Lexington Coaches Honored At NCA Awards Banquet

Recognized by your peers is a level of accomplishment that brings to the forefront the impact that you have made was spotlighted on a trio of Lexington coaches at the 2016 Nebraska Coaches Association (NCA) Awards Banquet held on Sunday evening at the Lincoln Station Great Hall. 
Kylee Kuecker, Al Shirley and Tom Wisdom were all honored during the festivities with elite accolades. 
Kylee Kuecker was named the 2016 Varsity Dance Coach of the Year. Kylee Kuecker has been deeply involved in the Liberty Belles Dance team at Lexington High School for many years. Kuecker has seen her squads excell each season as they perform throughout the winter sports season and at the State Competition held in Grand Island. 
Lexington’s Al Shirley was unveiled as the winner of the Binnie & Dutch Award on Sunday. Excellence is not always measured by hardware but successful seasons, and for Lexington’s Al Shirley, he had the best of both worlds with a 35 year career that impacted many young tracksters along with winning multiple state track championships and earning runner-up trophies more than once. 
“Coach Shirley always wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his teams and kids,” expressed Lexington Assistant Track Coach Stacy Strauss. “He was always finding the positives and knew just how hard he could push a team and/or individual, coaching and leading a track team just came naturally for him. He has always cared and continues to care about their lives as much as their performances and he was their #1 advocate on the track along with supporting them wholeheartedly in school and the community.”
The impact of Shirley reached well beyond the 4-year careers of the athletes. “Coach Shirley built a culture and tradition of excellence. We wore our uniform with pride, knowing we were competing for something bigger than ourselves,” stated Dr. Haley Bergstrom, former standout Lexington sprinter. “He made us believe in the bigger picture, to work for the good of the team. We believed we would win because he believed.”
“He believed in us so much, that we were willing to go above and beyond for him,” expressed former Maid Leah (Luther) Everson. “Coach Shirley had a way about him that we always respected, rarely argued with and completely trusted his advice and guidance.”
Being a man of few words, Al Shirley had the knack of saying the right things at the right time. Former Lexington sprinter Lindsie Woolley recalls a State Track meet occurance that will always stick in her mind, “We had just arrived at Omaha Burke Stadium and Coach Strauss asked Shirley if he had any words of encouragement and his response was ‘Run Fast’ and then he shut the van door and walked away. Those were the most encouraging words I heard all weekend because he had the utmost confidence that we would compete to the best of our ability because we were well-trained.”
Being well-trained on the track and off will always be a staple to the coaching of Al Shirley. “Coach made a huge impact on my life. His desire to help me reach my full potential both on and off the track was always accompanied by a smile, an on occaison a genuine hug,” expressed Sydney (Seberger) Wagner. “There was nothing sweeter than closing my high school career off with a state championship win and I immediately looked for Coach Shirley because I knew I had finally accomplished something he knew long before that we could achieve.”
Along with Sydney Wagner, Jenny (Landen) Killion and Tiffany (Roemmich) Denker always remember hearing Coach Shirley giving encouragement and split times at the 200 meter mark. “He had a voice I could here above all others and always helped me to finish my races strong. He always told us, ‘Its gonna be a good day, girls’ and ‘lets get out and compete’, explained Tiffany Denker. 
“As I was working out on the Kearney track this summer, I was running 400’s. Even 10-plus years later I felt like I was still waiting for that split time to be hollered out,” stated Jenny Killion. “You could always count on him with the time and encouraging words.”
Nicole Shirley got the best of both worlds by growing up at the track with her father Al Shirley, but then also having great success as an athlete under the tutelage of Coach Shirley. “I would not have been as successful of an athlete without his guidance as a coach and discipline as a loving father.” stated Nicole Shirley. “Some of my fondest memories betweeen me and my dad were those made on the track and the many accomplishments we got to share.”
Accomplishing greatness and having success had become traditions for the Lexington Minutemaids Track program. “We trusted in him and he got more out of us than we thought possible,” expressed Erin (Jones) Mankin. “The best part of being coached by Mr. Shirleyis that I still know he cares about all of us.”
Winning the NCA Golf Award was Tom Wisdom of Lexington. Wisdom won the award for making significant contributions to high school golf in the State of Nebraska. 
“Every golfer who was lucky enough to play for Coach Wisdom became a better player but more importantly a better person. Wiz demanded a lot from his players, but only because he demanded it of himself,” explained Bo Krivohlavek. “He would get us to a course very early so he could drive us around it and make sure we knew where the trouble was and what shoes we needed to him. Wiz would do anything to give us the best chance to be successful. 

Sports Thinking Outloud:

The use of communcation in sports can be heard but also seen. There are many different indicators of how and when coaches communicate with athletes and the different ways that athletes communicate with each other usually results in success depending on if the two athletes are speaking on the same wavelength and are on the same channel. 

Verbally, the call in basketball and football can result in the athletes performing different skills without the defense knowing what the call that was made. 
In the stick-and-ball sports, such as baseball and softball; the variety of signals and communication is key to the success of teams. I am not just speaking of the pitches that are signaled from pitcher and catcher but also the signs that are seen by infielders and then relayed to outfieders. This chain of signals results in the outfielders knowing where the pitch is to be thrown to give them an idea on which direction to lean towards potentially in case the ball is hit. 
We all know that the base coaches will make signals that include an indicator to signal steals, bunts, take a pitch, hit and run, and swing away, etc. It is key to almost make it look as that you are itching the different regions of the body to not show any irregular responses and give away the indicator. I remember a coach that was insistant that his athlete look down for a signal every pitch, after the athlete missed the call on the first two pitches. The coach responded loud and with a sense of authority, “bunt”. I have tried to get you to do it the first two pitches and you didn’t even attempt to kill a fly. The batter then bunted into a double-play as a result of finally following the coaches order. 
When communicating with athletes, I feel that it is quite similar to speaking with anybody right in front of you, using the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. There are always those that feel that they need to out smart others, why not keep it simple and then athletes are able to perform at 100 miles per hour instead of with the yield sign visible while traveling at a snails pace because they aren’t sure what the signal or communication meant. 
Communication is key to success in sports as well as everyday living, a prime example is your alarm, as it is the first to speak to you each morning. 

Reds Nine Duel With Holdrege Juniors

Timely hitting and taking advantage of miscues was the name of the game between Holdrege and host Cozad on Thursday evening. 
The Holdrege faithful were swinging for the fences in the First Nationals 12-7 lead when the final out was recorded. 
Chasing a 4-0 deficit by the end of the top half of the first inning, the Reds Juniors started rattling the bats in a big way. 
Cozad’s Blake Hoffmaster cashed in with a two-RBI double that scored Maddux Myer and Klint Gill to make the score 4-2 at the end of the first quarter of play. 
The Dusters were ‘elbows up’ as they pushed across three more runs to hold a 7-2 lead. 
Denting the deficit, the Cozad Nine scored a pair of runs in the third inning to trail by just three-runs 7-4 when the 4th inning was reached. 
Cozad rallied even more when Maddux Myer and Spencer Pleschourt both singled and then circled the sacks soon after to make the score 7-6 at the end of the fourth inning of play.  
For much of the fifth inning of play, the defense reigned supreme with many key plays being made in the field to keep the score at 7-6 with just two innings to play. 
Over the final two innings of regulation, the Holdrege hitters added insurance runs to their 7-6 lead that soon turned into a five-run lead, 12-7 at the midway point of the seventh inning of play. 
In the Reds Juniors final at-bat, Chandler Brock converted on an infield hit. An overthrow of first base moved Brock into scoring position. Soon after that process, Brock would score on a sacrifice by Blake Hoffmaster to make the score 12-7, where it would stay as Holdrege notched the final out of the contest on Tuesday evening. 
Kaleb Gibbens and Maddux Myer combined to keep the hitters off balanced for much of the contest for the Cozad Reds Juniors. 
Helping out his own cause, Cozad’s Maddux Myer finished the day 3-4 at the dish with a pair of singles, a double, three runs scored and an RBI. 
Catcher Blake Hoffmaster was the leading run producer with a pair of RBI’s for the Red and Black. 
Score By Innings
Holdrege  4300  023-12
Cozad      2022  001- 7

Reds Score Victory Over Melons In Juniors Action

Screen_Shot_2016-06-09_at_10.51.55_AM.pngCashing in with runners in scoring position was the formula for success for the Cozad Juniors as they defeated host Gothenburg 6-1 at the Melon Patch on Wednesday evening. 
The score remained 0-0 until the Reds were able to get a leadoff single from Nathan Karel, who would eventually score on a passed ball to give Cozad a 1-0 lead.  
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Gothenburg would threaten to score when Noah Larson singled and then walks were issued to Logan Carlson and Vince Nichols to fill the sacks with socks. Cozad’s Adam Cole recovered quite nicely to earn a strikeout for the third out of the inning and end the threat. 
Soon there after, Adam Cole would help out his own cause with a single and then score on a sacrifice off the bat of Kaleb Gibbens to make the score 2-0 at the end of the fifth inning of play. 
Adding insurance on the scoreboard would be an understatement to what the Reds were able to crash through with during the top of the sixth inning. Cozad got back-to-back singles off the bats of Jonathan Neill and Nathan Karel to power the Reds surge on offense. After a Klint Gill walk, Adam Cole knocked in a pair of runs on a mishandled hit to the left side that pushed across two runs. Soon thereafter Gill and Cole scored as well to extend the Reds lead to the tune of 6-0 at the end of the sixth stanza. 
Gothenburg was able to create a little stir in the bottom of the seventh inning when Vince Nichols gained access to first base on a dropped third strike and then scored on a two-out Blake Riley RBI-single to make the score 6-1. 
Cozad closed the door on the comeback by recording the third out. 
Adam Cole notched the win on the mound while allowing just four hits over seven inning. Cole struckout eight Melons batters. 
Noah Gugleman led the Melons hitters with a double and single to his credit. 
Score By Innings
Cozad         0010  140-6
Gothenburg 0000  001-1

Cozad Swimmers Shine At Season Opener

Screen_Shot_2016-06-09_at_10.43.35_AM.pngExcited to get the season started were the swimmers that took to the pool at the Cozad Invitational on Saturday at Muny Park. Lexington, Gothenburg, Elwood, Kearney and Elm Creek joined the host Haymakers in the first day of competition for the Plains Tsunami League. 
The competitiors challenged for supremacy in their specific age groups that included long free, butterfly, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley along with the medley relay and the free relay. There were a free brave swimmers that conquered the long individual medley as well. 
“With just two short weeks of practice, the Cozad Swim Team put together an impressive performance at Saturday's first meet of the season.  From the new fledgling swimmers to the well-seasoned athletes, the kids competed with both strength and heart.  Coach Karen Labrayere and I are very proud of them, expressed Swim Coach Anne Burkholder. “We are also proud of our community for coming out to volunteer at the meet and cheer for the swimmers.”

TRIBUNE-Area Boys Among Elite At State Track & Field Championships

limbing onto the podium to finish the season is the goal of all tracksters and for a select few, they earned that priviledge at the 2016 Nebraska Class B High School State Track and Field Boys Championships that were held at Omaha Burke Stadium on Friday and Saturday. 
Leading the way for all of the TRIBUNE-Area finishers was Dylan France of Gothenburg. France was able to ‘Fosbury Flop’ over 6’2” to earn the seventh place accolades at the State Championships.
Gaining confidence in the pole vault during the post season was enough to propel Gothenburg’s Tyce Hruza up and over the crossbar that was set at the 14’0” mark to finish seventh place overall in the vertical jumping event. 
Competing in his specialty event, JohnMark Shields of Lexington was eighth place overall in the 3200 meter run. Shields completed the eight lap event in 9:57 to finish on the medal stand.  
Bryan Martinez of Gothenburg struggled to hit his marks and wasn’t able to record a cleared height i the high jump for the Cardinal-clad tracksters. 
Joshua White was among the best in the 100 and 200 meter dashes for Lexington. 
White did an outstanding job of staying among the leaders in both events. White conquered the 100 meter dash in 11.28 seconds and then burnt up the cinders to the tune of 22.74 seconds .
Sergio Escobar of Gothenburg got his feet wet in competing at Omaha Burke in the 800 meter run. Escobar was able to earn a time of 2;08 in the two lap feature event.   
Scoring rave reviews for his performance in the discus, Patrick Hudson of Gothenburg was able to spin the platter past the 132’11” mark. ­
Class B STate Championships
Boys Results
York 46; Elkhorn 41; Columbus Scotus 36; Syracuse 36; Waverly 30.75; Wahoo 30; Beatrice 30; Sidney 28; Omaha Gross 28; Blair 25; McCook 23; David City 23; Norfolk Catholic 22; Aurora 19; Holdrege 18; Scottsbluff 18; Ashland-Greenwood 16; Norris 15.5; Adams Central 15; Boys Town 15; Broken Bow 13; Pierce 12; Seward 11; Ogallala 10.75; Minden 10; Alliance 10; Mount Michael 9.5; Bennington 8.75; Platteview 8; Gretna 8; Milford 7; Wayne 6; Northwest 5; Arlington 5; Kearney Catholic 4; O’Neill 4; Columbus Lakeview 4; Omaha Skutt 3; Gohtenburg 2.75; Fairbury 2; Central City 1; Boone Central-Newman Grove 1; Lexington 1; Ralston 1. 
--Long Jump: 1. Cody Mroczek (CSC) 22’6.75”.  
--Triple Jump: 1. Austin Lowell (WAV) 45’1.75”.          
--High Jump: 1. Mayson Conner (YRK) 6’8”; 7. Dylan France (GOT) 6’2”. 
--Pole Vault: 1. Isaiah Brown (WAV) 15’0”; 7. Tyce Hruza (GOT) 14’0”; Bryan Martinez (GOT) NM. 
--Shot Put: 1. Cameron Jurgens (BEA) 60’4.5”. 
--Discus: 1. Cameron Jurgens (BEA) 196’8”; Patrick Hudson (GOT) 132’11”. 
--110 Meter Hurdles: 1. Jonathan Flight (WAH) 14.6. 
--300 Meter Hurdles: 1.  Jonathan Flight (WAH) 39.31.  
--100 Meter Dash: 1. Dylan Kautz (NC) 10.78; Joshua White (LX) 11.28. 
--200 Meter Dash: 1. Dylan Kautz (NC) 22.16; Joshua White (LX) 22.74. 
--400 Meter Dash: 1. Cody Mroczek (CSC) 49.94. 
--800 Meter Run: 1. Wesley Unger (DC) 1:57; Sergio Escobar (GOT) 2:08. 
--1600 Meter Run: 1.  Austin Yardley (ELK) 4:27; JohnMark Shields (LX) 4:42.  
--3200 Meter Run: 1. Austin Yardley (ELK) 9:33; 8. JohnMark Shields (LX) 9:57. 
--400 Meter Relay: 1.Waverly 43.29.
--1600 Meter Relay: 1. Sidney 3:24. 
--3200 Meter Relay: 1. Omaha Gross 8:10. 

Haymakers, Swedes& Maids Shine At Burke

tanding tall, the Gothenburg, Cozad and Lexington Lady tracksters were spotlighted for their elite efforts that empowered the TRIBUNE-Area to bring home their fair share of accolades from the 2016 Nebraska Class B State Track and Field Championships that were held at Omaha Burke Stadium on Friday and Saturday. 
Being a prime example of working hard and good things happen, Gothenburg Senior sprinter Madi Gilg won her preliminary heat on Friday and then backed it up with a bronze medal finish in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.73 seconds. 
Cashing in during the final throws, Lady Swede Senior Mady Vogel finished the day with a top effort of 123.7” to finish fifth overall in the discus event after slipping by the skin of her teeth into the final round. 
Improving on past performances at Burke Stadium, Lady Haymaker Kennedy Berreckman soared skyward over 5’2” to finish sixth overall in the high jump. Gothenburg Senior Blaire Gibbens also competed in the high jump, with a top clearance of 4’10” during the Saturday morning event. 
In one of the many highlighted events of Saturday morning, Gothenburg’s Kayla Weyers completed the two-lap affair, the 800 meter run in 2:23 to bring home the sixth place hardware for her efforts and great showing of endurance and speed. 
The offseason training and work completed in preparation of the State Championships was evident in the performance of Darci Hoffmaster of Cozad. The Lady Haymaker was able to ‘turn and burn’ down the final straightaway to qualify for the finals with a clocking of 26.377 seconds and a fourth palce finish in the preliminary race. As a result of her great time against a loaded field of sprinters in the preliminary rounds, Hoffmaster qualified for the finals and was able to finish seventh overall with a time of 26.52 seconds . 
The Lady Swedes 1600 and 3200 meter relays were able to bring home hardware. The foursome of Andie Geiken, Kayla Weyers, Kasey Wellmann and Madison Harpole were fifth overall in the 1600 meter relay with a time of 4:09. The Gothenburg 3200 meter relay stopped the watch in 9:55, Cozad wasn’t far behind with a time of 9:55. 
Showing greath depth in the sprints, Gothenburg was seventh overall in the 400 meter relay with a time of 51. 23 seconds. Completing the successful handoffs were McKenna Peterson, Madi Gilg, Kasey Wellmann and Amaya Ackerman. 
In one of the most highly competitive competitions, Andie Geiken and Jami White circled the oval in 1:01 and 1:02, respectively to just miss medalist honors. 
Class B state championships
Girls Results
Waverly 74; York 63; Northwest 51; Gretna 43.5; Aurora 29; Plattsmouth 28; Boone Central/Newman Grove 27.5; Seward 27; Columbus Scotus 26; Sidney 26; Gothenburg 23; Scottsbluff 26; Holdrege 18; Omaha Roncalli/Duchesne Academy 18; Elkhorn 16; Kearney Catholic 15; Wahoo 14; Gering 14; McCook 12; Wayne 12; Pierce 11; Norfolk Catholic 10.5; Fort Calhoun 10; Nebraska City 9.5; O’Neill 8; Blair 7; Arlington 6; Platteview 6; Syracuse 5; Cozad 5; West Point-Beemer 4; Davidy City 3; Chadron 3; Omaha Concordia 3; Bennington 2; Adams Central 2; Milford 2; Alliance 2; Minden 1; Norris 1. 
--Long Jump: 1. Kayla Bachle (NW) 17’7.5”; Kasey Wellmann (GOT) 16’0.25”.   
--Triple Jump: 1.  Mercedes Isaacson-Cover (ELK) 37’8.5”; Gracie Stienike (GOT) 31’8.75”. 
--High Jump: 1. Kaitlyn Schmit (ORC) 5’6”; 6. Kennedy Berreckman (CZ) 5’2”; Blaire Gibbens (GOT) 4’10”.   
--Pole Vault: 1. Keri Oswald (AUR) 11’2”. 
--Shot Put: 1. Tiara Schmidt (MC) 43’2.5”. 
--Discus: 1. Anna Squiers (KC) 142’1”; 5. Mady Vogel (GOT) 123’7”. 
--110 Meter Hurdles: 1. Kayla Bachle (NW) 14.86. 
--300 Meter Hurdles: 1. Ashley Cook (WAV) 45.39.    
--100 Meter Dash: 1.   Mika Brees (SEW) 12.33; 3. Madi Gilg (GOT) 12.73. 
--200 Meter Dash: 1.   Mike Brees (SEW) 25.44; Darci Hoffmaster (CZ) 26.52; 
--400 Meter Dash: 1. Amanda Young (GRE) 56.78; Andie Geiken (GOT) 1:01; Jami White (LX) 1:02. 
--800 Meter Run: 1. Erin Lee (YRK) 2:12; 6. Kayla Weyers (GOT) 2:23. 
--1600 Meter Run: 1. Erin Lee (YRK) 5:05. 
--3200 Meter Run: 1. Erin Lee (YRK) 10:48; Whitney Applegate (CZ) 12:23. 
--400 Meter Relay: 1. Waverly 48.97; Gothenburg 51.23. 
--1600 Meter Relay: 1. Waverly 3:59; 5. Gothenburg 4:09. 
--3200 Meter Relay: 1. Plattsmouth 9:35; 5. Gothenburg 9:55; Cozad 10:23. 

Maids Tennis Challenges The Best At State Tennis Meet

Screen_Shot_2016-05-26_at_10.55.37_AM.pngGetting the chance to compete against the best tennis players in the state was a challenge that the Maids were up to on Thursday and Friday at the 2016 Nebraska State Tennis Championships being held in Lincoln. 
In the team race, the Maids were seventh overall. “WE finished ahead of Omaha Skutt, who has won eight out of the last 10 state championships and many other top programs, so the girls should be proud of their final place,” expressed Lexington head coach Ernie French. “No school out of th efour largest towns in Nebraska finished ahead of us so I think that speaks highly of our girls.”
Three of the Lexington teams won their first two rounds and made it to the quarterfinals. 
Brylee Lauby had the toughest matchup in the second round facing the #2 seeded Kristen Wagner of York. She fought hard but was edged 6-2, 6-3 at #2 Singles. “Brylee improved so much this season and only being a sophomore, has some great years of tennis ahead of her,” stated Coach French. 
The Junior duo of Danielle Lindeman and Jordan Hagan won their first two matches before being defeated by bronze medalists Alex McCashland and Tatem Miller 6-0, 6-2 at #2 Doubles. “Seven of the eight girls playing for the four semifinailst teams are Seniors, so to have them both back for another year is exciting,” expressed French. 
Junior Lili Fattig picked up valuable team points for the Maids at the toughest position. Playing at #1 Singles, Lili held her own until running into buzzsaw Samantha Mannix of Elkhorn South, the returning state champion. Fattig was edged 6-0, 6-0. “Lili did everything we asked her to do and came through big for us and I’m excited to see her have a great year neat year,” stated French. 
The Senior duo of Hannah Ostrom and Zoie Allen were a force at #1 Doubles until they were upset by rivals Amanda Fay and Haley Roush, 6-2, 6-2. Ostrom and Allen had played together for just 3.5 weeks and had rolled up a 28-4 overall record. 
“I can’t thank Ostrom and Allen along with fellow Seniors Ellie Hobelman, Ana Ward and Eva Martin for what they have meant to this team over the past four years,” explained French. Screen_Shot_2016-05-26_at_10.55.55_AM.png

Opening Night Racing Action At Lexington Raceway Is Spectacular

Starting their season off right by earning trips to the Winners Circle at Lexington Raceway were Clay Money, Cale Osborn, Daniel Gottschalk, Mike Nichols and Jacob Olmstead on Sunday evening. 
   Starting on the front row and never looking back, Clay Money of Penokee, Kansas held off all challengers to claim the victory in the IMCA Modified Feature event. Money started on the outside of row one and fended off the challenge of Colton Osborn in the waning laps to earn the win. Coming from deep in the field, Colton Osborn of Cozad finished in the runner-up position after starting in the fifth row on the starting grid. Following Osborn through traffic to the podium finish was Jeremy Frenier of Fort Morgan, Colorado to earn third place honors. Anthony Roth of Columbus and Kyle Rohleder of Wakeeney, Kansas rounded out the top five in the feature event. Frenier and Osborn were the heat race winners in early in the evening action. 
   Starting on the pole put Cale Osborn of Cozad in a key position, but it wasn’t until he found the fastest groove for his hot rod that he was able to snare the lead on the seventh circuit and then cruise to the victory in the Grand National Late Model feature. Coming back from a late caution, Cory Dumpert of York was up on the wheel to the tune of a runner-up finish. Staying out of trouble and being consistent throughout the feature, Dylan Schmer of Aurora was third overall. Osborn was the heat race victor in the division. 
   Gaining confidence through- out the final laps, Daniel Gottschalk of Ellis, Kansas led the way for the second half of the feature event to claim the win in the IMCA Northern Sport Modified main event. Coming through the field from the fifth row starting position, Josh Leonard of Gibbon was able to wrangle his chariot to score a second place finish. Leading the way for the first seven laps, Jamey Kennicutt of Gothenburg started the contest with his elbows up on the wheel from his outside front row starting position. Kennicutt stayed among the lead group to earn a third place finish. Leonard and Bryan Herrick of Curtis were the heat race winners in the division. 
   Wasting no time to get to the front, the Harlan Hustler Mike Nichols took the point on the third lap by splitting the leaders on the backstretch to earn the lead and never look back. Nichols of Harlan, Iowa was the first to the checkered flag to win the IMCA Stock Car Feature event. Putting together a stellar showing in the final laps, Colin Heim of Hoxie, Kansas earned the runner-up accolades after starting in the sixth row at the drop of the green flag. Earning a podium finish in the feature, Kyle Pfeifer of Hills City, Kansas was the third place finisher after starting in the fifth row at the onset. Nichols, Chase Conaway of Smith Center, Kansas and Casey Werkmeister of Maywood were the heat race victors. 
   Charging to the front of the field on the third lap, Jacob Olmstead of Overton was able to put on a dominating performance in winning the IMCA Hobby Stock feature event. Olmstead started in the second row and was able to ride the high side to garner the lead and power to the victory. Staying among the frontrunners throughout, Zach Olmstead of Overton was able to make the moves that counted the most with the ‘Red Sled’ in the final laps to finish second overall. Leading the way early, Brady Bencken of Oakley, Kansas earned a third place finish for his efforts behind the wheel of his hot rod after starting in the second row when the initial green flag flew.   
   (Unofficial Results): 
   --IMCA Modified Feature: 1. 7-Clay Money; 2. 50c-Colton Osborn; 3. 17j-Jeremy Frenier; 4. 60iv-Anthony Roth; 5. 0-Kyle Rohleder; 6. 1-Chris Heim; 7.4c-Charley Brown; 8. XII-Jay Steffens; 9. 4p-Dave Pedersen; 10. 19-Chuck Stryker. 
   Heat Race Winners: 17j-Frenier; 1-Heim. 
   --Grand National Late Model Feature: 1. 6c-Cale Osborn; 2. 77-Cory Dumpert; 3. 6-Dylan Schmer; 4. 90k-Steve Kempt; 5. 22-Chris Avery ; 6. 15-Collin Safranek; 7. 14-Bill Kubik; 8. 83d-Denton Duncan; 9. 85-Josh Leonard. 
   Heat Race Winner: 6c-Osborn. 
   --IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature: 1. 3d-Daniel Gottschalk; 2. 85-Josh Leonard; 3. 15k-Jamey Kennicutt; 4. 14t-Trent Roth; 5. 0hp-Bryan Herrick; 6. 19xx-Brandon Spanjer; 7. 20b-Brandon Clough; 8. 11H-Henry Henderson; 9. 1c-Cole Egge; 10. 88-Brandon Leonard. 
   Heat Race Winners: 85-Leonard; 0hp-Herrick. 
   --IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1. 63-Mike Nichols; 2. 6-Colin Heim; 3. 54p-Kyle Pfiefer; 4. 11k-Kyle Clough; 5. 45-Mikey Dancer; 6. 1-Chase Conaway; 7. 3z-Zach Canas; 8. 3z-Zach Canas; 9. 42w-Kyle Werkmeister; 10. 31-Darin Racek
   Heat Race winners: 63-Nichos; 24w-Casey Werkmeister; 1-Chase Conaway. 
   --IMCA Hobby Stock Feature: 1. 88j-Jacob Olmstead; 2. 36-Zach Olmstead ; 3. 711-Brady Bencken; 4. 22w-Brady Weinman ; 5. 2w-Luke Wassum; 6. 12t-Tanner Jones; 7. R19-Larry Refior; 8. 1j-Jakob Egge; 9. 5-Chuck Ledbetter; 10. 01-Jacob Wolsleben. 
Heat Race winners:L 88j-Olmstead; 2w-Wassum. 

SPORTS REWIND: A look back at 30-years from the TRIBUNE files

Logan Hunke was a catalyst for the Cozad Reds offensive explosion that resulted in a 12-6 win over district foe Broken Bow on the diamond. Hunke finished the contest 3-3 at the plate with a double, a run scored and four RBI’s. 
Finishing off his prep career with a win was Pedro Garcia of Cozad as he won 5-0 over Izzy Martinez of Madison in the NSWCA All-Star Wrestling Dual Championships. 
Lexington’s Nate Jaeger was fourth overall at the Nebraska Class B State High School Golf Championships. Jaeger carded a two-day total of 149. Also competing at the state meet was Cozad’s very own Chase Tellus who carded a total score of 173. 
Taking advantage of playing in the 29th annual West Nebraska All-Star Gridiron Classic were a large contingency of TRIBUNE-area standouts from the fall campaign. Playing on the East team that will be lead by Gothenburg head coach Craig Haake is: Joe Libal, Kurt Gill and Dreu Young from Cozad; Andrew Wilson and Brian Gronewold of Gothenburg and Curtis Roemmich of Lexington.
The Cozad U14 Classics won three consecutive games to earn the right to play in the championship game of the Lexington Tournament, where they were defeated by North Platte’s Junior Belles 5--0. In the opening game, Chelsey Munster struck out 14 batters to lead the Classics past Holdrege, 3-1. 
The Holdrege midgets scored five times in the home half of the sixth inning to pull out an offensive shootout 15-13 win over Cozad. The sweet bat stroke of Andrew Chrisinger was very evident, as he had two singles and a triple and Ryan Wolf singled and doubled to lead the way offensively for the Reds. Chrisinger, who stole four bases in the game, scored four times for Cozad and Wolf three, respectively. 
Eric Acker of Cozad competed in the pole vault event at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics Nebraska State Championships. Acker soared past the field to place first in his age division with a vault of 12’6”. His finish qualified him for the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Texas.
The Cozad Junior Legion baseball notched wins over Minden and Broken Bow. Cozad put on an offensive clinic against Minden with a 14-run second inning, which resulted in a 17-2 final count. The Cozad nine scored two in the first to get things started, then followed with the second-inning landslide. Pitcher Brian Wilson, who scored twice himself, was credited with the win. Cozad edged Broken Bow 8-7 to win in a thriller. Nic Smith took the win from the mound in the game that featured a two-out, three-run David Ciavarella homer in the fourth.
Cozad pitcher Cory Barnes threw a complete game, striking out 11, and walking just six Lexington batters. Unfortunately, three of those free passes led to runs and ultimately the loss, as the Minutemen escaped with a 4-1 victory. Lexington’s Eric Jamros earned the mound win for the Orange. Jamros struck out 11, and allowed only four base runners. 
When Mary Karol Raymond decided to go to Doane College after graduating from Gothenburg, she had dreams of becoming legendary on the hardwood. But it is a safe bet she will always be remembered for her accolades in track and field. Raymond recently competed in the NAIA National Track and Field Championships in Texas, as part of the Lady Tiger track squad. Raymond un-corked a 143’10” throw in the Javelin to secure a fifth place finish and All-American honors. 
The second annual Farnam youth pentathlon was a huge success with nearly double the athletes competing from a year ago. Farnam and Curtis each had three champions followed by Bartley with two winners. Gretchin Kotschwar, Steve Franzen and Kerri Taylor were the Greenback champions. Kotschwar won the girls age 9-10 division with 2,608 points. Lesley Ringenberg of Eustis was second with 2,487 points and Greenback Jody Poffendorf was third with 2,321 points. Kotschwar won the high jump, shotput and long jump. In the boys 13-14 division, Franzen set a new tournament total points record with 4,902 points. The Greenback won all five events in his class, two with meet records. It was Taylor winning the girls 13-14 championship with 3,206 points. Taylor won only the 100 meter dash.
Steve Suhr opened the 1986 Southwest Conference Junior Legion baseball season with a two-hit pitching gem for Gothenburg over the Cozad Juniors. Suhr, in his first season as a Junior, allowed just two Cozad hits and one run in the sixth inning to post the victory. Gothenburg jumped on Cozad starting hurler Tim Cass for three runs on five hits in the top of the first inning.

Lexington High Is Set To Host Doane Track Camp, June 2nd & 3rd

The Doane Track and Field team has been a force on the oval and in the field at NAIA competition for decades. They have been an annual favorite to win the highly touted GPAC Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and on June 2nd and 3rd; area youth will have the chance to participate in the Doane College Track and Field Camp that will be held at Lexington High School. 
It takes great athletes to win championships, but guidance from great coaches allows championships to be won numerous times. The Doane track and field coaches Fred Beile, Dave Dunnigan, Brad Jenny, Dave Ziola and head coach Ed Fye will be providing to area youth their championship winning expertise to interested track and field competitors and coaches at the Doane Track and Field Clinic.
The Doane coaches will enhance and improve the clinic participants performances in field events, sprint events and endurance runs. All aspects of track and field will be addressed. 
Interested athletes that are in elementary, middle school and/or high school, can register on line at: www.doane.edu or register the day of the clinic. If you prefer to mail your registration, send it to: Ed Fye’s Track and Field Camp; 1530 Mahoney Drive; Denton, Nebraska 68339.
Athletes wanting to attend the camp for just one event the cost is $100, for two or more events the cost is $125. All coaches are invited to attend free of charge.
If you have any questions about the Doane track and field camp in Lexington, please call Stacy Strauss at 325-3998 or Ed Fye at 402-826-8300. 
Camp Schedule
--9 a.m.-12 p.m.: High Jump; Triple Jump; Shotput.
--1-4 p.m.: Long Jump; Pole Vault; Discus; Hurdles; Sprint acceleration and Starts.


It isn’t everyday that a person gets to walk among greatness, but for just one instance I got the pleasure of seeing excellence with my own two eyes within an arms length on Thursday morning, right here in the 100th Meridian City. 
I am not speaking of my own playing days or seeing a dynamic athletic performance achieving the elite status of a personal record, school record or even a state record mark. 
I have bumped elbows literally with one of the greatest coaches to ever step on the sidelines of a football field. Many people are not thinking to themselves that this feat isn’t very far up the mountain, many of you have seen former Nebraska Football coach Tom Osborne and traded greetings with him. Sorry to disappoint you but that isn’t who I am speaking of. Former Grambling State Head Coach Eddie Robinson was once walking on the sidewalk around Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on a gameday back in 1998, when I walked through a blocked off sidewalk and bumped into the man himself. If given the chance, I think I could have won the battle of him being on the tracks when the train is coming through. Who am I kidding, I would have put it in reverse and let him continue his walk forward. We both gave way to each other until I finished the journey across the sidewalk, since I was already half way across. This is just a small glimpse in history that I got to bump elbows with greatness, just one instance that that happened in my history. Many people of Cozad get the chance each and everyday to follow the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ to excellence. 
This past Thursday, the staff and students of Cozad Elementary gave Physical Education teacher and athletic coach Karen LaBrayere a bit of gratitude that doesn’t even touch the ‘thanks’ that she deserves for all that she has done for the community of Cozad during her 29 years of coaching along with teaching education and life lessons. Using methods that knockout the ‘roll out the ball’ educators, LaBrayere has stayed on the cutting edge with kids being intrigued to become more physical fit each day. On Thursday, the day started with music, dancing and exercising. Along with the elevated heart rate that was achieved, smiles and a sense of pride beamed from students and staff at Cozad Elementary for their very own Superstar, Karen LaBrayere. She is as strong as a Yellow Brick and dependable as a Yellow Brick. She is humble like a Yellow Brick. Karen is a walking, talking example of a Bright Yellow Brick. 

SPORTS REWIND: A look back at 30-years from the TRIBUNE files

Lady Haymaker Senior Carly Henry swept the top honors in the throwing events at the B-6 District Track and Field Championships held in McCook. In the process of punching her ticket to the State Championship meet, Henry established a new Cozad High School record in the discus with a throw of 150’9”. 
The Tribune-area will be well represented at the Nebraska Class B State Track and Field Championships in Omaha. Specifically the throwing events on the boys side. Luke Pinkelman won the gold in both the shotput and discus with top efforts of 59’7” and 176’9”. Jared Crick was second in the shotput with a throw of 54’11.5” and Scott Fritz was the discus runner-up with a spin of 157’7”. Eric Love was the silver medalist in the 100 meter dash, stopping the watch in 11.0. The trio of Tessa Terry, Gretchen Clark and Morgan Riley punched their tickets to the state meet in Omaha with stellar district finishes. Terry finished as the runner-up in the triple jump with a top effort of 34’6.5” and Clark ‘Fosbury Flopped’ over 5’1” to finish fifth. Riley qualified on the cinders with a fourth place finish in the quarter-mile, rounding the oval in 1:03. Gothenburg’s Justin Wilson had a heyday in the sand, in finishing second and third overall in the long jump (21’9.5”) and triple jump (42’11”) events. Swede Andrew Wilson was the 300 meter hurdle silver medalist. Seth Pelzer was the runner-up in the high jump for GBurg. Levi Fickenscher notched a second place finish in the 800 meter run and Alex Paul was third overall in the 400 meter dash. Seth Rehmert crossed the finish line in fourth place in the 3200 meter run. Lexington’s Jake Doyle was second in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs with clockings of 4:40 and 10:10. Doyle teamed up with Roberto Romero, Daniel Macias and Nate Rios to win the gold hardware in the 3200 meter relay. 
Lady Haymaker Melanie Dorsey qualified for the Class B State Track and Field Championships in four events to lead the Cozad girls to a fourth-place finish in the Class B-6 District. Dorsey won the gold medal in the 300 meter hurdles and finished in the show position in the 100 meter dash, long jump and triple jump to score 28 of Cozad’s points. Speedster Jessica German won the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes to qualify for the state meet in Omaha. Erin Love was the district champion in the pole vault, skying over 9’3”. Morgan Butler was Cozads other state qualifier, finishing third overall in the discus. Gothenburg’s Timaree Andres was the runner-up in the 800 meter run. Dani Butterfield won the bronze medal in the 400 meter dash, with Jamie Jorgensen  finishing fourth in the 800 meter run. 
Thrower Rusty Sutton of Lexington led area competitors in the Nebraska Class ‘B’ State High School Track and Field Championships at Omaha Burke. Sutton was the silver medalist in the shotput with a top throw of 55’4”. He trailed only Southern Valley’s Phillip Lueking (57’3 1/4”) in the final standings. Lexington won the bronze medal in 1600 meter relay action with Josh Reynolds, Khamla Sonthana, Eric Otto and Nate Meyer exchanging the baton in 3:26. 
The Lexington Minutemaid tennis squad took fifth in the state tournament. The Maids’ highest individual finish was Kylie Woods’ runner-up effort at No. 2 singles. The junior dropped GICC’s Nicole Flanders (6-2, 6-2) in the semis, but lost (4-6, 2-6) to Jennifer Nigro of Pius X in the finals. Lexington’s No. 2 doubles team, Rena Clark and Jada Bliven won third place honors at the State meet.  
The Cozad boys were fourth overall in the team race at the Class B-5 District Track and Field Championships. Despite their fourth place finish, the Haymakers will be sending seven athletes to the State Meet in Omaha. Heading that list was Brendan Holbein. The junior sprinter won a pair of gold medals, as well as setting new season best marks in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. He also qualified as part of the 400 meter relay foursome. Travis Schweitzer placed third in the 100 meter dash and Shane Hatcher was third in the 200 meter dash to each earn a second pass to State. Peaking at the right time propelled  Chris Dishman and Heath Petersen to punch their tickets to Burke. Both turned in season best performances in the shotput. Dishman was second, and although Petersen was fifth, his toss of 53’2.25” exceeded the qualifying standard.
Broken Bow, led by medalist Jerry McMeen and runner-up Mark Peterson, surprised the Southwest Conference field at the Cozad Country Club by winning the (SWC) crown with a team score of 324. Gothenburg, the pre-tournament favorite was four strokes back in second place with a 328 total. Gothenburg’s Darin Nichols beat Chris Reiman of Ogallala in a playoff for the third place medal with both shooting 18 hole round scores of 80. Jai Andrist of Gothenburg placed eighth. Shane Trusdale and Troy Cumpston led the Haymakers in the tournament with rounds of 84. Jeff Klein carded an 87 and Mitch Marshall finished with an 88.

Hayrack Booster Club Hosts Athletic Banquet

The Cozad High School athletic department in conjunction with the Hayrack Booster club is hosting the Haymaker Athletic Banquet on Monday, May 9th at 6:30 p.m. at the Cozad High School Gym.
Athletes that have participated in the winter and spring sports which includes; wrestling, track and field, basketball and golf will be honored. 
The Cozad High School weight training staff will recognize the standouts in training with weightlifting awards. 
After all the specific sports awards are given, the Cozad High School administration will be announcing the two-sport and three-sport outstanding athletes award winners for 2015-2016. 

Danielson Named New Haymaker Boys Hoops Coach

   There will be a new face at the helm of the Haymaker Basketball Program for the 2016-2017 campaign. Drew Danielson was named the new head coach, recently.
“We are extremely excited about the passion, organization, enthusiasm and dedication that Drew carries in both the classroom and on the court as a coach,” expressed Cozad Activities Director Cory Spotanski. “We feel he is a tremendous addition to our staff here in Cozad.” 
This past season, Danielson was the head reserve hoops coach for Elkhorn High School.  He has worked as the Lead Skills and Development Coach for the Nebraska Select. 
He is a graduate of York High School and Hastings College, where he was a member of the basketball team. 
“I love the culture that Cozad has going right now. Cozad has great facilities, great administration and great tradition,” stated Danielson. “I am blessed for the opportunity to be apart of it. I am blessed that my chance is now with Cozad. I can’t wait to get started.”

Minutemaids Clash With Northwest In Home Finale

Battling through injury and a chilling rain, the Lady Vikings of Northwest were able to spoil the final home game for the Minutemaids, 4-0 at the Lexington Optimist Soccer Fields on Thursday evening. 
During the early minutes of the contest, the Lexington girls squad did their best to push the pace along with the Northwest squad, looking for the upperhand. 
The Lady Vikings were able to flex the net twice on just two scoring attempts compared to the Minutemaids 12 scoring attempts during the first half of play. 
“We continued to struggle finishing in the final third. We had several great chances early in the game, especially as Sophie was able to play the ball down the left side,” explains Lexington girls Soccer Coach Keith Allen. 
Lexington wasn’t able to dent the deficit during the final four minutes, but it was the Lady Vikings that took advantage of miscommunications to score another pair of goals on 18 scoring attempts to ice the 4-0 victory for the Northwest Girls. 
Coming in relief, Montse Manzo was clutch in turning away 16 saves for the Orange and Black. 
Northwest  2 2 -4
Lexington   0 0 -0

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