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02/23/2014 - From The Press Box: One Down, Two To Go For Winter Sports Season

 The start of the conclusion of winter sports for 2014 is underway.

Wrestling wrapped up at CenturyLink Center Omaha on Saturday, with Wesley Dawkins of Lincoln High capturing a state title in the 106-pound weight class, the only Lincoln wrestler to claim gold.

Omaha North won the Class A boys team title in a tight team race, that was ultimately determined when JaVaughn Perkins won his fourth title in the 182-pound weight class.

I'm not a wrestler by any stretch, but I have a lot of respect for the sport and dedication involved.   Maintaining your weight during the season is not an easy thing for these kids but there are some rewards for many of them.

Watching the parade of champions on NET, there is great pageantry involved.  Spotlights, house lights down, music, etc.  It's almost WWE-like, but we know these matches aren't scripted.

I apologize for not putting forth a lot of attention toward wrestling, for that matter swimming, during this time of the year.  Operation of this site is mainly handled by myself and there's so much time I spend posting scores, results, etc.

I firmly believe wrestling is a sport that deserves recognition just as much as basketball gets during the winter months.   Looking ahead to next year, I think I'll need to make extra room for wrestling coverage.

Swimming and diving championships start Thursday at the Devaney Sports Center pool.   
Omaha Creighton Prep appears to be the favorite, once again, in the boys race, while Lincoln Southwest may be the favorite on the girls side.  We'll have results posted on the site Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

District basketball starts on Tuesday night.  We'll have the A-4 semifinals with the Northeast/North Star girls at 5:45pm, followed by Southwest/Norfolk in A-3 at 7:30pm.  The A-4 championship will be Thursday night at 7pm and we'll have the C1-1 district championship with Lincoln Lutheran and Syracuse Friday night at 7pm.

Boys district pairings will be released this week.  Check back to see which games we plan to cover.

LNE Hall of Fame

I had the chance to emcee the 24th Lincoln Northeast Athletic Hall of Fame banquet Saturday night at the Havelock Social Hall.  A great time and experience to return and help recognize some great athletes at my alma mater.

State champion wrestlers Brandon Baustert and Kinsley Johnson, football great and wrestler Seth Tucker, state champion golfer Mike Honnens and three-sport stars Jenny Stephenson Mercer and Ashley Ford were the individual inductees, while Ayars and Ayars, Inc. owner and 1976 Northeast graduate Mike Ayars was elected to the Hall of Honor for his contributions as a Northeast booster.  

The 1963 undefeated football team was also inducted, after being honored by the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame last September as a golden anniversary team.  
The unique thing about their induction in both halls of fame is they were never crowned state champions.  Back then, newspapers rated football teams and who ended No. 1 at the end of the season was named state champion.  Unfortunately for Northeast, they were second to another undefeated team....Creighton Prep.

Regardless, all earned and deserved to be recognized and I'm proud to have been part of the experience on Saturday.


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