Today's Poll

Kunz, Wecker & Schneider Lead Northeast to 5 Set Win


NORFOLK – The Northeast Community College volleyball team improved to 11-7 Tuesday night following a five set win over Southwestern Community College of Iowa at the Cox Activities Center in Norfolk. The scores were 18-25, 28-26, 25-11, 17-25 and 15-8.

“We were very up and down tonight, but we were able to come up with the win,” said Amanda Schultze, Hawks coach. “We made errors early on which set us back 0-1 after that first set. Courtni Kunz did a nice job at getting our offense going and giving the team some energy."

Kunz finished with 19 kills and three assist blocks. Kelsey Shoemaker recorded 13 kills and four assist blocks. Also for Northeast, Mackenzie Wecker had 23 digs and four ace serves; Meagan Backer, 34 digs and Bridget Schneider, 47 assists.

That effort helped NECC jump up this week in the national rankings. The Hawks moved up from #20 to #14 in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Top 20 poll.

The Hawks (11-7) were 2-1 in the past week – besides the Southwestern win they triumphed in four sets over Iowa Lakes in Estherville, IA. Northeast fell to Central in straight sets in Columbus.

The Hawks hit the road for a two-day road trip beginning Thursday when the teams faces North Platte Community College in North Platte beginning at 7 p.m. Northeast will play McCook Community College in McCook on Friday beginning at 7 p.m.

Eagles Run Hard at Boone Individual Meet

Last week the O’Neill Eagle Cross Country team competed at the Boone Central Individual Cross Country Invite. The top five individuals of each class received medals.  Fourteen teams competed at the meet.  There were two high school races, girls and boys, then two junior high races, girls and boys.

Freshman Hali Kloppenborg placed 14th overall in Albion.

In the freshman division Whitney Watson placed 1st and Hali Kloppenborg placed 4th.  Medalling in the sophomore division was Gabby Montes 1st and Nathaniel Jennings 3rd.  Then in the senior division Grant Johnston placed 1st, Blake Johnston 2nd, and Abby Gillham 4th.

Nathaniel Jennings was 12th overall in Albion

In the junior high race the Junior Eagles had one medalist, Oscar Lopez who placed 7th.

“We have a group of kids who have been working hard.  This meet allowed us to realize how we need to rely on everyone on the team.  We are getting better every week,” said Coach Hilker.

 This week the Eagle Cross Country Team will run at two meets.  Monday they traveled to Kearney to the UNK Invite, and then on Friday they go to the West Holt Invite.  The West Holt Invite, which starts at 4:00 pm with the high school girl’s race.  Come Support the Eagles.

Eagle Golf Team Adds Hardware in Two Invites

The O'Neill girls golf team had another successful run on the course last week.  The girls had to endure a couple of long road trips that turned out to be worth it.

On Tuesday the girls traveled to Valentine for the very unique experience of being able to golf an elite golf course south of Valentine at the Prairie Club.  The girls were very excited for this opportunity and competed well for playing on a very challenging course.  Hailee Harmon shot an 87 and placed second.  Paige Gaughenbaugh shot a 94 and placed 4th.  Nikki Gotschall shot a 110 and placed 6th.  Olivia Fonseca shot a 130 and Claire Everitt shot a 131.  The team shot a combined 421 and won the team title.

Last Thursday the girls traveled to Wayne to take part in the biggest golf field the Eagles see all year.  The Eagles played well, shooting a 402 and placing third as a team.  Hailee Harmon was first by shooting a very impressive 83.  Paige Gaghenbaugh shot a 89 and placed third.  Claire Everitt shot her best round of the year with a 113.  Olivia Fonseca shot a 117 and Nikki Gotschall shot a 118 to finish the scoring for the Eagles.

"The Eagles travel to Cozad for the C-4 District that will be held on Monday.  This will be a very tough district, but if the Eagles can all play well they have a very good chance of qualifying for state as a team", commented Coach Buller.

#20 Ranked NECC Volleyball Team Propelled by Local Talent

The Northeast Community College Hawks are in the middle of another successful volleyball season, and this year it is mostly due to the local talent on the roster.

The Hawks are only 9-7 on the year, but apparently the schedule has been tough enough to warrant a #20 rank in the NJCAA Div. II standings this week. The Hawks actually debuted in the rankings at #17 last week, but fell a few spots this week.

The KBRX sports crew has been keeping a special watch on the Hawks because of the three girls from the area who are continuing their athletic careers in Norfolk. It should be noted, though, that the entirety of the team is from Nebraska, and most of them come from within an hour or so of Norfolk. Kelsie Myers from Broken Bow is the only player on the roster that can claim to have more than a two hour drive to get home. Part of that homegrown talent came from O’Neill and Stuart, so let’s check in on the girls.

Courtni Kunz has really come on strong in the last few weeks, earning more time rotating in at the middle hitter position. Courtni has consistently led the team in blocks during the last few matches, and is second on the team with 30 blocks. She has also improved her offense, averaging 1.42 kills per set. Kunz led the Hawks with 10 kills in a close loss to #9 Central Community College on Tuesday night.

Bridget Schneider spent a few weeks away from the team, but upon her return she has made an immediate impact on the Hawk’s offense. With two main setters on the team, Bridget leads the team with 8.4 assists per set, which translates into just about 33 assists per match. Of course a setter’s stats depend upon the hitters, but a good setter will give her hitters better looks, and that seems to be what Schneider brings to the offense. Bridget also impacts the game by serving up one ace per match so far.

Mackenzie Wecker has split time in the back row with sophomore Meagan Backer, and it is doubtful that many teams have two such liberos to count on. Even with split time, Wecker has played in every match, and has a healthy dig percentage of 3.69 digs per set. Mackenzie has been the best server on the team, notching 16 aces in the first 15 matches.

We will keep an eye on the Hawks as they continue their season, and wish them the best of luck this season.

Northeast travels to Estherville, IA, tonight for a match against Iowa Lakes Community College beginning at 7 p.m.

O'Neill Eagles Show Strength at Home XC Invite

The mad dash: the Eagle boys' varsity comes off the line at the O'Neill CC. Photo courtesy of Kevin Morrow.

Last week the O’Neill Eagles hosted their own invitational cross-country meet.  Fifteen schools competed at the meet held at the O’Neill Country Club.

The O’Neill Lady Eagles started off the invite and were able to score 36 points to earn the runner-up trophy.  The O’Neill Lady Eagles consisted of six runners.  Leading the Eagles and medaling were Abby Gillham 4th, Whitney Watson 5th, and Ellery Butterfield 15th.  Rounding out the varsity team was Hali Kloppenborg 16th, Gabby Montes 17th, and Kadra Sommersted-Simmons 21st

“We met our first goal of the season.  The number 6 girl was two minutes away from our number one girl, Abby.  Now our goal is to keep that as we drop our times.  Every girl ran faster than last week,” said Coach Hilker.

Team members (front to back) Ellery Butterfield, Hali Kloppenborg, and Gabby Montes help the Eagle team place 3rd in the girls' division. Courtesy of Kevin Morrow.

The O’Neill Boy’s team won the title with 23 points.  Leading the Eagles once again and medalling were Grant Johnston 1st, Blake Johnston 2nd, Nathaniel Jennings 8th, and Jon Gettert 12th.  Rounding out the varsity team was McCoy Strong 20th and Zeb O’Bryan 49th

In the boy’s junior varsity division O’Neill had five medalists.  Leading the Eagles on the charge and medalling were Sergio Gonzalez 1st, Ehric Strope 3rd, Caden Moore 4th, Jordan Ross 7th, and Cody Watson 8th.  Rounding out the Eagles are Tyler Fritz 11th, Trinity Mosel 15th, Kevin Butterfield 16th, Cuoy Shaw 17th, and Casey Vandersnick 18th

“I thought we ran best in the first 2000 meters.  The 6th runner is getting closer to Grant, which is getting us better as a team.  Our pack running in the middle group has to get better,” said Coach Hilker.

In the junior high division the girls had two medalists: Melody Walton 5th and Taya Rainforth 8th.  The rest of the team was Mikyla Grenier 21st, Salina Juemenez 30th, Breanna Sullivan 34th, Helen Juemenez 35th, Aleynah Gray 36th, and Helen Martinez 39th.  On the junior high boy’s side the Eagles had 4 medalists:  Michael Poese 1st, Oscar Lopez 7th, Keegan Moore 8th, and Andrew Alder 10th.  The rest of the team was:  Mason Walsh 11th, Brandon Hopson 12th, Servando Gonzalez 13th, Lukas Dougherty 24th, Froy Seliche 27th, Jesus Romero 28th, Joel Costilla 31st, Jesus Montes 32nd, Justin Beeks 34th, Jace Thompson 37th, and Zach Howard 38th.

Freshman Whitney Watson placed 5th overall. Photo courtesy of Kevin Morrow.

Almost every other school in the KBRX area sent runners to compete in O'Neill as well. Check out all of the results from the meet in the Pinnacle Bank Scoreboard.

The O’Neill Eagles want to thank everyone who volunteered their time and worked at the meet.  It was a huge success and couldn’t be done without the patrons of O’Neill and OHS staff who volunteer their time to help make this meet possible. 

Next week the O’Neill Eagles will compete in the Boone Central Individual Invite on September 25th.  The first race will be at 4:30 pm.  Come and cheer the Eagles on.

Eagle Golf Team Continues to Swing Hot Sticks

The Eagles with their 2nd place trophy at Battle Creek

The O'Neill girls’ golf team continued their solid play last week, picking up two 2nd place finishes.  On Monday the girls traveled to Battle Creek for the Battle Creek Invite.  The tournament featured several of the best teams and individuals in class C and promised to be a very good tournament.  The girls didn't disappoint with 1st through 5th place separated by just 15 strokes.  O'Neill played solid golf all day and was able to squeak out a 2nd place finish, shooting a 399 to end up just one stroke better than Hartington Cedar Catholic.  Paige Gaughenbaugh and Hailee Harmon led the Eagles by shooting 91's and placing 4th and 5th.  Nikki Gotschall played her best round of the year by shooting an even 100 for the day and placing 9th.  Claire Everitt and Olivia Fonseca both had good days as they both broke 120 by shooting 117 and 119 respectively.  The girls were very excited to be able to beat Battle Creek on their home course. 

On Saturday the girls’ varsity went to Albion for the Boone Central invite.  The girls got off to a very slow start and weren't playing very well through the first nine holes, trailing first place by 15 strokes.  They turned it around on the back nine by shooting 16 strokes better than they did on the front. Even with the dramatic turnaround, they couldn’t quite get past Battle Creek and ended up second by only one stroke. Battle Creek shot a 395 and O'Neill shot a 396.  Hailee Harmon led the Eagles shooting an 88 and winning gold in the individual competition.  Hailee was the only golfer in the 80's and beat the field by four strokes.  Paige Gaughenbaugh placed in a tie for 6th shooting a 96.  Nikki Gotschall shot a 104.  Olivia Fonseca shot her personal best round of her career with a 108 and Claire Everitt shot a 119 to finish the scoring for the Eagles.

The JV golf team was also in action on Saturday at the Plainview Tournament.  Blair Langan won the JV portion of the tournament shooting 105 and placing 1st.  Grace Bunner shot a 110 and placed 3rd.  Allison Beckwith placed 4th by shooting a 132.  Kaitlyn Fonseca rounded out the scoring for O'Neill with a 203.

"The Eagles are showing that if they can put everything together and have everyone shooting well all at the same time that there is nothing that this team can't accomplish," commented Coach Buller.  "We are getting to the part of the season where we need to sure up a few mental things and we will be in great shape come districts in a little a under two weeks."

O'Neill Runners Compete at Tough Skyview Course

Last week the O’Neill Eagles competed at the Norfolk Catholic Invitational Cross-Country Meet.   Eleven teams competed in the invitational meet.  The girl’s race consisted of 90 athletes and the boy’s race consisted of 129 runners.

The girls placed 6th overall with Abby Gillham medaling with a 13th place finish.  Rounding out the varsity was Whitney Watson 20th, Ellery Butterfield 31st, Gabby Montes 32nd, and Kadra Sommersted-Simmons 39th

“Overall the girls ran well.  We need to work more in the middle and realize that we can have something left to finish,” said Coach Hilker.

The boys defended their number one spot by winning it.  This is three years in a row that the boys have won the Norfolk Catholic Invite.  The team scored 34 points.  Leading the Eagles and medalling were Grant Johnston placing 1st, Blake Johnston 2nd, and Nathaniel Jennings placed 10th.  Rounding out the varsity team were Jon Gettert 23rd, Zeb O’Bryan 26th, and McCoy Strong 37th

In the junior varsity division the boy’s team won for the 2nd year in a row.  Leading the junior varsity boys and medaling was Ehric Strope 2nd, Caden Moore 4th, and Jordan Ross 5th.  Completing the team were Tyler Fritz 14th,  Sergio Gonzalez 15th, Cody Watson 16th, Trinity Mosel 17th, Cuoy Shaw 18th, Kevin Butterfield 19th , and Casey Vandersnick 20th

“The boy’s team has had some really good practices and overall have shown improvement.  We need to get the rest of team closer to our number one runner,” said Coach Hilker.

The junior high also competed in the same meet.  The junior high girls placed 6th and boys 5th.  In the junior High girl’s race the Eagles were:  Taya Rainforth 18th, Mikyla Grenier 45th, Selina Jemenez 61st, Breanna Sullivan 62nd, Aleynah Gray 67th, Heather Jemenez 72nd, and Helen Martinez 78th.  In the boys race the following Eagles were:  Oscar Lopez 28th, Andrew Alder 29th, Servando Gonzalez 40th, Justin Beeks 58th, Joel Costilla 61st, Jace Thompson 64th, and Zach Howard 68th.

Next week the O’Neill harriers will host their own invitational.  The invite will start at 3:30 pm at the O’Neill Country Club.  The high school girl’s race will run first, followed by high school boys, junior high girls, and then junior high boys. Come support the Eagles as they run against some the best teams in the area and state this Friday, September 18th.

Three Area Graduates Help Hawks to Win


NORFOLK – The Northeast Community College volleyball dropped its first set against Ellsworth Community College here Wednesday night, but came back to win three straight to take the match. The scores were 19-25, 26-24, 25-20, and 27-25.

All three KBRX area players saw time on the floor together and led the Hawks in one category. Courtni Kunz finished with one solo and one assist block; Mackenzie Wecker registered two ace serves and 26 digs and Bridget Schneider had 30 assists. Taryn Luedtke led the Hawks with 15 kills while Kelsey Shoemaker recorded 13.

The Hawks are now 7-4 on the season. Northeast will participate in the WYO-BRASKA Tournament in Torrington, Wyoming, on Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19. The Hawks will face Western Wyoming Community College in its opening match at 12-noon on Friday and then face Laramie County Community College at 2 p.m.

Eagle Runners Begin Cross Country Season, Boys Finish 2nd

The Eagle boys placed 2nd as a team.

The O’Neill Eagle Cross Country Team opened up with their annual season opener at the Boone Central Invitational on Friday.  The meet consisted of twelve schools and was run at the Albion golf course.

In the girl’s race the O’Neill Eagles placed 5th as a team and had three runners that were medalists.  Leading the Eagles with medals were senior Abby Gillham placing 6th, and freshman Hali Kloppenborg who placed 17th and Whitney Watson in 20th.  Finishing out the team score was Ellery Butterfield in 26th, and Kadra Sommersted-Simmons in 30th

“The girls team ran well.  They have shown an lot of improvement.  With youth on our side and good senior leadership, I see us improving a lot,” said Coach Hilker.

The boy’s team also ran and placed runner-up as a team.  They were four points away from the state runner-up from last year, Columbus Scotus.  Leading the Eagles as medalist were Grant Johnston who placed 2nd, Blake Johnston 3rd, and Nathaniel Jennings 9th.  The rest of team were Jon Gettert 21st, Zeb O’Bryan 28th, McCoy Strong 31st, Sergio Gonzalez 38th, Ehric Strope 40th, Caden Moore 41st, Jordan Ross 45th, Cody Watson 49th, Tyler Fritz 66th, Cuoy Shaw 67th, Casey Vandersnick 70th, Tyler Beeks 80th, and Kevin Butterfield 81st

“Overall the team ran well for our first meet.  We need to get runners closer to our number one runner,” said Caoch Hilker.

The junior high team ran as well. Running for the Eagles were Salena Jemenez 59th, Breanna Sullivan 61st, Aleynah Gray 62nd, and Heather Jemenez 63rd.  In the boy’s race Andrew Alder placed 26th, Lukas Dougherty 44th, Froy Seliche 46th, Justin Beeks 55th, Jace Thompson 56th, Joel Costilla 57th, and Zach Howard 63rd

Next week the O’Neill Eagles will compete at the Norfolk Catholic Invitational held at Sky View Lake on September 11th.  The first race will be at 3:30 pm.

Softball and Girls Golf Kick Off NSAA Fall Sports Season


The beginning of the NSAA fall sports season kicks off this week with the softball and girls golf seasons. Here is the quick rundown on what that means for the area.

- O’Neill bumped back up into Class B this year after being Class C last year
- Districts for the Eagles will be in Hastings this year
- Boone Central/Newman Grove, Pierce, Wayne and Guardian Angels CC are the other Mid-State schools. Wayne was last year’s conference champ
- Ord started up a softball program for the first time this year. They will compete in Class C and travel west for their district
- Guardian Angels was the Class C Champion with a record of 26-8 last year. It was the Bluejays’ first title. Elkhorn beat Elkhorn South to win Class B, and Millard South finished off a four-peat in Class A (121-14 during that stretch)

Girls Golf
- Area teams are O’Neill, West Holt, Elkhorn Valley, Plainview, Pierce, Crofton, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Boone Central/Newman Grove, Battle Creek and Ainsworth
- The Eagles dropped down to Class C this year, which means every area team we will follow is in Class C
- State Golf this year is at the Norfolk Country Club for Class A, Quail Run in Columbus for Class B, and North Platte’s Lake Maloney Golf Course for Class C
- Minden is the defending Class C champion, but Lincoln Lutheran returns all five golfers from last year’s 3rd place team. Kearney Catholic returns four from their 5th place team, including Morgan Thiele. They would probably be considered the favorites this year, although Battle Creek (10th last year) brings back four, Wayne (11th) has three returners, and Norfolk Catholic (12th) has all five girls back from last year’s state qualifying team.
- Scottsbluff is the Class B defending champion and Elkhorn South won it in A last year

NSAA Fall Classifications & District Assignments


Soon (and all too soon for some) the new school year begins and local sports start back up. There were some substantial differences this year as far as class changes, and with that the new districts. Football teams will be the same because of the two year scheduling, but the other four sports that our area schools participate in have changes every year. All of the area schools are listed below by sport and class. All of the districts are set except for Class D Cross Country, but none of the locations have been chosen yet.

Class C1
Subdistrict C1-7: Madison, Norfolk Catholic, Pierce, Wayne, West Point-Beemer
Subdistrict C1-8: O'Neill, Ord, Broken Bow, Valentine
Subdistrict C1-9: Boone Central/Newman Grove, Central City, Grand Island Central Catholic, St. Paul
Class C2
Subdistrict C2-4: Hartington Cedar Catholic, Hartington-Newcastle, Homer, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Ponca
Subdistrict C2-5: Battle Creek, Clarkson/Leigh, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, Lutheran High Northeast, Stanton
Subdistrict C2-9: Creighton, Crofton, Niobrara/Verdigre, Plainview
Subdistrict C2-10: Ainsworth, Burwell, Elgin Public/Pope John, Neligh-Oakdale, West Holt
Class D1
Subdistrict D1-6: Boyd County, Clearwater/Orchard, Elkhorn Valley, North Central, Osmond
Subdistrict D1-7: Central Valley, Harvard, Heartland Lutheran, Kenesaw, Shelton
Class D2
Subdistrict D2-4: Riverside, Spalding Academy, Elba, Palmer, St. Edward
Subdistrict D2-5: Bloomfield, Santee, Wausa, Winside, Wynot
Subdistrict D2-6: CWC, Ewing, St. Mary's, Stuart

Cross Country
Class C
District C-2: O'Neill, Pierce, Hartington, Arlington, Columbus Lakeview, Columbus Scotus, Fort Calhoun, Norfolk Catholic, North Bend Central, Wayne, West Point-Beemer
District C-3: Ord, Boone Central/Newman Grove, Adams Central, Central City, David City, Fairbury, Kearney Catholic, Milford, Minden, South Central Nebraska Unified District #5, St. Paul
Class D
West Holt, Chambers/Wheeler Central, Creighton, Niobrara/Verdigre, Boyd County, Stuart, North Central, Neligh-Oakdale, Elkhorn Valley, Plainview, Bloomfield/Wausa, Burwell, Crofton, Ainsworth, Battle Creek, Central Valley, Osmond

Girls Golf
Class C
District C-4 @ Cozad Country Club: O'Neill, West Holt, Ainsworth, Arcadia-Loup City, Cambridge, Centura, Cozad, Gibbon, Kearney Catholic, Minden, Ravenna, Southwest, Valentine
District C-3 @ Wayne Country Club: Elkhorn Valley, Plainview, Battle Creek, Crofton, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Pierce, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Norfolk Catholic, Oakland-Craig, Stanton, TC (Pender/Bancroft-Rosalie), Wayne, West Point-Beemer
District C-2 @ Quail Run Golf Course, Columbus: Boone Central, Arlington, Cedar Bluffs, Central City, Clarkson-Leigh, Columbus Lakeview, Columbus Scotus, Elmwood-Murdock, Fullerton, Omaha Brownell-Talbot, Shelby-Rising City, St. Paul, Wahoo

Class B
District B-5: O'Neill, Adams Central, Aurora, GICC, Hastings, Holdrege, Northwest
Class C
District C-3: Pierce, Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Logan View/Scribner-Snyder, Tekamah-Herman, Wayne, West Point-Beemer, Wisner-Pilger
District C-5: Boone Central/Newman Grove, Aquinas Catholic, Central City, Columbus Lakeview, Highway 91, St. Paul, Twin River
District C-6: Ord, Chadron, Chase County, Cozad, Minden, Southern Valley/Alma

Call KBRX at (402) 336-1612