Today's Poll

AP Sports News

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adrian Peterson's hearing for the appeal of his suspension will be held on Dec. 2 in front of longtime hearing officer Harold Henderson and not NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Minnesota Vikings running back was suspended by Goodell for at least the remainder of the season after pleading no contest this month to misdemeanor reckless assault for injuring his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. The union had been seeking a neutral arbitrator to oversee the appeal, saying the league "is making up the process and punishment as it goes."

DETROIT (AP) — The Buffalo Bills were able to make it to Detroit from snow-buried western New York for Monday's rescheduled game against the New York Jets. Several Bills had to be picked up on snowmobiles from their homes after snow storms this week dumped seven feet on portions of the region. Fans are being offered free tickets to Monday's game.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Raul Ibanez, Kevin Cash and Don Wakamatsu are the finalists to replace Joe Maddon as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay said interviews with the finalists will be scheduled for the week of Dec. 1. Maddon left the Rays after nine seasons to manage the Chicago Cubs.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George continues to make progress from the broken leg he suffered in August. George has been cleared to work on a treadmill in a pool and could begin limited work on the basketball court as early as next week. George is hoping to make a full recovery before April.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian confirms cornerback Josh Shaw will play for the Trojans in their rivalry showdown against UCLA today, although his role hasn't been determined. Shaw served a 10-game suspension for lying to the school about how he sprained both of his ankles shortly before the season began. The former team captain was reinstated earlier this week after authorities determined no criminal charges would be filed against him.

Six Eagles Named to C1-7 All-District Teams

Six football players from O'Neill High School were picked by the coaches for All-District honors. Senior David Fox and sophomores Jason Hahlbeck and Jake Young earned first-team defensive accolades, and senior Levi Ethington was an honorable mention pick on defense. Two seniors, Jacob Emme and Kedron Koehler, were given offensive honorable mention notice. Below are the full teams from the C1-7 District.

2014 C1-7 All-District Offense
Position  Name  School  Ht/Wt Grade
OL Cade Svoboda - Ord 6’1”/185 Jr.
OL Dylan Folkers - Gothenburg 6’2”/240 Sr.
OL Tyler Baker - Gothenburg 6’1”/230 Sr.
OL Mitch Fischer - Cozad 6’1”/250 Sr.
OL Gunnar Hitchcock - Valentine 6’1”/260 Sr.
OL Tyler Yarrington - Broken Bow 6’/200 Sr.
TE Jason Finnegan - Cozad 6’4”/200 Sr.
TE Austin Reynolds - Broken Bow 6’2”/195 Sr.
RB Tony Smith - Ord 5’9”/170 Sr.
RB Zach Wolf - Gothenburg 6’2”/190 Sr.
RB Colin Wetovick - Cozad 5’10”/180 Sr.
QB Conor Young - Cozad 6’3”/180 Sr.
WR Colton Zulkoski - Ord 6’4”/185 Jr.
WR Jacob Clark - Gothenburg 6’/170 Sr.
RB Jacob Hand - Valentine 5’9”/170 Sr.

2014 C1-7 All-District Defense
Position  Name  School  Ht/Wt  Grade

DT John Radil - Ord 6’3”/215 Sr.
DE Tanner Borchardt - Gothenburg 6’8”/270 Sr.
DT Dallas Maack - Cozad 5’9”/225 Sr.
DT Jason Hahlbeck - O’Neill 6’3”/195 So.
DT Noah Garey - Broken Bow 6’3”/240 Sr.
LB David Fox - O’Neill 5’9”/195 Sr.
LB Braxton Coleman - Valentine 5’9”/170 Sr.
LB Chase Dugan - Cozad 6’2”/160 Sr.
LB Austin Turek - Cozad 6’/190 Sr.
DE Jordan Henry - Cozad 6’1”/200 Jr.
DB Brady Volf - Ord 5’9”/160 Jr.
DB Dawson Graham - Gothenburg 5’10”/165 So.
DB Jake Young - O’Neill 5’11/165 So.
DB Austin French - Broken Bow 5’9”/160 Sr.

2014 C1-7 All-District Honorable Mention
Position  Name  School  Ht/Wt  Grade

QB Brady Rogers - Ord 6’/175 Jr.
DB Jesse Ritterbush - Ord 5’7”/150 Sr.
DB Jake Peterson - Gothenburg 6’/160 Sr.
OL Herschel Foster - Gothenburg 6’4”/250 Jr.
DT Caden Billings - Valentine 5’11”/230 Jr.
DE Colby Lamb - Valentine 6’/185 Sr.
LB Levi Ethington - O’Neill 5’8”/165 Sr.
WR Jacob Emme - O’Neill 6’/160 Sr.
WR Kedron Koehler - O’Neill 5’9”/150 Sr.
DB Brian Messersmith - Cozad 5’9”/150 Sr.
WR Travis Kleeb Broken - Bow 5’7”/150 Jr.
LB Jacob Anderson - Broken Bow 5’10”/170 Sr.
QB Josey Evans - Broken Bow 5’8”/150 Jr.

Lewis & Clark All-Conference Volleyball Teams Selected

The Lewis & Clark Conference coaches have put together their 2014 All-Conference Volleyball Teams. The 17 team league is split up into three divisions based on geography. Since all of the schools we cover are in the West Division, that is the only one that is below, but you can look at the entire conference by clicking here to open the document. The Lewis & Clark Conference selects a 12-person first team and an honorable mention list. Below are the selections from the West Division:

2014-2015 Lewis and Clark All-Conference West Division
Rebecca Eggerling - Sr. Creighton
Haley Schnoor - Sr. Randolph
Katelyn Backhaus - Jr. Randolph
Natalie Nielsen - Sr. Creighton
Elle Bermel - Jr. Randolph
Nicole White - Sr. Plainview
Amanda Goeden - Sr. Bloomfield
Tessa Vogt - Jr. Creighton
Tori Claussen - Sr. Wausa
Tessa Steinkraus - Jr. Plainview
Sam Johnson - Sr. Osmond
Brittany Waldow - Jr. Plainview

West Division Honorable Mention
Brittany Kerbel - Sr. Bloomfield
Hailey Johnson - So. Osmond
Megan Fink - Jr. Randolph
Kristin Thompsen - Jr. Bloomfield
Allie Thies - Jr. Randolph
Jessica Gragert - Sr. Creighton
Erica Slagle - Jr. Osmond
Tara Munter - Jr. Wausa
Sydney Walton - Fr. Creighton
Renna Hennings - So. Wausa

Sibbel and Hedlund Receive GPAC Honors


Two O’Neill football players received Honorable Mention accolades from the Great Plains Athletic Conference last weekend. The league’s coaches voted for their All-Conference teams on Sunday, bestowing First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention awards for offense, defense and special teams. The GPAC is an 11 team conference located mostly in Nebraska, with several schools in South Dakota and Iowa.

Michael Hedlund and Tait Sibbel were both named to the Honorable Mention for their defensive play for Concordia University in Seward. They were two of ten Bulldog players to be named to the Honorable Mention list, with seven other Concordia players getting onto the 1st or 2nd teams. Concordia finished with a 5-6 record overall, smack dab in the middle of the GPAC with a league record of 4-5.

Sibbel was once again one of the leaders on the Concordia defense, finishing fifth on the defense with 60 tackles, 42 of which were solo. Tait also had three interceptions on the year, adding a 41 yard scoop-and-score fumble recovery. In three years as a Bulldog safety, Sibbel has tallied 121 tackles and eight INTs. The junior has been recognized by GPAC coaches every year, with this being his second GPAC Honorable Mention award after a Second-Team All-GPAC designation last year. He is the son of Jim and Carol Sibbel.

Hedlund made his defensive debut for the Bulldogs this year after not seeing much time on offense last year. It’s safe to say that the coaches made a good decision, as Michael was named to the Honorable Mention list as a linebacker, although he started the year at safety and played a lot at both positions. The former OHS Eagle rung up 49 tackles (eighth best on the team) and three tackles-for-loss this year. Even better, he was credited for five interceptions and six passes defensed. This is the sophomore’s first conference honor. Michael is the son of Mike and Carol Hedlund.


Top State Recruit Thiele To Golf For Huskers

Kevin and Lisa Thiele watch their daughter sign with the Huskers.
Photo Courtesy of NU Media Relations.

Haley Thiele of Wahoo signed her Letter-Of-Intent to golf at the University of Nebraska last week. The senior at Bishop Neumann competes in boys golf during the spring as well as amateur tournaments in the state. She has area ties, with her father Kevin and mother Lisa coming from the Clearwater/Elgin area. Here is the full news release from UNL:

Lincoln - Coach Robin Krapfl added the state's top player and one of the nation's top junior golfers with the signing of Haley Thiele to a National Letter of Intent to compete for the Nebraska women's golf team in 2015-16.

The two-time Nebraska Girls Amateur of the Year in 2013 and 2014, Thiele has won back-to-back Girls State Match Play titles and added the 2013 Girls Stroke Play crown. She also won the 2013 Nebraska Junior PGA Championship.

She proved herself on the national level by producing a pair of top-12 finishes at the Trusted Choice Big "I" National Championship the past two summers. She finished fourth in 2014, after taking 12th at the Big "I" in 2013.

In addition to possessing above average length and excellent touch around the greens, Thiele is a smart player and a competitor. In other words, Thiele has all the skills necessary to be an outstanding golfer, according to Krapfl.

"I've followed Haley's progress for a lot of years, and I knew very early she had what it took to be a high level Division I player," Krapfl said. The hardest part was waiting so long before she could join our team. Haley is everything we look for in a student-athlete. She's a great student with outstanding golf skills. She's also a team player with an incredible work ethic, and she has a passion for the game. I think she has the potential to be the best we've ever had play for the Huskers."

After a dominant 2013 junior golf season, Thiele tied for 11th at the 2014 Nebraska Class C Boys Golf Tournament with a two-round total of 153 (80-73). Bishop Neumann does not sponsor or girls golf team.

Her performance at the 2014 state tournament followed a tie for 13th at the Class C boys meet as a sophomore with a 36-hole total of 161 (80-81). She finished 35th at the 2012 boys state tournament as a freshman with a two-round total of 168 (86-82).

In the summer of 2014, Thiele qualified for the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur Championship by winning a sectional qualifying tournament at the Elks Country Club in Columbus with a one-under-par 71. She went to compete at the U.S. Junior Amateur in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Thiele also competed at the U.S. Junior PGA Championship in 2013 (Washington, D.C.) and 2014 (Bryan, Texas).

Thiele defended her state junior match play title in 2014 with a win over her sister, Hannah, in the final. Haley finished second to Hannah in the 2014 state stroke play event, despite shooting a two-round score of 149.

Thiele, who is a three-time member of Nebraska's Four-State Team, said she chose Nebraska for the complete student-athlete experience.

"I chose Nebraska because it just seemed like the right fit for me. The coaches are great and the academics, facilities and the athletic tradition are second to none," Thiele said. "It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent my home state."

Thiele is a three-sport high school standout at Wahoo Neumann, competing in golf, basketball and volleyball. She drew recruiting interest in all three sports. She has been the best golfer in the state the past two years despite splitting her time between sports.

In basketball, Thiele was second-team All-Nebraska pick by the Omaha World-Herald and a third-team Super-State selection by the Lincoln Journal Star in 2014. The first-team Class C-1 all-stater averaged 20.5 points per game as a 5-8 shooting guard for the Cavaliers. She also played summer club basketball for the Husker Elite and coaches Doug Goltz and her father, Kevin Thiele.

As a volleyball player for the Cavaliers, Thiele is a starting outside hitter. As a junior in 2013, Thiele produced 142 kills and 335 digs.

Haley is the daughter of Kevin and Lisa Thiele and has four younger sisters, Hannah, Lindsey, Lauren and Brooke.

Niobrara Valley Coaches Select All-Conference Players

Name Grade School
Mackenzie Wecker 12 St. Mary's
Courtni Kunz 12 Stuart
Bridget Schneider 12 St. Mary's
Krissy Krotter 12 St. Mary's
Katie Koenig 12 Ewing
Jenna Parks 11 EPPJ
Monique Schafer 11 Stuart
Sydney Hupp 11 St. Mary's
Brittany Hanzlik 12 Stuart
Liz Selting 10 EPPJ
Jacie Laetsch 10 CWC
Mallory Cooper 11 Clearwater/Orchard

Name Grade School
Harlee Fischer 10 Stuart
Riley Sibbel 11 St. Mary's
Baylee Wemhoff 10 EPPJ
Marissa Koenig 12 CWC
Lydia Fry 12 Ewing
Briana Stelling 12 Clearwater/Orchard
Emily Pongratz 11 St. Mary's
Kassidy Jelinek 11 West Holt
Jaden Schafer 11 Stuart
Hailey Paxton 11 Stuart
Kara Bruns 12 North Central
Drew Purviance 12 Boyd County

Name Grade School
Amber Bendig 12 Boyd County
Madison Rossmeier 12 Boyd County
Katie Funk 11 Clearwater/Orchard
Kinzly Macke 10 Clearwater/Orchard
Dawn Klabenes 11 CWC
Tami Jo Marcellus 11 CWC
Alyssa Rood 10 Elkhorn Valley
Logan Jensen 11 Elkhorn Valley
Taylor Schumacher 12 EPPJ
Jordan Mescher 10 EPPJ
Terri Seier 11 EPPJ
Chase Vleck 10 Neligh-Oakdale
Kinsley Klabenes 11 Neligh-Oakdale
Reagan Larsen 12 Niobrara/Verdigre
Brittany Eisenhauer 11 Niobrara/Verdigre
Rachel Stewart 10 North Central
Jentrie Maurer 11 North Central
Tracy Chvala 11 St. Mary's
Trisha Fox 10 Stuart
Sierra Hansen 11 West Holt
Jessie Mohnsen 11 West Holt
Bailey Kraus 9 West Holt


St. Mary's Cardinals Win Consecutive D1 Championships

The Cardinals wrapped up an undefeated year and back-to-back championships

The St. Mary’s Cardinals completed their title defense on Saturday with a sweep of Ansley-Litchfield in the D1 Championship.

The Cardinals completed not only a sweep of the championship game, but a sweep of the tournament, winning all three games in the minimum amount of sets. It was an impressive weekend for St. Mary’s, who beat the Spartans in the same manner as in their district title game.

With their win Saturday, St. Mary’s joins a list of back-to-back D1 Champions in the last thirty years. D1 has seen several dynasties rise and fall, with Shickley (87/88 followed by 4 straight in D2), Callaway (91/92), Chappell (95-96), Republican Valley (01/02), Humphrey St. Francis (04/05), Exeter-Milligan (09/10) and now the Cardinals capturing wins in the class since D1 became a classification in 1983.

Box Score
St. Mary’s              25 25 25
Ansley-Litchfield    16 22 15

St. Mary's
Mackenzie Wecker - 21 digs, 1 ace
Sydney Hupp - 13 kills, 5 blocks, 2 digs
Riley Sibbel - 9 kills, 14 digs, 3 blocks, 1 ace
Krissy Krotter - 11 kills, 20 digs
Tracy Chvala - 5 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace
Bridget Schneider - 42 assists, 8 digs, 2 blocks
Emily Pongratz - 7 kills, 2 blocks, 4 digs
51 team digs
Courtney Bailey - 1 kill
Kayla Reynolds - 2 kills, 2 aces, 10 assists
Hanna Lane - 2 kills, 1 block, 7 assists
Shawna Paitz - 5 kills
Kendra Henry - 1 kill
Lindsy Siegel - 8 kills, 1 block

Stuart Broncos Place 2nd In Another Exciting State Tournament

Stuart finished another great year with a record of 29-6 and a 2nd place finish

The Stuart Broncos turned what looked to be a blowout into a scintillating match to start the day, but eventually fell to the Giltner Hornets for a second straight year.

Giltner used their two six-footers to mow down Stuart in sets one and two, but there is no quit in a Broncos team that played five sets on Friday. Stuart adjusted and started pounding back at the Hornets, winning two close sets to push it to the fifth. After both teams started point-for-point, midway through the fifth Giltner picked up a two point lead that they would never relinquish on the way to a five point win.

As far as State Tournament history goes, Giltner went back-to-back in D2 for the first time since Hampton did it in 2000-2001. The Hornets actually had a two-fer in ’93-’94, making this a 20th anniversary win. Giltner moves into a tie with Shickley for 6th in all-time State Championships.

Box Score
Stuart   16 17 25 25 10
Giltner  25 25 23 21 15

Harlee Fischer - 10 kills, 16 digs, 2 aces, 1 block, 2 assists
Hailey Paxton - 12 kills, 4 digs, 1 block
Brittany Hanzlik - 16 digs, 2 ace serves
Monique Schafer - 11 kills, 21 digs
Jaden Schafer - 37 assists, 15 digs
Trisha Fox - 16 digs, 2 assists, 1 kill
Courtni Kunz - 14 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs
Taylor Rhoades - 9 digs
Madison Omel - 15 digs, 2 aces
Shelby Hinrichs - 5 digs, 3 blocks, 1 ace
Chainey Tompkin - 16 kills, 8 blocks, 4 aces
Bailey Craig - 19 kills, 2 blocks
Jaclyn Happold - 40 assists, 6 digs, 3 aces, 2 blocks, 2 kills
Kelbie Lyon - 9 kills, 9 digs, 2 blocks, 1 ace
Audra Joyce - 1 kill, 1 block

St. Mary's Will Defend Their Championship In a District Rematch

St. Mary’s continued their dominating D1 run with another short game on Friday morning, knocking off Diller-Odell in just under an hour.

The Cardinals cruised to wins of 25-16, 25-15, and 25-6 over the Griffins, continuing a year in which they have only lost seven sets. The last time the KBRX area had a team do that was when Ewing lost only four sets in the season up until the championship game, when they fell prey to Paxton in five to end their undefeated run.

The Cardinals did not have a ton of opportunities to hit, tallying 38 kills to Diller-Odell’s 16. There just weren’t a lot of stats in this match due to the short game.

St. Mary’s makes it back to the D1 Championship game to try to defend their title, and it will be against their district opponent. Ansley-Litchfield proved to be the best on their side of the bracket, beating Axtell 25-14, 25-13, 29-27. The Spartans scored three straight points to win at the end of the match and put it away in three. The game will be at 11 am at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday.

St. Mary’s Statistics
                                       Kills   Blocks   Aces   Digs   Assists
Mackenzie Wecker            1                      2       16
Sydney Hupp                    10                              1
Riley Sibbel                       8         1           1       10
Krissy Krotter                    9                               7
Tracy Chvala                     5         1           2        5          2
Bridget Schneider              1                               8         35
Emily Pongratz                 5                      1                   1

Class D2 Championship Features A Rematch

Stuart advanced to the State Championships with arguably the best match of the tournament to that point, defeating Lawrence-Nelson in five thrilling sets.
Great semifinal matchups have suddenly become the norm for the Broncos, as they downed Bertrand in five close sets in last year’s semifinal. This year was even closer, with each set decided by only four points or less. The Broncos won their first game in which they lost the opening set this year, and in fact it was the first win this season that was not a sweep.

After dropping the first set in which the Raiders came out strong, Stuart came out with back-to-back victories in which they held off Lawrence-Nelson rallies. The Raiders took control of set four through most of the set to force the decisive 5th. When the Broncos took a 9-3 lead to seemingly be in the driver’s seat, Lawrence-Nelson ripped off a seven point run to take a 10-9 lead. Stuart got off the ropes to go up 14-12, but a missed serve gave Lawrence-Nelson one last chance. The Broncos gave the crowd a break on the very next play by ending the dramatics at 15-13.

The Broncos’ attack had to work extra hard because of very good defense by Lawrence-Nelson, and they came through. Four girls finished with double-digit kills, finishing with an astounding 68 successful attacks to L-N’s 46. Five girls finished with over 15 digs as well.

The ironic thing is that although the first game of D2 ended in a sweep, it was some very good volleyball as well. Giltner took a very close first set away from Exeter-Milligan to start the morning in the other D2 semifinal. When the Timberwolves opened up a 15-4 lead, Giltner put on an astonishing rally to come back and outscore E-M 21-6 the rest of the way. Set three was bedlam, with the Hornets escaping with a 25-23 lead over a very good Exeter-Milligan.

That sets up a Giltner/Stuart rematch for this year’s D2 final. While Giltner lost some very good players to graduation, they picked up two transfers to reinforce the remaining roster. Stuart only lost one player off last year’s starting roster. In a game that Giltner won in three sets last year, Stuart will be looking for some revenge at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Saturday morning at 9 AM. That game will be on 102.9 FM and

Box Score
Stuart                       21  25  25  22  15
Lawrence-Nelson     25  22  21  25  13

Stuart Statistics
Harlee Fischer - 18 kills, 31 digs, 6 ace serves, 1 block, 1 assist
Hailey Paxton - 11 kills, 4 blocks, 6 digs, 2 ace serves
Brittany Hanzlik - 18 digs, 1 ace serve, 1 assist
Monique Schafer - 18 kills, 25 digs, 2 blocks
Taylor Malone - 6 digs
Jaden Schafer - 52 set assists, 23 digs, 2 kills, 1 block
Trisha Fox - 15 digs, 5 set assists, 1 block
Courtni Kunz - 19 kills, 3 blocks, 4 digs

Stuart Takes The First Step At State With a First Round Win

The Stuart Broncos combined a hot start and some grit to advance to Friday’s semifinals at the State Volleyball Tournament.

In the first set against Mullen, Stuart put up a seven point run after leading 9-6 early to erase any doubt about that outcome. Set two was more of the same, highlighted by four straight ace serves by Harlee Fischer. In set three, the maroon-clad variety of Broncos had to get past an injury to hold on the sweep. When Monique Schafer was forced out of the rest of the game with an injury, Alison Stracke came in to help Stuart hold on, and the rest of the team rallied together for the 25-18, 25-18, 25-22 win.

With that Stuart advanced to the semifinal, where they will face Lawrence-Nelson. The 23-7 Raiders knocked off Bertrand in four sets (25-17, 25-14, 15-25, 25-19) to prevent a Bronco/Viking rematch in the semifinals. That game will be on the Pinnacle Bank Arena North Court at 11 am on Friday, and will be aired on 102.9 FM and

Stuart Statistics
Harlee Fischer - 13 kills, 10 digs, 4 ace serves
Hailey Paxton - 7 kills, 5 blocks, 2 digs, 1 ace serve, 1 assist
Brittany Hanzlik - 11 digs, 3 ace serves, 1 kill
Monique Schafer - 8 kills, 11 digs, 2 ace serves, 1 block
Taylor Malone - 2 digs
Alison Stracke - 1 kill, 4 digs, 1 assist
Jaden Schafer - 29 assists, 12 digs, 1 block
Trisha Fox - 12 digs, 3 assists
Courtni Kunz - 7 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs

St. Mary's Advances To Semi-Finals With A 3 Set Win Thursday

The St. Mary’s Cardinals started their run for back to back championships in the D1 State Volleyball Tournament with a 3-set win over Humphrey St. Francis 25-13, 25-13, 25-15 at Lincoln Northeast.

The Cardinals did what they have been doing all year with a balanced attack and great defense.  Libero Mackenzie Wecker recorded 21 digs in the match and the team did a great job getting the ball to setter Bridget Schneider who had 37 assists. Juniors Sydney Hupp and Riley Sibbel led the hitting for the Cardinals.  Hupp had 15 kills and 8 blocks and Riley Sibbel had 11 kills.

The Cardinals improve to 32-0 and will meet Diller-Odell in the Semifinals Friday at 11 am at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The match can be heard on 1350 AM KBRX and also on the AM Internet Feed at

St. Mary’s Statistics  
St.  Mary's                       25    25    25
Humphrey St. Francis     13    13    15
Player                           Kills   Blocks   Ace Serves  Digs  Set Assists
Mackenzie Wecker                                                   21
Sydney Hupp               17         8               
Krissy Krotter                 7                         1               7
Tracy Chvala                 5         1               1               2         2
Bridget Schneider          1         1               2             10       37
Emily Pongratz               2         2               2              4


St. Mary's Wins District Crown, Stuart Makes it Two at State

The KBRX area finished with two teams in Class D1/D2 qualifying for State after the District Finals on Thursday.

The St. Mary's Cardinals came out on fire against the Spartans of Ansley-Litchfield, and when they were done they handed the first loss of the season to a team that had only lost one set this year. Ansley-Litchfield was a perfect 31-0 this year, incidentally losing that one set to Ewing earlier this year. The Cardinals continued the mojo our area had built up in Burwell, winning in a 25-16, 25-14, 25-14 sweep.

Stuart came out strong in set one, but Wynot fired back for a second set win and rode that momentum for the entire night. The Lady Blue Devils needed to win to make State, and they avenged a four set loss to the Broncos in last years' district final with one of their own by a score of 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16. Even though the Broncos lost, they not only grab a wild card but remain the #1 seed in Class D2 by virtue of their performance throughout the season.

Other winners in D1 were Axtell, Emerson-Hubbard, Diller-Odell, Brady and Humphrey St. Francis. The wild card teams are Ansley-Litchfield and Cedar Bluffs. In D2, Stuart and Giltner are the top two seeds and both go in as wild card teams, followed by district winners Exeter-Milligan, Bertrand, Lawrence-Nelson, Crawford, Mullen and Wynot. The results are on the Pinnacle Bank Scoreboard.

Here are the matchups for D1/D2 in Lincoln.:
State Volleyball Bracket
D1 Bracket @ Lincoln Northeast
1:30 - #7 Brady (21-8) vs. #2 Ansley-Litchfield (31-1)
3:30 - #3 Axtell (28-3) vs. #6 Cedar Bluffs (26-3)
5:30 - #1 St. Mary's (31-0) vs. #8 Humphrey St. Francis (16-11)
7:30 - #4 Emerson-Hubbard (28-4) vs. #5 Diller-Odell (27-6)
D2 Bracket @ Lincoln Southeast
1:30 - #7 Crawford (22-5) vs. #2 Giltner (24-4)
3:30 - #3 Exeter-Milligan (24-7) vs. #6 Wynot (21-9)
5:30 - #1 Stuart (27-5) vs. #8 Mullen (19-10)
7:30 - #4 Bertrand (26-4) vs. #5 Lawrence-Nelson (22-7)

As you can see, both St. Mary's and Stuart are the #1 seeds, and that means they will be playing at the same time (5:30 pm). In fact, every single class has the same schedule. The St. Mary's game will be on 1350 AM and Stuart will be broadcasted on 102.9 FM so that we can get both games on air. If both teams win, they will play on a split court at Pinnacle Bank Arena at the same time on Friday.

Good luck to the Cardinals and Broncos in Lincoln from the KBRX Sports crew!

St. Mary's Makes It a Three-Peat in the NVC

The Cards become three-peat Niobrara Valley Conference champions in 2014.

St. Mary's seems to have Stuart's number this year. For the second straight game in the NVC, one team came in with three previous wins against the other in the 2014 season. The Cardinals made it look easy in the first set, but ultimately had to battle for a four set win. Although it may have been done before (we would appreciate help on this one if anybody knows!), it isn't often that the #1 D1 team and #1 D2 team meet in a conference final. Coming in as one of two undefeated D1 teams (more on this later), St. Mary's downed Stuart for the fourth time this year by a score of 25-8, 18-25, 25-22, 25-14.

The first set doesn't need much explanation. St. Mary's jumped out to a 6-0 lead before a Stuart timeout, and everything seemed to go right for the Lady Cardinals. Behind Riley Sibbel's serving and Tracy Chvala's four kills the Cards made it seem as if it would get out of hand. But the Broncos got fired up with the first point of the second set, and behind Monique Schafer's seven kills and Taylor Malone's two ace serves, the Broncos were in control of most of the 25-18 second set win. This was the first loss in a set by the Cardinals since EPPJ stole one back on Oct. 7th. With the game tied at 1-1, it looked like the matchup everyone expected. What nobody may have expected is Sibbel teeing off in the final two sets. After not tallying a successful attack in the first two sets, Riley ripped off seven kills in the third set to pair with Emily Pongratz's back-to-back ace serves, and St. Mary's survived a close 25-22 third set despite leading 23-16 earlier. Contributing to the Stuart run was some strong blocking by Courtni Kunz, who had five of her six blocks in that set. St. Mary's was able to steadily build their lead in the final game, and another four kills from Sibbel and strong finishes from the net and serving stripe by Chvala and Krissy Krotter put the finishing touches on the Cardinal win.

St. Mary's had a balanced attack again, with five attackers getting multiple tallies into the kill column. Sibbel led the way with 11 kills and an ace on 24/24 serving, Krotter tallied nine kills with two blocks, Chvala finished with nine kills, two aces and two blocks, Sydney Hupp picked up six kills and three blocks from the MH position, and Pongratz had four kills, two aces and three blocks. Stuart was led by Monique Schafer's 15 kills and Courtni Kunz's seven kills and six blocks, with Hailey Paxton chipping in a half-dozen kills and a block, Harlee Fischer notching four kills, and Trisha Fox adding three kills. Two positions that also deserve recognition are the liberos and setters. Mackenzie Wecker is as good as any libero in D1, and Brittany Hanzlik has done a great job transitioning to the position this year. Bridget Schneider and Jaden Schafer perhaps played as good as anyone on Friday night. Besides their setting performances that led the way for the hitters, Schneider was perfect from the serving stripe and Schafer notched three kills along with more one-hand digs than you could shake a stick at.

St. Mary's became the first three-time champion since Ewing did the same from 2006 through 2008. The Cardinals have taken three straight 3-1 matches over their opponents, knocking down Ewing in the two previous years. St. Mary's heads to Neligh on Monday to the D1-7 Sub-District with a game against Boyd County or North Central. Stuart heads to the D2-4 Sub-District in Creighton, where they will be the favorite in a sub that also features Ewing.

There are still plenty of smiles to go around for the NVC runner-ups.

EPPJ Bounces Back For Consolation Win

EPPJ picked up their highest NVC finish since being 2nd in 2010.

It's tough to beat a team twice. Three is no small feat. Four can get you a win in the NVC if you catch the right night. For Elgin Public/Pope John, they caught the right night to play CWC for the fourth time in 2014. The Wolfpack got a Friday night win in the NVC Tournament in four sets, completing a hard-fought 25-20, 25-20, 16-25, 25-23 victory over the Renegades. The third place win for EPPJ was their first trip back to a Friday night NVC game since 2010. In fact, that game came against CWC in the early days of the two co-ops, when the Renegades knocked down a game Wolfpack team 3-2. CWC played a Friday game for the 5th straight year after capturing the championship in 2010 and finishing 3rd each of the last three years.

EPPJ took the first two sets by similar scores on the strength of a solid start by the two leading hitters on the club, Liz Selting and Jenna Parks, who combined for 8 kills. In a second set, a great serving performance by senior Sharla Schindler helped the Pack overcome an early deficit, and they were able to secure the win despite six kills by Jacie Laetsch. CWC came roaring back in the third, starting on a 9-2 run en route to a 25-16 win. Most of the way through the fourth set it looked like CWC would force a decisive 5th, but EPPJ overcame a 19-15 deficit to take the match in four. Despite Nicole Beed coming alive with five kills, two blocks and two ace serves, and Laetsch and Dawn Klabenes hitting well, the Wolfpack took the lead at 20-19 and held off a CWC rally to win by two. Senior Hayley Stamp had two of her three kills in key moments, Selting picked up four kills, and Terri Seier did an outstanding job at the net with two kills and three blocks in the fourth set to help EPPJ to the win.

Selting and Laetsch dueled for the match-high lead in kills, and both finished with 15 by Mark and Scott's count. Reigning Top Dawg Athlete of the Week Jenna Parks knocked down nine kills along with two aces and Terri Seier was in on five blocks to go with her seven kills. The Wolfpack also had great performances from the serving line by Baylee Wemhoff, Taylor Schumacher, Jordan Mescher and Schindler, who combined 59 of 60 serving with some good defense. Besides Laetsch's plethora of kills, CWC was led at the net by Klabenes, who looked unstoppable at times with 10 kills and three blocks, and Regan Dierks with seven kills and a block. Tami Jo Marcellus chipped in a handful of kills and two aces, Beed pounded out a half-dozen kills and three aces, and Marissa Koenig took time off from her part-time setting duties to hit four points. Sophomore libero Aleesha Williams' performance shouldn't be overlooked either, as she made play after play in the back row.

Fortunately for these two teams, they will not see each other again. EPPJ comes back to the Aerie at OHS as the favorite in the C2-8 Sub-District. CWC heads to Neligh for the D1-7 Sub-District on Monday as the second seed and a matchup with Clearwater/Orchard brewing.

As a final note on this game, the NVC Consolation game has gone four sets for the last six years. Pope John was involved in the start of that run. After beating West Boyd 3-0 in 2008, the Crusaders beat defending champion Ewing 3-1 the next year. Since then, CWC and Stuart have been involved in four straight 3-1 contests, and the Wolfpack continued that this year.

CWC finished 4th, but has played on the final day of NVC every year of the co-op.

Bauer, Millard Add Central Nebraska Flavor To NECC Women's BB Team

Brooke Bauer (#3, bottom left) and Allie Millard (#20, upper right) join the
NECC basketball team, which begins its season this weekend.

NORFOLK – Several new faces join this year’s women’s basketball team at Northeast Community College – a team that is coming off a strong season last year. Hawks Coach Matt Svehla welcomes nine freshmen this season along with four returning sophomores.

Northeast ended the 2013-14 campaign 26-4 following an appearance in the Region XI Championship game. The Hawks were also ranked several times in the National Junior College Athletic Association Top 25 Division I poll during the season.

“We lost some really good players from last year’s team, but we return some really good players too,” Svehla said. “Three of our returners averaged around ten points per game last season, so they will provide some scoring and experience with this year’s team.  Like always, we will need for our freshmen group to contribute and some will need to contribute right away. I have been pretty pleased with their development and I expect that they will continue to improve as the season goes along.  The freshmen class has a good balance of perimeter players and inside players.  Our freshmen inside players bring nice size to our roster, which makes us bigger than we were a year ago.”

The Hawks will be led by returning sophomores Yasmin Miller, Mountain Creek, Qld, Australia, Annie Szczepaniak, Bellevue, Megan Trinder, Hollywell, Qld, Australia, and Ena Viso, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Freshman players this season include Brooke Bauer, O’Neill, Janea Bunn, Springfield, MA, Cameron Eddie, Belden, Sydney Koel, Sioux Falls, SD, Jayla Mayes-Jackson, Minneapolis, MN, Octavia McGraw, Omaha, Allie Millard, Valentine, Hannah Riley, Richmond Hill, GA, and Kara Valasek, Palmer.

Svehla said his players are excited to begin the season. “Preseason can get long and it is time to shift gears.  Opening up on the road is always difficult, but hopefully we’ll be ready to go.  We won’t have much of a scouting report on our opponents, so we’ll try to worry about our own business.  Playing solid defense, rebounding, and minimizing turnovers will be our focus.”

The Northeast Community College women’s and men’s basketball teams open this season on Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2, at the North Dakota State College of Science Classic at Wahpeton, ND.

NCA Names Super-State and All-State Cross Country Teams

Cameron Moes and Zach Welch picked up postseason attention from the NCA.

The Nebraska Coaches Association released its list of Cross Country honors on Friday. With the State Championships in the books, the fall running season had its end in Kearney last week. Since media around the state do not make All-State selections for some sports, including Cross Country, the NCA handles postseason honors. The NCA mostly took the results from the Championships into consideration when selecting their teams.

For classes C and D, usually the winners in each class are named Super-State. This year Zach Welch of Ainsworth garnered that honor in Class D. Area girls' All-State awards went to Zoe Ritz of Ord in Class C, and Class D freshman Haley Arens of Crofton and Anna O'Malley from North Platte St. Pat's. Three area boys picked up All-State Honors for their efforts at State, including O'Neill's standout junior Grant Johnston. In Class D, Brady Delimont of Ainsworth and Osmond senior Cameron Moes picked up All-State awards.

Girls All-State
Class C
Zoe Ritz         Ord
Class D
Haley Arens         Crofton
Anna O'Malley      North Platte St. Patrick's
Boys Super-State
Class D
Zachary Welch          Ainsworth
Boys All-State
Class C
Grant Johnston          O'Neill
Class D
Brady Delimont          Ainsworth
Cameron Moes          Osmond

Click the title of this article to see all of the recipients of NCA Super-State and All-State awards.

2nd Round Playoff Football Times and Locations

There weren't many upsets in Classes D1/D2 on Thursday night's first round. Only two upsets happened in Class D1, and one of them was an evenly matched Neligh-Oakdale over EPPJ, a 9 seed downing an 8 seed. That left #11 Clarkson-Leigh getting an eight point upset over #6 Hartington-Newcastle. When the second round begins, that means that only two higher seeded teams will be on the road. Here are the Class D1/D2 area matchups for Wednesday, Nov. 5. Times will be noted as soon as they are released.

Class D1 Bracket
D1 West
6:00 - Creighton @ Neligh-Oakdale
6:00 - Elm Creek @ Burwell
D1 East
5:00 - Bloomfield @ Bruning-Davenport-Shickley (Shickley)
Class D2 Bracket
D2 East

5:00 - CWC @ Exeter-Milligan (Milligan)
3:00 - Falls City Sacred Heart @ Stuart

Eagles Run Well at State

Last week the O’Neill Eagles ran at the state meet held in Kearney.  The O’Neill Eagles competed at the Class C level.

In the girls race Alejandra Vergara-Kersenbrock placed 9th overall and earning a medal.  In the boys race the team qualified and placed 6th as a team with 104 points.  Leading the Eagles was junior Grant Johnston placing 7th overall.  Blake Johnston placed 22nd, Kyle Fowler 59th, Jon Gettert 65th, Blake Walters 72nd, and Nathaniel Jennings was unable to finish due to an injury.

“I was really proud of all of them.  Alejandra placed as 9th at districts and came back and placed 9th in the state meet.  She ran her best run of her career.  The Eagle Boys’ team placed 6th.  Grant Johnston placed four places better than last year and placed 7th which earned an individual medal.  It isn’t where we wanted to finish as a team but they showed great effort.  I wouldn’t ask for a better group of athletes to work with this year,” said Coach Hilker.

State Football Playoff Brackets Set

The NSAA has released the playoff brackets for the 2014 football season. The first day of playoffs will be Thursday, October 30 when Class D kicks off, followed by the other four classes on Halloween Friday. Classes D1 & D2 have a 32 team bracket, while this is the first year that C1 & C2 have gone the way of the other 11-man classes in allowing 16 teams in. Here are links to the brackets along with the area teams and who and where they play.

Class A Bracket           Class B Bracket
Class C1 Bracket

7 pm - #14 Pierce (6-3) at #3 Columbus Scotus (9-0) (at Pawnee Park)
2 pm - #10 Falls City (8-1) at #7 Norfolk Catholic (8-1)
7 pm - #15 Milford-Dorchester (6-3) at #2 Boone Central/NG (9-0) (Albion)
Class C2 Bracket
7 pm - #16 Lutheran High NE (6-3) at #1 Battle Creek (9-0)
7 pm - #11 Hartington Cedar Catholic (7-2) at #6 Sutton (9-0)
Class D1 Bracket
6 pm - #16 Twin Loup (2-6) at #1 Creighton (8-0)
7 pm - #9 Neligh-Oakdale (5-3) at #8 Elgin Public/Pope John (5-3)
5 pm - #13 Perkins County (4-4) at #4 Burwell (7-1)
2:30 pm - #11 North Central (6-2) at #6 Blue Hill (5-3)
5:30 pm - #10 Scribner-Snyder (6-2) at #7 Bloomfield (6-2)
6 pm - #11 Clarkson/Leigh (4-4) at #6 Hartington-Newcastle (6-2) (Hartington)
Class D2 Bracket
6 pm - #9 Wynot (6-2) at #8 CWC (5-3) (at Chambers)
6 pm - #13 St. Mary's (5-3) at #4 Humphrey St. Francis (8-0)
3 pm - #15 Osceola (5-3) at #2 Stuart (8-0)

Three Eagles Voted All-Conference in Softball

Three O'Neill girls were recognized for their efforts during the softball season when the All-Conference teams were realeased on Wednesday. Voted on by the Mid-State coaches, Randi Pinkerman, Libi Slack and Caleigh Miles were all honored on the first-team ballot.

Pinkerman, a four year starter, moved to pitcher this year, where she threw almost all of the innings for the Eagles. Through 155 1/3 innings, Pinkerman had an ERA of 3.24 with 208 strikeouts to just 94 walks in her first extensive experience as the pitcher. Randi was nothing short of spectacular on offense, batting .506 with 2 home runs (one was inside the park) and 13 RBIs despite being at the top of the order. She was also prolific on the basepaths, leading the team with 27 stolen bases. Junior Libi Slack served her second season as the team's catcher, committing only 2 errors in the 225 total plays she was involved in. On offense, Libi was a tough out, reaching base half of the time she was up, hitting .446 with 16 RBIs and only three strikeouts. Caleigh Miles was named All-Conference as a sophomore shortstop, playing solid defense at arguably the toughest position on the field. On offense, Caleigh was far and away the leader in Runs Batted In with 24, while hitting .329 and scoring 17 more runs. Miles did all of this from the two-hole in the lineup, while also putting pressure on the defense with 9 stolen bases, second on the team to Pinkerman.

Here is the rest of the Mid-State Softball All-Conference Team:

Mid-State All-Conference Softball Team:
Hannah Belt  Wayne Pitcher
Abbie Hix  Wayne Infielder
Lauren Wobken    GACC Shortstop
Maci Hunke     GACC Pitcher/2nd Base
Katie Brown      GACC 1st Base
Randi Pinkerman  O'Neill Pitcher
Rachelle Tucker  Pierce 1st Base
Danica Schaefer Wayne Catcher
Libi Slack O'Neill Catcher
Briana Polt  Pierce 3rd Base
Caleigh Miles O'Neill Shortstop
Emily Franzluebbers GACC Pitcher
Ashten Gibson Wayne 2nd Base/Pitcher
Synthia Schuett Pierce Catcher/Shortstop

Honorable Mentions are:
Jaclyn Frey      Boone Central Right Field
Ashlynn Baker  Boone Central 2nd/3rd Base
Niki Merwhirter  Boone Central Pitcher/2nd Base
Kayla Reinke Pierce Pitcher
Hailey Race Pierce Catcher/Shortstop
Hannah Higgins  Pierce Center Field
Hanna Hunke GACC Catcher
Mariah Hunke GACC 3rd Base

Call KBRX at (402) 336-1612