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Monday, February 25 th : Cheyenne County KS (St. Francis) St. Francis Emergency Building, 125 W Hwy 36

Tuesday, February 26 th : Thomas County (Colby) Community Building downstairs, 285 E 5 th Street
Monday, March 4 th : Greeley County (Tribune) Tribune Fire Department, Ingalls and W Greeley Avenue
Tuesday, March 5 th : Graham County (Hill City) Frontier Stage, 321 Main Street
Thursday March 7 th : Hitchcock County (Culbertson) Culbertson Fire Station, Warsaw and Taylor
Monday, March 11 th : Decatur County (Oberlin) Golden Age Center, 105 W Maple Street
Tuesday, March 12 th : Sherman County (Goodland) Wolak Building, 1006 Center Street
Wednesday, March 13 th : Cheyenne County CO (Kit Carson) Kit Carson Volunteer Fire Department, 306 W 287/Hwy 40
Thursday, March 14 th : Dundy County (Benkelman) EMS Building, 1305 A Street
Friday, March 15 th : Wallace County (Sharon Springs) Wallace County Fairgrounds CAB Building
Monday, March 18 th : Kit Carson County (Burlington) Burlington Ambulance Building, 1576 Lowell Avenue
Tuesday, March 19 th : Yuma County (Wray) Wray Fire Hall, 145 Main Street
Wednesday, March 20 th : Red Willow County (McCook) Heritage Senior Center, 1312 W 5 th Street
Thursday, March 21 st : Wichita County (Leoti) Leoti Fire House, 301 N 4 th Street
Monday, March 25 th : Gove County (Grainfield) Gove County 4-H Building, 757 W 3 rd Street
Tuesday, March 26 th : Sheridan County (Hoxie) Bowen Scott House, 1041 Sheridan Avenue
Thursday, March 28 th : Logan County (Oakley) Logan County Courthouse downstairs, 710 W 2 nd Street
Tuesday, April 2 nd : Rawlins County (Atwood) Prairie Development Center, 208 S 4 th Street
Wednesday, April 3 rd : Norton County (Norton) Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, 14935 US Hwy 36


On March 5, 2019 Deputies were sent to mile marker 197 (just east of Brady, NE.) on U.S. Highway 30. It was reported two vehicles had struck each other and there were injuries to both drivers. Deputies arrived and met with the drivers of the vehicles.

The investigation showed a black GMC Denali was eastbound on Highway 30 in its proper lane. A white Mitsubishi Mirage was westbound on Highway 30 and crossed the center line and struck the GMC Denali. The driver of the GMC was injured but refused medical treatment.

The driver of the Mitsubishi suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Great Plains Health. He was identified as thirty-one year old Joshua Baker of North Platte. Deputies believed Mr. Baker was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the accident. Deputies found suspected THC Wax in the vehicle and other items. Mr. Baker did not have a license or insurance at the time of the accident. Criminal charges are pending Mr. Bakers release from the hospital and laboratory testing. The investigation continues.

JUNE 21, 2019 (BRIDGEPORT, NEB.)  — The Morrill County Sheriff’s is able to release additional details regarding the crash that claimed the life of Nebraska State Trooper Jerry L. Smith, #373, on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

At approximately, 7:36 a.m., the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office received several 911 calls in reference to a three-vehicle crash west of Bridgeport on Highway 26, near mile marker 59. The 911 calls indicated that one of the vehicles involved was that of a Nebraska State Trooper. Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene at 7:39 a.m. MDT.

The crash occurred when a 2002 Dodge Ram, driven by MaryJo Decora, 60, of Bridgeport, was stopped on the highway waiting to make a left turn into the Oregon Trail Memorial Cemetery. Decora’s vehicle was struck from behind by a 2005 Mazda Tribute, driven by Derek Lacrete, 28, of Lewellen. Lacrete’s vehicle hit the back, driver’s side of Decora’s vehicle, causing Lacrete’s vehicle to veer into the oncoming lane, colliding head-on with a Nebraska State Patrol 2016 Dodge Charger, driven by Trooper Jerry Smith, 51, of Scottsbluff.

Trooper Smith was pronounced deceased on the scene. Lacrete was ejected from his vehicle during the crash and was also pronounced deceased on the scene.

The Morrill County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Morrill County ALS, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming State Patrol, and fire departments from Bridgeport, Bayard, and Broadwater all responded to the scene.

The crash is still under investigation by the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office with reconstruction assistance from the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office.

Funeral services for Trooper Smith are pending. Details will be released when appropriate.


CURTIS, Neb. – Ron Rosati, dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis, plans to retire Aug. 5 from NCTA. Rosati was tapped as head administrator for the University of Nebraska’s sole two-year institution in July 2013.


Before completing his University of Nebraska service at year-end, Rosati will serve as senior advisor for the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) in Kigali, Rwanda. Opening in September, RICA is an English language institution dedicated to educating and inspiring a new generation of innovators in agriculture in Rwanda.


“Under Ron Rosati’s leadership, NCTA truly reached new heights in providing academic and financial access to higher education, as well as career preparation in the ag and veterinary technology industries,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president for agriculture and natural resources, and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


“I want to thank Ron for his exemplary service and dedication over the past six years and wish him the best as he transitions into retirement.”


Kelly Bruns, director at NU’s West Central Research and Extension Center based in North Platte, has been named NCTA interim dean, while continuing to serve in his WCREC role. Bruns will lead NCTA campus administration with associate dean Jennifer McConville.


“It has been a privilege for me to serve NCTA as dean,” Rosati said. “The college is an exceptional place to work due to its small size, focus on agriculture and veterinary technology, and its emphasis on experiential learning.”


Rosati is a native of New York and has earned degrees in agricultural education and agronomy. He earned his doctorate from Iowa State, masters and bachelor’s from Cornell University, and associate degree from SUNY Farmingdale. Prior to moving to Nebraska, Rosati served in administrative capacities as provost at Southeast Missouri State University, provost at Alfred State College, State University of New York, and was a dean at Texas A&M University, Kingsville.


Rosati taught agricultural engineering technology and aquaculture for 19 years at Texas A&M University–Kingsville, Illinois State University, The Ohio State University – Agricultural Technical Institute, and Iowa State University.


Rosati led strategic initiatives at NCTA including a 28.5% enrollment growth from 2013-2018, increased fiscal strength from deficit to fiscal health, and added academic programs in agricultural welding, equine industry management, a general agriculture online degree certificate, and partnerships in dairy and poultry management.


“NCTA has been recognized nationally for the quality of its academic programs and the success of its graduates. It’s been very rewarding for me to work with the faculty and staff who are responsible for those successes,” Rosati said.


Other administrative progress at NCTA the past six years included developing new procedures and policies for advising, admissions, registration, student payment procedures, student transfers, academic catalogs, student and employee handbooks, and Title IX and ADA compliance.


Increased appropriations by the Nebraska Legislature enabled significant campus progress in programs, student resources, and pay equity for faculty. New initiatives in public relations and recruiting, federal approval for enrolling international students, and reaccreditation were further benchmarks.


Bruns, who holds a doctorate in animal science, has served as director of WCREC since Nov. 2015. Jerry Volesky, longtime range and forage specialist, will serve as interim associate director at WCREC.


A national search will be launched to identify a new permanent dean of NCTA.

MARCH 4, 2019 (NORTH PLATTE, NEB.)— Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol
(NSP) conducted alcohol inspections in Dawson County during the evening hours of Friday,
March 1.
The project was supported in whole or part by grant #93.959 under the SAMHSA Center for
Substance Abuse Prevention, Region II Human Services, and the Nebraska DHHS Division of
Behavioral Health.

In total, 15 businesses were inspected. Three businesses sold alcohol to a minor for a non-
compliance rate of 20 percent. All of the businesses checked the minor’s ID.

The businesses which failed the inspections were:
Bella Italia – Cozad (checked ID, sold to minor)
El Paraiso – Cozad (checked ID, sold to minor)
Casey’s General Store #2068 – Lexington (checked ID, sold to minor)
The inspections were conducted at liquor stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and bars.
Businesses that sell alcohol to a minor are referred to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.
Clerks who sell alcohol to a minor are cited for procuring alcohol for a minor.
NSP and other law enforcement agencies conduct these inspections in an effort to keep alcohol
out of the hands of minors.


American Legion

On 03/03/2019 Officers responded to a call of lewd and lascivious conduct in the stairwell of the apartments located at 19 W19th Street. Upon arrival officers made contact with individuals at that location. During the contact a male later identified as Jesse Smith pushed the door shut and would not allow officers into the apartment complex. At this point Smith began making threats to law enforcement and officers began to evacuate occupants from the building. Officers from Gering Police Department, Scottsbluff County Sheriff’s department and the Nebraska State Patrol arrived on scene to assist. Smith then retreated from the stairwell into his apartment and would not comply with Officers commands to exit the apartment. After the apartments had been evacuated a decision to enter Smiths apartment was made. Officers entered the apartment and Smith was taken into custody without further incident. Smith was transported to the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center where he was charged with Terroristic Threats and Obstructing a police office


Sheriff Kapperman advises that on October 28 th , 2018 at approximately 1:30 p.m theFurnas County Sheriff’s Office received a report of terroristic threats at 720 7 th Street,Beaver City, Nebraska. The reporting party stated that Mark Hutchens, 56, of BeaverCity, Nebraska had fired a b.b gun at her and threatened to burn her house down. Anarrest warrant was filed for Mr. Hutchens for Third degree assault in a menacing manner

and terroristic threats, along with a search warrant for the b.b gun.The arrest warrant and search warrant were granted by Furnas County Court and signed. Entry was made into the residence of Mark and Jennifer Hutchens, 38, of Beaver City,Nebraska. During the execution of the search warrant for the b.b gun, methamphetamineand drug paraphernalia was located along with a shotgun. A second search warrant was obtained to search the residence for drugs, drug paraphernalia and other weapons. Mr. Hutchens is a felon and is prohibited from owning firearms. Additional items of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, marijuana and multiple firearms and knives were located in the residence. Jennifer Hutchens was arrested for one count of possession of a control substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mark Hutchens was arrested for the
arrest warrant and the additional charges of possession of a control substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.Both Mr. and Mrs. Hutchens appeared in the Furnas County Court and were arraigned on all charges on Monday, October 29 th , 2018, they are due back for preliminary hearing on Monday, November 05 th , 2018. Mr. Hutchens bond was set at $30,000 subject to 10% and Mrs. Hutchens bond was set at $5,000 subject to 10%. At the time of this press release Mrs. Hutchens has bonded out of jail and Mr. Hutchens remains in custody.

On May 22 2019, the FBI along with the Hall County Sheriff's Office, Grand Island Police Department, Hastings Police Department, and Nebraska State Patrol, responded to a rural area near Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highway 281 regarding the sighting of two wanted fugitives from the state of Kansas.

Dustin Eugene Bilbrey, age 36, and Rebecca Sue Humphrey, age 33, are wanted on state arrest warrants for aggravated robbery, vehicle burglary, arson, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, criminal damage to property, and theft charges out of Saline County, Kansas. They were last seen during the early morning hours of May 23, 2019 travelling in a silver Ford explorer.

Bilbrey is described as a white male, approximately 6'3" tall, and 199 pounds. Humphrey is described as a white female, approximately 5'5" tall, and 150 pounds.  

These individuals are considered armed and dangerous. If you have information on the whereabouts of these individuals or see these individuals, do not approach and call 911, local law enforcement, or your local FBI office immediately.

North Platte, Ne - This morning (3/21/19) at 7:32am, North Platte officers responded to the 100 block of West Leota reference a reported death. The officer located the deceased male, who had been found on the ground in an enclosed area where the trash cans of a nearby business are stored (not IN the trash cans). The death is not considered suspicious and appears to be natural causes. The release of the male's name is pending notification of next of kin.  


   TYLER, Texas – The Western Nebraska Community College softball team showed they can compete against top 10 ranked teams but in the end the No. 3-ranked Tyler Junior College Apaches claimed a doubleheader from the Cougars Wednesday in Tyler, Texas.

                WNCC outhit Tyler in the first game 10-8 but fell 6-3 for the final score. The second game saw the Cougars drop a 7-3 contest to the Apaches.

                The game was a meeting between former WNCC head coach Maria Winn-Ratliff, who is now the head coach at Tyler, and her former players Katelyn Groves, Cougar head coach, and assistant coaches Courtney Medina and Kelsey Bernhardt.

                Last year when they two teams played, Tyler earned 8-2 and 10-0 wins. This year the games were much closer.

                Cougars hung with Tyler in the first game. WNCC and Tyler were tied at one after WNCC scored a single run in the second inning on Michaela Kelly single that scored Hannah Baesler.

                Tyler scored two in the third and a run each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth for their six runs.

                WNCC added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Baesler singled home Lindsey Allie in the fifth, while Emma Glawson singled home Kelly after the sophomore led off the inning with a double.

                WNCC had three players finish with multiple hits. Kelly led the way with a 3-for-3 game with a double. Glawson and Allie each had two hits in the contest.

                Mickie Mills suffered the loss in the circle, going the distance in scattering eight hits, six runs and striking out two. 

                The second game saw Tyler jump out to a 7-0 lead with a single run in the first and three runs each in the third and sixth inning.

                WNCC avoided the shutout with a big seventh inning. Abriana Ramirez and Bri George started the seventh with back-to-back singles. Glawson followed with a full-count home run to center field for a 3-run shot.

                Tyler outhit WNCC 8-5. Glawson led the Cougars at the plate with two hits, including a home run. The freshman from Canada had three RBIs in the game.

                Emma McMillan took the loss in the circle, going 5 2/3 innings in scattering eight hits and striking out five Tyler batters.

                WNCC will wrap up the Spring Break trip Thursday when they take on Navarro College.


Game 1

WNCC                   010 011 0 – 3 10 2

Tyler                      102 111 x – 6 8 0

LP – Mickie Mills.

2B – Michaela Kelly.


Game 2

WNCC                   000 000 3 – 3 5 1

Tyler                      103 003 x – 7 8 0

LP – Emma McMillan.

HR – Emma Glawson.

SCOTTSBLUFF – Western Nebraska never trailed, but the game for the Region IX south sub-region title was tied at 71 with 3:23 left before the Cougars hit a couple critical 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds of the game on the way to an 82-76 win.

North Platte falls to 23-4, and 9-3 in the south standings and will take on McCook Community College (11-18) Saturday at home in a play-in game.

Western Nebraska rode an early 17-3 run to mount a 21-point lead at 37-16 and led at the half, 50-32.

North Platte fought back and went on an 11-0 run to tie the game for the first time with 3:23 left in the game.

Freshman Tim Johnson (Arlington, Texas) led the Knights with 23 points. Courtney Murrell (Plano, Texas) scored 16 points and sophomore Jakub Karwowski (Warsaw, Poland) scored 10 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds.

After shooting 32 percent from the field in the first half, the Knights shot it at a 45.9 percent in the second half and 40.3 percent for the game. NPCC was six for 17 (35.3 percent) from the 3-point line and 20 of 23 from the foul line (87 percent).

Western shot 50.8 percent from the field for the game, made 12 of 32 shots from distance (37.5 percent) and eight of 16 from the free throw line (50 percent). The Cougars out-rebounded North Platte 39-34.

Sophomore Jervay Green led Western Nebraska with 26 points. Dru Kuxhausen scored 23 including a 3-pointer with 90 seconds left in the game to put the Cougars up 76-71. Martin Roub, scored 17 points including a 3-pointer with 55 seconds to give Western a 79-73 lead.

The Cougars (23-7 on the year and 10-2 in the south sub-region) clinches an automatic bid to the Region IX tournament at Sheridan, Wyo. March 7-9.

 The Western Nebraska Community College men’s basketball team brought the Region IX South title back home to Cougar Palace Tuesday night.

                The Cougars earned the title with a hard fought win over North Platte Community College 82-76 in a game that saw WNCC lead from start to finish and saw sophomore Bryce Sanchious hit four clutch free throws down the stretch lift the Cougars to the sub-region win and giving them a bye into next week’s Region IX tournament March 7-9 in Sheridan, Wyoming.

                The win moves the Cougars to 23-7 overall but more importantly they sent the six sophomores – Jervay Green, Dru Kxhausen, Bryce Sanchious, Martin Roub, Henry Tanksley, and Marquis White – off to regionals in a win in the six’s final game at Cougar Palace.

                Green, who finished with a double-double of 26 points and 14 assists, said there is plenty of emotion right now realizing that they played their final game in front of a packed Cougar Palace, coming away with a win.

                “It is a bunch of emotions going on right now,” Green said after he helped the team win the South sub-region title and also playing his last game in Cougar Palace. “It is happy and sad. I am sad that I will miss playing here, but I am going on to bigger and better things now.”

                It was a win that the Cougars led from start to finish. There was just one tie, at 71-71 with four minutes to play.

                “That [North Platte never taking the lead] was good on our part because we were doing what we were supposed to being doing on defense,” Green said. “We just need to continue to do that.”

                Overall, Green will take the win because it was a good team effort to bring the sub-region title back to WNCC.

                “I think we played great. We came out very strong. Everything was there. The energy and the crowd was there. Everything was pumping. Everybody was going all crazy,” he said. “They made a little comeback in the second half, but it was all good. We came back and pulled it out.”

                WNCC started the game strong, bolting to a 10-2 lead on back-to-back treys by Kuxhausen and led 31-13 after a Roub bucket. The Cougars kept playing tough, leading 50-30 on a Green 3-pointer before taking a 50-34 lead into the lockerroom.

                North Platte outscored WNCC 44-32 in the second half and started to mount a comeback. WNCC led by double digits 71-60 before North Platte went on a 11-0 run to knot the score at 71-71 on a 3-pointer.

                The Cougars retook the lead on a Green bucket and then Kuxhausen hit a big 3-pointer with 1:35 to play to lead 76-71. North Platte nailed two free throws, but Roub came back with a trey and then Sanchious hit four free throws for the win.

                “That [different people hitting big shots] is real big,” Green said. “Most teams we play, they think it is just me or Marty or Dru on the team but that is not the case. It is our whole team. We have a lot of basketball players that can get to the bucket or play defense.”

                WNCC shot 51 percent for the game and were 12 of 32 from the 3-point field. The first half was the major reason for the win as WNCC shot 61 percent and buried nine treys.

                North Platte fortunes turned around from the first to the second. The Knights shot 32 percent I the first half and buried 2 of 7 treys. The second half, the Knights were 46 percent from the field and made four treys.

                WNCC made six more 3-pointers than North Platte, but the Knights were solid from the charity stripe, making 20 of 23 while WNCC was just 8 of 16.

                WNCC won the rebound battle 29-25 and dished off 30 assists. Roub led the Cougars from the glass with 11 followed by Sanchious with eight and Green with seven. Green had 14 assists with Kuxhausen finishing with eight.

                WNCC had three in double figures. After Green’s 26, Kuxhausen tallied 23 with seven 3-pointers. Roub had 17 points to go with his 11 boards.

                North Platte was led by Tim Johnson with 23 points.

                WNCC will now be in action March 7 at the Region IX tournament in Sheridan, Wyoming. The 3-day event will determine who will qualify for the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Cougars are seeking to repeat as champs and Green said the week off will help the team get healed up and ready to go.

                “This win feels great right now,” Green said. “We got a win with the teammates and now we get this week off and let the team rebuild their strength. Everyone is beat up so this week will be well-deserved.”

                The complete final eight teams at the regional tournament won’t be decided until after Saturday’s first round. For Green and his teammates, they just have to continue taking care of business.

                “We are just going to take it game by game,” Green said. “Hopefully we come away with a tournament win and then on to Hutch. Nothing will be easy. We have been struggling the whole year, but we are ready for the challenge.”


North Platte (22-4)          32 44 – 76

WNCC (23-7)                      50 32 – 82


Courtney Murrell 16, Liva Turtyshnik 9, Tim Johnson 23, Luke Christen 3, Da’May Jones 9, Edgars Kaufmanis 6, Jakub Karwowski 10.

Dru Kuxhausen 23, Bryce Sanchious 6, Elie Cadet 8, Henry Tanksley 2, Jervay Green 26, Martin Roub 17.

 Merle Wiehl connected for 28 points and the 21st-ranked Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team rolled to 95-43 win over Sheridan College in the quarterfinals of the Region IX tournament at Cougar Palace Thursday evening.

                WNCC, who moved to 27-3, will face Eastern Wyoming College in the semifinals Friday night at 7 p.m. The Lancers escaped with a thrilling 86-85 win over McCook Community College.

                The other semifinal will pit Northeastern Junior College and Casper College together at 5 p.m. NJC earned a 72-61 win over Laramie County Community College while Casper had no trouble in earning a 75-49 win over Otero Junior College.

                WNCC head coach Chad Gibney thought this win was one of the team’s most complete wins.

                “It certainly was a good one tonight. I thought we played a complete game,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the girls. They were really good tonight and hopefully we can continue that going forward.”

                WNCC led from start to finish in the contest and jumped on the Generals by making three straight 3-pointers, two from Taylor Joplin and one from Wiehl for an 11-0 lead. WNCC led 25-9 after one quarter.

                “I thought we jumped on them early,” Gibney said. “We did a great job of sharing the basketball. Everything looks better when the ball goes through the basket. Sixteen made threes is always a recipe for a win. But mix that with holding them to 26 percent shooting. We were really good in about every aspect.”

                WNCC led 48-22 at halftime and really never looked back. In fact, the Cougars’ defense played just as strong in the second half, holding the Generals to 21 points. WNCC scored 47 in the final 20 minutes.

                WNCC shot 48 percent from the field and buried 16 3-pointers. The Cougars hit 10 treys in the first half, half from Wiehl. WNCC also dished off 23 assists, led by seven from Tishara Morehouse and four each from R’Manie Pulling and Joplin.

                Sheridan shot just 26 percent from the field and made just 2 of 21 treys.

                WNCC had four in double figures. Wiehl led all scorers with 28 points with six 3-pointers on 10 of 13 shooting. Joplin and Morehouse each had 15 points. Both players also buried three treys. Allysah Boothe tallied 14 points with two treys.

                Eva Langton and Yuliyana Valcheva each had seven points. Valcheva led the team with nine boards, while Langton led with five steals.

                Sheridan was paced by Lani Taliauli with 15 points.

                WNCC will battle EWC for a spot in the semifinals on Friday. Gibney said it will be a good game.

                “They have really guard play and they play with a lot of confidence and they play free,” he said. “We will have to play a good game. At this time of the year you can’t afford to have an off night.


Sheridan              9 13 13 8 -- 43   

WNCC (27-3)      25 23 23 24 -- 95


Darcy Walker 2, Aloma Solvi 9, Noora Parttimaa 3, Tala Tuisavura 2, Cynthia Green 6, Kassie Hoyer 4, Misini Fifita 2, Lani Taliauli 15.


Tishara Morehouse 15, Merle Wiehl 28, Allysah Boothe 14, Anyssia Gibbs 5, R’Manie Pulling 4, Eva Langton 7, Yuliyana Valcheva 7, Taylor Joplin 15.


McCook Community College graduate Jake Sanford was drafted by the New York Yankees in the third round Tuesday of the MLB draft, just one year after taking his last at bats for the Indians.

The 21-year-old former MCC walk-on from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was the 105th player taken in this year’s draft. After graduating from MCC in May of 2018 he transferred to Western Kentucky where he led all NCAA Division 1 hitters with an .805 slugging percentage and was second in the country with 178 total bases. His 22 homers ranked sixth in the NCAA.

This year for the Hilltoppers, Sanford was named the 2019 Conference USA Player of the year as well as being named newcomer of the year by winning the conference triple crown batting .398 with 22 homeruns and 66 RBIs. He is one of 24 Division I players named to be a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist, a trophy considered to be college baseball’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. (The winner will be unveiled on June 14.)

Sanford’s success at the Division I level comes as no surprise to his former coach at MCC.

“We are extremely happy for Jake,” said MCC Coach Jon Olsen. “I knew watching Jake over his two years at McCook, he had a chance for some big things, when you combine his natural physical ability, his work ethic, and his power as a left handed bat, he had a chance to be special,” Olsen said.

Olsen said he had multiple pro scouts contact him trying to gather as much information on Jake prior to the MLB draft. Sanford said in the month or so leading up to this week’s MLB draft he met with more than 25 teams, with scouts talking with him and administering eye exams and brain tests.

“It’s been a little bit crazy,” he told the Chronicle-Herald in Halifax.

Sanford, didn’t draw any scouting or recruiting interest as a high schooler. His only university offer was to play volleyball at Dalhousie. He paid his own way to MCC hoping to make the team as a walk-on in the fall of 2016, earned a scholarship for his second semester, and as a freshman hit .358 with 13 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, and 39 RBIs. After his sophomore year at MCC, Sanford was named to the 2018 first team all-Region IX team. He led the Indians with .374 batting average, a .450 on-base average and slugged .700, the all-time best for any MCC hitter. His 12 home runs tied for the Region IX lead and he drove in 55 runs in 54 games – the fourth most RBIs in the region.

“I really enjoyed Jake during his time here as both a person and player, and I can tell you his best days as a player are still ahead of him,” Olsen said. “It will be fun to watch him progress, and want to wish him the best of luck moving forward,”

Western Kentucky (in its 100th season of baseball) went 16-13-1 and qualified for the Conference USA tournament for the first time since joining the league prior to the 2015 season. The fourth-seeded Hilltoppers went 1-2 in the eight-team, double-elimination championship in Biloxi, Miss.

If Sanford doesn’t sign a contract with the Yankees he could re-enter the draft next year and return to WKU for his senior year, but Olsen said that doesn’t seem likely. If Sanford signs he will likely end up playing in a rookie level short-season this summer.

Pro scouts and his former MCC coaches, teachers and teammates weren’t the only ones following Jake’s slugging exploits this year in Bowling Green.

“Larry Walker called me the other day,” Sanford said in a recent interview. The former all-star for the Montreal Expos and Colorado Rockies was – like Sanford – a former hockey goalie-turned left-handed slugging outfielder.

“He said all Canadians stay together and that he was rooting for me.”

Sanford received his associate’s degree at MCC in Sports Marketing and continued with that his junior year at Western Kentucky.

Release from McCook AD Darin Nichols 

To the McCook Board of Education
Mr. Jeremy Yilk has stepped down as the Boys Basketball Coach at McCook High School.  Jeremy has been considering this for the past two seasons.  The grind of raising a family, teaching, and the time and pressures of being a head coach at the varsity level had been wearing on him. 

Jeremy informed the team today by stating “Coaching basketball was always a dream of mine.  I feel so fortunate to have been the head coach for the past seven years, and part of the varsity program for 14 years, to some amazing young men.  I have been thinking about this for a while now. While coaching will always be a part of me, I am looking forward to focusing my time and energy into other avenues of life.” 

He also stated that he, “want to thank all of those who have supported the basketball program—parents, community members, administration, and school staff, and especially those I have been fortunate enough to coach with and against through the years.”  

After considering this for many days the administration felt that it was in the best interest of the boys basketball program moving forward to allow Mr. Yilk to step down.  This is a situation that was somewhat new to us, maybe even unique, 
McCook High School will begin its search for the next Head Boys Basketball Coach immediately.  McCook Public Schools currently has an opening for high school English.

Game 1 - Kearney 8, WESTCO 1 
Game 2 - Kearney 9, WESTCO 1 

Game 1 - WESTCO 13, Seward 5 
Game 2 - Beatrice 4, WESTCO 1 

Mt Michael 2, WESTCO 1 

Next action Thursday hosting Buckley at Cleveland Field. First pitch at 8pm. 

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