Lady Swedes Strong Finish Not Enough Against Chadron In District Finals

ith all the chips pushed to the center of the table, the Lady Swedes of Gothenburg were edged by Chadron 25-20, 25-16 and 25-14 in the Class C1 District Volleyball Championship held in Sidney on Thursday evening in front of a raucous crowd. 
With the emotions running at an all-time high, Gothenburg was up to the challenge and took a 5-4 lead in the early going. 
Soon thereafter, the Redbirds rallied for a 6-3 scoring run to take a 10-8 lead over Gothenburg, prior to the contest being knotted at 12-12 very soon. 
Gothenburg took a 13-12 lead before Chadron again posted a scoring surge that lit up the scoreboard 10-3 to make the scoreboard shine 20-16 in favor of the Redbirds. 
During the final points of the opening set, Chadron was able to hold off the late charge by Gothenburg to earn a 25-20 first set victory. 
The second set started off like a good ole Duel at the OK Corral, with the Lady Swedes and Cardinals exchanging points until it was 7-7. The Chadron hitters put together a scoring surge that gave the Redbirds an 11-7 lead. 
The Gothenburg netters attempted to clip the wings of the Cardinals, but they continued to swing away with authority to the tune of a 9-3 scoring run that made the score 20-10. 
The Lady Swedes were up to the challenge of posting a rally in the final moments of the set to charge back to make the final score 25-16 in the second frame. 
With their backs against the wall, the Gothenburg netters came out swinging with gumption and were deadlocked at 2-2 against the Cards. It was at this time that Chadron rallied for an 8-3 scoring run that pushed the Redbirds cushion to 10-5. Throughout much of the final set of the match, the Chadron and Gothenburg netters exchanged the momentum with neither clearly gaining the pendulum until the Redbirds scored the final three points to earn the match clinching 25-14 set three win. 
Outside hitter Gracie Steinike led the Lady Swedes with 13 kills. 
Kim Whiting and Arleigh Costello contributed greatly at the net with ten and seven kills, respectively. Whiting had a hitting percentage of .238 for Gothenburg despite earning double and triple blocks in the middle for much of the contest. 
Showcasing her skills and versatility, Kim Whiting had three ace serves and three blocks to lead Gothenburg in both categories. 
McKenna Peterson and Madi Gilg both dished out 15 set assists for the Lady Swedes. 
Doing their best to key the transition game for Gothenburg was Madi Gilg and Blaire Gibbens with 12 and 10 digs, respectively. 
McKenna Peterson and Sara Brown chipped in with eight and seven digs for the Lady Swedes. 

Offense, Pitching Powers Gothenburg To Notable 2015 Diamond Season

The Lady Swedes had a dynamic season on the diamond that included a a pair of six game winning streaks and an overall record of 20-12 during the 2015 season. 
The Cardinal-Clad Nine were on top of their game all season long with key wins over Chadron, Scottsbluff, Gering, Holdrege, Central City, North Platte, Cozad and Southern Valley/Alma during the 2015 campaign. 
As a team, the Lady Swedes batted .330 and had a combined ..389 on-base percentage as a team, while scoring 212 runs, hitting 52 doubles and 14 triples.
On the hill, Karleigh Kleinknecht was a workhorse for the Lady Swedes pitching staff. Kleinknecht had 151.1 innings pitched while picking up 17 wins to just 11 losses, with an 3.51 ERA and 127 strikeouts. In limited outings, Mercedes Massie was 3-0  with 30.1 innings pitched.
Shortstop Kasey Wellmann was a force to be reckoned with for the Lady Swedes offense. Wellmann led off with gumption to have team-leading efforts of a .481 batting average, .518 on-base percentage and a .663 slugging percentage. Using her great speed, Wellmann had seven triples and scored 39 runs. 
Second baseman Nikita Wear did her best to build on her freshmen season to had a .291 batting average and a .453 slugging percentage. Wear had seven doubles while scoring 21 runs and knocking in 26 RBI’s. 
Wear and Wellmann were the lone Lady Swedes to play in all 32 games. 
Kaitlyn Aden had a notable offensive season for Gothenburg. Aden had a .364 batting average along with a slugging percentage of .519. Aden scored 23 runs along with racking up 26 RBI’s. 
Olivia Lafleur did an outstanding job defensively at first base for Gothenburg. On the flipside, Lafleur had eight doubles and a team leading two homeruns to go along with her 27 RBI’s. 
Catcher Josee Hotz stepped into a crucial role and flourished for the Lady Swedes. Hotz stepped in for the injured Katlin Harm at catcher. Hotz was clutch with a .365 batting average and a on-base average of .447, due in thanks to 11 walks being earned. 
In limited contests, Harm had a batting average of .313 with eight RBI’s. 
Kylee Beyea slapped her way to a .400 batting average and 30 singles. 
Showing an aggression on the base paths, Kassidy Kottwitz and Ebony Anderson both had six doubles for Gothenburg this season. 

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

There were a quartet of Gothenburg and Cozad volleyball standouts that were recognized by the coaches of the Southwest Conference (SWC) when they unveiled the All-SWC Net Volleyball Squads. Senior libero Ali Clark of Gothenburg was instrumental to the success of the Lady Swedes with her backrow play, earning her first team honors. Sophomore Lady Swede standout Jacey Wiggins was etched as a second team selection. Lady Haymaker Senior Madison Hueftle used her height and athleticism to standout in the middle hitter position for Cozad to earn second team All-SWC accolades. Cozad middle hitter Nicole Zook was an honorable mention selection on the squad.
Eustis/Farnam was well-represented on the D2-9 All-District football team. Earning first team honors were quarterback Djorn Dunlap, lineman Braden Rieker and receiver/kicker Carson Bellamy. Spotlighted on the second team were: Kaleb Hueftle, Shane Robbins, Jacob Widick, Jerod Strong and defensive honors to Dunlap, Rieker and Bellamy. 
The Cozad Lady Haymakers got off to a great start to the season, by defeating Red Cloud 39-34 in the seventh place game in the highly touted Hastings College Tournament. Venny Alub led the Red clad hoopsters with 15 points.  Mallory Nutt and Allison Hendricksen poured in eight and seven points, respectively for Cozad. 
Coming out of the halftime break on fire, the Lexington Minutemen powered past Ogallala 56-41. Jake Zlatkovsky led the Lexington charge with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Nate Jaeger contributed nine points for the Orange. 
Cozad picked up a hard-earned victory on the hardwood over Lincoln Lutheran 50-39 in the second round of the Hastings College Tournament. Twin towers Dreu Young and Jared Crick dumped in 15 and 14 points to lead the Haymaker cagers. 
Cozad’s Starr Sander joined Erin Clark and Lindsay Evans of Gothenburg as second team members of the All-Southwest Conference Volleyball honor squad. Bobbi Jo Karre of Cozad  was selected to the mythical third team. 
Former Lexington standout and current Nebraska-Kearney starting defensive end Brad Kjar finished his final season as an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC)  first team selection. Kjar was the team-leader in tackles for loss and sacks as he racked up 17 tackles for a loss of 81-yards and sacked the quarterback 5.5 times. 
A trio of Eustis/Farnam netters earned All-Central Platte Conference (CPC) postseason honors. Sophomore Sarah Davis was named to the All-CPC first team. Junior Sandra German and Sophomore Trista Schultheiss were both selected as honorable mention honors. 
Cozad was selected by the coaches as the Southwest Conference (SWC) Wrestling Pre-Season choice to win the SWC crown. “If we get the kids at the right weights and stay healthy, we could be very strong,  expressed Cozad High School coach Mike Shoff. 
The Minutemaids returned four starters for the upcoming hoops season. Leading the way for the Lexington cagers were Seniors Kim VerMaas and Danielle Wemhoff and Juniors Megan Jones and Melissa Sunquist. 
Gothenburg’s girls basketball team have eight returning letterwinners and the sky is limit for them on the hardwood. The top veterans that will be donning the Lady Swedes threads are Keri Schlake, Alison Bryant, Tiffiny Stevens, Haley Bartlett, Michelle Sitorious, Lindsey Stevens, Brooke Streeter and Crystal Jareske. 
Cozad grad Matt Burkholder was the starting tailback on the Dartmouth University freshman team during the Green’s 2-4 season. In Dartmouth’s big victory over Columbia, Burkholder found paydirt twice while rushing for 77-yards. 
The hitting combination of Jill Laux and Monica Weeder led Lexington to a season 11-10 record. Laux edged Weeder in kills, with 47 kills to Weeder’s 42 knockdowns. 
As a team, the Cozad netters combined to serve up 54 ace serves during this past season. The Lady Haymakers hosted a ‘block party’ as they totalled 463 blocks. 
It was an outstanding year for Nebraska deer hunters as they recorded  an all-time record of 30,575 deer taken during the regular firearm season. The hunter success rate was 66 percent. 
Meeting at the halfway point, the Doane Tigers battled the Chadron State women’s hoops team in Gothenburg. Leading the Eagles was Mary Perrien.  The dynamic duo of Betty Nienkamp and Ginger Hornik were the clutch cagers for Doane. 
Cozad hosted a slow-pitch softball tournament to benefit the Carol Haussler Liver Transplant fund. There were 16-teams that played in the double elimination tourney. 

Maids Finish With A Fury On The Diamond During 2015 Campaign

Athleticism and quickness were the strengths for the Minutemaids during the 2015 softball campaign as they took to the field with many players stepping into the spotlight and shining bright for the Orange and Black. 
The Lexington Nine were able to pick up 11 wins on the season with notable wins coming against the likes of Scottsbluff, Adams Central, Chadron, Southern Valley/Alma, Ralston, Gothenburg, Columbus Lakeview and Gering. 
Leading the way for the Lexington offense was Makena Johnson with a batting average of .524 and 43 hits, both team-leading efforts. Johnson had nine doubles and 16 RBI’s to go along with being the lone homerun hitter for Lexington this year. 
Centerfielder Blaire Edeal captained the Minutemaid defense during 2015. On the flipside, Edeal battled .488 with 39 total hits, 11 doubles and 27 RBI’s. 
Doing her best defensively, Kelsey G’Schwind stepped up to the challenge at first base and prospered greatly. G’Schwind battled .346 for the season while hitting eight doubles and a team-leading two triples. G’Schwind also had 23 RBI’s for the Orange and Black offense. 
Second baseman Brylee Lauby was a force on the base paths for Lexington. Lauby had a .369 batting average to go along with four doubles, seven RBI’s and nine walks. 
Senior Madison Berke had a .467 batting average in limited at-bats as a result of an early season injury. During that time, Berke had nine RBI’s. 
Underclassmen Courtney Hanson and Olivia Morales both had 15 hits for the Orange and Black-clad offense this past season. 

Football Fever Contest In Full Swing

  The 49th Annual TRIBUNE Sports Prediction contest, which is sponsored by area businesses and professional firms, is in full swing. Pick up a print edition of the TRIBUNE for your entry. 
   The winner will be awarded $25. In the event of a tie, the contestants will be separated via the point division of the contest and/or the prediction of most points scored by one of the listed teams. 

  At the end of the prediction season, all of the weekly winners will be entered into a drawing for $100 to be given to the name drawn.
  Games are featured in each advertisement on the contest pages. Entrants must record their expert guess behind the sponsor's name on the official entry blank.
    Winners will be announced weekly.

Lexington YMCA Hires Gruntorad As New Manager

The YMCA of the Prairie has announced the hiring of a new manager at its Lexington location.
Lexington native and former Lexington school employee Riley Gruntorad will lead branch operations at the Orthman Community YMCA.
Gruntorad, a 2004 Lexington High School graduate, began work August 3rd as the branch executive director.
Gruntorad has a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and graduated with a master’s degree in educational administration from Chadron State College in May. He also served in the Army National Guard for six years.
He has been involved in the Y since it opened in Lexington in 2010 as a member and boot camp instructor.
When he’s not working, Gruntorad enjoys sports, being outside and spending time with his family, which includes 7-month-old twins, Baylor and Carter.

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