If we used the Chinese New Year, then 2007 would go down as the year of the Eagle. Why? Omaha Central racked up state championships in three sports this year. In March, the Eagles won their second straight state basketball title behind Josh Jones and Chris Griffin, followed it up in May by winning the state track title and in November, they won their first state football championship in 23 years.
There is no doubt in my mind that Central has risen to powerhouse status. Let's face it. They went through a long dry spell in basketball, haven't winning a state basketball championship in more than 30 years since the days of John C. Johnson and Clay Bullard in 1974 and 1975. In football, they were just too tough in the playoffs. A lot of those great athletes take their talents over Track and Field in the spring.
Omaha Central ruled in 2007 and could do the same in 2008. But let's not forget what's happening in our own backyard. Basketball in Lincoln is going through a rebuilding process and is suffering through its first "hangover" in more than a decade. Lincoln High and Southeast are the two top Class A teams in the city, Waverly and Norris are tough in Class B, Lincoln Lutheran is on a pretty good track in C-1 and the rest of the field is in okay to decent shape.
Speaking of that "hangover," the boys state basketball tournament in March without any Lincoln area teams was a lowlight in city basketball history. I remember the 1991-92 season when no Lincoln Class A teams went to the tournament. That was a first in a 28-year period. But no one from Lincoln and Lancaster County made the tourney, making that the first time in 75 years that the city and county were shutout from the state tourney, held in the backyard.
Looking back at 2007, it was eventful on and off the playing field/court. Recalls of toys and other products, Hollywood celebs in rehab (shocker), and the deadly shootings at Omaha's Westroads Mall. Yep, 2007 already has a place in history.
As we close the chapter on 2007, I want to say thanks to you and our fine sponsors for making this website bigger than ever. It's you the fan who this is catered to and more things are in the works for Lincoln Prep Sports.com.
Thanks to my staff: Ben Hurt, John Harris, Jim Kelter and Spencer Shubert. These guys were helpful with analysis and play-by-play of ball games in 2007.
Most importantly, thanks to my family. My wife, especially, has to put up with Friday nights of me not at home and having to take care of our two kids.
Again, thank you for making this site a place for fans, players, coaches and parents to come to for the latest in Lincoln area sports information and listen to ballgames LIVE or On-DEMAND.