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Grand Island Public Schools Foundation Board members surprised teachers and students in the Grand Island Public Schools when they arrived at schools Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to award 17 classroom mini-grants. 

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation awards mini-grants in two rounds on an annual basis. Mini-grants are designed to fund educational opportunities for students that are not available through the school district's general budget.  

This is the sixteenth annual mini-grant cycle for the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation.  Since the program’s inception, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation has funded 282 mini-grants totaling $248,464. Grants have been awarded to every school in the district, benefiting approximately 52,755 students.  

The 2019-2020 mini-grant fund was established via the "Add it Up to Opportunity!" staff and board fund drive and the "Tradition of Excellence" community campaign held during the past 12 months.

For the 2019-2020 school year, 17 grants totaling $19,322 were awarded through the mini-grant process. Grants ranged from $250 to $2,000.  3,222 students will benefit from a classroom mini-grant this school year.  

Day One grant winners, grant amounts, and project titles were:

*Kim McCain, Jodi Fegley, Engleman Elementary, $1,830, “Wildcats Wild about Maker Space!” With the Makerspace movement in full swing across our district, Engleman Elementary wants to expand their learning opportunities for their students. With only four large robots, adding the ability to code more often is one goal for a student body of 530. We also would like to continue developing creativity and problem solving using recyclables with Makedo: Cardboard Construction. With Makerspace hands-on learning activities, students gain problem solving skills and collaboration skills in the curriculum areas of math, science, art, language/literature, and technology. This grant will benefit 530 students in grades K-5.

*Kenneth DeFrank, Success Academy, $1,970, “Flexible Seating.” Success Academy is an alternative program that focuses on students with mental and behavior challenges. We would like to offer more flexible seating to our students, including wiggly chairs, rocking chairs, and any other non-traditional seating to help kids stay focused on their academics. This grant will benefit 91 students in grades 9-12.

*Danielle Dudo, Stephanie Finnegan, Andrew Poltack, and Katie Slattery, Newell Elementary, $850, “Traveling Along the Oregon Trail.” Students will experience the Oregon Trail in a first-hand expedition across school district property.  Students will face many of the same challenges that pioneers faced from traveling hardships, illness, trading and pioneer meals.  Their mission is to successfully transport their family along the trail to their final destination.  (Starting at Newell Elementary, stopping at Walnut Middle School and ending at Grand Island Senior High). This grant will benefit 80 students in grades 4-5.

*Sara Robinson, Gates Elementary, $1,000, “Every Student, Every Day, A Reader!” The purpose of this grant is to provide teachers with the materials they need to design meaningful phonics lessons. The materials will guide instruction that directly aligns to the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional development. This grant will benefit 215 students in grades K-5.

*Jason Zelasney, Shane Campbell, and John Faxon, Jefferson Elementary, $1,000, “Jefferson Gentleman.” The Jefferson Gentlemen will be a program focused on teaching our young boys how to be our next generation gentlemen. This program will teach our boys skills to help them feel good about themselves in every setting and have the confidence to lead by example. Our goal is to lift students up and help prepare them for the road ahead.  During our group time, we plan to focus on learning proper etiquette in different settings, how to dress to impress and tie a tie, how to give a proper handshake and demonstrate respect to others, and learn other characteristics of being a gentleman. This grant will benefit 50 students in grades K-5.

*Chandra Kosmicki, Jefferson Elementary, $1,870, “Stop-Motion Claymation Movie Makin’.” Remember the Gumby or the California Raisins? In this project, students will grow their skills as a 21st century learner and become engaged in stop-motion animation by creating, editing, and sharing their very own Claymation movie. This grant will benefit 400 students in grades K-5.

*Trevor Cornelius and Nancy Sutherland, Knickrehm Elementary, $900, “It Only Takes a Spark.” It can be difficult for students to transition from reading picture books to chapter books; for some students, due to fear and lack of confidence, it seems almost impossible. These obstacles can be overcome by creating an afterschool program using literacy circles, where like-ability students can gather to explore and discuss the hidden treasures found within the written word.  This grant will be used to purchase sets of books from seven different genres, in four different reading levels, in order to meet our students where they are at and encourage them to grow. This grant will benefit 40 students in grades K-5.

*Janet Dobbins and Rebecca Waind, Stolley Park Elementary, $1,300, “Purposeful Play in a Kindergarten Classroom.” We are creating an environment in the kindergarten classroom whereas 'play' becomes purposeful in providing extensive opportunities for children to represent and extend their thinking through multiple modalities including, but not limited to drawing, writing, painting, movement, drama, construction, dance, technology, and discovery.  Purposeful play centers will integrate standards, targets, and success criteria to naturally support learning. 'Play' will provide areas in the classroom that are ever-changing. This grant will benefit 46 students in Kindergarten.

*Lauren Peitzmeier and Sandy Meyer, Stolley Park Elementary, $1,947, “Make Space for Robotics!” We would like to provide opportunities for Stolley Park students to experience robotics and coding using Ozobots and Spheros in our dedicated makerspace where they will be available for all K-5 teachers to use with their entire class, in addition to before and after school STEAM programs and clubs. The Ozobot is a small but powerful robot that is programmable using simple markers (for beginners) or block based computer programming (for intermediate users).  Like the Ozobot, the Sphero SPRK+ utilizes drawing and block based programming, but adds a third level for advanced learners to use JavaScript to actually write text programs.
This grant will benefit 225 students in grades K-5.

*Melissa McDonald, Shoemaker Elementary, $1,000, “Every Student, Every day, A Reader!” The purpose of this grant is to provide teachers the materials they need to design meaningful phonics lessons. The materials will support instruction that directly aligns with the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional development. This grant will benefit 280 students in grades K-5.

*Kevin Butters, Vicki Weseman, and Brenda Carlson, Lincoln Elementary, $1,000, “Patterns of Earth and Sky.” As fifth grade students begin the school year, they investigate what causes the daily and yearly pattern of what objects we see in the night sky. Throughout the investigations they discover how the orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, causes observable patterns. These students would greatly benefit from an end-of-unit, culminating activity that includes a trip to the University of Nebraska at Kearney Planetarium and an art activity incorporating what they have learned. Students could make connections with what they have learned, recognize many of the stars they have read about, and share in an experience which will stay with them for years to come. This grant will benefit 65 students in grade 5.

*Bianca Ayala, Howard Elementary, $250, “Books & Braids.” Books & Braids is a morning weekly club where the students are able to read books of their choice and have their hair styled. All students (boys & girls) are welcomed and after having their hair styled leave with a big smile on their face! Having special books and hair materials for the club would engage more students to join while building their confidence at the same time! This grant will benefit 50 students in grades K-5.

*Gina Conyers and Clint Felber, Barr Middle School, $450, “Outdoor Leisure Activities.” We would love to offer a unit at the beginning and end of every school year that features yard games that our students will most likely play in their neighborhoods, tailgating, or while camping with family and friends in the summer like:  Ladder golf, Polish Horseshoes, Corn Hole, Yard Darts and Kan Jam.  This is a great unit to add to our curriculum as it is able to help us hit several standards.  They will also be developing skills and knowledge of games that they will be able to participate in for a lifetime of fun. This grant will benefit 750 students in grades 6-8.

*Nicole LeClaire, Wyandotte Learning Center, $2,000, “Building a 21st Century Crime Lab – Law and Public Safety Academy at the Academies of Grand Island Senior High.”  This grant will design and build a crime lab where Law and Public Safety
 students would be able to role-play future careers in the fields of Law and Public Safety through crime scene simulations. The crime lab would be dynamic-scenes, simulations, and events would change and build upon unit concepts. This grant would offset the cost of supplies to build set scenes and supplemental lesson materials. This grant will benefit 125 students in grades 9-12.

*Jerome Dubas, Grand Island Senior High, $1,146, “UNDRground Contemporary Arts Marketing.” The Senior High Art Department collaborates with the Azteca Market to operate a professional art gallery- UNDRground Contemporary Arts.  The operating expenses include postcard mailings, postage, and vinyl, insurance, transportation expenses, food for receptions, website hosting fees, pedestals, and other miscellaneous expenses (light bulbs, paint, cleaning supplies, hardware, etc.).  Every two months we have a new show and we use the postcards to market each of the art shows, and we apply vinyl to the entry foyer wall with the artist's name and the name of the show. This grant will benefit 45 students in grades 9-12.

*Corey Farlee, Shaun Willey and Maggie Mintken, Grand Island Senior High, $250, “Journals & Paper Planners for Freshman Academy.” Working as a counselor in the Freshman Academy at Grand Island Senior High we have learned that our freshmen need help with organization and dealing with emotions. We have found success using journaling strategies to manage feelings and maintain mental health with many students. We have also observed student's organization skills and grades improve by using paper planners to help them gain control of their workload, which can be overwhelming for freshman. The transition from middle school to high school can be troubling, so having these materials to assist our students with this transition would be helpful. This grant will benefit 100 students in grade 9.

*Nancy Jones, Grand Island Senior High, $559, “TeamMates Lego Project.” As a school-based mentoring program, TeamMates of Grand Island's main goal is to build positive, trusting relationships between students and mentors through weekly conversations and activities.  These conversations are the basis for constructive, critical life decisions that students choose to discuss with their mentor, but can often be difficult when new relationships are developing.  Having a physical focus in their hands, helps students to openly talk about themselves and their lives without feeling interviewed or interrogated. TeamMates would like to purchase Legos sets for the four TeamMates schools in the district; Barr, Walnut, Westridge and Senior High. This grant will benefit 130 students in grades 6-12.


Sutherland Longhorn Bar owner Tim Aden and Sutherland Rodeo Committee spokesperson Janet Mueller announced they are coming together to offer this incredible all-ages show at the outdoor event area north of the Sutherland Legion Hall adjacent to the rodeo grounds.


A native of Tulsa, OK, Diffie is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. A star athlete in high school, he originally set his sights on a medical career, but his love for music won out and he began performing in a gospel group. He paid the bills by working in a foundry and later joined a bluegrass band before deciding to give Nashville a try. He got a job working in the warehouse at Gibson Guitars, but felt like he wasn’t any closer to making his dreams come true.


He was on the verge of moving home when a conversation with his dad changed his destiny. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad,” Diffie recalls with a smile. “He said, ‘If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have anything to shoot at. Do something every day towards your music. Write a song or play your guitar.’ I took that to heart and made sure I did something every day whether it was big or little. I remember getting out of bed one time because I had forgotten to do something towards my music. I actually got up, got my guitar and played for a few minutes and then went back to bed. I feel like that had something to do with the success that I’ve managed to achieve. I think it would apply in anything. I lived, breathed, ate and slept music all the time. I was so obsessed with it.”


By 1990, Diffie had signed with Epic Records and released his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads. His very first single, “Home,” hit No. 1. He continued to dominate the charts throughout the 90s with such hits as “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Is It Cold in Here,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “So Help Me Girl,” “Bigger than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” Jason Aldean paid tribute to Diffie and namechecked many of the veteran entertainer’s classics in his hit “1994.” The video featured Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Jake Owen and others paying homage to the man who influenced them.


Diffie’s accolades include 5 number one hits, 35 songs on the Billboard Top 10 charts, two Platinum records and two Gold albums.


The historic Sutherland Rodeo will celebrate its 83rd year in 2020, with a slack performance on July 2, then nightly performances on the 3rd and 4th. In 2019 the Sutherland Rodeo was named ‘Large Purse Rodeo of the Year” by the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, an accolade that it has won numerous times in the past. The concert is scheduled to start following the rodeo on July 3.


The rodeo and concert will highlight a full weekend of Independence Day celebrations in the community of Sutherland that includes a Junior Rodeo Queen competition, Firecracker 5K run, Pancake Breakfast, Kids Games and Frog Races, Community BBQ, Parade, Pie and Ice Cream Social.


Concert tickets will go on sale March first and will be priced at $20 in advance and $30 at the gate.


Heartland United Way



Central Community College


 Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested a California man and seized cocaine and marijuana found during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Brady.

At approximately 7:00 a.m., Sunday, November 10, a trooper observed an eastbound Nissan Rogue speeding near mile marker 200. During the traffic stop, the trooper detected indicators of criminal activity.

A search of the vehicle revealed 2.2 pounds of cocaine hidden under the spare tire and 1.5 pounds of marijuana concealed in a box filled with spray foam.

The driver, Arnold Rodriguez, 44, of Modesto, California, was arrested for possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana – more than one pound, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and no drug tax stamp. Rodriguez was lodged in Lincoln County Jail.


Back on September 9th police responded to 3021 S. Locust Street in reference to the discovery two deceased persons in a room. That investigation has concluded that the cause of death of both persons was accidental overdose of methamphetamine.

Autopsies were performed on deceased 38 year old Joshua Perkins and 37 year old Shannon

Sybert. Both results concluded that ‘Acute Methamphetamine Toxicity’ to be the cause of death.

Combined with the physical evidence and a thorough investigation, the Grand Island Police

Department is closing this case having found that accidental overdose was the cause of death

for both parties.

The police stressed in the release that if someone you care about is suffering from addiction, please seek help from community resources such as the Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addiction (CNCAA) at 308-385-5520


Dr. Jay Stewart


Authorities say a South Dakota man died after collision on Interstate 80 in south-central Nebraska.

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. Sunday near the U.S. Highway 281 junction at Grand Island. The Hall County Sheriff's Department says a semitrailer and two passenger vehicles were involved.

The name of the victim and other details about the collision have not been released.


According to the Grand Island City Council Agenda Mayor Roger G. Steele has submitted the name of Justin Scott for appointment as Councilmember to represent Ward 5.

This vacancy was created when Councilmember Michelle Fitzke moved from the district.

Scott's appointment is pending council approval Tuesday night.



The Hastings College men's soccer team was able to keep the attacking pressure on the Crusaders and was able to pick up the 1-0 victory on Wednesday night as they took on No.6 William Carey in the NAIA National Championship Quarterfinal game.

The Broncos played a tough, physical match with the No. 6 seeded Crusaders of William Carey. William Carey was able to go toe-to-toe with the Broncos in the first half and tried to slow down the Broncos' offense as they limited the Broncos to only 3 shots with none of them coming on target. The Broncos' defense did a great job in the first half forcing tough shot attempts and refused to allow a clean look at the goal. The Crusaders outshot the Broncos 9-3 with shots on goal in favor of the Crusaders 1-0. Neither team was able to find the back of the net as the teams went into the locker room at half, tied 0-0.

The Broncos came out the second half looking switch gears and get their offensive attack going against the Crusaders. There wouldn't be a whole lot of action until the 71st minute as Lukas Goetz (FR/Nordstetten Berufliche, Germany) would draw a foul inside the box setting up a pentalty kick. Will Pointon (JR/Portsmouth, England) would be the hero of the day as he would drill the penalty kick into the back of the net and give the Broncos the 1-0 lead. With William Carey picking up the red card on the foul, they would be forced to play the remaining 19 minutes down to just 10 men on the field.

Being down a man, William Carey couldn't find a way to get past the aggressive Bronco defense as the Broncos would defend the Crusaders last effort and hang on to a 1-0 victory.

The Crusaders would lead the Broncos 17-12 on shots, but the Broncos took quality over quantity as they led 4-2 on shots on goal. The Broncos were able to pick up four corner kicks on the day compared to four for the Crusaders. Jesus Parra (JR/Salinas, CA) was perfect for the Broncos with only two saves to secure the teams 16th shutout on the season which leads the nation. William Carey led the Broncos in only one other category, which was fouls, as they led 10-8.

Hastings improves to 19-2-3 on the season and will play again Friday Dec. 5th as they take on Columbia College with kick-off set at 8:30 p.m. CT for a chance to make it to the NAIA National Championship game.

Here's an interview with Coach Tim Bohnenkamp.

Tim Bohnenkamp Interview

Lincoln - Nebraska buried a season-high 12 three-pointers, including a career-high-tying six from Taylor Kissinger, as the Huskers shot their way to an 83-79 win over Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday night.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 8-1 on the season while the Blue Devils slipped to 6-3 overall. The Huskers handed Duke just its third loss in 13 games in the history of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, with two of those losses coming to Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

While Kissinger matched her career best with six threes by going 6-for-9 from long range to finish with a team-high 19 points, the junior from Minden, Neb., was far from the only Husker firing. The Big Red got 14 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting night from the field from sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek. The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, matched her career high by burying all three of her three-pointers and finished another traditional three-point play for the Huskers.

Senior guard Hannah Whitish added a pair of three-pointers, while going 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the closing minute to help the Huskers seal the four-point win. They were Whitish's first free throw attempts of the season. 

Early in the game, Whitish dished out three assists to become the first Husker in history to score 1,000 points, hit 200 threes and distribute 400 assists in a career. She added three more assists to finish the night with 403 in her career, moving past former Husker Stacy Imming (1984-87) into the No. 7 spot on the NU career list. The six assists were also a season high for Whitish.

Junior center Kate Cain added 10 points, five rebounds and five big blocks to go along with a pair of steals. Cain's block total pushed her to 207 in her career to match 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page at No. 3 on the Nebraska career block chart.

The Huskers also got significant contributions from senior Nicea Eliely, sophomore Leigha Brown and freshman Isabelle Bourne. Eliely managed nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, while Brown pitched in eight points, including crucial free throws down the stretch, five rebounds and two steals including a huge hustle play to dive on the floor and secure a Husker possession in the closing minute.

Bourne added six points, a team-high seven rebounds including four on the offensive end, and two blocks.

As a team, Nebraska hit 48.3 percent (28-58) of its shots from the field, including a scorching 12-of-27 (.444) from three-point range. The Big Red also knocked down 15-of-20 free throws, including 9-of-10 in the fourth quarter to seal the win. The Huskers also dished out a season-high 23 assists, including six from Whitish, five from Sam Haiby, four from Kissinger, three from Brown and three more from Eliely.

The Huskers worked their way to a 21-20 lead at the end of the first quarter, knocking down 4-of-12 threes to overcome 9-of-14 overall shooting by Duke in the quarter. The Huskers outworked the Blue Devils on the boards 12-6 in the opening quarter, including seven offensive rebounds.

The Big Red caught fire two minutes into the second quarter, overcoming a 25-21 Duke lead on a three by Veerbeek and two more by Kissinger to claim a 34-30 edge and force a Duke timeout with 6:05 left in the half. Veerbeek added a jumper to make it 36-30. Later in the quarter, Whitish buried a three to give Nebraska the biggest lead of the game at 47-37 with 3:07 left in the half.

Duke rallied late in the quarter, but the Huskers took a 49-45 lead to the halftime locker room. At the half, Nebraska was winning on the glass, 19-14 and had allowed just three offensive boards to the Blue Devils who had hit a scalding hot 19-of-31 field goals, including 4-of-8 threes.

Duke bolted out of the locker room early in the second half to take a 51-49 lead. The game remained a possession game for the rest of the quarter, but Nebraska got the final three points of the period to take a 65-62 lead to the fourth.

Nebraska never relinquished the lead in the fourth, although Duke pulled within one point on multiple occasions, the last coming at 76-75 with 1:19 left. The Huskers' last seven points came at the free throw line, beginning with one from Eliely before Brown hit a pair and Whitish hit the final four to seal the win.

The Huskers survived despite giving up 16 offensive rebounds in the second half, primarily because of Nebraska's tighter grip on the Blue Devil shooters. Duke went 0-for-9 from three-point range in the second half and just 14-of-37 overall from the field after halftime.

Leaonna Odom finished with game highs of 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals for Duke, while Miela Goodchild added 15 points. All-America candidate Haley Gorecki managed 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Onome Akinbode-James pitched in 13 points and six rebounds for the Blue Devils.

Nebraska will enjoy nine days off from competition before returning to the court to take on Oral Roberts on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip is set for 1 p.m. against the Golden Eagles, with tickets on sale now at

Haanif Cheatham produced his first career double-double Wednesday night for the Nebraska men's basketball team, but Michael Devoe flirted with a triple-double to lead Georgia Tech to a 73-56 victory in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.
Cheatham paced the Huskers with 14 points and 11 rebounds, the first double-figure rebounding game of his career. Cam MackJervay Green and Thorir Thorbjarnarson all added 11 points for Nebraska, but the Huskers shot just 32 percent from the field – including 25 percent in the second half – and were 8-of-18 from the free throw line. Nebraska (4-4) also committed a season-high 18 turnovers which led to 18 Yellow Jacket points.
Devoe, the ACC's leading scorer, put up 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Georgia Tech (4-2), reaching the 20-point plateau for the fifth time in six games. Moses Wright added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, who trailed by four late in the first half before outscoring Nebraska 21-6 over the final four minutes of the opening period and the first four minutes of the second half to pull away for the win.
Nebraska trailed by four, 32-28, at the half. The Huskers, who entered the game averaging 11.9 turnovers per game, survived a first half in which they turned the ball over 11 times. Fueled by the turnovers, Georgia Tech used runs of 8-0 and 10-0 to take the four-point lead into the locker room. Cheatham put up eight points and six rebounds to keep the Huskers close, and Thorbjarnarson provided a spark with six points in seven minutes off the bench en route to his career-high 11 points.
Dachon Burke hit 3-pointer on Nebraska's opening possession, but the Huskers missed seven of their next eight shots as Georgia Tech built an 8-5 lead. Nebraska responded with an 8-1 run to grab a 13-9 advantage, but the Huskers then went scoreless for more than five minutes as Georgia Tech scored eight straight points to pull in front 17-13 at the midway mark of the half.
Thorbjarnarson ended a scoreless drought of more than four minutes with a basket, and he sparked Nebraska with six points and drew a pair of charges during a 13-5 run that put the Huskers in front 26-22 with four minutes remaining in the half. But after back-to-back Thorbjarnarson baskets gave the Huskers their biggest lead, Georgia Tech scored 10 straight points to take a six-point lead, before Cheatham ended another four-minute scoring drought for the Huskers with a layup just before the first-half buzzer.
After Georgia Tech closed the first half on a 10-2 run, the Yellow Jackets opened the second half on an 11-4 spurt as the Huskers struggled to score. Green knocked down a 3-pointer to begin the half, but Nebraska missed its next 10 shots and converted only 4-of-10 free throws as Georgia Tech built its first double-digit lead at 43-32 four minutes into the half.
A quick 5-0 spurt pulled Nebraska to within six, but Georgia Tech answered that run with a pair of 5-0 runs of its own over the next four minutes to grab a 13-point lead midway through the period. Nebraska cut the lead to double digits twice over the next five minutes but could get no closer than nine before Georgia Tech put the game away by scoring seven straight points to build a 67-51 lead with 2:26 remaining.
Nebraska continues its three-game road trip on Saturday, when the Huskers travel to Omaha to take on the Creighton Bluejays. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at the CHI Health Center, with television coverage on FS1 and radio coverage on the Husker Sports Network.

Four Nebraska offensive standouts were honored by the Big Ten Conference on Monday with all-conference recognition.

The four offensive players to earn honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades included junior receiver JD Spielman, junior offensive tackle Brenden Jaimes, junior running back Dedrick Mills and freshman receiver Wan’Dale Robinson.

Spielman received honorable-mention recognition from both the conference coaches and media. He led Nebraska with 49 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns, ranking fifth in the Big Ten in receiving yards per game.  In the process, Spielman became the first Husker to record three 800-yard receiving seasons.  This marks the third straight season Spielman has earned conference honors after earning third-team All-Big Ten honors in both 2017 and 2018.

Jaimes was also recognized by both the league coaches and media. The 6-6, 300-pounder is a mainstay on the offensive line, starting all 12 games at left tackle.  He helped the Husker offense rank third in the conference in rushing offense in Big Ten games.  The 2019 season marked the second straight year Jaimes has earned honorable-mention all-conference recognition.

Mills also earned recognition from the coaches and media.  He led the Nebraska running game in his first season with the Huskers, rushing for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Mills ranked ninth in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game, and his 10 rushing touchdowns were the second-most by a Husker since 2014.

Robinson was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice by the media panel.  Despite missing the majority of four games in the second half of 2019, Robinson had 40 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns.  He also ranked as Nebraska’s third-leading rusher with 340 yards and three touchdowns.  His versatility earned Robinson recognition as one of four national finalists for the Paul Hornung Award.

The four offensive honorees join seven defensive players who were recognized by the conference on Tuesday, led by second-team All-Big Ten cornerback Lamar Jackson.

All-Big Ten Offensive Honorees

Brenden Jaimes, Jr., OT—Honorable Mention (Coaches, Media)

Dedrick Mills, Jr., RB—Honorable Mention (Coaches, Media)

JD Speilman, Jr., WR—Honorable Mention (Coaches, Media)
Wan’Dale Robinson, Fr., WR—Honorable Mention (Media)

All-Big Ten Defensive Honorees

Lamar Jackson, Sr., CB—Second Team (Media and Coaches)

Khalil Davis, Sr., DL—Third Team (Coaches), Honorable Mention (Media)

Darrion Daniels, Sr. NT—Honorable Mention (Coaches)

Dicaprio Bootle, Jr., DB—Honorable Mention (Media)

Mohamed Barry, Sr., LB—Honorable Mention (Media)

Cam Taylor-Britt, Soph., DB—Honorable Mention (Media)

Ben Stille-Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honoree

Nebraska volleyball's Lauren StivrinsLexi Sun and Nicklin Hames were named to the All-Big Ten First Team on Wednesday, while Madi Kubik was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-Big Ten Second Team and All-Big Ten Freshman Team member. Libero Kenzie Knuckles was also selected to the All-Freshman Team by the league's head coaches. 

Stivrins was a unanimous choice for the All-Big Ten First Team. The 2018 AVCA First-Team All-American collected her second career all-conference honor after 2.57 kills per set, 1.06 blocks per set and a team-best .383 hitting percentage during the regular season. Stivrins' .412 hitting percentage in conference play was third-best in the Big Ten, and the junior middle blocker guided a Husker defense that had a league-best .156 opponent hitting percentage in Big Ten play. 

Sun earned her first career All-Big Ten honor, but her second career all-conference honor as she was an All-Big 12 first teamer at Texas in 2017. The junior outside hitter led the Huskers with 3.57 kills per set with 2.42 digs per set and a team-high 24 aces during the regular season. Sun posted double-digit kills in 18 of 20 Big Ten matches, and her 3.53 kills per set in Big Ten play ranked eighth. 

Hames collected her first All-Big Ten award after averaging 10.92 assists and 2.90 digs per set during the regular season. One of the best defensive setters in the nation, Hames recorded a team-high 15 double-doubles and also served 21 aces. Her 11.37 assists per set in Big Ten play ranked third in the conference. 

Kubik earned Nebraska's first Big Ten Freshman of the Year honor and first conference freshman of the year since Hannah Werth won the award in 2009 in the Big 12. Kubik averaged 2.73 kills and 2.52 digs per set in her first year as a Husker. She ranked fourth among Big Ten freshmen in kills (2.73 per set) and digs (2.52 per set) in conference play. The outside hitter was also named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and the All-Freshman Team. Kubik is the first Husker freshman to be named to an All-Big Ten team since Kadie Rolfzen in 2013. 

Knuckles earned All-Freshman Team accolades after leading the Huskers with 3.71 digs per set in her first year as the Huskers' libero. Knuckles served 20 aces and was a Big Ten Freshman of the Week and Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week during the season, helping the Huskers lead all Big Ten teams with a .156 opponent hitting percentage in conference play. 

Sophomore opposite hitter Anezka Szabo received Nebraska's Sportsmanship Award. 

Wisconsin's Dana Rettke was the Big Ten Player of the Year. Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield was chosen Coach of the Year by the media, while Penn State's Russ Rose was voted Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches. 

2019 Big Ten Volleyball All-Big Ten Honorees
First Team
Jacqueline Quade, Sr., Illinois
Katie Myers, So., Maryland
Paige Jones, So., Michigan*
Mackenzi Welsh, Sr., Michigan
CC McGraw, So., Minnesota
Regan Pittman, Jr., Minnesota*
Stephanie Samedy, Jr., Minnesota
Nicklin Hames, So., Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, Jr., Nebraska*
Lexi Sun, Jr., Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hord, So., Penn State*
Jonni Parker, So., Penn State*
Kendall White, Sr., Penn State*
Grace Cleveland, So., Purdue*
Blake Mohler, Sr., Purdue
Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin*
Grace Loberg, Jr., Wisconsin
Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin*
* denotes unanimous selection
Second Team
Ashlyn Fleming, Sr., Illinois
Breana Edwards, So., Indiana
Cori Crocker, Sr., Michigan
Alexis Hart, Sr., Minnesota
Taylor Morgan, Sr., Minnesota
Madi Kubik, Fr., Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Fr., Northwestern
Kylie Murr, Fr., Ohio State
Gabby Blossom, So., Penn State
Caitlyn Newton, Jr., Purdue
Madison Duello, Sr., Wisconsin
Molly Haggerty, Jr., Wisconsin
Danielle Hart, So., Wisconsin
All-Freshman Team
Diana Brown, Illinois
May Pertofsky, Michigan
Jessica Robinson, Michigan
Kenzie Knuckles, Nebraska
Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Northwestern
Jenaisya Moore, Ohio State
Kylie Murr, Ohio State
Player of the Year: Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin
Defensive Player of the Year: Kendall White, Sr., Penn State
Setter of the Year: Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year: Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Coach of the Year (Coaches): Russ Rose, Penn State
Coach of the Year (Media): Kelly Sheffield, Wisconsin
Sportsmanship Honorees
Beth Prince, Sr., OH, Illinois
Meaghan Koors, Sr., DS, Indiana
Brie Orr, Jr., S, Iowa
Taylor Smith, Sr., S, Maryland
Sydney Wetterstrom, Sr., OH, Michigan
Sam McLean, Sr., DS/L, Michigan State
Lauren Litzau, Sr., DS/L, Minnesota
Anezka Szabo, So., OH, Nebraska
Emily Ehman, Sr., L, Northwestern
Bia Rodrigues-Franklin, Sr., OH, Ohio State
Emily Sciorra, Sr., DS, Penn State
Jael Johnson, So., MB, Purdue
Jasmine Stackhouse, Sr., MB, Rutgers
M.E. Dodge, Sr., DS/L, Wisconsin

McCook Wrestling squad starts the season this Saturday, December 7th at Cozad for a 9:00am invite.  Head Coach Nick Umscheid talks about his key returners and previews the upcoming season for the Bison.

Nick Umscheid

Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney women's basketball got 16 rebounds and 12 points from sophomore guard Klaire Kirsch and closed on a 28-8 run to stun No. 3/5 Fort Hays State, 73-65, Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the MIAA opener for both teams and the 93rd all-time meeting between the Lopers (7-0) and rival Tigers (6-1). UNK doesn't have time to celebrate as it visits longtime MIAA power Emporia State (5-2) on Thursday night.

To record its first win over a top five team since an 82-76 decision at Missouri Western State in January 2016, UNK had to overcome a 57-45 deficit with just 7:48 to play. The Lopers held the lead for nearly 17 minutes in the first half but the Tigers, coming off a 32-2 campaign, came out strong in the third quarter to the tune of a 24-11 run. They were also strong in the opening moments of the fourth before a barrage of Loper threes.

"When we were down 12 it was one of those moments where we had to make a move. Hays isn't easy to score on … I thought our team kept its composure and kind of played one possession at a time instead of trying to get it back all at once," Loper head coach Carrie Eighmey said. "We had some kids step up and make some big plays. Maegan (Holt) hit a couple of key threes in that late stretch, Aspen (Jansa) hit a big three, and Madison (Dreckman) as a freshman did some nice things."

Against one of Division II's top defensive teams, UNK finished 11 of 24 from behind the arc and hit three straight bombs to trim the deficit to three, 57-54, by the six minute mark. Hays managed to its lead back to four but UNK finally tied things at 60 thanks to a jumper in the paint by Iowa sophomore Maegan Holt.

While the Lopers shot an even 50% (8 of 16) from the field over the final 10 minutes, Hays cooled off to 31% (6 of 19). That included a 0 of 5 effort from downtown with Kearney fittingly taking the lead for good on a top of the key triple by Kansas sophomore forward Elisa Backes. That made it 63-60 with 2:27 left.

Overall UNK was just 14 of 22 at the line (64%) but was plus seven on the glass, got 20 bench points and held Hays to an overall 3 of 16 effort from the arc. Finally nine different played scored.

"This is a great way to kick it off and have a good start to the conference season," Eighmey said. "I think our balance helps us. We have a lot of kids that can score in a lot of different ways. It makes it a little bit easier when the defense can't key in on just one or two players."

Kirsch's second career double double featured 13 defensive caroms and a 3 of 3 effort from triple land in the first half. The rebound total is just two shy of the school record and the most rebounds by a Loper in the MIAA era (2012-present).

Next grad transfer and point guard Haley Simental (Pueblo West, Colo.) had 11 of her 15 points in the second half with Holt also strong over the final minutes (12 points, two assists & two rebounds). Finally Backes had eight points, five boards and two dimes with Iowa freshman reserve post Madison Dreckman at six points and three rebounds.

"It's an excited team. I think after what happened last year against Hays at home (ahead 20 late third quarter and lose in overtime) … it was a game where our kids felt like they let it slip away. So it's a big win in that regard," Eighmey said. "It's a good win but at the same time it's a long season."

Hays got 20 points from Oklahoma State transfer Jaden Hobbs and a combined 26 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks from forward Lanie Page and Belle Barbieri.

Kearney, Neb. – Four players scored in double figures and Nebraska-Kearney used a big second half to roar past rival Fort Hays State, 74-60, Tuesday night at the Health & Sports Center.

This was the MIAA opener for both and the 132nd all-time meeting between the Lopers (4-3) and Tigers (4-3). UNK has a quick turnaround as they visit Emporia State (5-3, 0-0) on Thursday. The Hornets were off tonight. 

Things didn't look good early as Hays, not known for its perimeter shooting, drilled three early triples to lead 12-2 four minutes in. That advantage was quickly whittled down to three but then ballooned back up to double digits, 29-17, by the 5:50 mark.

That's when the Lopers made a huge move, closing the half on a 12-3 run and then starting the second on a 16-9 spurt to grab the lead for good. UNK seemingly couldn't miss, whether it be a three or a backdoor layup. At one point Kearney was shooting 75% (12 of 16) from the field in the second half. Later, Bellevue senior forward AJ Jackson beat the shot clock with a step back three from the top of the arc that banked in for a 60-45 lead.

"In the second half we were more active on the boards, we got some mileage out of our three quarter court press and we did a good job defensively of taking them out of things they wanted to do," UNK head coach Kevin Lofton said. "We also shot the ball well from the line (12 of 15) and guys were able to put it in the basket."

Senior guard Devin Davis got close to a triple double for the Tigers (15 points, 10 rebounds & six assists) and his play helped his team get the deficit down to eight, 64-56, by the four minute mark. However, he missed a shot in the lane and then the Tigers missed a one-and-one opportunity. UNK put then nail in the coffin when Texas senior lefty Chase Winchester nailed a three from the left wing, sending the lead back into double digits.

"From an adversity standpoint I was really proud of how our guys came through. First half we're down and it looks like they may run away with it. But we fought our way back into it and then they stretched it again," Lofton said. "In the second half we stuck together. It wasn't one guy going nuts … we moved the ball well and got good shots. Guys that score it well for us we got them the ball in the right places."

Getting 25 bench points and shooting 53% (27 of 51) on the night, UNK was paced by Kansas senior forward Morgan Soucie. Including a fast-break dunk in the second half, he was 7 of 12 from the field and tallied all of his points in the second half. Next, Utah junior guard Jake Walker went 4 of 9 from downtown to score a team-high 20 with Jackson at 11 points, seven boards, three blocks and three dimes.

"The second half was probably our best half of the year and also could be one of our best efforts of the year," Lofton said.

Finally for UNK Spalding sophomore Noah Valasek came off the bench to have 11 points and two steals with Winchester at five points and three assists. Besides Davis Hays got 14 points and seven rebounds from forward Jared Vitzum. 

COLUMBUS – The McCook Community College men’s basketball team continues its offensive improvement and took down Central Community College 95-83 Tuesday night in Raider Fieldhouse.

The Indians lit up the scoreboard from the 3-point line making 12 of 15 attempts (80 percent), shot 53 percent from the field and made 13 of 19 free throw (68.4 percent).

Sophomore transfer Justin Costello (Elkhorn South) went five-for-five from the 3-point line to lead MCC with 22 points. Sophomore transfer Raheim Sullivan (Toronto, Ontario) added 21 to go along with a team-high eight rebounds and five assists. Freshman Rahkiem Petterson (Midland, Texas) had 10 points.

“We are skilled offensively and can score with anyone in the country,” said MCC Coach Kyle Drennan. “But we as a team have a choice to make. Do we want to be average to good or do we want to be great?”

MCC held the Raiders to 42 percent from the floor but gave up 17 offensive rebounds which led to 23 second-chance points.

“Winning and being great come from the little things like rebounding and playing defense,” said Drennan, pointing out that allowing the 17 offensive rebounds kept Central in the game. “We guarded for 25 seconds and then don’t finish the position.”

The Indians did finish with a 42-38 edge in rebounds and the MCC bench out-scored Central 29-12.

Freshman LeTre Darthard (Denton, Texas) scored 16 points and Freshman Boaz Quinlan (Beavertown, Ore.) scored nine points. Freshman Catthadious Moore (Memphis, Tenn.) went three-for-three from the field and had five boards.

“We will get after it tomorrow to set the tone for our last two games of the semester,” Drennan said.

Central falls to 6-8 on the season.

The 6-6 Indians close out the 2019 portion of the schedule with two final games this weekend starting Friday at 8:30 p.m. (CT) in Cheyenne, Wyo. against Laramie County College (1-7) and then Saturday at 4 p.m. (CT) in Torrington against Eastern Wyoming (6-3).

MCC swept the two schools Nov. 8-9 at home besting LCCC 82-66 and Eastern 76-48.

For more information on MCC basketball and all MCC sports, visit the official site of MCC Athletics at

COLUMBUS – The McCook Community College women’s basketball team picked up its tenth win of the season in convincing fashion with an 89-55 win Tuesday against Central Community College in Raider Fieldhouse.

MCC stretched a 22-17 first-quarter lead to a 40-27 advantage at the half thanks to an improving offense.

“I thought we shot the ball really well today,” said MCC Coach Brandon Pritchett. “Amiya (Dartest) made some big 3’s in the first half that set the tone for us offensively.”

Amiya Dartest, the freshman from Jennings, La., led MCC with 20 points including a six-for-eight night from the 3-point line.

The Lady Indians made good on five of 12 shots (41.7 percent) from the 3-point line in the first half and improved to five of nine (55.6 percent) in the second half. Overall, MCC shot 58.3 percent from the field for the game.

“We need to be better defensively moving forward. We allowed Central to do what they wanted on the offensive end and they made some plays,” Pritchett said.

After the Raiders shot 44 percent from the field in the first half, MCC stepped up the defensive pressure and limited CCC to just seven of 21 shots (33.3 percent) in the second 20 minutes.

MCC held a 32-27 edge in rebounds, scored 24 points off 20 Central turnovers and out-scored the Raider bench 27-8. The Lady Indians also made nine of 11 free throws (81.1 percent) and turned the ball over 14 times.

Sophomore Makenna Bodette (Colorado Springs) scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds. Freshman Gail Whiting (Montgomery, Ala.) scored 13 points and freshman Carla Torrubia Cano (Melilla Spain) chipped in 11 points.

Sophomore transfer Paula Rosello Mateu, (Barcelona, Spain) scored eight points and had four assists and redshirt freshman transfer Jessika Espinoza, (El Paso, Texas) Western New Mexico University came off the bench to score eight points.

“Jessika was a bright spot for us on the defensive end, I thought she guarded well and she took two big charges for us,” Pritchett said.

Columbus falls to 6-6 on the season.

The 10-1 Lady Indians wrap up the semester with two more road games this weekend.

On Friday MCC is in Cheyenne to take on Laramie County (5-3). The Lady Indians picked up a 62-59 win over the Golden Eagles at home Nov. 8

On Saturday, MCC looks to avenge its lone loss on the season when the Lady Indians travel to Torrington Wyo., to take on the 4-5 Lady Lancers. The Lady Indians dropped a 73-61 to Eastern Wyoming on Nov. 9.

For complete coverage of MCC Lady Indian basketball including, schedule, photo galleries, statistics and more, visit the MCC Athletics web page at

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