Twenty-nine Irish champs honored at NE Hall of Fame Banquet Sunday

The Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation honored Falls City Sacred Heart for the Dominant Dynasties Award for 2014 and coaches and players from 29 Irish championship teams (between 1988 and 2011) Sunday at the NSAA Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony held at the Lied Center in Lincoln.

FCSH Principal, Athletic Director and Coach Doug Goltz accepted the award on behalf of the school, made a few remarks and introduced several former Sacred Heart athletes on stage.

Sacred Heart teams to be honored include:

—Football – 1989, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94

—Volleyball – 1997, 2006

—Girls Basketball – 1998, 99, 2000

—Boys Basketball – 1988, 89, 90, 91, 99, 2001, 2004, 2008

—Girls Track – 1998, 99, 2000, 2001

—Boys Track – 90, 91, 93, 04, 98, 2006

FC Sacred Heart’s 2013 boys track and football titles are not included in the “Dynasty” Award, as the nomination and voting process was held prior.

 This year’s other inductees and honorees:


–Wally Anderzunas (Omaha Creighton Prep, 1964): A two-time all-state player, he led Creighton Prep to the state basketball title in 1964, played at Creighton University and for the Cincinnati Royals of the NBA.

–Cory Eikmeier (Dodge, 1997): State record-setting running back rushed for 8,330 yards and scored 156 touchdowns in his prep career. Went on to play at UNO.

–Gerry Ferguson (Scottsbluff, 1947): A four-sport standout, he was All-Big Ten in football and basketball, leading the Bearcats to the mythical state football title in 1945. Also a state long jump champion, he earned three letters playing football for the Cornhuskers.

–Dennis Harrison (Ralston, 1990): He was a two-time state high school all-around champion in gymnastics and the 1994 NCAA all-around champion leading the Huskers to the national title.

–Cedric Hunter (Omaha South, 1983): A four-year letterman and 1,000-point scorer for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team, he averaged more than 23 points per game his junior and senior seasons.

–Peaches (James) Keaton (Papillion-LaVista, 1999): The ace pitcher on four straight Monarch state championship teams, she set numerous state records, including throwing 11 no-hitters, five perfect games and a .04 ERA in 1999. An All-American for the Huskers, she pitched professionally for four years.

–Kristie (Korth) Brezenski (Columbus Scotus, 1998): A standout on three volleyball and three basketball state championship teams, she set assist records while leading the Shamrocks to the state soccer championship in 1998 and became a four-time conference offensive player of the year for the College of St. Mary soccer team.

–Jerry Murtaugh (Omaha North, 1967): An undefeated state high school wrestling champion and an All-American linebacker at Nebraska, he set tackle records for the national champion Cornhuskers in 1970. Signed by the New England Patriots, his professional career never took off because of knee injuries.

–Gary Neibauer (Scottsbluff, 1963): All-state in football and basketball and a state champion hurdler, he pitched and ran track for the Cornhuskers then went on to play professional baseball for the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.

–Larry Riessland (Pleasanton, 1967): He scored a national-record nine touchdowns in a single football game and finished with 80 his career. He also scored 400 or more points in his junior and senior basketball seasons and twice placed at the state track meet in the 880.


–Kelly Flynn (South Sioux City): He coached South Sioux City to 11 state championships and 508 victories in 27 years.

–John Larsen (Lincoln SE): As a basketball coach, he won 560 games in 31 seasons and won nine state championships. He was an assistant coach for eight Southeast state championships and head coach for four years.

–Roger Mathiesen (Kearney High): Architect of Kearney High’s track dynasty that has the nation’s all-time regular-season winning streak of 21 years. His Bearcats have won 15 state championships and finished second three times since 1994.

–John Petersen (Columbus Scotus): His 41-year coaching career includes 863 volleyball victories and 353 basketball victories as well as 15 state volleyball championships and three state basketball titles.


–Dick Beechner (Kearney): The current Hall of Fame Board of Directors president and a past executive director, he has been an athlete, coach and administrator and an organizer of state high school cross country and golf meets.

–Chuck Stevens (Lincoln): The voice of Lincoln high school sports for 30 years while working at KFOR radio, he often would broadcast more than 100 games in a year.


–Roger Berney (Fremont): A registered wrestling official for 32 years, he worked 20 state tournaments as well as the NAIA National Championships of 1980. He also officiated volleyball for 25 years and football for 15 years.


Great Moment in High School Sports – Twins Darren and Damon Schmadeke of Boone Central led their team to the 1991 Class C state track championship with a 1-2 finish in the 200.

Gustafson Inspiration Award – Josh Jones, Omaha Central’s career leader in scoring, saw his basketball career at Creighton end because of a heart ailment.

Fischer Family Award – Bill and Delores Kropp Family from Aurora includes successful college athletes in several sports as well as successful coaches. Son Tom played in the NBA and granddaughter Jenny is a professional beach volleyball player.

Silver Anniversary Team – Elkhorn football (1989), Class B state champions went 13-0 and outscored foes an average of 33.5-7.7.

Silver Anniversary Team — Hastings St. Cecilia volleyball (1989), Class C2 state champions, went 27-0, while opponents averaged less than five points per set.

Golden Anniversary Team – Columbus football (1964), went 10-0, outscoring opponents 318-87 and chosen as the state champion by the Omaha W-H.

Golden Anniversary Team — Cozad Wrestling (1965), won Class B state title for the third straight year with five individual champions.

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