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02/07/2016 - From The Press Box: Can Any Team Beat Omaha South? I've Passed The Emcee Test, Again
 Dumb question, simple answer.

Can any team in Class A boys basketball beat Omaha South now?  Answer: highly doubtful.  Better yet, no.

To be honest, I think they will stay superb and continue that run to state.  From there, you would think it's their title to win. As you and I know from experience, the state tournament is a "new season."

When you have Nebraska commit Aguek Arop and Iowa football signee Noah Fant, along with Monte McGary and Karlon McSpadden out front, I don't think any team could catch them with a 10-foot pole.

It would take an unfortunate mishap or critical mistake in a tight game for South to lose a game the rest of the year.  Their margin of victory on average has been between 15 to 20 points a game. Coach Bruce Chubick's team is on a mission to stay perfect and be the second team in school history to reach that plateau (South's 1960 team won state and went 21-0).

Having not seen them this year, but seeing them from a year ago minus Arop, who was out with a knee injury, I can only imagine what they'll be like to watch when State Tourney time rolls around.

Papillion-LaVista's Ed Chang is also drawing Division I attention.  The 6-7 sophomore was first offered a scholarship by Creighton, immediately followed by Nebraska and now were hearing that Dana Altman (former Creighton head coach and Wilber native) has reportedly express interest in Chang coming to Oregon.

He may become one of the more sought after players in the past 10 years.

Lincoln East continues to roll along heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.  The Spartans have received more contributions from guards Hunter McPhail and Nate Netz, while helping out their inside presence of 6-6 Concordia signee Clay Reimers and 6-5 sophomore Jordan Janssen.

Lincoln Northeast is on a little bit of a roller coaster, picking up wins over Lincoln Pius X and North Platte, but falling to metro powers Papillion-LaVista and most recently Omaha Creighton Prep.  

Guards Tyson Shadegg and Malcolm Whitlow and 6-9 center Trace Tupper continue to carry the load for the Rockets, who now face a tough two-week stretch of games, including Lincoln High, at Millard North, back at home against Norfolk and wrapping up at Fremont.

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I suppose I've secured a yearly gig to be the emcee of the Lincoln Northeast Athletic Hall of Fame banquet.

For that, I have to thank a former teammate, now the new Northeast head baseball coach, Jeff Fagler, for nominating me.  Passed the test in 2014, 2015 and this past Saturday night, as seven more athletes and the 1998 state champion volleyball team were all inducted.

This year's banquet ended in record time.  Dinner started at 7pm, with the recognition starting around 8 and we were done by about 8:45pm.  Normally, the banquet can go until 9:30 or 10pm based on the length of time the inductees want to speak.  Everyone was quick and simple with their thank yous and everyone spent the rest of the night celebrating.

Here are the inductees for 2016 Class of the Lincoln Northeast Athletic Hall of Fame:

Duane West-Class of 1973, three-year letterman in gymnastics and state champion in the floor exercise.  Longtime operator of Capital City Gymnastics.

Josh Trambly-Class of 1988, three-year letterman in basketball, played on three state tournament teams, including 1987 Class A state runner-up team, two year letterman in tennis.  All-City, All-State in basketball.

Kari Keyser-Class of 1993, four letters in volleyball, three in track and two in basketball.  All-City and All-State in volleyball, led Rockets to 1991 Class A volleyball title.

Brooke Bartek-Class of 2006, four letters in volleyball and basketball, one in track.  Two-time first-team all-state in volleyball and was Nebraska Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year.  Also played on 2005 Class A state champion and 2006 Class A runner-up basketball teams.

Charity Iromuanya-Class of 2006, four-year letterwinner in basketball, receiving all-city, all-state honors.  Helped Rockets to 2005 Class A girls basketball title and a 48-game win streak, which ended with a loss in the 2006 Class A title game.


Renae Sinkler-Class of 2006, four letters in softball, two in soccer.  Helped Northeast to district title and first appearance in state softball tournament.  Three-time all-state selection and Nebraska Gatorade Softball Player of The Year.


Andrew Bridger-Class of 2006, three-year letterman in boys basketball for the Rockets, helped guide teams to state in 2004, 2005 and 2006, including a semifinal finish in 2005.  Two-time all-state selection and tied a school record seven three-pointers in one game.


1998 Class A State Championship Volleyball team, 35-1 record.

Players: Jenny Stephenson, Megan Danek, Shannon Meister, Brooke Nannen, Stacy Ekstrum, Aimee Rump, Mary Mercer, Kristen Palmesano, Kristina Hosek, Sara Westling, Sara Jones, Anne Stutzman.

Head Coach: Sandi Genrich

ALSO, I can't forget about Lincoln Southeast and their athletic hall of fame that was held this past Thursday night at the Lincoln Train Station.  

Here is the list of former Knights that were honored.


Mark McGavish-Class of 1980
Jim Burton-Class of 1983
Tim Herman-Class of 1987 (posthumously)
Eric Wright-Class of 1990
Heidi (Wall) Stark-Class of 1992
Brianna (Wilkins) Gogel-Class of 1993
Banti Iteffa-Class of 1993
Kari (Witherspoon) Gillett-Class of 1996



Diane Frost-Boys and Girls Golf Coach (1979-1983)
Tim Tidball-Boys and GIrls Tennis Coach (1991-2014)


1970 Class A State Championship Football Team-Head Coach Frank Solich, Assistant Coach Gary Brichacek


Liggett Brothers-(Lee-Class of 1964, Scott-Class of 1970, Jim-Class of 1979)

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