Meet the finalists for the 2021 World-Herald high school boys and girls athlete of the year awards.
LINCOLN — Sammie Resh Gdowski was especially thankful to enter the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.
“Because my husband can’t hold that over my head anymore,’’ said the former Nebraska track All-American from Shelton who’s married to ex-Husker quarterback and 2000 Hall of Fame honoree Gerry Gdowski Jr.
Some laugh-inducing tidbits came out during the acceptance speeches given Sunday before an audience of 600 at Lincoln East’s auditorium.
Former Omaha Creighton Prep basketball standout Curtis Marshall thanked his teammates for their support. “It allowed me to take all those shots. Because I like shooting.”
He had a good zinger, too, for his Prep coach, Brother Mike Wilmot.
“I like to tell people that’s where my cursing began,’’ Marshall said. “I learned a lot of curse words from him. Bro was a connoisseur of those.”
Retired World-Herald prep sportswriter Larry Porter said he always wanted the job once he heard that Gregg McBride, who created the job, often would be greeted by high school bands at train stations when he arrived.
“I thought, ‘Man, that’s the perfect job,' " Porter said.
Then there was Porter’s trip to Hyannis when ESPN was there to report on future Husker football captain Terry Connealy.
“The woman who did the piece on Connealy was a former Miss America,’’ Porter said, then paused for effect. “I really enjoyed covering that story.”
State girls high jump record-holder Meredy Porter Smith from Bellevue West shared why she enjoyed the state track meet. The grassy horseshoe north end of Burke Stadium was a place to hang out, catch some rays and check out the crowd.
“Because I got to jump in the morning, I could just enjoy the whole rest of the afternoon. Sitting on the grassy hill,’’ she said. “You know what I’m talking about, the grassy hill.”
The induction class of 20 consisted of athletes Elizabeth (Bahensky) Schott, Bruce Chubick Jr., Molly Hill, Dani (Busboom) Kelly, Bob Mackie, Kurt Mann, Curtis Marshall, Rhonda (McCormick) Perlinger, Zach Potter, Dennis Thorell, Smith and Gdowski; coaches Tim Aylward, Bruce Chubick Sr., Terry Graver, Bob Hoyer and Doug Woodard; contributors Steve Johnsen and Porter; and official Tim Higgins.
The Nebraska 100: Our greatest athletes
No. 100, Jeff Kinney
After his days as a three-sport standout at McCook, Jeff Kinney came to Nebraska in 1968 to play quarterback. But two other QBs also joined the Huskers that season. So Kinney moved to flanker and eventually I-back, and that's where he flourished over the next three seasons.
No. 99, Charles Bryant
Decorated college and high school football and wrestling star. High school teacher, coach and administrator. But Charles Bryant was foremost a pioneer. Bryant, an all-state athlete at Omaha South before graduating in 1950, became the first black football player of the modern era at Nebraska in 1952.
No. 98, George Flippin
George Flippin was once described by Lincoln Star sports editor Cy Sherman as a "charged bull, into which was bred the tenacity of the bulldog, the ferocity of the tiger and the gameness of the man who knows no fear." He was Nebraska's first black athlete, in 1891, before black athletes were banned by the university from 1917 until the late 1940s.
No. 97, Paul Tierney
Former Broken Bow cowboy Paul Tierney has won arguably the two most prestigious titles in rodeo. He finished his 10-year professional career by topping $1 million in career earnings, and his 2008 induction into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame makes him the most accomplished cowboy from Nebraska.
No. 96, Curt Tomasevicz
Shelby, Nebraska, is one of the flattest towns in one of the flattest states in America. The elevation difference between the highest and lowest points is 7 feet. It is literally a town without a hill, one of the last places you’d expect to produce an Olympic gold medalist in bobsled. But that didn't stop Tomasevicz.
No. 95, John "Choppy" Rhodes
Rhodes did it all. The Ansley native held three state high school track records at the same time (vault, long jump, high jump); was player-coach of Ansley’s first football team in 1920, which went undefeated that season; helped Ansley win a pair of state basketball titles; and played baseball. After graduating from high school in 1922, Rhodes went on to earn eight varsity letters at Nebraska — three in football and track, and two in baseball.
No. 94, Christina Houghtelling
After a stellar three-sport high school career at Cambridge, Houghtelling surprised many by signing to play volleyball instead of basketball at NU.
Even though basketball had been her first love, she’s never regretted the decision.
No. 93, Barrett Ruud
Ruud is Nebraska’s all-time leading tackler with 432 stops. As a senior captain in 2004, he was a third-third All-American, a first-team All-Big 12 performer and NU’s defensive MVP. He was selected in the second round of the NFL draft. Ruud played eight NFL seasons, leading Tampa Bay in tackles for four of those.
No. 92, Kerry Trotter
Trotter starred at Omaha Creighton Prep, where he was a two-time all-state selection, and was Nebraska's first — and only — player named to the McDonald's High School All-American team.
No. 91, Scott Usher
Grand Island coach Doug Whitman once noted that swimmer Scott Usher was "one to watch." As it turned out, the entire country had the chance to watch Usher. Usher finished seventh in the 200 breaststroke in the 2004 Olympics and in 2008 fell just short of returning for a second Olympics.
No. 90, Ron Kellogg
Ron Kellogg is considered one of the best pure shooters in Nebraska prep history. The Omaha Northwest grad wasn't bad in college, either, according to then-Kansas coach Larry Brown.
No. 89 Ken Geddes
Skinny 14-year-old Geddes left his father, eight brothers and eight sisters in Jacksonville, Florida, and arrived at Boys Town in 1962. Geddes had played football just once before arriving but took such a beating in a sandlot game against older players that he didn’t plan to play again. But Boys Town coach Skip Palrang spotted him and talked him into giving it a try. He eventually thrived and helped the Cowboys win a state title.
No. 88, Todd Brown
The 1978 Holdrege graduate turned down multiple scholarship offers from other schools, including a football and track package from Iowa State, to walk on with the Nebraska football team. The 150-pound walk-on became an integral part of the Husker offense. The three-year starter ranked in the top 10 in receptions and yards by the time he left in 1982.
No. 87, Andre Woolridge
While a career in the NBA never materialized for the Omaha Benson and Iowa graduate, Woolridge played overseas for 13 years. Leagues in Turkey, France, Germany, Venezuela, Israel and Cyprus. And the money was good. "To do what I loved professionally for 13 years, I can't complain about it," he said in 2013.
No. 86, Louise Pound
Louise Pound, in so many fields, was the trailblazer for women's athletics in the state. And this while becoming a preeminent educator in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English department over a half-century. In 1890, Pound won the Lincoln city tennis championship. She captured the university's men's singles and doubles titles in 1891 and 1892 — the only female in school history to receive a men's varsity letter.
No. 85, Peaches (James) Keaton
The best softball teams used to hail only from the West Coast. Keaton changed that. The former Papillion-La Vista and Nebraska star put Nebraska softball on the map with her dominating presence and performances in the pitcher's circle.
No. 84, Danny Noonan
Once the last player to survive the cut on Nebraska's recruiting board, Noonan ultimately became a household Husker name. He earned first-team All-America honors and was named the Big Eight athlete of the year as a senior. His 12 sacks that season are tied for third in school history, and his 24 career sacks are tied for fourth.
No. 83, John Parrella
John Parrella was Nebraska raised, the pride of Grand Island. NU defensive coordinator Charlie McBride once ranked him among the top three defensive tackles he had ever coached.
No. 82, Johnny Hopp
One press clipping described Hopp, a first baseman and outfielder, as "a dynamo who, perhaps more than anyone else, typifies the dashing, hell-for-leather play” of the St. Louis Cardinals. Hopp's 14-year career spanned five teams and as many World Series appearances, including back-to-back World Series victories with the Yankees. In all, he won four World Series and was an All-Star in 1946, when he hit .333 and drove in 48 runs for the Boston Braves.
No. 81, Gary Anderson
Born in Holdrege in 1939 and raised near Axtell, Anderson began his quest at an early age and eventually built a makeshift shooting range as a high school senior at Axtell. After attending Nebraska for one year, Anderson joined the U.S. Army so he could pursue his Olympic dream.
No. 80, Fred Hare
Hare picked Nebraska from a slew of offers after starting for four years for Omaha Tech, where he averaged 26.4 points a game as a senior in 1963. Tech won the Class A title that year after going 22-2 and cruising through the state tournament by an average of 21 points a game. That team was voted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame and recently was chosen as having one of the best starting fives in Nebraska high school sports history.
No. 79, Tom Osborne
Osborne remains just one of two men to win The World-Herald’s high school (1955) and state college (1959) athlete of the year awards. In high school, Osborne was all-state in football and basketball in 1954-55 and helped Hastings win a state title on the hardwood. In track, he won the discus at the state meet and placed second in the 440-yard dash. The future coach and congressman also stood out on the baseball diamond and had a pro football career.
No. 78, Dave Hoppen
Hoppen turned down a Kentucky scholarship offer. He also said no to Notre Dame, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. And yes to Nebraska. Between 1982 and 1986, the 6-foot-11 center became NU’s all-time leading scorer, and he did it with clinical efficiency.
No. 79, Brad Vering
The only native Nebraskan to win a national wrestling championship at NU, Vering took his success to the international level, representing the U.S. in a pair of Olympics, claiming a world silver medal and winning gold at a Pan Am Games.
No. 76, Angee Henry
As a junior, Henry won golds for Bellevue West in the 200, 400 and long jump. Henry went on to set a national age-group record in the long jump and was part of the USA Junior World Team in 1995. At Nebraska, Henry won the NCAA indoor and outdoor long jump titles in 1996. All told, Henry was a three-time Big 12 champion and a 10-time All-American.
No. 75, Nancy Kindig-Malone
Kindig-Malone won gold medals at state in the long jump, hurdles and relays, but it wasn’t until she started getting scholarship offers from UCLA, Iowa and NU that she realized she might be good. Later, she won Big Eight heptathlon and pentathlon titles at Nebraska, becoming an All-American and helping the Huskers win their first indoor national championship in 1982. Kindig-Malone also won a Class C state basketball title with Hastings St. Cecilia in 1977.
No. 74, George Sauer
Sauer and Bernie Masterson — No. 43 on the Nebraska 100 — paired together in the backfield to usher in one of the first great runs for Husker football. The two led Nebraska to Big Six championships in 1931, ’32 and ’33, when the Huskers went undefeated in league play. Sauer was an All-American in 1933 for the second-ranked Huskers. He also lettered in track, baseball and wrestling.
No. 73, Teri (Steer) Cantwell
Cantwell, from Crete, won four straight Class B shot put and discus titles, including three consecutive all-class gold medals in the shot. She was a two-time NCAA shot put champion at SMU and was the 2002 U.S. indoor and outdoor champion as well as a 1999 world indoor bronze medalist. Cantwell also competed in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
No. 72, Joe Orduna
Orduna lettered at running back for the Huskers in 1967, ’68 and ’70, running for 1,968 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Omaha Central graduate also played three NFL seasons.
No. 71, Charles Brock
A two-way football player even during his professional career with Green Bay, Charles Brock helped revolutionize the linebacker position in the pros while helping the Packers win two NFL championships. The Columbus native was recalled as a fierce competitor by the late Lee Remmel, a team historian who covered the Packers for nearly 30 years.
No. 70, Kelly Lindsey
Lindsey, a Millard North graduate, was a standout defender for Notre Dame, the U.S. national team and San Jose of the WUSA, in which she played three seasons.
No. 69, Cory Schlesinger
The image of Cory Schlesinger barreling into the end zone for the winning touchdown in the 1995 Orange Bowl burns brightly in the memories of Nebraska football fans. Schlesinger did some barreling in his day, but prided himself on being a bruiser. That trait served him well, especially in his 12 years with the Detroit Lions.
No. 68, Alice Schmidt
Schmidt represented the U.S. in the 2008 Olympics in the 800. Four years later, she returned to run the 800 and 1,500. The Olympic appearances are accompanied by plenty of other honors: a 2006 U.S. indoor 800 championship; a pair of U.S. outdoor silvers in the 800 (2006, 2008); and while with the North Carolina Tar Heels, two outdoor 800 titles and a distance-medley relay championship.
No. 67, Les Mann
Mann was a jack of all trades, but a master of all of them, too. “Les did everything well. He was tops at football, basketball, track and baseball. He would have been equally great in other sports,” said Mann’s close friend, Scott Dye, in a newspaper account following Mann’s 1962 death in a car accident.
No. 66, Dan Brand
Dan Brand’s path to an Olympic wrestling medal was anything but typical. He competed in football, basketball and track at Bellevue High, but never was all-conference. He made the Nebraska freshman team in basketball, but after being cut, he signed up for the intramural wrestling tournament. He won and went on to compete in the Olympics.
No. 65, Carl Vinciquerra
Vinciquerra played football at Tech High and Creighton University, but is better remembered for making the 1936 U.S. Olympic boxing team. A natural heavyweight, he won a national Golden Gloves championship that year as a 175-pounder. He had a pro record of 42 wins (26 by knockout), four losses and five draws from 1937 through 1941, fighting over 20 times in 1937.
No. 64, Verne Lewellen
The résumé almost seems too much to comprehend. Four-sport star at Lincoln High. Nebraska football great. Pittsburgh Pirates baseball signee. Four-time football All-Pro with the Green Bay Packers.
No. 63, Bob Hohn
At Beatrice, Hohn was a four-time state hurdles champion, a state basketball champion and an all-state football player. As a senior in 1960, he was the Nebraska high school athlete of the year.
No. 62, Howard Debus
Lincoln High football went 23-1-1 during Debus' three seasons on the varsity squad. Debus also played basketball and was all-state in American Legion baseball. But his best sport was track and field, where at state he single-handedly nearly doubled the point total of the second-place team.
No. 61 Val Skinner
Skinner won two high school state golf titles, two junior state championships and the 1980 state match-play crown. She went to Oklahoma State, where she was a two-time Big Eight champion and was named Golf Magazine’s 1982 college player of the year. On the LPGA Tour, Skinner won events in 1985, ’86, ’87, ’93, ’94 and ’95 before leaving in 2003.
No. 60, Danny Woodhead
Woohead rushed for the second-most yards (7,962) in the history of college football in all divisions and won the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II’s version of the Heisman) twice. He finished his NFL career with 2,238 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing, along with 2,698 yards and 17 touchdowns receiving.
No. 59, Zach Wiegert
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle was a model of consistency. The three-time all-conference pick flattened plenty of defensive players, with an incredible one sack allowed in 46 career games with the Huskers. As a senior, he captained Tom Osborne's first national title team.
No. 58, Larry Station
A 2009 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, the former Iowa and Omaha Central great was a two-time All-America linebacker, three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and an NFL draft pick. At Omaha Central, he was twice named to the All-Nebraska team.
No. 57, Phil Cahoy
At Nebraska, Cahoy — an Omaha South grad — earned four NCAA national championships — two on the horizontal bar and two on the parallel bars. He made the 1980 U.S. Olympic team.
No. 56, Tom Rathman
As a senior in 1985, Rathman produced the best season ever by a Husker fullback. He ran for 881 yards, a position record by 164 yards. He went on to win two Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers in a nine-year NFL career. In 1989, he led NFC running backs with 73 catches, and he capped the season with two touchdowns in a Super Bowl victory over Denver.
No. 55, Les Witte
A left-hander with a nearly unstoppable fadeaway hook, Witte, a Lincoln High grad, became a three-time All-American (1932-34) at Wyoming. He was the first collegian to score more than 1,000 points in a career (1,069), earning him the nickname "One Grand Witte."
No. 54, Gregg Olson
Losing was something Olson never dealt with at Omaha Northwest, going 27-0 with a 0.76 ERA, 276 strikeouts, seven no-hitters — including four in the state playoffs and one in the state championship game — and four state titles before playing at Auburn and being drafted fourth overall in the 1988 MLB draft.
No. 53, Joe Stecher
Stecher won the world wrestling championship on July 5, 1915, in Omaha, beating Charlie Cutler in two falls at Rourke Park in front of 15,000 fans. Stecher wore a championship belt studded with 308 diamonds. He became a celebrity across Nebraska. In 1920, he reportedly earned a winner’s purse of $40,000 — four times what Babe Ruth earned the year before.
No. 52, Charles "Deacon" Jones
As a senior, Jones earned all-state honors in football as a halfback and then as a point guard, helping Boys Town win the Class A state basketball championship. But where he really excelled was track. He was the state champion in the mile run, became an All-American at Iowa and was a two-time Olympian.
No. 51, Carol (Moseke) Frost
The first woman from Nebraska to make the U.S. Olympic team, Frost competed in the discus at the 1968 Mexico City Games. In June 2015, at the age of 70, Frost set one world (javelin) and two American records (shot put, discus) for the 70-74 age group. She already owned two USA Track and Field age group records in the discus — 60-64 and 65-69.
No. 50, Randy Rasmussen
A native of St. Paul, Nebraska, Randy Rasmussen was part of one of the great upsets in Super Bowl history when he blocked for Joe Namath in the 1969 win over Baltimore. He was selected in the 12th round of the draft by the Jets. He stayed for 15 seasons and 207 games, including 144 in a row.
No. 49, Karen Dahlgren Schonewise
Schonewise had been a three-sport star at Bertrand High School, earning All-Nebraska honors in volleyball and basketball while winning state titles in the 100-meter low hurdles in 1981 and 1982. She helped Nebraska reach its first national title game in 1986 and won the Honda-Broderick Award, the Heisman Trophy of volleyball, in 1987.
No. 48, Scott Frost
Scott Frost — a Parade All-American in football and a state champion shot-putter in track at Wood River — battled through criticism to lead the Huskers to the 1997 national title. He became the first NU quarterback to accumulate more than 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 passing yards in the same season.
No. 47, Dean Steinkuhler
Nicknamed "The Burr Oak" after his hometown, Steinkuhler rode a strong work ethic when he enrolled at Nebraska in 1979 as a freshman. In practices, he prided himself on finishing first in running drills. The effort paid off. Steinkuhler was a starter at guard for Husker teams that were never ranked lower than eighth in his junior or senior years. In his final season, he became one of only 13 players to win both the Lombardi and Outland — the most prestigious awards given to college lineman — and his No. 71 jersey became one of only 17 to ever be retired at Nebraska.
No. 46, Bobby Reynolds
Reynolds garnered All-America honors as he scored 22 touchdowns in the 1950 season and added enough extra points to score 157 points. He finished second in the country with 1,342 yards rushing in just nine games, had eight straight 100-yard games and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
No. 45, Steve Hokuf
Hokuf was twice All-Nebraska in football and basketball and state pentathlon champion at Crete High; three-time all-conference in football at Nebraska; two-time All-Big Six in basketball for the Huskers and a charter member of the school’s basketball hall of fame; the 1933 Big Six javelin champion while scoring in three events; played three years in the NFL with the Boston Redskins. Not to mention his versatility for the Husker football team.
No. 44, Roland Locke
Roland "Gip" Locke was called the "greatest of all time" by his coach, Henry Schulte — and for good reason. Locke held world records in the 100 and 220 (20.5 seconds on May 1, 1926). He went on to become the NCAA outdoor champion in both the 100 (9.9) and the 220 (20.9) in 1926. He captained the NU track team in 1925 and '26, and lettered in football and baseball.
No. 43, Bernie Masterson
Masterson helped lead the Huskers to 23 wins and a tie in 28 games under coach Dana X. Bible, never losing a home game as a Husker quarterback. Elected into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1977, Masterson was also a swimming and track star at Lincoln High and in college.
No. 42, Glenn Presnell
Presnell was a three-year letter winner at halfback for Nebraska, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 1926 and 1927. As a senior in 1927, he led the nation in total yards. The two-time All-Pro, who was 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds in his playing days, played halfback, quarterback, safety and kicker in the NFL. Presnell led the league in scoring in 1933 for the Portsmouth Spartans — the forerunners of the Lions.
No. 41, Guy Chamberlin
Born near Blue Springs, Nebraska, he had no opportunity to play high school football. But he quickly caught on to the sport when he went to college at Nebraska Wesleyan. He then transferred to Nebraska, where he played mostly halfback his junior year — scoring on runs of 90, 85, 70 and 58 yards — before moving to end as a senior.
No. 40, Jordan Hooper
Hooper was All-Nebraska in basketball three times for Alliance High School. She was one of the best players in Nebraska basketball history, finishing first-team All-Big Ten three times, winning Big Ten Player of the Year in 2014 and finishing second at NU in career points and rebounds.
No. 39, Julie Vollertsen
In 1976, Vollertsen led Palmyra to its first state tournament, earning all-state honors. After helping the Americans win bronze at the 1982 world championships, Vollertsen was part of a breakthrough for Team USA. The women won silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Games — the first Olympic medal in volleyball for the U.S.
No. 38, Jay Novacek
The 1981 Gothenburg High graduate was named to five Pro Bowls and finished his professional career with 422 receptions, 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns. But what stands out most in a diverse athletic career that also included All-America football and track and field honors at the University of Wyoming? “My highlight was my senior year of high school football at Gothenburg,” Novacek said.
No. 37, Bobby Williams
Forget for a moment that he amassed 3,094 all-purpose yards as a four-year starting halfback for NAIA power Central Oklahoma or that he led the NFL in average yards per kickoff return for Detroit in 1969. It’s the winning time by Williams in a now legendary 100-yard dash that still raises eyebrows — nine-and-a-half seconds.
No. 36, Roger Sayers
After winning gold medals at state for Omaha Central in the 100- and 220-yard dashes in 1958, Sayers went to Omaha University to compete in track and football. On the track, he won NAIA championships in the 100 in 1962 and the 100 and 200 in ’63. His 100 time of 10.2 in ’62 was tied for second best in the world, and his 200 time of 21.0 was tied for fifth. He beat future Olympic gold medalist “Bullet” Bob Hayes twice in the 100 during ’62.
No. 35, Terence 'Bud' Crawford
Projected for greatness by the older fighters at the C.W. Boxing Club as a youth, Terence “Bud” Crawford lived up to lofty expectations by becoming a top-ranked amateur and then Omaha’s first world champion. His accomplishments and stardom have continued to skyrocket since these rankings were released in 2015.
No. 34, Kent McCloughan
The World-Herald’s 1961 high school athlete of the year helped new Husker coach Bob Devaney turn things around in Lincoln. Then, in McCloughan’s third pro season with Oakland, the Raiders went to Super Bowl II.
No. 33, Alex Gordon
Gordon started making a name for himself while in high school. He batted .483, had 25 homers and drove in 112 for Lincoln Southeast while twice being named the Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year. During his junior year with the Huskers, he swept the collegiate baseball awards for player of the year and was an ESPY Award finalist for best male college athlete. He was then drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the second overall pick.
No. 32, Bob Cerv
Bob Cerv wasn’t just Nebraska’s first baseball All-American. He was also square in the middle of one of Major League Baseball’s most famous summers. As a senior at NU, Cerv led the nation with an .878 slugging percentage while batting .444. He signed with the Yankees before being traded to Kansas City, where he had his breakout season in 1958.
No. 31, Maurtice Ivy
The Omaha Central and University of Nebraska star was long the standard to which top in-state players were compared. She held the Class A career scoring record of 1,926 points for 31 years. Ivy was WNBA-ready before the women’s pro basketball league ever existed. “I would have impacted that league, if it had come 10 years before,” she said in 2005.
No. 29, Mel Harder
He moved into the Cleveland Indians' starting rotation in 1930 and was a mainstay for 15 seasons, leading the American League in ERA at 2.95 in 1933. He also was a solid fielder and led the AL in putouts four times. After 20-win seasons in 1934 and 1935, Harder faced shoulder and elbow injuries for much of the rest of his playing career. He still won another 126 games while pitching through 1947.
No. 28, Nile Kinnick
Many forecast a sterling political career for the halfback who spurned professional football for law school after his graduation from Iowa in 1939. The Hawkeyes' Heisman winner sadly never got a chance to fulfill those aspirations after being killed when his World War II fighter plane crashed into the Caribbean Sea during a training flight in 1943. The stadium at Iowa was renamed in his honor in 1972, and in 2007, the school unveiled a statue of Kinnick near the stadium's main entrance. The stadium at Omaha Northwest is also named after Kinnick.
No. 27, Dave Rimington
Dave Rimington redefined the center position at Nebraska, winning two Outland Trophies and a Lombardi Award before launching a seven-year NFL career. All on one good knee.
No. 26, Ron Boone
With the help of a late growth spurt, Boone blossomed and eventually became a four-time All-Star in the American Basketball Association. He ranks third on the ABA career scoring list with 12,153 points, but he's probably best known for his remarkable ABA-NBA record of 1,041 consecutive games, playing through injuries as severe as separated shoulders.
No. 25, Pat Fischer
Following a decorated career at Nebraska, Fischer was taken by the Cardinals in the 17th round of the 1961 NFL draft. He played seven years in St. Louis before signing with the Washington Redskins. Being so small in stature (historically listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds), Fischer seemed to be the guy NFL quarterbacks could pick on. Seventeen seasons later, he had made his mark, being named All-Pro three times and playing in more games (213) than any other NFL cornerback in history.
Nebraska 100: No. 24, Johnny Goodman
Tiger couldn't do it. Neither could Jack, Arnie, Phil or Jordan Spieth. Goodman remains the last amateur to win the U.S. Open. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Goodman's accomplishments.
No. 23, Tom Novak
The award that "best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds in the manner of Nebraska All-America center Tom Novak" is presented annually at the Outland Trophy Award dinner. Novak's fearless and relentless style made him a four-time all-conference pick (All-Big Six honors as a fullback-center in 1946 and ’47 before moving to center, where he was a All-Big Seven honoree in ’48 and ’49), a feat neither accomplished before nor after by a Husker football player.
No. 22, Mick Tingelhoff
Tingelhoff, from Lexington, lettered for Nebraska from 1959 to '61. After going undrafted and signing as a free agent, he started 17 straight seasons at center for the Minnesota Vikings, snapping to quarterback Fran Tarkenton and helping Minnesota win 10 Central Division titles and reach the Super Bowl four times. The Vikings lost all four, but Tingelhoff was All-Pro seven times.
No. 21, Ed Weir
At Nebraska, teammates had such respect for Weir's ability that he was named a captain upon joining the varsity football team as a sophomore in 1923. In his second game — and the first at Memorial Stadium — he never left the field in a 24-0 win over Oklahoma. Weir was among the first class inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, and Sports Illustrated picked him for its greatest players of the first half of the 20th century.
No. 20, Gilbert Dodds
Dodds lowered the world record in the indoor mile run twice in 1944 — first at Madison Square Garden, then one week later at Chicago Stadium. He never lost a race at Falls City High School and was named the 1943 winner of the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete.
No. 19, Lloyd Cardwell
Lloyd Cardwell may have the best nickname in the Nebraska 100. "Wild Hoss of the Plains," courtesy of then-World-Herald sports editor Frederick Ware.
The running back from Seward helped lead Nebraska to Big Six football titles in 1935 and 1936. Scoring 120 points in 24 games during his three-year career, he also played defensive back. In high school, he was twice an All-Nebraska football pick; was second team in basketball; and won three pentathlon and hurdles titles and two long jump crowns at the state meet.
No. 18, Erick Strickland
Strickland, a three-sport star at Bellevue West, is the only male athlete to earn All-Nebraska honors in three sports (football, basketball and baseball). In the end, he went with basketball. After a nine-year NBA career, Strickland is glad he followed his heart. He had 3,780 points, 1,317 rebounds, 1,203 assists and 422 steals in 501 games.
No. 17, Marlin Briscoe
When the president calls you a "trailblazer" in person, you know you've done something special. The Omaha South and Omaha University standout was the first black starting quarterback in modern pro football history. He threw for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 308 and three scores that season, his only one as an NFL quarterback. He switched positions the following year with the Buffalo Bills and, in 1970, became an All-Pro as a receiver after racking up 1,036 yards and eight touchdown catches.
No. 16, Allison Weston
Weston was a standout in basketball and soccer before graduating from Papillion-La Vista in 1992. But as a volleyball player at Nebraska, she quickly developed into one of the most versatile talents in the country. She was the first recipient of the Morgan trophy, which goes to the nation's top player. She also was voted captain of the U.S. Olympic team that played in the 2000 Sydney Games.
No. 15, Mike McGee
By the time he was finished at Omaha North, the explosive McGee owned 10 Metro scoring records, including an average of 38.1 points per game, and was named the World-Herald high school athlete of the year in 1977. He went to Michigan, where he is second on the Wolverines' all-time scoring list. He took his shooter's touch to the NBA when he was picked by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 1981 draft. He would play five seasons with the "Showtime" Lakers.
No. 14, Sam Crawford
Crawford's 19-year career eventually led to his membership in Cooperstown — one of six native Nebraskans in the Baseball Hall of Fame. His best season was in 107, when he ranked second in the American League in batting average (.323), doubles (34) and triples (17), scored a league-high 102 runs and led the Tigers to the first of three straight losing World Series appearances.
No. 13, Ike Mahoney
He dominated local headlines throughout the Roaring '20s, first at Omaha Commerce, then at Creighton University and in professional sports. Mahoney played three years for the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL. George Halas signed him to play pro basketball for his Chicago Bruins. The Pittsburgh Pirates also signed him, although he never made it past the minors.
No. 12, Dazzy Vance
The premier strikeout pitcher of the 1920s with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Vance led the National League in strikeouts for seven consecutive seasons from 1922 through 1928. In 1924, when he received the NL's MVP award, Vance had more strikeouts than the second- and third-place pitchers combined. That year, he achieved the pitchers' Triple Crown — leading the league in wins (28), ERA (2.16) and strikeouts (262) — while throwing 30 complete games.
No. 11, Jim Hartung
Hartung was a good diver and wrestler, but in junior high, he told his dad that he would concentrate on gymnastics. By the time he reached high school, he was a star. The 5-foot-5 Hartung led Omaha South to four consecutive state titles, winning 18 gold medals and earning The World-Herald's high school athlete of the year award in 1978. He helped the Huskers win their first national gymnastics title — the first of five in a row — as a freshman. Hartung set NCAA records for individual event championships (seven) and gold medals (11, counting his seven event titles and four team titles).
No. 10, Jordan Larson
She ended her high school career with a pocketful of state records and was
PrepVolleyball.com’s No. 2 national recruit in 2004, the highest ranking ever for a Nebraska native. As a Husker, Larson was a three-time All-American and led NU to three Final Fours while making her mark in some of the most memorable matches in Husker history. Larson's post-college accolades surpassed even her Nebraska exploits.
No. 9, Tom Kropp
Kropp contributed to six state team championships in three sports at Aurora, threw a no-hitter in the state junior Legion baseball tournament, won the shot put at state with a toss of 56 feet, 6 3/4 inches and once heaved the discus 182-10. He once had 41 points at halftime of a high school basketball game and averaged 33 points and 23 rebounds his senior year. He rushed for 1,015 yards his senior season in football. He scored 1,884 points for the Antelopes in basketball. In 2015, the 62-year-old Kropp — the longtime basketball coach at the University of Nebraska at Kearney — announced his retirement after 25 years.
No. 8, Ahman Green
The do-everything running back/linebacker/punter starred at Omaha Central and Nebraska, then spent eight seasons in the NFL, most notably as a four-time Pro Bowler with the Green Bay Packers. Green is the storied franchise's all-time leading rusher with 8,322 yards.
No. 7, Richie Ashburn
Each year, the Philadelphia Phillies, who retired Ashburn's No. 1 jersey, present the Richie Ashburn Special Achievement Award to "a member of the organization who has demonstrated loyalty, dedication and passion for the game." Ashburn had a 15-year major league career, playing for the Phillies, the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. In 1963, he began a 35-year career on the Phillies broadcast team.
No. 6, Lloyd Hahn
Seven world records and two Olympic Games in middle-distance running were a pretty good way for things to turn out for a guy who started as a sprinter. He has seven world records, including in the 800 at the 1928 Olympic Trials and the 3,520-yard relay as part of the United States' team in 1926.
No. 5, Johnny Rodgers
Rodgers first attracted attention as a four-sport athlete at Omaha Tech, earning All-Nebraska honors in football and excelling in baseball, track and basketball. He moved on to Nebraska, where he contributed heavily to national championship teams in 1970 and '71, and won the 1972 Heisman. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000 and was named the best Nebraska player of the 20th century.
No. 4, Bob Boozer
Boozer averaged more than 19 points and 10 rebounds during his final three seasons at Kansas State, helping the Wildcats go 62-15 during his playing career. In his senior season, Boozer averaged a then-school-record 25.6 points and was named a first-team All-American for the second time. He was the No. 1 pick of the 1959 NBA draft, but he postponed his professional career in order to remain eligible for the 1960 Olympics, where he averaged 6.8 points in eight games and helped the U.S. win by an average of 42 points en route to a gold medal.
No. 3, Grover Cleveland Alexander
Alexander was a heavyweight for the old-school crowd. He was 373-208 from 1911 through 1930. Only Cy Young and Walter Johnson earned more wins, and Alexander is second all time with 90 shutouts. He went 28-13 in his rookie year. The once-mediocre Phillies were in the World Series (losing to the Red Sox) by 1915, Alexander’s first of three straight 30-win seasons. In 1915, he had an ERA of 1.22, the best in the majors until Bob Gibson’s 1.12 mark of 1968.
No. 2, Gale Sayers
Despite a professional playing career cut short by injury at age 27, Sayers remains one of the most revered athletes from Nebraska. At Omaha Central, he was a star in both football and track. He became the first player in FBS history to score a 99-yard touchdown run from scrimmage — against Nebraska in 1963. By the time he retired, Sayers had 9,435 combined yards — 4,956 rushing — and scored 336 points. At age 34, in 1977, he became the youngest player to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. He also entered the College Football Hall of Fame the same year.
No. 1, Bob Gibson
In 1968, Gibson led the domination by pitchers at a level unseen since the early 1900s. The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander went 22-9 with 13 shutouts and the lowest ERA (1.12) since 1914. "For that entire year," Gibson said, "I felt baseballwise that I could do whatever I wanted." Because of that, baseball lowered the mound from 15 inches to 10, the first major change in baseball's playing dimensions since the 1920s.