Cozad Edges Melons In District Diamond Action On Saturday

   Big innings was the name of the game, as the Reds Seniors scored a 9-7 victory over Gothenburg in an elimination game on Saturday during the B6 District Tournament being held in McCook.
    After retiring the side in order, the Melons were able to get off to a stellar start when Skyler Schwanz was walked and then advanced to score after Ross Ostendorf was hit by a pitch and Bryce Kowalewski connected on an RBI-single to give Gothenburg a 1-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
    Cozad was able to strike back in the top of the second stanza when Sam Cole led off with a walk and then scored. Dillon Budd attempted to score on Mitchell Fischer’s groundout but it was an appeal to third base that extinguished Budd’s chances to score as the score remained 1-1 entering the third inning.
    The Reds offense was in business again during the top of the third frame when Ben Wetovick led off with a single. Wetovick would then steal second and third base to get in scoring position. A sacrifice off the bat of Tysen Werner scored Wetovick to make the score 2-1 in the Cozad Nines favor during the third inning.
    The score remained 2-1 until the Reds bats went berserk in the top of the fifth inning. Ben Wetovick and Logan Geiser led off with walks to get the rally started. The Cozad baserunners moved closer to scoring range when Tysen Werner singled. A Brendan Molden walk brought in Wetovick to score and during the ensuing at-bat, a Kaleb Gibbens hot shot mishandled by the Melons resulted in Geiser and Werner scoring to make the score 5-1. Cozad continued to prosper on offense, as Jason Finnegan was hit by a pitch to load the bases yet again. Mitchell Fischer did his best in the clutch for the Reds in connecting with a two-RBI single to increase the lead to 7-1. Cozad brought in their sixth run of the inning and eighth overall when Ben Wetovick and Logan Geiser walked for the second time in the inning to score Finnegan and make the score 8-1 before all the smoke cleared in the inning.
    Gothenburg was able to sway the momentum in their favor momentarily in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Riley Ostendorf walked and Levi Tripp then got on base as a result of a fielders choice. Soon thereafter, Tripp would score after Patrick Messersmith connected on a hard-to-handle infield hit and walks that were issued to Ross Ostendorf and Bryce Kowalewski to make the core 8-2 at the end of the fifth inning of play.
    The score would remain 8-2 until Cozad was able to snare an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning when Jason Finnegan was walked and then tried to score after Mitchell Fischer singled. Finnegan was thrown out trying to score, but it was Fischer that broke through to score on Logan Geiser’s sacrifice groundout to make the score 9-2 with just the bottom of the seventh frame to play in regulation.
With their backs against the wall and just three outs remaining, Gothenburg went to work with authority in the bottom of the seventh inning. Patrick Messersmith singled and then Jordan Lauer got on with a bunt for a single. Ross Ostendorf was then walked to load the bases. A sacrifice off the bat of Bryce Kowalewski scored Messersmith and then Lauer stepped on home plate when Tanner Borchardt was hit by a pitch to make the score 9-4. Quinn Haynes was dynamite at the dish with a two-RBI single that scored Ostendorf and Borchardt to make the score 9-6. Cutting the deficit to just two-runs happened as a result of Haynes scoring on Riley Ostendorf’s RBI-single. Ostendorf was then trying to advance into scoring position on a Cozad miscue. The Reds defense made lemonade out of lemons and recorded the third out of the inning to secure their 9-7 victory over Gothenburg.
The Reds Seniors were led offensively by the efforts of Mitchell Fischer with a 2-4 effort at the dish that included a pair of singles, one run scored and a pair of RBI’s.
    Cozad outfielder Logan Geiser drove in a pair of runs while scoring once.
    Ben Wetovick scored twice for the Red and Black.
    Leading the way for the Gothenburg offense was cleanup batter Bryce Kowalewski with a 1-2 showing at the dish with a single, and three RBI’s.
    Contributing greatly for the Melons was Riley Ostendorf with a 2-3 effort at the dish with a single, double and an RBI.
Score By Innings
Cozad    0110    601-    9
Gothenburg    1000    105-    7

SLIDING SAFELY is Red Seniors speedster Ben Wetovick (left) as Quinn Haynes applies the tag at second base during the top of the fifth inning on Saturday afternoon in McCook.

Cozad Selected To Host State Baseball Tournament Saturday

Cozad has been selected to host the 2015 American Legion Class B Senior State Baseball Tournament at the Muny Park. The top eight teams in Nebraska will begin play on Saturday, August 1st with the championship scheduled to be played on Wednesday, August 5th.
"Cozad has hosted the B6 District Tournament the last two years and American Legion officials were very impressed with our field and facilities," stated Cozad Baseball Booster board president, Larry Paulsen. "They were pleased when we placed a bid to host the State Tournament"
A full slate of four games will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 1st, with four more games to be played on Sunday, August 2nd. Three games will be played starting at 2 p.m. on Monday, August 3rd with the semifmals and finals being played on Tuesday and Wednesday August 4th-5th starting at 5 p.m.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for people to come to the ballpark and watch some of the best high school baseball in Nebraska right here in Cozad," said Cozad Baseball Booster board member, Paul McGinnis. For further information please contact Paul at 308-784-2238 or 308-784-3438. Brackets will be available online at

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


Culbertson’s Shane Rippen crashed and bashed his way to the top of the podium at the Eustis Lions Club Demolition Derby. Finishing second overall in a Mopar powered hot rod was Mike Stalder of Beaver City. Lexington’s Justin Nitsch was third overall. Keeping the streak alive in winning his second straight ‘Mad Dog’ award for the biggest crashes was fourth place finisher Luke Evans of Bertrand. Scoring a top five finish in front of the home crowd was Nate Lehmann of Eustis in fifth place overall. Cozad’s Art Becker had a stellar evening of crashing action with a sixth place finish.



Retired Swedes athletic director Roger Neujahr was selected as the coach of the girls softball team at Gothenburg, during their debut season.
Falling behind early 5-0, was a breeze to overcome as the Cozad Juniors posted a 15-5 victory over Gothenburg, to win the B-6 Junior Baseball championship, earning a trip to the State Tournament. Chase Tellus was 3-3 at the plate with a trio of runs scored.
Swede hoops standout Kiley Peterson was selected to play in the Nebraska Coaches Association (NCA) All-Star game on the Blue team. Former Gothenburg head boys basketball coach Jim LaMaster was the honors coach to lead the boys Red All-Star team in the NCA All-Star contest.



The Blue All-Stars benefitted greatly from Elwood’s Codina Oaklund pumping in 13 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Whites were the victory in the Kearney Area All-Star Basketball Classic 61-58.
The Cozad swim team had an outstanding showing while competing in the Broken Bow Invitational. Bringing home hardware was, Drew Paulsen, Mallory Nutt, Eric Love, Jeff Loshonkohl, Claire and Keely Montgomery, Sheana Clark and Micah Reeves.
The Melons Midgets were the B-6 Baseball Tournament Champions, after downing Lexington 6-1 in the title game. Gothenburg would duel on the diamond with Ogallala in the first round of the State Tournament..



Lexington’s Justin Thomalla was recognized for his stellar efforts on defense, while playing in the West Nebraska All-Star Football Classic in Scottsbluff. Thomalla made a clutch fumble recover in the contest, and also was a factor on many defensive plays. Other area gridders that played in Scottsbluff are Mark Carlson, Tony Guerra, and Todd Linke, all of Cozad and Andrew Sherman of Lexington.
The sweet stroke of Scott Hatfield, going 3-4 at the plate, and scoring a pair of runs himself, led the Lexington Juniors past Cozad 18-4 in the elimination bracket of the B6 area tournament.



Cozad kept their state tournament hopes alive, by defeating Gothenburg 6-3, in a diamond thriller. A three-run Homer by Yancy Werner in the fifth inning was the difference on the scoreboard.
There was a saturation of TRIBUNE-area talent that excelled at the Western Nebraska All-Star Football game in Scottsbluff. Athletes competing were Matt Burkholder, Cozad; Mark Ferguson, Cozad; Shawn Banzhaf, Lexington; Travis Giesbrecht, Lexington; Scott Samway, Lexington; Chris Hicken, Gothenburg; Chuck Cunningham, Gothenburg; Todd Yeutter, Elwood and Steve Franzen, Elwood. Skippering the East squad was Gothenburg’s Pat Novacek.



Lexington put on a dominating display in the pool, rolling up 387 points, to win the Central Nebraska Swim League District Championships, held in Cozad. Alisa Pentz and Rusty Sutton were the leading point recipients for the Lexington swimmers.
Haymaker hoopster James Bratton was chosen to showcase his hardwood skills in the All-Star Summer Basketball Classic at Kearney State College.
‘We are the Champions,” was yelled as the Cozad Pony League baseball team edged Lexington 7-5, to win the season championship. Coming up big for the Cozad nine, were Yancy and Jeff Werner, Justin Holbein and Mark Ferguson, who all circled the bases to score for the victors. Cozad finished the season with an overall record old 7-2.

Door-To-Door Close Racing Spotlighted At Dawson County Raceway On Sunday Evening

Taming the track with authority were a quintet of hot rod hotshoes at Dawson County Raceway in Lexington, Nebraska that included Mike Densberger, Cale Osborn, Steve Kempt, Casey Werkmeister, Jacob Olmstead and Brad Bayne on Sunday evening.
Flirting with the halfway point, Mike Densberger pulled the rabbit out of the hat and took the lead in fine fashion to cruise to the IMCA Modified victory after the Magic Man from Lincoln garnered the lead on the eight lap and never looked back. Starting near the front and leading for the first seven laps was Cole Hodges of Ogallala. After losing the lead to Densberger, Hodges stayed in contention  to earn a runner-up podium finish. The Eddyville Flyer Chuck Stryker dropped out of the top five in the early going, only to see his efforts to rally in the waning laps pay off dearly for the veteran wheelman. Cozad’s Colton Osborn and Jeremy Herbst of North Platte won the heat races in the division.
    Picking up speed throughout the Grand National Feature event was Cozad’s Cale Osborn as he drove through the field from his fourth row starting position to cruise to the checkered flag in fine fashion. Osborn was able to garner the lead on the 13th lap as he passed eventual fourth place finisher Jarrod Hackler of Hastings who had lead the initial 12 laps of the feature. Up on the wheel in the waning laps of the feature propelled Dylan Schmer of Aurora to a runner-up finish in the feature event. Heat race winner Kevin Safranek of Merna had a strong finish with a podium finish in third place.
    Starting on the front row and storming off to big leads time and time again was Shelton speedster Steve Kempt to win the IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature. Kempt led all 20 laps to punch his ticket to the Winners Circle. Getting through traffic swiftly, Gothenburg’s Jamey Kennicutt was rewarded with a runner-up finish in the feature event. Finding his groove to continue the strong season on the oval, Gibbon’s Chad Dolan was third overall in the feature event.
    In a race for the ages, Casey Werkmeister grabbed the lead on the second lap and was able to hold off all challenges to earn the IMCA Stock Car Feature, despite the efforts of runner-up Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa during the waning laps. Werkmeister and Nichols exchanged slide jobs numerous times during the final laps with Werkmeister getting the final move that clinched the hard-fought victory. For many of those laps that Werkmeister and Nichols battled, Flyin’ Farmer Kyle Clough of Wallace was close behind, as he engaged in the battle for position to finish third overall in one of the best races of the season thus far at Dawson County Raceway.
    Keeping his dream season alive, Overton’s Jacob Olmstead led the final two laps to win the IMCA Hobby Stock Feature. Earning the second place accolades was Kyle Bond of Gibbon after grabbing the lead on the fifth lap and then pacing the field until Olmstead snared the lead on lap 12.  Working his way through heavy rush-hour traffic, Caleb Hetrick of Grand Island was the third place finisher in the feature event. Ryan Gardine of Bertrand was the early leader for the initial four laps before falling off the blistering pace of the leaders.
    Visiting Dawson County Raceway was a welcome sight for Brad Bayne of Greeley, Colorado to earn the Modified Lites Feature win. Bayne started on the outside of the front row and it didn’t take him long to make his hotrod sing that sweet song to the front of the field where he led from beginning to end. Keith Welch of Greeley, Colorado was second overall. Tekamah, Nebraska hotshoe Doug Pollock rallied for a third place finish in the feature event.
(Unofficial Results)
--IMCA Modified Feature: 1. 81-Mike Densberger; 2. 34jw-Cole Hodges; 3. 19-Chuck Stryker; 4. 50c-Colton Osborn; 5. 97m-David Murray Jr; 6. 4c-Charley Brown; 7. 2-Jeremy Herbst; 8. XII-Jay Steffens; 9. 4p-Dave Pederson.
Heat Race Winners: 50c-Osborn; 2-Herbst.
--Grand National Late Models Feature: 1. 6c-Cale Osborn; 2. 5s-Dylan Schmer; 3. 28-Kevin Safranek; 4. 00-Jarrod Hackler; 5. 85-Josh Leonard; 6. 51-Les Seibert; 7. 1x-Bo Egge; 8. 83d-Denton Duncan; 9. 88-Brandon Leonard.
Heat Race Winners: 5s-Schmer; 28-Safranek.
--IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature: 1. 190-Steve Kempt; 2. 15k-Jamey Kennicutt; 3. 87d-Chad Dolan; 4. 0hp-Bryan Herrick; 5. 25-Toph Harmon; 6. 14-Edd Huxoll; 7. 11h-Henry Henderson; 8. 1x-Denny Egge; 9. 21-Billy Oliva; 10. 2c-JR Ewing.
Heat Race Winners: 85-Leonard; 190-Kempt.
--IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1. 24w-Casey Werkmeister; 2. 63-Mike Nichols; 3. 11k-Kyle Clough; 4. 35jw-Casey Woken; 5. 45-Mikey Dancer; 6. 76-Jason Davis; 7. 49-Zach Zentner; 8. 16w-Jeff Whiting; 9. 24-Bob Chalupa; 10. 561-Kurt Trusty.
Heat Race Winners: 63-Nichols; 16w-Whiting; 24w-Werkmeister.
--IMCA Hobby Stock Feature: 1. 88j-Jacob Olmstead; 2. 0-Kyle Bond; 3. 44-Caleb Hetrick; 4. 22w-Brady Weinman; 5. 01-Jacob Wolsleben; 6. 2w-Luke Wassom; 7. 2x-Travis Kernick; 8. 55t-Travis Thelander; 9. 53e-Tyler Easterday; 10. 98z-Zach Olmstead.
Heat Race Winners: 88j-Jacob Olmstead; 0-Bond.
--Modified Lites Feature: 1. 2r-Brad Bayne; 2. 88r-Keith Welch; 3. 12s-Doug Pollock; 4. 16r-Jerry Hunter; 5. 21t-Taylor Pollock; 6. 3r-Duane Bayne; 7. 73t-Ted Jensen; 8. 85-Tom Yockey; 9. 33r-Chad Wall; 10. 8c-Dennis Porter.
Heat Race Winners: 54n-Scott Naggatz; 2r-Bayne.

Second Annual #Pitchforknation Golf Event To Be Held August 1st

Getting the chance to play for the Red and Black will be the participants in the Second Annual Cozad High School #Pitchforknation Golf Scramble on Saturday, August 1st at the Cozad Country Club.
The shotgun start will be held at 10 a.m. The tournament is a four-person, 18-hole scramble event that costs $200 per team, the purchase of mulligans can be done the day of the event. There is a limit of 36 teams with the registration deadline being on July 30th. There will be flag prizes on each hole during the 18-hole round. At the conclusion of your round, there will be a steak sandwich meal for each participant.
Proceeds from the Golf Scramble will go to support improvements to Haymaker Activities.
For more information and/or to enter the event, call Cory Spotanski at 308-325-5033 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can submit your entries with payment to: Cozad High School; 1710 Meridian Avenue; Cozad, Nebraska 69130

Haymaker Youth Football Camp To Be Held In August

Getting the chance to polish their skills on the gridiron will be the participants in the Haymaker Youth Football Camp on August 5th and 6th that will be hosted by the Cozad High School and Junior High Coaches.
The camp is aimed towards fourth through sixth grade participants from 8:30-10 a.m.  and then from 10 a.m. until noon, the seventh and eighth grade athletes will be showing their skills on the turf of the Haymakers practice fields. Campers will receive a camp t-shirt.
The cost of the camp will be $10. Campers may register until August 5th but those registering after July 28th will not be guaranteed a t-shirt.
You can mail your registration to Cozad High School 1710 Meridian; Cozad, Nebraska 69130.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can email Coach Cargill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 308-784- 2744 or 308-746-1012.


100th Meridian 10K Revival Race To Be Held

Looking to build upon last years success and one of Central Nebraska’s largest road races in history is happening on August 15th at 8 a.m. in Cozad. The C.E.B. Memorial 100th Meridian 5K/10K will be in honor of the life and work of Claude E. Berreckman who passed away in 2013.
    There will be a $25 entry fee that includes the race, refreshments and a commemorative shirt. A $50 donation will also receive a commemorative silipint. $75 donation will include VIP invitation to post-race event and breakfast.
    The proceeds generated with the revival of the road race will fund a pair of $1500 college scholarships that will be given each year. At one point the road race had over 300 runner competing.
    The race will begin and end near the town square of Cozad. Both courses will follow the original courses used with Claude Berreckman organized the road race in the 1980’s. Both the 5K and 10K will start at 8 a.m.
    You can register for the race online at: 100thMeridian10KEntry or mail your entry form to PO Box 214; Cozad, Nebraska 69130.

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