Andy Heck is Mid-Plains Community College’s 2017 Alumni of the Year.
Heck, now retired and living in South Carolina, is a former junior college All-American running back, professional football player and president of a major lighting manufacturer who also earned two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.
“Andy is a fine example of the quality of students that attend community colleges,” said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. “He took a chance coming to McCook, Nebraska from halfway across the U.S. to run track and ultimately play football. Andy credits his time at McCook as the catalyst to his successes in his life.”
Originally from Bergen, N.J., Heck was recruited in the early ’60s to run track at what was then known as McCook Junior College. However, he soon found himself on the football team after the school’s football coach noticed his speed and agility.
Heck was named a junior college All-American running back during his time in McCook - recognition that caught the attention of major universities, including Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
According to a September 2014 Wake Forest Magazine article entitled, “The Thing He Carried,” written by Kerry M. King, Heck was equally attracted to Wake Forest because of its small size and strong academics.
It wasn’t long before Coach Bill Tate signed him to the university’s football team as a replacement for Brian Piccolo. Piccolo went on to serve as a running back for the Chicago Bears.
Heck ended up leading the Wake Forest team in rushing in 1965 and 1966 – also the year he won the team’s Most Valuable Player award.
After two years at Wake, Heck headed north of the border to play professional football with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League. He rejected an offer from the San Diego Chargers in the process.
A year later, Heck was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps. He landed in South Vietnam in January 1968 – one week before the Tet Offensive, a series of surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control centers throughout the country.
Heck was severely injured during a night patrol in Quảng Nam Province when a Marine walking in front of him stepped on a booby trap.
Heck caught shrapnel in his back, arms and legs and was medevacked to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. He didn’t know it at the time, but back on campus classmates were writing him get-well wishes.
“Take a minute to send a Get Well message to WFU’s Andy Heck who was grievously wounded in Vietnam,” read a sign beside a scroll stretched out on the old information desk in Reynolds Hall. Upon completion and unfurled on a football field, the paper stretched from the end zone to the 35-yard line.
Heck almost didn’t live long enough to see it. He was sent back to Vietnam a few months later, and the scroll made its way from Wake Forest to Heck’s mother.
Heck was back in Vietnam for only a month when he was wounded again, shot in the chest during a firefight near Hué. He earned two Purple Hearts as a result and still bears scars from the shrapnel.
After he recovered, Heck was discharged from the Marines and returned home to New Jersey. He found a package from Wake Forest waiting for him. He’s never counted the number of names on the scroll, but guesses there must be close to 3,000, which would be almost everyone at Wake Forest in the spring of ’68.
Andy eventually married, and he and his wife Marnie raised three sons. He went on to have a successful career with the International Paper Co. and became president of Sylvania Lighting US. Today, he and Marnie are retired and living on Pawleys Island, S.C.
On 8/20/18 at approximately 09:18, Scottsbluff Police was dispatched to a shoplifting at Walmart. The suspect vehicle was actively fleeing the Walmart parking lot and was last observed traveling eastbound on Hwy 26 from Ave I. The suspect vehicle was described as a passenger vehicle dark in color. A Scottsbluff PD unit observed the suspect vehicle on Hwy 26 between Ave I and Ave B. The suspect vehicle accelerated upon seeing the marked police patrol vehicle. A traffic stop was initiated and the suspect vehicle continued to flee. Walmart reported a felony dollar amount of property was stolen from the store. A pursuit was initiated as the suspect vehicle continued east on Hwy 26. Nebraska State Patrol deployed Stop Sticks at approximately CR 37 that were avoided by the suspect vehicle. The pursuit continued east until reaching the intersection of the Hwy 26 / Hwy 62A. The pursuit went south on Hwy 26 through Bayard. The suspect vehicle then reached the intersection of Hwy 26 / Hwy 92 where the suspect turned and went westbound on Hwy 92. The pursuit was terminated at that time. The pursuit reached a maximum speed of approximately 125 mph and lasted approximately 15 minutes. The suspect vehicle is currently being sought and the investigation is ongoing. Nebraska State Patrol, Morrill County Sheriff’s Department, and the Scotts Bluff Sheriff’s Department assisted in the response.
Hitchcock County- On Friday, January 26, 2018, at 7:30 A.M., the Hitchcock County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call, reporting a two-vehicle accident located 1.1 miles west of Culbertson, Nebraska, on US Highways 6 & 34. The Sheriff’s Office investigation, indicates that a westbound 2013 Hitchcock County school bus driven by 42-year- old Daniel A. O’Byrne of Culbertson, Nebraska, had slowed for a vehicle that was turning into the Frenchman Valley Cooperative grain transfer station and the school bus was rear ended by a westbound 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. Two juvenile passengers of the school bus of were transported to the Community Hospital in McCook, Nebraska, as a result of their injuries. Other emergency service units assisting the Sheriff’s Office at the scene were; Culbertson Fire and Ambulance.
Grand Island- Grand Island Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that happened Saturday evening.
Police say 59-year-old Christian Peterson died after being stabbed several times at his home. After the stabbing, Peterson sought help from neighbors before collapsing near Jefferson Elementary School about a block away from his home. Neighbors called police, and officers arrived shortly after. No arrests have been made at this time.
The Grand Island Police Department is utilizing all resources in this open investigation. At this time, police continue to apply their resources toward this investigation, and are requesting to speak with friends, family, or associates of Peterson who may have information about persons he was associating with around the time of the homicide.
Anyone with information pertaining to this investigation is urged to contact the Grand Island Police Department. no further information is available at this time, but we will update as new information becomes available.
ALLIANCE, Neb. (AP) — A 41-year-old insurance saleswoman is accused of fraud in the Nebraska Panhandle.
Box Butte County Court records say Mandy Fair is charged with felony counts of insurance fraud and identity theft. The records don't list the name of an attorney who could comment for her. Fair is scheduled to be in court Tuesday.
She's accused of turning in fraudulent insurance applications from Aug. 17 to Oct. 11 last year. Prosecutors say she did so to be paid bonuses and advance commissions.
JULY 3, 2018 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office joint Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU) have arrested one man and seized 11 pounds of heroin during an encounter in Omaha.
CIU Investigators had contact with the suspect at a commercial transportation facility in Omaha, when they become suspicious of criminal activity. A search of the suspect’s suitcase resulted in the discovery of multiple bundles of heroin. Investigators then found additional bundles of heroin strapped to the suspect’s torso.
The total weight of the heroin was 11 pounds, carrying an estimated street value of $250,000.
Christian Molina, 25, of El Paso, Texas, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, and no Drug Tax stamp. He was lodged in Douglas County Jail.
OSHKOSH, Neb. (AP) — A western Nebraska judge has acquitted a school superintendent accused of assaulting an 8-year-old student.
Judge Randin Roland filed a verdict of not guilty last week for Garden County Schools Superintendent Paula Sissel, who'd been charged with misdemeanor assault in Garden County. He'd considered testimony and evidence from a nonjury trial last month in Oshkosh.
A video of the Nov. 13 incident shows Sissel pulling the girl down a hallway before the girl's placed in what was referred to as a "chill out room." It's alleged the girl suffered a rug burn.
Sissel acknowledged pulling the girl, in part to protect a physical therapist who was trying to deal with the girl's outburst. The girl's mother says the girl is possibly autistic and functions at the level of a 3- or 4-year-old.
OSHKOSH, Neb. (AP) — A judge is considering a verdict after the trial of a western Nebraska school superintendent accused of assaulting a student.
On Wednesday Judge Randin Roland heard testimony regarding the misdemeanor assault charge against Garden County Schools Superintendent Paula Sissel.
A prosecutor said Wednesday that Sissel had put her hands on the 8-year-old girl. A video of the Nov. 13 incident shows Sissel pulling the girl down a hallway before the girl's placed in what was referred to as a "chill out room." It's alleged the girl suffered a rug burn on a shoulder.
Sissel acknowledged pulling the girl, in part to protect a physical therapist who was trying to deal with the girl's outburst. The girl's mother says the girl is possibly autistic and functions at the level of a 3- or 4-year-old child.
A ruling is expected within two weeks.
Five McCook Community College softball players have been named to the Omaha World-Herald’s all Nebraska junior college team including sophomore Alexis Moeaki, who was named the team’s honorary captain. Also named to the team were sophomore Taya Thorpe and freshmen Emily Charchuk, Jerusha Miner and Chanel Siebenthal. McCook had a strong offense this spring as it hit .366 as a team and averaged 7.9 runs per game and dominated the all World-Herald team with five of the 14 players. Western Nebraska and Central Community College each had three players, Northeast Junior College had two and Southeast Community College had one. Moeaki, a sophomore from Las Vegas, set a school record with 76 RBIs this spring and hit.468, scored 61 runs, hit 22 doubles and 11 home runs. She finished as McCook’s career leader in batting average (.464), hits (176) and RBIs (142). Joining her in the infield was freshman Emily Charchuk, second base, from Victoria, British Columbia, who hit .439, scored 66 runs and drove in 34 RBIs. Two MCC freshman were named as out-fielders on the World-Herald team. Jerusha Miner, Gunnison Valley, Utah, batted .373 for the Lady Indians, scored 53 runs and led Region IX with 39 stolen bases. Chanel Siebenthal, outfielder from Lakewook, Colo., hit.406, scored 57 runs and stole 17 bases. Sophomore pitcher Taya Thorpe, Malad, Idaho, was one of three pitchers named to the team. She led MCC with a 21-20 record this past season, struck out 200 hitters and had a 5.43 earned-run average.
OMAHA WORLD-HERALD TWO-YEAR COLLEGE TEAM
C: Danica Schaefer, so., Central CC, .488, 39 R, 33 RBIs
1B: Savannah Robertson, so., Northeast CC, .471, 40 RBI, 50 R
2B: Emily Charchuk, fr., McCook CC, .439, 66 R, 34 RBIs
*SS: Alexis Moeaki, so., McCook CC, .468, 11 HRs, 76 RBIs
3B: Michaela Kelly, fr., Western Nebraska, .383, 14 HRs, 53 RBIs
OF: Madi Jackson, so., Western Nebraska, .421, 58 R, 39 RBIs
OF: Jerusha Miner, fr., McCook CC, .373, 53 R, 39 SBs
OF: Chanel Siebenthal, fr., McCook CC, .406, 57 R, 17 SBs
EP: Jessica Lusk, so., Southeast CC, .429, 16 HRs, 56 RBIs
U: Jenna Robinson, so., Central CC, .381, 13 HRs, 55 RBIs
P: Alayna Allen, fr., Northeast CC, 3.64 ERA, .404, 59 RBIs
P: Katelyn Keene, so., Central CC, 12-6, 3.21 ERA
P: Emma McMillan, fr., Western Nebraska, 14-19, 6.10 ERA
P: Taya Thorpe, so., McCook CC, 21-20, 200 Ks, 5.43 ERA
*— denotes honorary captain
Central CC - Shelby Behnk, Mackenzie Eller, Ashten Gibson.
North Platte CC - Emily Marsden, Hallei Morales, Erin Renwick, Ana Talaroc-Kaniho, Kenlee Wanlass.
Northeast - Jade Long, Emily Sherstone.
Southeast - Brooke Brestel, Cassidy Burkhardt, Jasmine Davis, Jenny Eacker, Kelsey Markey.
Western Nebraska - Brooke Doumer, Alyssa Guymon, Gabby Loya, Reagan Solomon.
The 2017 Southwest Conference Volleyball Tournament begins on Saturday, October 21st for the McCook Bison as they travel to Valentine. McCook is seeded 3rd and will take on 6th seed Broken Bow. View the link to see the full bracket.
Republican Plains Activity Conference All-Conference Volleyball 2017-2018
The 2017-18 RPAC All-Conference Boys and Girls Basketball Teams have been announced for the East and West divisions.
Padyn Borders Sr Broken Bow
Hunter Pothoff Sr McCook
Tristian Siemering Sr Cozad
Dillon Geiser Jr Cozad
Elijah Lovin Jr Minden
Kevin Linn Sr Broken Bow
Gage Delimont Jr Ainsworth
Cameron Raffaeli Jr Ogallala
Bennett Folkers Sr Gothenburg
Nate Neil Jr Cozad
Josh Harvey Jr Broken Bow
Clayton Stevens Sr McCook
Kooper Reece Sr Valentine
Josh Denney Jr Minden
AJ Whiting Sr Gothenburg
Adam Kroeger So Ogallala
Gracie Stienike Sr Gothenburg
Janessa Madsen Sr Minden
Sadie Rush Sr Cozad
Kali Staples Fr Broken Bow
Diana Reed Sr Ogallala
Bailey Honn Sr McCook
Jory Lowe Sr Broken Bow
Rylee Rice So Ainsworth
Alex Bauer Jr Minden
MacKenzie Smith Jr McCook
Jaden Bryant Sr McCook
Kennedy Berreckman Sr Cozad
Taylor Williams Jr Ogallala
Chiara Richeson Fr Gothenburg
Liviya Wier Fr McCook
Sheridan Bancroft- Valentine, Claire Steinhauser- Ainsworth, Tory Dehning Ogallala, Emily Arp-McCook, Arleigh Costello-Gothenburg, Hanna Wright-Cozad, Trinity Olson- Minden, Jaden Bryant-McCook, Kennedy Berreckman-Cozad, Bailey Honn-McCook, Jory Lowe Broken Bow, Kate Fox Broken Bow, Sadie Rush-Cozad, Janessa Madsen-Minden, Gracie Stienike-Gothenburg
Franklin wins the Alma Golf Invitational with a team score 366, Southern Valley comes in second with a 368, Loomis third with a 400, Cambridge in fourth place with a 428, Alma finishes fifth with a 432, finishing in sixth place was Bertrand 447, in seventh place was Elm Creek 458, and finishing eighth place was Arapahoe 512. View all the individual scores below.
The McCook Community College baseball team opens the 2018 season Saturday with a roster full of returning position players but a very young pitching staff.
MCC opens play Saturday in Liberal, Kan. against Seward County and Coach Jon Olsen will rely on his team’s experience and solid batting order to lead the team while the pitching staff develops.
The Indians return 10 guys who started games last year. “Technically we can start a player at every position who started at some point last year,” Olsen said.
On the mound, MCC’s 2018 roster has three pitchers with 40 innings of experience between them. The Indians must reload a pitching staff that set a school record for strikeouts in a season, 410. The trio of returners had 32.
“On the mound, we are going to be counting on guys to step up and do well for us as freshmen,” Olsen said. “We have 14 arms, only one who pitched more than 10 innings last year.” The Indians will have six true freshman among the pitchers and with five transfers.
“We have some talented arms in this program but some of them don’t have a ton of experience,” Olsen said.
MCC is coming off a 29-27 season and a 20-16 conference mark, which was fourth best in what has become a highly-competitive Empire Conference that includes Western Nebraska, Northeastern JC, Trinidad State, Lamar, Otero, and Miles. 2017 marked MCC’s first back-to-back playoff appearances since the post-season format changed in 2008. The top four teams in the standings advance to the post-season playoffs.
The coach doesn’t look for falloff from any conference foes.
“I have a ton of respect for the coaches in this conference, they all get things done in different ways but if you don’t show up ready to play in any conference game, you’re going to get beat,” Olsen said.
He pointed out the top five teams in the conference were separated by three games in the standings.
Olsen said in looking at all the teams it’s difficult to say that one team is a clear-cut favorite.
“Every team is a little like us, really strong in one area and some questions in other areas. There isn’t one team with a ton of experience in both pitching and offense. This conference is going to be a wide-open dogfight,” Olsen said.
Sophomore bats will be the key for the Indians to make it a third straight playoff appearance. Last year MCC dropped its first six conference games before the playoff run.
First baseman/outfield Jacob Sanford, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, earned first team Region IX honors last year and catcher Dylan White, Las Vegas, was a second-team all-region selection as a freshman.
The Indian offense has players who produced well as freshmen. Of the eight position players with at least 18 games played, they collectively had 1,030 plate appearances while hitting .297 with 31 homeruns, 150 RBIs, a .386 on-base average and a .469 slugging percentage.
Olsen is expecting even better production from this core-group of sophomores and key offensive contributions from his newcomers but he said with inexperienced pitchers, it will be imperative MCC step up its defense.
“Last year we were bad defensively, but we had high strikeout guys on the mound that shielded our defense.”
The first of 25 scheduled home games is set for Feb. 21 when the Indians take on Colby in a nine-inning 3 p.m. Game. MCC has home doubleheaders scheduled with Hastings JV Feb. 22 and against Northeast CC Feb. 28.
Here is a look at the 2018 Indians by position:
CATCHER: Sophomore Dylan White and freshman Beau Hawley, Greeley, Colo., are expected to see the majority of the action. White hit .348 last season with five homers and 19 RBI. When he was injured during the fall, Hawley was able to step in and get a lot of experience. “Dylan had a good year for us and is a good defender as well, and with the experience Beau got in the fall I’m pretty happy with where we are there,” Olsen said.
FIRST BASE: Jay Sanford will anchor the MCC lineup as the Indians’ top returning hitter batting .345 with 11 homeruns and 39 RBI. The sophomore will play first base and also leftfield, which will allow Jonny Giunta, Milton, Ontario, (who started 14 games last year) time in the lineup.
MIDDLE INFIELD: Four sophomores are expected to fill the lineup this year at second base, shortstop, and third base. Jason Hill, Surrey, B.C., started 44 games last year and batted .313 with a .435 on-base percentage. Mike Sookdeo, Bramton, Ontario, played mostly at DH last year where he hit .237 with seven homeruns and 32 RBI and will likely see time at third base this year. Angel Mojica, Denver, is one of MCC’s most improved players according to Olsen having played 16 games last year with a .194 batting average. Hunter Rynders, Centennial, Colo., can play all infield spots and saw action in 18 games last year batting .300. Of his incoming freshman the coach has tabbed Julio Seperich, Las Vegas, as his best overall defender on the team both in the infield and the outfield. Olsen expects him to see starts at second base, third, shortstop and centerfield. Freshman Jacob Reid, Mississauga, Ontario, is a player who can provide very good offense and Mark Starks, Blair gives the Indians depth and offensive pop off the bench.
OUTFIELD: In addition to Sanford and Seperich, three returning sophomores look to frequent the lineup from the outfield. Tanner Zeggil, Stagner, Ontario, played in 46 games a year ago and batted .310 with a pair of home runs. Chris Bellemere, Grande-Carriere, Quebec, started 17 games and homered three times and drove in 10 with a .203 batting average and .390 slugging. Dalton Barling, Ashland, saw action in 16 games batting .212,
STARTING PITCHING: McCook High School’s Kaden Sitzman emerges as the staff’s most experienced pitcher appearing in 16 games, starting four, and compiling a 3-3 record in 29.1 innings with 25 strikeouts. Other candidates for the starting rotation include: Jacob Lombardelli, Windsor, Colo., Connor McGonigal, Omaha Burke, and high school teammates Jesse Bloom and Ryan Marstiller, Centennial, Colo.
BULLPEN: Sophomore Tyler Cox, Mississauga, emerged as the top relief pitcher during fall camp. He appeared in five games, threw 8.1 innings and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.16 earned run average last season. The other sophomore is David Perez, Las Vegas, who worked in three innings last year over four appearances. Freshmen pitchers with a chance to work their way into key roles include: Shaun Hickey, Summerville, N.B.; Connor Williams, Milton, Ontario; Casey Quagliano, Colby, Kan.; Keyshawn Royal, Tampa; and three Greeley, Colo., pitchers in Spencer Ray, Braydon Peif and Micah Dorsey.
KANSAS CITY, MO – The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced today the matchups for the championship round of the 2018 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. All four games of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO., will be aired live on ESPN networks.
On Monday, November 19, Nebraska will take on Missouri State at 6 pm CT on ESPNU, followed by USC and Texas Tech at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN2. On Tuesday, November 20, the consolation game will tip off at 6 pm CT on ESPN3, followed by the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker championship game at 8:30pm ET on ESPN2.
Tickets for the championship round games at Sprint Center will be available beginning at 10:00am CT on August 4th by visitingwww.halloffameweekend.com,www.axs.com, by phone at 888-929-7849, or in person at Sprint Center Box Office.
The Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker will be the culminating event of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the 13th annual induction ceremony for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland in Kansas City.
---- CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS ----
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Monday, November 19 – 6:00 PM CT
Nebraska vs. Missouri State (ESPNU)
USC vs. Texas Tech (ESPN2)
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo.
Tuesday, November 20 – 6:00 PM CT
Consolation Game (ESPN3)
Championship Game (ESPN2)
Those four schools will serve as the four host round participants for this year’s Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker, with the opening round games of the tournament beginning on November 6th. Each of those teams will play two games on campus, before advancing to the championship rounds in Kansas City. Joining the four host teams in the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker are Mississippi Valley State, Robert Morris, Southeastern Louisiana and Stetson. The complete list of games for the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic Powered by Shot Tracker are as follows:
---- HOST ROUNDS ----
Springfield Regional Rounds
JQH Arena – Springfield, MO
Friday, November 9 – Time TBD
Robert Morris at Missouri State
Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD
Stetson at Missouri State
Lubbock Regional Rounds
United Supermarkets Arena– Lubbock, TX
Friday, November 9 – Time TBD
Mississippi Valley State at Texas Tech
Tuesday, November 13 – Time TBD
Southeastern Louisiana at Texas Tech
Lincoln Regional Rounds
Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, NE
Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD
Mississippi Valley State at Nebraska
Sunday, November 11 – Time TBD
Southeastern Louisiana at Nebraska
Los Angeles Regional Rounds
Galen Center – Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, November 6 – Time TBD
Robert Morris at USC
Wednesday, November 14 – Time TBD
Stetson at USC