Hinze directs West All-Star gridders to big victory: Former Bearcat passes for two TDs, runs for another, kicks field goals in earning pair of honors
     2015-06-18      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Gering’s Alex Closson (No. 72) goes in for the tackle against Trevor Mann (No. 12) and Colt Foster (No. 50) from Hemingford at the All Star Football game Saturday. 
SCOTTSBLUFF — Jackson Hinze has been duly awarded for being one of the most talented and versatile student-athletes over the past four years at Scottsbluff High School.
His leadership on the football field — as well as Student Senate president as a senior, four years as a guard on the Bearcat basketball team, three seasons on the Scottsbluff soccer team and his final year running track – is the stuff of which high school careers are made.

In one final performance in wearing the big red S on his white helmet Saturday night – along with decals from other players’ teams that help give an All-Star game its special character – and playing at Bearcat Stadium, Hinze might just have saved his best high school performance for last.

In the 37th annual West Nebraska All-Star Football Game, Hinze scored all three touchdowns – one on a 56-yard run and two others on scoring passes – and kicked two field goals and an extra point, having a hand or foot in all the West All-Stars’ points in their 25-7 triumph over the East.

Hinze was thus an easy choice for the West’s Most Valuable Player on offense. Before the game began, however, he was also selected by his West teammates as the winner of their Sportsmanship Award.
“Everybody played well and I have to give credit to everybody on our team,” Hinze said in sharing the wealth. “We all just went out there and played our best and as hard as we could. It ended up being a lot of fun.”
Hinze rushed for 107 yards on nine carries, with the majority of his yardage coming on the fourth play from scrimmage when he bolted up the middle for his 56-yard touchdown.
Hinze tacked on the extra-point kick, giving the West a 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game and while spectators were still getting settled into their seats on the warm evening.
Hinze also completed 8 of 12 passes for another 107 yards, including a 12-yarder to Gaige Marshall of Hershey for a second-quarter touchdown that put the West ahead 13-0. Hinze completed 6 of 7 passes on the nine-play drive and ran for another 6 yards.
Hinze, who will kick for Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, knocked in two third-quarter field goals in lifting the West’s lead to 19-0. His 22-yard field goal came with 7:55 left in the period and his 37-yarder, despite being touched at the line, made its way through with 1:58 remaining in the third.

Early in the fourth quarter, Hinze teamed up with Chadron’s Vonsinh Sayaloune on a 22-yard touchdown pass in completing the West’s scoring.
Hinze said the West players, who reported to camp last Tuesday, bonded quickly and well.

“We got to know each other throughout the week just from hanging out at the dorms and through practices and the activities that the All-Star committee presented us with,” Hinze said.
“Going into the game, we wanted to win and we wanted to have fun and just really enjoy our last time playing in a high school game. We were able to go out and play very well, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

The West kept the East shut out until the final nine seconds, when Nicholas Crowley of Elm Creek caught a 12-yard TD pass from Brady’s Trevor Mann. Elm Creek’s Devon Halliwell kicked through the extra point for the final score in the West’s 18-point victory.
Another Scottsbluff graduate, Stetson Anderson, added 16 rushing yards on five carries for the West. Former Bearcat Tristan Donelson also played in the game.
Gering graduate Alex Closson, Morrill grad Matthew Hessler, Bayard alumnus Bryce Hargens, Mitchell graduate Garrett Sterkel were other county-area members of the West’s 32-man roster. District rival Chance Anglin of Sidney also played for the West and is Wesleyan-bound with Hinze.
To have hosses like the 298-pound Closson and the 270-pound Hessler, both bound for Chadron State College, blocking for him helped play a major role in Hinze’s offensive success, he said.
“Closson is a great guy. He’s always willing to put in the work and he’s one of those guys that deserves it – both those guys,” Hinze said of his county teammates for the week. “The guys up front may not always get the credit, but they deserve it.”
Hemingford’s Class D-1 eight-man state championship team was well represented in Colt Foster, Ethan Skinner – who had seven carries for 43 yards – Matthew Wood and Brady Turek. “It was cool to see how they approach the game,” Hinze said of the Bobcat quartet.

“I was hoping Matt Wood was going to go in,” said Hinze, who stayed in at quarterback the entire game. “But our coach (Ryan Smith of Hershey) just left me in. I was a little surprised.
”It was cool, just getting to see how they approach the game,” Hinze said of the Hemingford players, along with Nathan Woodrum of six-man Sioux County. “It was just a lot of fun getting to know everybody and getting to hang out with them.”
Hinze also may play baseball at Nebraska Wesleyan, and playing the two sports even in the same weekend proved a traveling adventure for him and parents Grant and Angie Hinze the past two weeks.

Following Saturday’s All-Star game, Hinze was in uniform for the Westco Twin Cities Zephyrs Senior American Legion baseball team for a Sunday doubleheader in Greeley, Colo.

The week before, the Hinzes were at NWU getting Jackson enrolled on Friday, then they drove nine hours Saturday to Rapid City, S.D., to join up with the Zephyrs for their Sunday doubleheader against The Rapid City Post 320 Stars.
Then last Tuesday, after checking into to All-Star camp at Western Nebraska Community College and participating in Media Day activities and the first West practice, Hinze headed to Gering’s Oregon Trail Park and turned in a big performance in the Zephyrs’ 14-4 win over Gering Platte Valley Companies.

Hinze went 3-for-4 against the Gering Senior 36ers, scoring twice and driving home four runs – including a pair on a fourth-inning triple.
Then it was back to WNCC for the rest of the week of All-Star practice and activities.
“It has been a pretty busy past couple weeks,” Hinze said, “but I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”

And with a crowning achievement in his final game on his home high school field, Hinze said “it was a great experience. I’m just thankful that I got the opportunity to play one more high school game, and to get to play it with the guys on the West team was a fun time.”

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