoor shot put in March.

Dendinger, a sophomore from Coleridge (Hartington HS), ranks sixth in NCAA Division II in the shot put and discus entering the national championships.  She recorded a top mark of 50’ 6 ¼” in the shot put and 162’ 1” in the discus, both at the NSIC Championships in Sioux Falls on May 8th, to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  Dendinger, a national qualifier last spring in the discus, will compete in the event at nationals on Friday, May 22 at 1 p.m. Central Time and at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 23 in the shot put.
Shandan Platt has transitioned well to the college competition after setting numerous records around the area.

Platt, a freshman from Ainsworth, qualified in the hammer throw by recording a season-best mark of 183’ 4” at the NSIC Championships in Sioux Falls on May 8th.  She is ranked 18th in NCAA Division II and will compete in the hammer throw at nationals on Thursday, May 21 at 11:30 a.m. Central Time.

NSAA Names Spring NCPA Academic All-State Recipients


The Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) is pleased to announce the student recipients of the Spring 2015 Nebraska Chiropractic Physicians Association (NCPA) Academic All-State Awards. Since 2006 this NSAA Award Program has recognized students who meet the criteria for nomination by their school in the season of their activity.

Each year the NSAA and the NCPA recognize students during Fall, Winter and Spring Seasons who are nominated by their schools for their individual academic excellence, leadership and significant contributions in their NSAA activity. A nominated student must be a varsity player or organizational leader who has played a significant role on the team or in the organizational activity during the seasons for which nominations are accepted, and must have a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average, in all
curricular subjects, of 93% or 3.7 on a 4.0-point scale or the equivalent.

Since the list is quite long, click on the headline of this article to see all KBRX area students who were honored with the award. Note that music is included with the spring sports: boys golf and boys and girls track and field.

O'Neill Eagles Finish Regular Season at Norfolk Catholic Invitational

articles by Coaches Hilker and Peterson, all photos courtesy of Micheal Peterson

Corbin Dean clears the bar in the pole vault.

The O’Neill Eagles Track and Field team competed in their last regular season competition at Norfolk in the Norfolk Catholic Invitational. O’Neill will compete in the B-4 District Meet on Thursday in Pierce, NE.

Leading the way for the Lady Eagles was freshman Aurora Gutshall, who placed 1st in the 100 high hurdles and 3rd in the 300 low hurdles. Two more freshmen, Payton Birkel and Makayla Marvin, also finished 3rd in their respective events. Payton ran her personal best time of 2:38.9 in the 800 Run and Makayla cleared 9-0 in the Pole Vault. Marvin also placed 6th in the 100 high hurdles with a time of 17.6.

Abby Gillham placed 5th in the 3200 Meter Run with her personal best time of 13:42.1.  The 4 x 400 Relay team consisting of Briaunna Parks, Makayla Marvin, Kadra Sommersted-Simmons and Payton Birkel ran their best time of the year, 4:38.6, to finish in 6th.

McKenzie Adamson in the triple jump
Senior McKenzie Adamson jumped 31-09 to finish 4th in the triple jump. Senior Rahtaya Young also placed in the discus with a 103-8 toss. Amanda Pischel placed 5th in the pole vault by clearing 8-0.

Coach Micheal Peterson summed up the meet, “This is always a pretty good meet for us and we had many athletes step up and achieve their personal bests in their events. We are looking forward to some great competition at the B-4 District Meet on Thursday in Pierce.”

Zeb O'Bryan and Sergio Gonzalez in the 2 mile.
Last, Thursday the O’Neill Eagles competes in the Norfolk Catholic Invitational Track Meet.  The invite consisted of eight other schools.  The O’Neill Boy’s Team placed 4th overall.

The Eagles scored points in the running events.  Placing 4th in the 400 meter dash was Jon Gettert with a time of 55.1.  Tyson Hostert won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.1.  Blake Johnston placed 3rd in the 1600 meter run in a time of 4:45.9.  Sergio Gonzalez placed 3rd and Zeb O’Bryan earned a 4th place finish in the 3200-meter run.  Alex Thramer ran 45.8 in the 300-intermediate hurdles and placed 5th.  The 4 x 100 meter relay placed 4th with members Chance Sholes, Dylan Belik, Trevor Dempster, and Kedron Koehler.

The Field events Walker Liewer placed 4th in the shot put, 42’ 9.5, and 3rd in the discus 134’ 9”.  Jon Marvin placed 3rd in the pole vault with an effort of 13’.  Jacob Emme placed 5th in the triple jump with 38’ 2”. 

“Thought things went well.  Just have to rest and do little things to get our best effort next week at districts,” said Coach Hilker.

This Thursday, May 14th the O’Neill Eagles will compete at B-4 districts at Pierce.  Field events will start 10 am and running events at 12:30.  Come support the Eagles.

Johnson, Blumenstock Earn Honorable Mention GPAC Recognition

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Two O'Neill Irish alumni were recognized by the Great Plains Athletic Conference on Wednesday (May 6) when the 2015 Baseball All-GPAC teams were announced. Junior pitcher Jordyn Johnson and senior outfielder Derek Blumenstock were both named honorable mention All-GPAC. Jordyn is the son of Larry and Coni Johnson. Derek is the son of Brad and Georgia Blumenstock.

Jordyn Johnson, photo by Double6photography

Johnson (O’Neill, Neb.) is honorable mention All-GPAC as a starting pitcher.  Johnson led the team with four victories posting a 4-5 overall record.  He made 10 appearances with eight starts on the year, throwing two complete games. His 53 2/3 innings pitched was second on the team.  Johnson allowed opponents to bat .268 and struck out a team-high 36.  Johnson was 4-2 on the mound against GPAC competition giving up just a .242 average.

Nebraska Wesleyan finished the 2015 season with a 11-25 overall record under first-year head coach Scott Ballinger.

Derek Blumenstock of O’Neill also earned Honorable Mention conference honors in his final season playing baseball for Mount Marty.

The senior outfielder played in 48 of the team’s 52 games. He is credited with a batting average of .291 while reaching base at a .372 clip. Blumenstock’s 31 RBIs were one short of the team lead, while he led the Lancers with three home runs and was tied for fourth in doubles with seven. Perhaps the reason his RBI number was so good was because he only struck out 16 times on the season (out of 158 at bats). On defense Derek posted a .946 fielding percentage.

Mounty Marty finished the season 30-22 with a GPAC mark of 11-9. The Lancers finished in 4th in the regular season standings and fell to GPAC runner-up Midland in the conference tournament to end the season.

Scott Morton from Briar Cliff University was the GPAC Player of the Year with Joey Fitzgerald from Dakota Wesleyan earning GPAC Pitcher of the Year.  Boyd Pitkin from Briar Cliff was the GPAC Coach of the Year. The full GPAC honors release can be found here.

Three Area College Rodeo Contestants Qualify for National Finals

The College Rodeo season is just about over, and as many colleges have finished their regular seasons there are several KBRX area contestants who have qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo.

Brady Wakefield of O’Neill, Kelsey Knust of Verdigre and Wesley Cole of Atkinson have all qualified in their individual events for the rodeo in mid-June.

The CNFR is the final rodeo of the college season and is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns its champions. The NIRA consists of 11 regions, and each region sends the top three competitors in each individual event and the top two men’s and women’s teams to the CNFR. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges descend on Casper, Wyoming, which has hosted the CNFR for the last 17 years of its 67 year history. The rodeo runs from June 14-20.

OHS graduate Brady Wakefield competes for the Gillette College Pronghorns in several events. He and his partner Levi O’Keefe, who attends Eastern Wyoming College, finished 2nd in the team roping standings. While there are actually point standings for both headers and heelers in college, both guys have only roped with each other this year, so they both finished just 10 points shy of the region champions with 620 points. Wakefield also was tied for 13th in the steer wrestling standings and 4th in the all-around to help Gillette to a runner-up score in the overall men’s team standings. The Pronghorns’ women’s team was champion in the Central Rocky Mountain region.

Former O/C Cyclone Kelsey Knust also competes in the same region for Laramie County Community College. She qualified for her first CNFR on the merits of a 3rd place finish to grab the final spot in the breakaway roping by just 30 points. Kelsey was also one of the region’s best in the team roping standings. Her point total was not enough to make the CNFR but was a respectable 7th place in the header standings. Knust helped the Golden Eagles to a 3rd place finish in the region, just 150 points out of the runner-up spot.

West Holt graduate Wesley Cole qualified for the bareback riding at the CNFR with a very close 2nd place finish in the Central Plains Region. The bareback riders were all very close in the standings. Wesley was 27 points back of the champion, while the 3rd place competitor was only 8 points behind Cole. He helped the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Aggies to a landslide win in the men’s regional standings. Other honors this year for Cole include Athlete of the Week and induction into the OPSU’s Beta Chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma at their Athlete Honor Society Honors Banquet.

Congratulations to these three and good luck in the Finals!

Small Town Nebraska Represented in the NFL Draft

For Nebraska sports fans, watching the NFL draft was mostly about watching to see where former Huskers Randy Gregory, Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell would go, and whether any other Big Red players would go. But there also was a native son of Nebraska who had a big day at the draft that many fans might have inadvertently skipped over: Schuyler's Kyle Emanuel.

A few months ago we profiled the story of Emanuel, who has area connections by way of the Dr. Ryan and Emily Banks family in O'Neill. The 6'3", 255 pound defensive end was a four-time NCAA Football Championship Subdivision champion with the North Dakota State Bison and this year won the Buck Buchanan Award winner as the top defensive player in the FCS. That publicity may have played a part in helping him move up the draft boards, as not only was Emanuel drafted, he was selected in the 5th round (153rd pick) by the San Diego Chargers.

While many Nebraska high school products who play football as FCS or smaller colleges usually have an uphill battle to make the NFL, this story has played out before. Nathan Enderle, a quarterback from North Platte who played for Idaho State, was the last such success story when he was drafted as a 5th round pick in 2011 by the Bears. To illustrate how big of a deal it is for a small school guy to go in the draft, remember that North Platte native Danny Woodhead, who won two Harlon Hill trophies as the best player in Division II at Chadron State, was never drafted. He was signed as a free agent by the Jets when he broke into the NFL. Ironically, the two will be on the same team if both make the roster.

Here is video from the NFL Network on the selection of Kyle Emanuel as the Charger's 5th round pick. Not long after his selection he was interviewed by

As an aside, another couple of interesting FCS prospects went the free-agent route after the draft. Emanuel's Bison teammate running back John Crockett wasn't drafted, but he signed a free-agent deal with the Green Bay Packers. Standout South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions. Zenner was the first player in FCS history to post three consecutive 2,000-yard rushing seasons.

Eagle Track Teams Prepare for Districts With Busy Week

click above to open the entire story

The Eagle track teams were very busy last week, competing in multiple meets.

Select individuals competed in the Norfolk Classic, which features the top individuals in each event selected from Valentine to the Iowa border. That meet was held Thursday at the Norfolk High Complex. Saturday brought all of the Mid-State teams to Albion to compete in the conference meet.

Amanda Pischel clears the bar in the pole vault at Albion (photo by Mike Peterson)

In addition, the sophomores and freshman competed in Pierce for the annual 9-10 grade invite. Junior High teams were busy with the Mid-State JH meet and a trip to Ord.

Since the recaps are quite long, click the headline of this story to check out all of the recaps and coach's comments from all of these activities.

Cory Rowse to Join Bronco Grapplers Next Season

thanks to Mike Petersen for the photo

Cory Rowse signing his LOI with parents Amy and Rod Rowse. Coach Bryan Corkle and Hastings coach Mike Schadwinkel are in the back row.

O'Neill High School senior Cory Rowse finished his prep career by helping the Eagles to a State Championship, and now he takes his talents to South Nebraska, where he will compete for the Hastings Broncos.

Rowse was a four-time state qualifier for the Eagles, finishing with two 5th place medals and helping the Eagles to 2nd and 1st place as a team his junior and senior years. The Eagles also qualified for all three Dual Championships during Cory's tenure, finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. According to stats on, Rowse finished his career with 135 victories. He became known for his knack to win in the final seconds of a match because of his ability in scramble situations.

Cory will join a Hastings program that will only be in its ninth year of existence. Coach Mike Schadwinkel will begin his 2nd season of coaching the Broncos in 2015-16. Schadwinkel is known for developing the Grand Island dynasty in his 11 years at the school, as well as transforming the NAIA Dakota Wesleyan University program into a winner in just four year. Another coach that Rowse will be working with as a mid-weight wrestler is Jameon Rush, who is the program's (and one of the GPAC's) most decorated wrestler, winning All-American honors in 2010.

Cory joins Joe Gillham as recent Eagle alumni to continue their career in college. Gillham worked his way into the varsity rotation at traditional power UNK before missing the last part of the season due to injury.

Bridget Schneider Signs To Play Volleyball At NECC


Pictured with Bridget are SMH Athletic Director, Tony Allen, SMH Volleyball Coach, Mackenzie Connot,
NECC Volleyball Coach, Amanda Schultze, and her parents, Tim and Jennie Schneider.

Bridget Schneider, a senior at O'Neill St. Mary's High School has signed to play volleyball with the NECC Hawks for the 2015-2016 school year.  Schneider, a setter, is a 4-year letter winner, and holds school records for career (2,130) and season (824) set assists.

West Holt Claims NVC Golf Title, Placing 7 in Medals

The West Holt Huskies took advantage of playing their home course on Tuesday by winning the 2015 NVC team title. Hosting the tournament at the Atkinson-Stuart Country Club, the Huskies outpaced Elgin Public/Pope John by 35 strokes in the team race. The battle for 2nd was much closer, as the Wolfpack's 362 was eight strokes lower than Neligh-Oakdale's total.

Individually, Alex Fritz won his third straight individual title to continue a hot streak. Fritz's 78 was one better than teammate Bryce Kerkman's 79. Chad Bode of EPPJ (81), Austyn Ramm-Lech of West Holt (84) and Mitchell Atkinson from Boyd County (85) were the top five golfers in the NVC tournament this year. West Holt put seven golfers into the medals, while Neligh-Oakdale had three and EPPJ had two in the top 15.

Seth Hytrek, Austyn Ramm-Lech, Alex Fritz, Bryce Kerkman, Mason Hale

Here are the top results from the NVC Tournament.
Team Standings
Place School Score
1 West Holt 327
2 EPPJ 362
3 Neligh-Oakdale 370
4 Clearwater/Orchard 403
5 North Central 409
6 Boyd County 414
7 CWC 418
8 Ewing 462
Santee NTS
Niobrara-Verdigre NTS
Elkhorn Valley NTS
Individual Medalists
Place Name School Score
1 Alex Fritz West Holt 78
2 Bryce Kerkman West Holt 79
3 Chad Bode EPPJ 81
4 Austyn Ramm-Lech West Holt 84
5 Mitchell Atkinson Boyd County 85
6 Kyle Heithoff EPPJ 86
7 Mason Hale West Holt 86
8 Eddie Fredrick West Holt – JV 87
9 Tyson Peed Clearwater/Orchard 87
10 Brady Kallhoff Neligh-Oakdale 87
11 Seth Hytrek West Holt 89
12 Troy Gibson North Central 92
13 Chase Kallhoff Neligh-Oakdale 92
14 Theo Stenka West Holt – JV 92
15 Garett Allemang Neligh-Oakdale 94


Marvin Signs With Loper Track & Field Program

Jon is pictured above with Head Coach Cole Hilker, Athletic Director Nick Hostert
and parents Mike and Kathy Marvin.

Jon Marvin, a senior at O’Neill High School, has recently signed a National Letter of Intent with the Track and Field program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Jon will be joining the pole vaulting squad under the direction of UNK Assistant Coach, Lonny Polacek.  Jon’s recent success on the runway include clearing the 14’ mark at the rainy O’Neill Invite to earn 1st place for the Eagles.  The finish also earns him a place in the record book for the Invite next to his father Mike Marvin’s vault of 14’ which he achieved while vaulting for the Bloomfield Bees back in 1982.  Jon said, “This has been a goal of mine for some time now . . . it would have been nice to beat his record, however since I have to share it, I can’t think of anyone better so share it with.”

During his career at O’Neill High School, Jon has participated each year in football, wrestling, and track.   He is a four time state wrestling qualifier, finishing third in 2015 and runner up the two previous years.  He has also earned District Champion in pole vault in 2014 and placed at the state level.

Jon Marvin in action at the West Holt Invite (photo by Mike Peterson)


Mitchell And Poese Medal At State 4-H Shoot


Colby Mitchell (back row second from left) & Michael Poese (front row second from left)
were medal winners at State 4-H Shoot

Two Holt County 4-H shooters brought home medals from the State 4-H Clay Target Championships held over the past weekend in Grand Island.  Colby Mitchell of Amelia, competing in the Senior Tier 1 Division, brought home three medals.  He placed 1st in Trap, tied for 3rd in Skeet and placed 3rd overall in scoring.  Michael Poese of O’Neill placed 3rd in Skeet in the Junior Division.  Over 120 kids participated in the event.

Eagles Stay Close to Home for West Holt Invitational

The Eagles traveled to Atkinson to compete in the West Holt Invitational on Thursday, April 23rd to compete against eight other teams.

Despite missing one of their top point scorers the Lady Eagles still managed to finish in third place behind Ord and North Central.

O’Neill was again led my multi-talented freshman, Mikayla Marvin. Mikayla vaulted 8-10 to finish in 2nd place; ran a personal best 17.1 in the 100 high hurdles finishing in 4th and sprinted her way to a 3rd place finish in the 400 with her personal best time of 67.2.

Monique Schafer and Eagles Randi Pinkerman and Sam Eichelberger race down the
lanes in the 100 at the West Holt Invite. (photo by Mike Peterson)

Another freshman having a great day was Sam Eichelberger. She ran her personal best time of 17.3 in the 100 high hurdles in the prelims, but failed to match that time in the finals running a 17.7 to finish right behind teammate Marvin to finish in 5th.  Sam’s best race of the day was in the 100 dash where she sprinted her way to a 1st place finish with a 13.5.  The Lady Eagles looked to sweep the 100 dash with Randi Pinkerman, Briaunna Parks and Eichelberger all winning their heats, but Parks false-started to put her out of a medal. Randi did run her best time of the year, 13.8, to finish in 2nd.

Payton Birkel continued her great freshman season by placing 5th in the 800 with a time of 2:42.8. She also was a member of the 4th place 4 x 800 relay team with teammates, Kadra Sommersted-Simmons, Kaddee Harner and Abby Gillham. Kadra also placed 6th in the 400 with a time of 1:11.0.

The 4 x 100 relay team of Gabbie Scott, Briaunna Parks, Sam Eichelberger and Randi Pinkerman finished in 6th place.  Allison Ludwig also finished in 6th place in the high jump clearing 4-6. Fellow jumper, McKenzie Adamson finished in 3rd in the triple jump going 31-8.

“I was very pleased with our efforts and results today," coach Peterson complimented. "Despite not having Aurora Gutshall due to illness, we had many athletes step up and score a lot of points for us. Even though not every athlete scored, we had many personal bests on the day and that is the beauty of track and field. I look forward to a very busy week next week with the Pierce 9/10 meet on Tuesday, the Norfolk Classic on Thursday and the Mid State Conference Meet on Saturday in Albion."

The O’Neill boys' team earned the runner-up trophy.

Earning a 1st place finish was Jon Marvin in the pole vault with an effort of fourteen feet and Kedron Koehler in the 300 intermediate hurdles.  Koehler also placed 2nd in the 100-meter race. 

Dylan Belik placed 5th in the 100-meter race and 3rd in the 200 meters.  Belik ran his personal best with a 24.0 in the 200 meters and 11.9 in the 100 meters. 

Dylan Belik (left) and Kedron Koehler exit the blocks in the 100 finals at the
West Holt Invite (photo by Mike Peterson)

In the jumps Bailey Thompson placed 6th in the long with a personal best of 18 feet, 7.5 inches.  Thompson also made finals in the triple jump and placed 8th.  Corbin Dean placed 5th in the pole vault with 10 feet, 6 inches.

In the throws Walker Liewer placed 3rd in discus and 6th in the shot put.  Chance Sholes placed 4th in the shot put.

The distance crew earned plenty of points for the team.  Grant Johnston ran his career best in the 3200-meter run, 10:09.2 and placed 2nd.  He also placed 5th in the 800 meter run.  Blake Johnston placed 3rd with a time of 10:36.5 and was 3rd in the 1600 meter run with a career best of 4:53.2.  Tyson Hostert placed 4th in the 1600 meter run with an effort of 4:54.2.  Freshman Ehric Strope placed 6th in the 800 meters with 2:12.5.

In the relays, the 4x100 placed 2nd with Chance Sholes, Dylan Belik, Trevor Dempster, and Kedron Koehler.  The 4x400 meter relay placed 5th.  The relay members were Jon Gettert, Alex Thramer, Ehric Strope, and Kedron Koehler.

“Overall the thought we saw some good things.  It’s a work in progress.  Just keep doing the things we are doing, just better,” said Coach Hilker.

Next week the O’Neill Eagles have a full gamma of meets.   They will participate in the Pierce Freshman/Sophomore Invitational Track Meet, which will start at 3:00 pm, April 28th.  Then the Eagles will compete at the Norfolk Classic Invitational Track Meet, April 30th, which starts at 4:15 at Norfolk High School Track.  Then on Saturday, May 4th the O’Neill Eagles will travel to Albion to the Mid-States Conference Track Meet, field events start at 10:00 am.

O'Neill Country Club Hosts Mid-State Conference Tournament

Top 10 medalists from the Mid-State Invite

The O'Neill Country Club was busy again on Saturday. After hosting the O'Neill Invite Thursday, 68 golfers from the Mid-State Conference competed in the league tournament. Although a half-inch of rain fell overnight the course was playable. Cool temperatures and light winds played a factor into the day as well.

Team Champion Norfolk Catholic

Norfolk Catholic was the top team by five strokes. Hartington Cedar Catholic and Pierce tied for 2nd place, but Cedar gained the edge in a team playoff. Their was also a tie for the last individual medal, so a tiebreaker was used to determine the final place, although all four who tied for 10th will get a medal.

Runner-ups Cedar Catholic won a playoff with Pierce for 2nd.

Here are the medalists and team results. Full scores can be found in the Pinnacle Bank Scoreboard.
Team Standings Individual Medalists
Score School Place Name School Score
348 Norfolk Catholic 1 Brock Mueller Crofton 79
353 Cedar Catholic 2 Shane Mlinar Norfolk Catholic 81
353 Pierce 3 Brad Kathol Cedar Catholic 82
354 West Point GACC 4 Brandon Clausen Norfolk Catholic 83
363 O'Neill 5 Parker Wallin Boone Central/
Newman Grove
368 Crofton 6 Cody Steuter West Point GACC 85
373 Boone Central/
Newman Grove
7 Matt Bruce Pierce 85
385 Battle Creek 8 Brent Evans Crofton 86
432 Wayne 9 Coby Drueke O'Neill 87
10 Sam Ulrich West Point GACC 88
11 Dysen Roth Pierce 88
12 Noah Kreikemeier West Point GACC 88
13 Zach Brenden Pierce 88


Ord Wins O'Neill Golf Invite; Fritz Shoots Low Score

                              Individual Medal Winners (top 15)

Golfers survived early frigid temperatures and gusty winds at the O'Neill Boys' Golf Invite on Thursday. The O'Neill Country Club welcomed 14 full teams and 70 individuals to the invite. Ord proved to be the best team, as they placed their five golfers all in the top seven places. West Holt took the runner-up plaque with a good consistency among the top five, but also behind the efforts of medalist Alex Fritz, who shot a wind-defying score of 74, just two strokes over par. Below are the medalists and team scores, but you can find all of the individual results in the Pinnacle Bank Scoreboard.

Ord 1st Place Team

West Holt Team Runner-Up (L-R): Mason Hale, Bryce Kerkman,
Austyn Ramm-Lech, Alex Fritz, Seth Hytrek


Team Results
1st    Ord               320
2nd   West Holt      331
3rd  Hartington Newcastle 342
4th    Valentine       351
5th    Cedar Catholic    359
6th    Neligh-Oakdale   360
7th    O'Neill            360
8th    North Central  400
9th    Boyd County  419
10th  Ainsworth       422
11th  O'Neill White   424
12th  Pierce            425
13th  CWC             427
14th  Ewing            495
Individual Medalists
1st    Alex Fritz, West Holt  74
2nd   Colton Zulkoski, Ord  78
3rd    Brady Rogers, Ord    80
4th    Brooks Coleman, Valentine  80
5th    Ethan John, Ord   81
6th    Grant Welniak, Ord    81
7th    Jaden Barnes, Ord    83
8th    Kolby Jueden, Hartington-Newcastle  84
9th    Adam Soukup, O'Neill    84
10th  Austyn Ramm-Lech, West Holt  85
11th  Cameron Bancroft, Valentine   85
12th  Brady Kallhoff, Neligh-Oakdale  85
13th  Bryce Kerkman, West Holt   85
14th  Chase Dendinger, Hartington-Newcastle 85
15th  Brad Kathol, Cedar Catholic  86


Junior Eagles Track Update

The Junior High Eagle track team has been active througout the season, and Coach Kathy Hostert has provided some updates on how the Eaglets are doing. The girls team has been toward the top of the team standings in every meet, and has had much individual success. Here are the updates on the West Holt Invite, the Boone Central Invite, and the O'Neill Invite held last Tuesday.

The Junior High Lady Eagles had the 1st meet of the year at West Holt, with much individual success. The Eagles scored 97 points to take 2nd place at the Boone Central Invite. Winning the meet was Ord with 125 points. Then the team finished 2nd place in the O’Neill Invite with 96 points. Ainsworth won the meet with 152.5 points.

Click the title of the article to open all of the recaps from these meets.
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