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CURRENT ARTICLE
02/05/2017 - From The Press Box: Walker Opts To Stay In Lincoln To Wear Scarlet And Cream, Three OT Game Shows Sparty Can Be Gutty

From The Press Box


Coming out as a two-star prospect, Chris Walker may be motivated to prove he would be a valuable part of the Nebraska football program.

The 6-6, 270 pound senior from Lincoln East signed his letter of intent to receive a full scholarship to play for Huskers on Wednesday, as part of National Letter of Intent Signing Day.

For Walker, the motivation may have started by shedding over 30 pounds of unnecessary weight before his senior season at East.

And it proved to be worthwhile.

Walker averaged six tackles a game and had seven sacks in helping the Spartans to a semifinal finish in the Class A playoffs. However, Nebraska coaches are looking at him to be an offensive lineman. Ideally, Walker tells me he’d love to be a Blackshirt and play defense.

“Especially with that new 3-4, I feel like I can very, very much contribute,” Walker said on Wednesday morning.

Initially, Walker verbally committed to playing football at Wyoming for head coach Craig Bohl, who played football at East and spent time as an assistant coach at Nebraska during the Frank Solich era. But Nebraska showed late interest and made an offer to Walker.

“When I got that call from (Head Coach Mike) Riley, I knew what I was going to do,” he said.

Walker said he never imagined this (signing day) would ever happen to him. He says he’s ready to get to work as a Husker.

Walker’s three other East teammates also signed letters of intent in the school’s commons area.  Carson Walters and Cavion Russell both signed to play football at Division II Nebraska-Kearney, while Grady Greenwood signed to play at Division III Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.

Lincoln Northeast kicker Cody Gronewold signed a letter of intent to walk-on with the Northwestern football team.  Look for him to be coming to Lincoln next season with the Wildcats.
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EAST SURVIVES THREE OVERTIMES WITH LINCOLN HIGH

Friday night's boys basketball game with Lincoln East and Lincoln High lived up to expectations of a good old fashioned city rivalry and then some.

Tied at 59 at the end of regulation, the Spartans and Links each scored four points in the first extra frame to force a second overtime.  But Lincoln High grabbed a 74-67 lead with less than 1:30 remaining, destined to pull off the upset.

By that point, many of the East and Lincoln High faithful began to head for the exits, only to regret not seeing what happened next.

Then, an 8-1 East run capped by Sam Griesel's three-point play forced what turned out to be the third and decisive overtime.  The Spartans prevailed 87-82 in three overtimes, after being considered "dead in the water" late in the second overtime period.

Call it gutty, it's a prime example how a team doesn't quit.

Lincoln High, through its struggles this season, has demonstrated that they are a big man and year away from being a very good Class A team.  Dan Noble's squad has shown some maturity the last few games. Lack of senior leadership has been the key problem for the Links.

Friday night's game, though, for me was a first in calling a triple overtime game.  At least, I can't recall the last time or ever I was involved in a game that needed three extra periods of basketball to determine a winner.  It didn't help to have the JV game on Friday go double-overtime.

BASEBALL COVERAGE STARTS IN ONE MONTH

While the 2017 high school baseball season is a month away, I'm still piecing together the broadcast schedule for LincolnPrepSports.com and LincolnMetroSports.com.

Games start on March 16.  The plan is to cover at least 12 games on each website, plus district and state tournament action.

I'll have the schedule up, hopefully, by the end of the week.

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