Cozad Is Edged In Turf Showdown With The Bluejays

The gridiron action was smoking hot as Cozad dueled with the Bluejays of Ashland-Greenwood at Memorial Field in Ashland on Friday evening despite the frigid conditions. The Bluebirds were able to cash in on their scoring opportunities to net a 34-7 victory over the Haymakers in Ashland to advance to the Class C1 State Championship contest.
For much of the first quarter, the climate was a factor in limiting the offenses of both Cozad and the Bluejays. Ashland-Greenwood was able to break the ice on the scoreboard when Ben Stille was able to finish off the scoring drive for the Bluejays with a 29-yard field goal as a result of Cozad’s defense standing strong in the red zone. Ashland-Greenwood snared a 3-0 lead at the 4:13 mark of the first quarter.
As time was dwindling away in the first quarter of play, the Ashland-Greenwood offense was able to reach the endzone when Trevor Nichelson was able to power his way into the endzone on a two-yard run to extend the Bluejays lead to 10-0 with just 0:51 left in the first stanza.
In response to a botched fake punt, the Cozad offense was deep within enemy territory. The Haymakers cashed in on the opportune field position, when Conor Young rolled outside the pocket and connected with streaking receiver Chase Dugan on a 27-yard touchdown pass to cut into the deficit 10-7 with 9:29 left in the second quarter of play.
With limited time remaining, the Cozad defense nearly lucked out, as Ashland-Greenwood did their best to get the Bluejays into scoring position. The Ashland-Greenwood specialist Ben Stille split the uprights on a 16-yard field goal that stopped the watch with 0:01 second remaining before the halftime break with Bluebirds holding onto a 13-7 lead.
On their initial drive of the second half, the Haymakers put together their biggest drive that drove deep into enemy territory. Cozad thought they were ‘money in the bank’ until the Haymaker offense was stopped at the eight-yard line without scoring to bring the contest underneath the three minute mark of the third quarter.
Ashland-Greenwood running back Trevor Nicholson was able to break the game wide open with a pair of touchdown runs of 16 and one-yard to give the Bluejays a 27-7 lead with 7:27 left in regulation.
The cushion of 34-7 was earned by the Bluebirds when Ben Stille was on the receiving end of a Bryce Chudomelka 52-yard scoring pass with 7:00 left to play in regulation.
For much of the remainder of the contest, the key reserves gained valuable experience on the turf and Ashland-Greenwood netted the 34-7 victory.
Cozad’s Conor Young was able to rush for 54-yards on 15 carries while throwing for 76-yards and a touchdown on just six completions.
Colin Wetovick led all receivers with four catches for41-yards.
Deep threat Chase Dugan caught a 27-yard touchdown to lead all scorers for the Red and Black gridders.
Defensively, Austin Turek and Jordan Henry both had 12 tackles to lead Cozad.
Cozad     0    7    0    0    7
Ashland-Greenwood    10    3    7    14    34    

UNDER HEAVY PURSUIT by Cozad defenders Brian Messersmith (33) and Neil Henderson is Bluejay quarterback Bryce Chudomelka during the second quarter on Friday evening in Ashland.

Offense Powers Gothenburg To Memorable 2014 Diamond Season

Advancing to the State Championships, the Lady Swedes continued string of success was extended past the 2014 season, as the Gothenburg Softball Team finished the season with a fury.
The Cardinal-Clad Nine were on top of their game all season long in posting a 26-7 season record that included key wins over Cozad, McCook, Holdrege, Adams Central, North Platte and Southern Valley during the 2014 campaign.
As a team, the Lady Swedes batted .342 and had a combined .445 on-base percentage as a team, while scoring 275 runs, hitting 60 doubles, 11 triples and 11 round-trippers.
On the hill, Karleigh Kleinknecht was a workhorse for the Lady Swedes pitching staff. Kleinknecht had 171.0 innings pitched while picking up 22 wins to just seven losses, with an 2.41 ERA and 138 strikeouts. In limited outings, Morgan Cardenas was 4-0 on the mound with a ERA of 1.40.
Senior third baseman Becca Riley had a dream season for the Lady Swedes. Riley batted.510 with an on-base percentage of .580 and a slugging effort of .792. Becca had team-leading efforts of 49 hits, 13 doubles, four homeruns and 46 RBI’s. Riley scored 37 runs along with showing stellar speed with 17 stolen bases. Defensively, Riley was a force from the hot corner for Gothenburg this past season.
Leadoff batter Kasey Wellmann batted .404 with an on-base percentage of .547. Wellmann connected on nine doubles of her 36 hits for the season that accounted for 22 RBI’s. Using her speed, Wellmann scored 46 runs and stole 37 bases while earning 27 walks; all team-leading efforts.
In the middle of the Lady Swedes lineup, Katlin Harm and Kerry Wellmann were clutch with batting averages of .398 and .355. Harm also had 11 doubles and two homeruns along with 25 RBI’s. Wellmann contributed greatly with 26 runs scored and 24 RBI’s.
Kassidy Kottwitz was a fireplug for Gothenburg this season with three triples and two homeruns to her credit. Kottwitz got on base the hard way a team-leading six times being hit-by-pitch.
 Coming through in clutch times, Olivia Lafleur and Ebony Anderson knocked in 23 and 22 RBI’s.
Starring on the basepaths, Kylee Beyea and Kylie Koehler were menacing to opponents with 23 and 20 runs scored. Beyea also stole 17 bases this season.
offensive Statistics
        H    AVG    R    RBI
Becca Riley    49    .510    37    46
Bryse Young    2    .182    1    0    
Danielle Lafleur    0    .000    0    0
Ebony Anderson    25    .316    16    22
Gabi Daharsh    0    .000    3    0
Josee Hotz    1    .333    14    0
Kaitlyn Aden    34    .370    37    18
Karleigh Kleinknecht    8    .228    1    6
Kasey Welllmann    36    .404    46    22
Kassidy Kottwitz    24    .320    21    16
Katlin Harm    33    .398    7    25
Kerry Wellmann    33    .355    26    24
Kylee Beyea    13    .217    23    7
Kylie Koehler    0    .000    20    1
Lauryn Cardenas    2    .500    5    1
Mercedes Massie    0    ---    1    0
Nikita Wear    6    .171    8    7
Olivia Lafleur    19    .297    7    23
Peyton Young    0    .000    0    0
Tish Winter    0    .000    0    0
    TOTALS    285    .342    275    218



WORKHORSE HURLER Karleigh Kleinknecht was the leader on the hill for Gothenburg with 171 innings pitched while striking out 138 batters. Kleinknecht racked up 22 victories while allowing just 2.41 earned runs per outing.


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


The Minutemaids are very optimistic about the upcoming season with four starters returning. Junior Hailey Mandelko scored 18.5 points per game and will lead the backcourt for Lexington.  Katherine Longly and Bridget Seberger return to their roles as starters in the paint for the Maids. Guards Maisie O’Meara , Renee Otero and Sydney Seberger will be crucial to Lexington’s success.



Henry Cross is the lone senior representative on the Eustis/ Farnam wrestling team. However, head coach Dave Malcom does have five juniors and four sophomores available for duty.
Lexington head coach Randy Carpenter is relying on young players for the 2004-2005 Minutemaids to encounter success.
Replacing all five starters for a year ago will be a tough chore. Letterwinners Maria Araujo, Haley Bergstrom and Christine Rickertsen will be joined by veterans Brianna Buser, Julie Wehr and Jillian Lans and a half-dozen juniors in an attempt to finish the job.



Ron Bubak moved into the head wrestling coaching role at Cozad High School. Bubak was formulating his attack around veterans Cody Banzhaf, Riley Russman, Clint Maaske, Dustin Helmuth and Ben Koch.
Kevin Walker became the new Cozad boys basketball coach. Walker had seven letterwinners to build around, which included Brandon Ross, Matt Smith, Brock Nelson, Dave Cumming, Adam Hendricksen, Chad Schmeeckle and Jason Ritterbush.
Ten letterwinners reported of girls basketball at Cozad under coach Kelli Moore.
Ken VerMaas, Jr. assumed the head wrestling coaching duties at Lexington High School. Former coach Dean Tickle became the Activities Director, succeeding Ray Ehlers. Veterans on the team included Solomon Chee, Josh Baldwin, Gilberto Diaz, Chris Kloch, Jeremy Wozny and Garth Mins.



Seven members of the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference (GNAC) cast favorable votes for admitting Lexington into the league.
Mike Shoff became the head wrestling coach at Cozad High School, the Haymaker grapplers returned five state qualifiers, Steve White, Tony Guerra, Derrick Arndt, Josh Henry and Aaron Brockmeier.
Gothenburg coach Jim LaMaster returned four starters for basketball. Seasoned veterans included Luke Rickertsen, Jeff Lake, Jeff Pramberg and Jason Viergutz.
Early season injuries posed a big concern for Lexington boys basketball coach Chip Bahe. Juniors Brandon Mooberry and Josh Kuecker were sidelined. Mooberry with a torn ACL and Kuecker was experiencing blood clot problems in his leg.



Matt Burkholder of Cozad and Travis Giesbrecht of Lexington were selected as members of the Omaha World Herald “All-State” football team.
Letterwinners returning for cager action in the Eustis girls basketball program were Lawanda Gengenbach, Kelli Thomsen, Kelcey Brockmeier, Brenda Keller, Jennifer Koch, Donica Lee, Mindy Frazier, Shelley Romatzke and Kathy Moore. Elwood landed seven positions on the Central Platte Conference (CPC) honor football team. Pirates selected were Robb Owens, Scott Franzen, Curtis Holtz, Kirk Corder, Toddy Yeutter, Greg Gehring and Steve Franzen.



Tonya Anderson of Lexington and Kearney’s Terry Ostrander established records in the Third Annual Turkey Trot at Lexington. Anderson broke the girls mile run record for 10-12 year-olds, covering the distance in 5:58.3. Ostrander ran three miles in 14:48.8.
Bump Novacek of Gothenburg was named to the All-Class, All-State Football team. Novacek was joined on the class B All-State team by Monte Kratzenstein.
Jim Bonesteel became the new head wrestling coach at Cozad High School. Senior Ken Highley, who qualified for state the previous year, was one of the veterans that reported to the mat for Bonesteel. The Haymakers boss was also encouraged with the availability of Mael Carranza, Tim Pflaster and Jerry Copass.

Cozad Standouts Shine On The Diamond During 2014 Campaign

Athleticism and good depth were the strengths for the Lady Haymakers during the 2014 softball campaign as they took to the field with many players stepping into the spotlight and shining bright for the Red and Black.
The Cozad Nine were able to pick up 18 wins on the season with notable wins coming against Central City, McCook, Hastings, Lexington, Holdrege, Gering and Scottsbluff.
Going on the offensive, the Lady Haymakers had a team batting average of .342 and an on-base percentage of .410. Cozad collectively, hit 46 doubles and 14 triples in 2014.
On the flip-side, Cozad had an overall fielding percentage of .867 and a team ERA of 2.92 to go along with a WHIP of 1.72.
On the mound, the Lady Haymakers had a great 1-2 punch of Ali Arndt and Sammy Crick. Arndt had 11 wins this season and Crick notched 7 victories. Crick hurled a team-leading 86.2 innings while holding opponents to a 2.67 ERA. Arndt was on the hill for 73.1 innings while allowing a 3.44 ERA and racking up 64 strikeouts in 2014.
    Behind the strong pitching was a defense that saw every major contributor register a fielding percentage over .625. There were eight players over .800.
    Cozad shortstop Sarah Yocom had a stellar season on the diamond with a state record to her credit. Sarah had seven hits in an offensive shootout against McCook to etch her name into the state record books for most hits in a game. Sarah posted a batting average of .537 and a slugging percentage of .796 to go along with her on-base percentage of .556. Yocom put a charge into the ball on hits to the tune of 12 doubles and five triples, both team-leading efforts. Getting on base and using her speed with a team-high 14 stolen bases, Sarah scored 54 runs for Cozad in 2014.  Yocom tied with teammate Alyssa Schneider for the team-lead in homeruns with both having two round-trippers.
Senior Emily Reyes has been an offensive spark for the Red and Black throughout her career. Reyes had a .375 batting average while slugging.479. Reyes connected on six doubles while scoring 40 runs and knocking in a team-leading 42 RBI’s. Reyes showcased great speed in stealing 12 bases.
Showing great hitting prowess to support her own cause, Ali Arndt hit seven doubles and knocked in 26 RBI’s.
Catcher Alynne Myer had a keen eye at the dish to bat .341 and earn 15 walks as a result of great patience. Myer was good to go with runners in scoring position to knock in 27 RBI’s.
Outfielders Alyssa Schneider and Darci Hoffmaster didn’t just use their speed on defense, as they scored 30 and 28 runs, respectively for the Lady Haymakers. Hoffmaster also pilfered 10 bases in 2014.
Reilly Goings was clutch at the dish for the Red and Black with a .322 batting average that resulted in 28 RBI’s.
offensive Statistics
        H    AVG    R    RBI
Ali Arndt    23    .295    19    26
Alynne Myer    30    .341    21    27
Alyssa Schneider    33    .337    30    21
Bri Loftin    25    .321    21    22
Darci Hoffmaster    26    .329    28    10
Ellie Stallbaumer    7    .241    7    3
Emily Reyes    36    .375    40    42
Erika Smith    5    .200    14    3
Kalynn Fleharty    1    .333    2    0
Madi Mast    1    .500    1    0
Reilly Goings    29    .322    20    28
Sammy Crick    10    .185    15    11
Sarah Yocom    58    .537    54    26
Sierra Reicks    1    .200    1    3    
    TOTALS    285    .342    273    222

SHINING BRIGHT on the diamond for Cozad this season was Sarah Yocom with an offensive season to remember that included etching her name in the state record book.

Lexington Uses Superb Speed And Quickness On The Diamond

Speed on the base paths and timely hitting powered the Lexington Nine to have a successful season on the diamond in 2014.
The Minutemaids were able to notch notable wins over Chadron, Holdrege, St. Paul, Pierce, Scottsbluff and Columbus Lakeview during the campaign.
As a team, the Lexington offense posted a .283 batting average, scoring 182 runs and stealing 130 bases.
On the mound, the Maids had a three-pronged attack with Aly Leger,  Mackenna Johnson and Hannah Ostrom all logging innings for Lexington.
Senior Aly Leger had a team-high 69.0 innings pitched with a posted ERA of 5.68 while striking out 48 batters.
Mackenna Johnson had a team-high six wins to her credit while hurling 54.1 innings and posting an ERA of 3.22.
Hannah Ostrom was the third pitcher for the Orange with 33.1 innings pitched.
Putting together a great Junior season was shortstop Hannah Ostrom. Ostrom had a notable .415 batting average with 24 runs scored, six doubles, two homeruns and 22 RBI’s. Hannah posted an on-base percentage of .467.
Senior Aly Leger helped out her own cause to the tune of a .400 batting average, .422 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .564. Leger had team-leading efforts in extra base hits with seven doubles and two triples. Leger used her speed to lead Lexington with 25 stolen bases.
Maid outfielder Blaire Edeal was stellar at the plate as well with 27 runs scored, five doubles and 22 pilfered bases.
Blasting onto the scene, Mackenna Johnson scored a team-high 29 runs with an on-base percentage of .476, thanks to the 18 walks and being hit-by-pitch eight times. Johnson also belted four doubles.
offensive Statistics
        H    AVG    R    RBI
Olivia Morales    4    .160    2    1
Mackenna Johnson    24    .304    19    9
Brylee Lauby    13    .241    15    3
Ariel Hernandez    17    .279    13    16
Diana Romero    2    .143    2    0
Leesa Gierhan    12    .102    12    5
Aly Leger    21    .400    21    21
Blaike Edeal    1    .200    2    1
Marlene Cohetero    0    ---    0    0
Alexis Fierro    10    .176    10    13
Hannah Ostrom    34    .415    24    22
Blaire Edeal    26    .321    27    17
Madi Berke    10    .222    9    3
Kelsey G’Schwind    14    .326    10    13
    TOTALS    195    .283    182    124


SENIOR STANDOUT Aly Leger was a catalyst for Lex on offense and defense. Leger hurled 69 innings for the Maids while helping out her own cause with a .400 batting average.


Cozad Athletes Recognized At Hayrack Athletic Club Banquet

The Cozad High School in conjunction with the Hayrack Booster club hosted the 2014 Fall Banquet on Monday to celebrate and give credit where it is due as a result of the outstanding efforts of the Haymakers athletes during the fall sports campaign that overflowed with success.
The sports that were participated in this fall by Cozad high school students were Football, Softball, Volleyball and Cross Country.
Seniors: Chase Dugan, Jason Finnegan, Mitchell Fischer, Neil Henderson, Jonny Lee, Nate Lemmer, Dallas Maack, Brian Messersmith, Nick Peden, Austin Turek, Colin Wetovick, Mitchell Wolf and Conor Young.
Juniors: Sam Cole, Ben Guthard, Jordan Henry, Chris Hoff, Hunter Holbein, Dalton Klein, Brandon Koch, Colt Leibhart, Chase Lundgren, Holden Randecker, Andrew Sayer and Wyatt Schutte.                                    
Sophomores: Zeke Derr, Blaine Emerson, Klint Gill, Cameron Griffis, Brandon Junker, Matt Menagh, Reece Peden and Ben Wetovick.
Certificates of Participation
Juniors:  Quintin Pickering, Jacob Williams and Tyler Yancy.
Sophomores: Kole Berke, Devin Favinger, Luke Gengenbach, Hank Gibbens, Blake Osborn and Toby Salazar.
Freshmen: Zach Beckenhauer, Ian Branham, Fabian Chacon, Jasper Dinges, Noah Emerson, Jonathan Foster, Kyle German, Keith Gomez, Jordan Menagh, Garrett Savick, Luke Schroeder, Trestian Siemering, Nate Smock and Taylor Yancy.    
Seniors: Emily Reyes and Erika Smith.
Juniors: Reilly Goings and Bri Loftin.
Sophomores: Ali Arndt, Sammy Crick, Kalynn Fleharty, Darci Hoffmaster, Madi Mast, Alynne Myer, Alyssa Schneider and Sarah Yocom.
Freshmen: Sierra Reicks and Ellie Stallbaumer.  
Certificates of Participation
Junior:  Emilia Carlos
Freshmen: Chloe Lundgren, Autumn Paquin, Samantha Schutte and Annabelle Underwood.  
Seniors: Shelby Ferrell, Kenzie Klein, Bayleigh Nemeth and Haley Werner.  
Juniors: Becca Etherton, Alec Geiger and Hannah Thramer.  
Sophomores: Abbi Etherton
Freshmen:  Kennedy Berreckman, Sadie Rush and Hanna Wright.   
Certificates of participation
Juniors: Michaela Haynes, KayLee Heins, Kaylea Kolbo and Karly Siemering.
Sophomores: Penny Barnes, Cassie Calhoun and Kylee Morris.
Freshmen: Katie Spaulding and Brianna Valenzuela.  
Girls golf
Seniors: Molly Cornelius and Emily Ratkovec.
Juniors: Andrea Neill, Alyson Smock and Tazah Weinmaster.
Sophomore: Kaylei Becker  
Certificates of participation
Juniors: Emma Armstrong and Kelsey Coufal.
Freshmen: Aubree Mladek, Skylar Rogers and Aaliyah Wilkins.
Cross country
Seniors: Daniel Alvarado, Graham Applegate, Janice Garcia, Jacob Hoffman and Kris Junker.
Juniors: Jamie Garcia, Katrina German and Korbin Mercer.
Sophomores: Whitney Applegate, Jordan Brandenberg, Chandler Brock, Kanyon Eckard and Valeria Estrada.
Freshmen: Ashley Burkholder and Omar Carlos.
Certificates of participation
Seniors: Bryce Nemeth
Juniors: Trevor Donahey, Gabriela Gonzales, Quinton Karel and Bristen Wuehler.  
Sophomores: Jonathan Mapel
Freshmen: Melissa Estrada

Bitter Cold Battle:


HAYMAKER KICK returner Chase Dugan attempts to power through the arm tackle of Ashland-Greenwood defender Trevor Busenitz (88) during the third quarter on Friday night.

Cozad Middle School Sports:

FINE TUNING their skills on the mat as members of the Cozad Middle School Wrestling squad are (front, from left) Gabriel Angeles, s.m. Gunnar Armagost, Braiden Lee, Joseph Hoffman, Conner Westcoat, William Wiley, Jacob Huerta, Brecken Loftin and Austin Werner. (Middle) s.m. Brock Malcom, Gabriel Estrada, Mikey Day, Riley Books, Nathan Breon, Cameron Brock, Morgan Schroeder and Cade Stott. (Back) s.m. Kaleb Pohl, Maddux Myer, Adam Cole, Jace Russman, Peyton Buss, Luke Breon, Alex Huerta and Blake Hoffmaster. Not pictured: Josh Stallbaumer, Eleazar Rodriguez, Corbyn Sattler and Jaydon Snyder.


TAKING TO the hardwood as members of the Cozad Eighth Grade hoops team are (front, from left) Taylor Hoff, Kelly Mohler, LeeAnn Swenson, Abby Cornelius, Madie Weatherly, Brenna Dugan, Madisen Wilkinson and Belle Hagan. (Middle) Coach Brooke Soucie, Allie Canas, Mariana Hermosillo, Beatriz Vasquez, Olivia Klein, Kennedy Berke, Addy Hergenrader and Carissa Jensen. (Back) Coach Stan Mackowski, Tatiana Orozco, Morgan Thaden, Jade Buss, Abby Thramer, Grace Cargill, Sydney Lindstedt and Coach Nolan Hammond.


GETTING THEIR first glimpses of Lady Haymaker hardwood action are Cozad Seventh graders that include (front, from left) Selma Carrillo, Lexy Canas, Abby Worrell, Aaliyah Simants, Bryanna Everett, Kenzie Lee and Katy Bartrell. (Middle) Hailey Mule-Orwing, Meghan Phaby, Jercey Irish, Haley Cargill, Megan Burkholder, Tatum Sassali, Abigail Nelson and Hailey Wilson. (Back) Coach Will Reutzel, Kiera Stover, Sienna Torres, Katelyn Calhoun, Marriah Buss, Raegan Fleharty, Abigain Thaden and Coach Bob Nutt. 

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