The 2013 Winter and Spring activities season in review: Another sparkling year for area youth, part 1
     2013-12-23      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Scottsbluff junior Colton Adams defeats Austin Marshall of Kearney at the Scottsbluff Invitational Meet. Adams earned his third State Champioship in 2013. 
The difference between gold and silver medals in state championships can be humongous, especially when statistical records and immortality are concerned. During the winter and spring sports seasons of 2013, more second-place finishes were gained after several state championships were won in 2012.

The area was not shut out from success, though; but all in all, the winter and spring seasons were pretty darn successful for the seven schools that comprise the Gering Citizen’s sports coverage area.

The successes continued into the summer and fall sports seasons, and we will review those next week. First, it’s back to the beginning of 2013 for one last look of what our area athletes can achieve.

Wiebe, Miller lead Seacats’ state splash

Scottsbluff/Gering Seacat senior Jon Wiebe and junior Noah Miller led the swimming and diving team at the state meet in Lincoln.

Wiebe ended his third state meet appearance with a fifth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in a career-best 48.41 seconds and with a sixth-place time in the 50 freestyle of 22.27 seconds. Wiebe had set a Seacats record of 21.88 seconds at the Cheyenne Invitational.

Miller, in just his third year of diving, made good in his second state appearance by finishing in the top 12. Miller placed 10th with 305.55 points, after he scored a career-best 318 points in the Twin Cities meet in January.

Triple state gold for Bearcats wrestler

Colton Adams became Scottsbluff’s second three-time state wrestling champion, leading the Bearcats to a second-place finish at the Class B State Tournament on Feb. 16 in Omaha. Adams won the 132-pound class after taking first at 112 pounds as a freshman and winning at 126 pounds as a sophomore. He joined Tyler Nation, whose third state title came in 2012, and by the end of this season could be Scottsbluff’s first four-time state champ and just the 20th in state history.

Adams, a junior last year, set a Nebraska all-class state record for victories in a season with 53, and he improved that to 56 in the new State Dual Tournament on Feb. 23 in Kearney. He had only one loss on the season, in the prestigious in the Walsh Ironman National Tournament in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in December 2012. He also recorded a Class B record of 41 pins.

The Bearcats’ second-place team finish, sophomore Juan Delacruz finished second at 106 pounds. Sophomore Sabian Harsh was third at 145 pounds, sophomore Joseph Flores-Ybarra took fourth at 120 pounds. Junior Andrew Aratani was a fifth-place finisher in the heavyweight/285-pound class.

Scottsbluff entered the state tournament with five district wrestling champions and won the team title, while Gering had four champs at districts and finished in fourth as a team.

Gering sophomore Baily Hort finished third at 113 pounds in earning the Bulldogs’ lone state medal.

In Class C, Mitchell had three fifth-place finishers. Freshman Drew Gilliland took fifth at 106 pounds, senior Brendan Swanson was fifth at 170 and freshman Brayden Wiedeman was fifth at 182.

Bayard had two medalists in the Class D tournament, with junior Tanner Willey taking fifth at 195 pounds and senior Allen Denton sixth at 160 pounds. The Tigers took 10 qualifiers to state after they had won the district team title.

Also in Class D, Banner County senior David Gifford finished fourth at 220 pounds, and Morrill had a sixth-place finishers in sophomore CJ Sidrow at 103 pounds.

State dual tourney

Bayard and Scottsbluff’s wrestling programs got to top off great finishes to their district-winning seasons by participating in a little bit of Nebraska sports history, the first State Dual Championships at Kearney.

Bayard won its first-round dual but then took two losses to finish fourth in Class D. Scottsbluff lost its first two duals, both by 34-33 scores, before the Bearcats finally beat district rival Alliance in the teams’ third dual meeting, 45-33, for seventh place in Class B.

Scottsbluff had six wrestlers go 3-0 on the day: individual state champions Colton Adams and Keegan Hessler, state runner-up Juan Delacruz, third-place finisher Sabian Harsh and fifth-place medalist Andrew Aratani. Tristan Donelson overcame his non-medalist state performance to go 3-0 in the state dual event.

For Bayard, which had no finalists at the Class D open state tournament, the dual event was a nice way to end a 5-4-1 dual record season. The Tigers had two wrestlers, juniors Rocky Trevino and Tanner Willey, who traded between the 195 and 220-pound weights through the three duals and both came away with 3-0 records.

Bearcats make another run at state basketball title

Very rare is the opportunity for any team to get a chance to defend a state championship. But the Scottsbluff Bearcats, after winning their fourth title in 2012, earned the chance to defend that Class B championship by winning the District B-6 title.

Scottsbluff won its first two games at the state tournament in Lincoln, both in comeback fashion, over Aurora and then over Gretna.

The Bearcats, however, had an 11-point, first-half lead on South Sioux City, which trailed until the final 40 seconds and slipped past the Bearcats 55-53 win. The Cardinals, the 2010 and 2011 state champions, avenged the loss to Scottsbluff in the 2012 championship game.

For Scottsbluff, the loss may have denied the Bearcats a second consecutive state title, but the Bearcats (23-6) still won more games than any team in Class B. And they returned home with Scottsbluff’s seventh tournament finalist trophy, its third runner-up finish to go with its four championships.

The Bearcats made state with a 52-48 victory over McCook in the District B-6 championship game, their third straight district championship and the fourth in Tony Siske’s six years as the Bearcats’ coach.

Scottsbluff football players sign to play at next level

Several colleges and universities reaped some of the outstanding football talent from Scottsbluff that led to the Bearcats’ third straight district championship and a 9-0 regular-season record in 2012 when seven SHS players signed letters of intent to play collegiately.

On National Football Signing Day in February, three Bearcat seniors — Ty Dunkel, Matthew Klein and Randy Wentz — signed with Chadron State College. Jon Maag and Luke Worden committed to the University of South Dakota.

Later in February, Tim Magdaleno signed with Midland University in Fremont. And Taylor Winkler waited until after his basketball run with the Bearcats was completed and signed to play football at Nebraska Wesleyan University in May.

Bulldog athletes make college commitments

Gering had a variety of college signees in the spring, beginning with Brooke Satur’s commitment to play soccer at Western Nebraska Community College.

Zac Bibb followed Satur’s suit and decided to continue his basketball career at WNCC when he signed with the Cougars.

Distance runner Rachel Huffman, the district champion in the 1,600-meter run, made her commitment to the University of Sioux Falls track and field team.

Former Bearcat, Cougar trio go separate ways

Three key members of Scottsbluff’s 2012 Class B state basketball championship team stayed together for their first year collegiately when Zach Clemens, Isaiah Castellaw and Rich Williams played last season at Western Nebraska Community College.

After the Cougars’ season, the former Bearcat trio decided to take their games to different schools, with Clemens and Castellaw moving on to four-year colleges and Williams making a jump across the state line to Eastern Wyoming College.

Clemens, the Bearcats’ leader in two state tournament runs, signed to play at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Castellaw, a force inside for Scottsbluff and on the track in the spring, has transferred to Chadron State College, where he will compete in track and field in hurdles and jumping events.

Williams is listed on EWC’s roster as a red-shirt sophomore for this season.

Gering girls’ soccer team returns to state

The Gering girls’ soccer team was not able to defend its District B-6 championship from 2012, but the Bulldogs’ season was extended with a wild-card berth into the Class B State Tournament at Omaha in May.

After having finished as the district runner-up to Holdrege with a 2-1 loss, Gering still made state on the power points. The Bulldogs’ season was ended, however, by a 2-0 loss to defending state champion Gretna. Gering’s season ended with a strong 13-5 record.

Gering doubles team makes school history with state win

Gering's No. 1 girls' tennis doubles team of junior Savannah Walker and sophomore Samantha Gutherless made history for the school's first-year tennis program by winning the Bulldogs’ first state tennis tournament victory.

Walker and Gutherless beat familiar foes in Alliance juniors Caitlyn Tritle and Jordan Klinkerman, 6-1, 7-5 on Thursday to earn a second-round berth – an achievement none of the Gering boys were able to reach during their first state tournament in October 2012.

But another familiar tandem from McCook knocked out Walker and Gutherless in the second round, and the Bison pair went on to take third place in No. 1 doubles.

Scottsbluff had two first-round victories, each coming in three sets, from three freshmen: No. 1 singles player Zoe Holscher and the No. 2 doubles team of freshmen Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli.

Holscher overcame a 4-6, first-set loss to down Waverly senior Elsa Gavilan-Sjoestrom 6-1 and 6-4 to make the second round.

Cloud and Pauli overcame a 2-6 loss in the first set to down Omaha Brownell-Talbot senior Linda Liu and junior Emily Bergquist 6-0 and 6-3. Cloud and Pauli then lost 6-1, 6-0 to No. 1 seeds and eventual runners-up Morgan Stute and Shayla Conner of Kearney Catholic.

Bearcat boys take 2nd in state track team race

Led by its winning 3,200-meter relay team and a pair of second-place finishes by senior Jon Maag in the shot put and discus, the Scottsbluff boys finished second in the Class B State Track and Field Championships with 55 team points.

The 3,200 relay quartet of seniors Tayler James and Justin Pritchard, sophomore Matthew Barraza and junior Ben Willis-Teff combined for a state-winning time of 7 minutes, 57.373 seconds.

Of those individuals, Barraza had a double-medal performance in the open events by taking fourth in the 3,200 run and fifth in the 1,600. In the open 800 meters, Willis-Teff took fourth and James came in sixth.

Maag scored second place in both the discus and shot put.

In short-distance events, senior Matthew D. Klein was third in the 110 high hurdles and eighth in the 300 Intermediates. Senior Luke Worden, while dealing with a hamstring injury, finished fourth in the 100-meter dash.

Gering had a pair of fifth-place finishes in scoring eight team points, tying Sidney for 26th in the boys’ standings.

Gering’s 1,600 relay of junior Ryan Schwartzkopf, freshman Austin Dolberg, and juniors Dillon DeMott and Aaron Pierce finished fifth. Bulldog senior Zac Bibb was fifth in the high jump.

In the Class B girls’ competition, Scottsbluff freshman Chesney Walker scored a pair of fifth-place finishes in the hurdles and sophomore Taylor Muncie took fourth in the 3,200 run and seventh in the 1,600.

Gering was led by senior Megan Upp with her tie for fourth in the high jump. Gering’s 3,200 relay quartet of freshman Lauren Shaul, senior Dakota Gellner, sophomore Kali Rimington and senior Rachel Huffman placed eighth.

Mitchell junior Taylor Peters took sixth in the girls’ 800 for the Tigers’ three team points.

In the Class C meet, Bayard had the lone area girls’ placers with senior Alanda Kildow a double medalist for the Tigers. Kildow took fifth in the triple jump and eighth in the high jump.

Junior Megan Stuart and freshman Jessi Smith earned one individual medal apiece and another as part of the Tigers’ eighth-place 1,600 relay that included seniors Breanna Korell and Sinahi Garcia. Stuart earned a fifth-place tie in the pole vault, and Smith took second in the 800 meters

Scottsbluff claims 2nd boys’ golf state team title in four years

Scottsbluff senior Michael Hadden won medalist honors and classmate Andrew Holloway finished in third, pacing the Bearcat to their second Class B boys’ golf state team championships in four years.

Hadden and Holloway are the Scottsbluff’s only two individual boys’ state medalists; Holloway won the honor as a freshman in pacing the Bearcats to the 2010 state team title.

With the pair of four-time state qualifiers setting the pace, the Bearcats posted a second-day, four-player score of 314, giving Scottsbluff a 634, two-day total and a nine –stroke team victory at Jackrabbit Run Golf Course in Grand Island.

Hadden, whose first-day 75 led the field by two strokes, shot a second-day 1-over-par 73 for a 4-over winning total of 148 to win medalist honors by three strokes. Holloway, who entered state as the district champion, finished third at state for the second straight year by shooting a total of 152.

Bayard junior Trae Blanco completed the Class C state tournament, at Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, in 18th place after he carded a second-day round of 83 to finish the two days with a 163 total.

Blanco’s state success capped a season for Bayard in which the Tigers had won four of their five regular-season events before they tied for sixth in district play.

Gering Speech Team dominates Class B-6 district, claims second place at state

The Barking Bulldogs made their presence known with first or second place finishers in all events. Tanner Baird was a double first place finisher, winning in both Informative and Entertainment Speaking. Also included in the team’s six first-place finishers is Allison Baird in Serious Prose, Caleb Wyre in Poetry Interpretation, Samuel Eastman in Extemporaneous Speaking, the Oral Interpretation of Drama team consisting of Johnathon Boyd, Megan Brady, Andrew Delcamp, Hayley Grams, and Gavin Hovseth.

The team took runner-up in Class B competition at state in Kearney. Thirteen Barking Bulldogs brought home individual medals in competition. “A lot of hard work and dedication paid off,” said head coach Tyler Thompson.

Gering’s two Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID) teams continued the tradition of state victories, taking first and second place.

The medal winners from the Gering High School Speech Team were Kali Rimington, third in Informative Speaking; Sam Eastman, fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking; Allie Baird, fourth in Serious Prose; Kendall Uhrich, fifth in Serious Prose; John Boyd and Jenna Longmore, fourth in Duet Acting; the team of John Boyd, Hayley Grams, Andrew Delcamp, Gavin Hovseth, and Megan Brady, first in Oral Interpretation of Drama (OID); the team of Caleb Hayden, Caleb Wyre, Kendall Uhrich, and Kaitlyn Kryzyanowski, second in OID.

Across the river, the Scottsbluff High School speech team had medal winners as well. As a team the Growling Cats, placed sixth overall in Class A. Individual medal winners include Mikayla Stephenson and Luke Parsley, fifth place in Duet Acting; Luke Parsley, fourth in Humorous Prose; and Derrick Goss, fifth in Entertainment Speaking.

Gering journalists claim Class B state title

The Nebraska School Activities Association’s State Journalism Championships were held on May 13 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The top-12 places from the preliminary judging, event champions in Classes A1, A2, B, C, and D, and alternates were invited to compete in the State Contest. The one-day championship event is sponsored by the Nebraska School Activities Association, the Nebraska High School Press Association and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In team results, Gering topped Class B with 86 total points. Scottsbluff took second place in Class A2 with 28 points. Local winners included: Katie O’Boyle of Gering in News/Feature Photography; Tanner Baird of Gering in Column Writing; Spencer Lake of Scottsbluff in Editorial Cartooning; Alexa Anderson of Gering in Editorial Writing; Kaela Heinz of Scottsbluff in Headline Writing; Sarah Hall, Rachel Madden and Shalee Roseberry of Scottsbluff for In-Depth Coverage; Sarah Mercer-Smith and Katelyn Myers of Scottsbluff form Newspaper Feature Writing; Kendall Uhrich of Gering for News Writing; Michael Marsh of Gering for Photo Illustration; Holly Grote of Gering for Sports News Coverage; Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski of Gering for Yearbook Layout; Kendall Uhrich of Gering for Yearbook Sports Feature Writing; Lucas Parsley, Allison Stricker and Logan Williams of Scottsbluff for Yearbook Theme Development.

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
791The 2013 Winter and Spring activities season in review: Another sparkling year for area youth, part 1
1381Gering talks possible college league
14015-Mile runners enjoy Oregon Trail
1403All Points West: Thanks to high school coaches
783Scrappy, second-half comebacks put ‘Dogs, ‘Cats into district finals
742Area atheletes compete in Western Conference and Best of the West track meets
711Gering wrestlers compete well in East-West Challenge
728Gering netters strike three of four wins in hot season
1274Baseball league looking to 2017
1153Scottsbluff to lean on returning varsity
1207Scottsbluff tennis stacked with experience
1299Gering tennis boys look for .500+ season
1262Gering sluggers aim for top of Western Conference
1175Survival common sense
864Basketball Hall of Fame Jamboree games feature triangulars in Gering
1218Banner County back in action for 2016
1314Smaller Minatare team looking for larger success
1212Cats’ Poynter continues to shoot the lights out
1056Bearcat golfers win at home
1107Bearcats finish third at McCook
Most Read Sports 2012
3938Mitchell track off to a strong start
3820Morrill baseball back in business
3221Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3006Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2970Gering wrestling builds on experience
2874Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2657Raising the bar high
2636Gering resident lives his dream
2634All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2612Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2593Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2528All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2427Doing the heavy lifting
2410Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2360Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2323Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2309Beam to golf at Midland
2286Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2146Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2098New Bayard coach looks for productive season
Most Read Sports 2011
3938Mitchell track off to a strong start
3820Morrill baseball back in business
3221Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3006Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2970Gering wrestling builds on experience
2874Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2657Raising the bar high
2636Gering resident lives his dream
2634All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2612Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2593Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2528All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2427Doing the heavy lifting
2410Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2360Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2323Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2309Beam to golf at Midland
2286Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2146Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2098New Bayard coach looks for productive season
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on