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Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

HAYES CENTER CARDINALS

From left, Michael Bishop, Tyler Rehbein and Adam Lawson.

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Medicine Valley Raiders • Decatur Community Red Devils • Rawlins County Buffaloes • Eustis-Farnam Knights • Southern Valley Eagles • Southwest Roughriders • Wauneta-Palisade Broncos

Arapahoe Warriors • Cambridge Trojans • Chase County Longhorns • McCook Bison • Maywood Tigers Dundy County-Stratton Tigers • Hayes Center Cardinals • Hitchcock County Falcons


Bison return wealth of experience WINTER SPORTS 2011

2A – McCook Daily Gazette

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

McCOOK, Neb. – McCook opponents can expect another Bison stampede this winter. The McCook boys have plenty of reasons for optimism about the 2011-12 high school basketball campaign. The Bison return a wealth of varsity experience from the team that won 15 of 25 games one year ago and lost to host Scottsbluff in the Class B-6 District Tournament championship game. Nine experienced players Head coach Tim Garcia has nine players who saw varsity playing time last year, and four returning starters. With all the experience coming back, the Bison still have only three seniors on the roster. The senior starters back this season include 6-foot-3 forward Matt Chitwood and 6-2 forward Kyle Gaston. Two other starters returning are juniors Cody Wudtke, a 6-2 forward, and 6-3 junior guard Sean Backer. Backer is the team’s main longrange threat. The junior hit 36 of 100 3-point attempts in the 2010-11 season. Backer also was a 54-percent shooter from the floor. Wudtke was a threat in the paint, with 70 total field goals made and 56 percent shooting from the floor. Gaston also proved he could score from anywhere on the floor as he finished the year hitting 40 percent of his total field goal attempts. Bison pick up size inside Coach Garcia also picked up 6-4 junior Matt Collicott, who decided to switch from swimming to basketball this winter. Collicott and 6-4 senior Tate Stang will provide an inside presence – bigger bodies to bang on the boards for the Bison. McCook lost veteran starter Connor Larson to graduation last season, but Coach Garcia has four talented guards coming back this year who each gained varsity experience a season ago. Mack Alspaugh, a 6-0 sophomore, scored the most points of that foursome as Alspaugh was a nearly 40percent field goal shooter. Cody

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Bison letter winners

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL LETTER WINNERS – Kneeling, Sean Backer. Left to right, second row: Cody Jankovits, Matt Chitwood. Back row: Kyle Gaston, Cody Wudtke, Mack Alspaugh.

Jankovits, 5-10 junior, was one of the team’s top 3-point shooters (21 for 50 for 42 percent). Austin Cherry, a 6-0 junior, and 5-10 junior Zayne Gillen will provide solid depth

Bison coaches

in the backcourt. Six Bison players on this year’s roster each hit double-figure scoring in at least one varsity game each. With all that talent and athleticism

coming back, Coach Garcia plans to be an up-tempo team. “This season we will look to continue to push the ball in transition and score on layups or 3-point

McCook

Opponent @ Chase County Topside Tipoff Tournament Goodland, KS (opponent to be determined) @ North Platte 12/16/11 12/17/11 Holdrege GNAC TOURNAMENT 12/28-12/30 LEXINGTON (opponent to be determined) 01/03/12 @ Phillipsburg, KS 01/06/12 @ Hershey 01/07/12 Sidney 01/13/12 Hastings 01/19-01/21 Orange and Black Classic Colby, KS (opponent to be determined) 01/27/12 @ Lexington 01/28/12 Kearney Catholic 02/03/12 Ogallala 02/09/12 @ Gering 02/10/12 @ Alliance 02/11/12 @ Scottsbluff 02/17/12 Northwest Date 12/02/11 12/08-12/10

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL VARSITY STAFF – Left to right: assistant coaches Justin Kulwicki and Curt Swanhorst, head coach Tim Garcia, assistant coach Jeremy Yilk. PO Box 1447 McCook, NE 69001 (308) 345-6690 PO Box 606 Benkelman, NE PO Box 157 Wallace, NE 69169 PO Box 190 Hayes Center, NE 69032

shots,” he said. McCook changes districts McCook used to compete in the Class B-5 District with such teams as Holdrege, Lexington, Hastings High, Hastings Adams Central and Grand Island Northwest. When Ogallala dropped to Class C-1, the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) moved McCook to the B-6 District along with the four panhandle Class B schools – Alliance, Gering Scottsbluff and Sidney. That means the Bison will likely make a long trip for B-6 District competition in late February. The NSAA starts with a line from the western border of the state. The first five teams heading east are placed in the B-6 District. Ironically, Cozad and Lexington in the B-5 District are actually closer – in highway miles – to all the panhandle schools than McCook. This year’s Bison schedule will feature the usual four tournaments – the Topside Tip-off in Goodland, Kansas Dec. 8-10, the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament in Lexington Dec. 28-30, the Black and Gold Tournament in Colby, Kansas Jan. 19-21, and the East-West Shootout at three sites in the Nebraska panhandle Feb. 9-11. Bison open against Chase County The season kicks off Friday, Dec. 2 with a trip to Imperial to face Chase County. The Bison boys make their first appearance at the McCook Senior High School gym Dec. 17 against Holdrege. Garcia is entering his seventh season heading the Bison boys basketball program. He has an overall coaching record of 82 wins and 73 losses. McCook won the Class B-5 District title and advanced to the state tournament in 2008 and 2009, then lost to Adams Central in the 2010 B-5 District championship finals. The Bison were also second in the B-6 District last season. Garcia is assisted by coaching staff holdovers Jeremy Yilk and Curt Swanhorst. Justin Kulwicki joins the staff as an assistant, and Fred Gleason will again work with the Bison freshman squad.

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 3A

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL SENIORS – Left to right: Kyle Gaston, Tate Stang, Matt Chitwood. Steve Kodad McCook Daily Gazette

Bison seniors

Bison juniors

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL JUNIORS – Left to right, front row: Zayne Gillen, Austin Cherry, Gavin Harsh. Back row: Cody Jankovits, Cody Wudtke, Matt Collicott, Sean Backer, Lucas Post Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

4A – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL SOPHOMORES – Left to right, front row: Mauro Bueno, Dylan Samway, Vince Lyons, Hunter Felker. Middle row: Ben Skiles, Jon Spilinek, Mack Alspaugh. Back row: Wesley Burkert, Garrett Smith, Chase Midkiff, Jesse Detty. Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Bison sophomores 2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL FRESHMEN – Left to right, front row: Darius Williams, Mitch Reitz, Dalton Koetter, Spencer Powell, Bryce Lyons. Middle row: manager MaKenzie Crowe, Logan Kircher, Frank Williams, Chance Koetter, Mitch Stiver, Fernando Sanchez, manager Alli Clapp. Back row: Peyton Stagemeyer, Trevor Matson, Colton Sis, Skyler Cappel, Luke Lichty. Not pictured: Stephen Kirk. Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Arapahoe Warriors

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 5A

Change in class not only change for Arapahoe

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: manager Levi Fogel, Junior Hilker, Logan Warner, Brennan Koller, Tyrea Warner, Alex Chaffin, manager Gentry Anderson. Middle row: manager Cooper Breinig, Chandler Hambidge, Caden Weverka, Isaac Watson, Trev Haussler, Gage Schutz, manager Spencer Watson. Back row: Reid Stagemeyer, Joel Stagemeyer, Brad Loghry, Wyatt Anderson, Justin Stagemeyer.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

ARAPAHOE, Nebraska – The Arapahoe High School boys basketball program has been successful under the long-time tutelage of head coach Bob Braithwait. The Warriors promise to field another strong edition in the 2011-12 season, but some changes await Braithwait's squad. Arapahoe qualified for the Class C2

state tournament last season, but the Warriors drop to Class D1 this season. Coach Braithwait will also have

Three starters return from last year's team that finished with a 21-6 record. Those starters include seniors

Two other lettermen also saw spot starting duty last year, including 6-2 senior forward Justin Stagemeyer,

Arapahoe qualified for the Class C2 state tournament last season; the Warriors will start play in Class D1 this season. to replace a pair of standouts from last year in Garth Walbridge and T.J. Eichenberger.

Trev Haussler (6-1 center) and Brad Loghry (6-2 guard), plus 6-2 junior Gage Schutz.

and 6-1 junior forward Wyatt Anderson. Three other players earned letters

Area Coaches & Athletic Directors:

last winter, including a pair of 6-3 seniors in forward Joel Stagemeyer and center Reid Stagemeyer, plus 60 junior guard Isaac Watson. Braithwait, in his 28th year as head coach, expects another competitive team. "We have a chance to be competitive in every game we play," he said. "We should improve as the year progresses." Braithwait has an overall record of 358 wins and 215 losses (53.2 percent).

The Gazette wants to give your athletes and teams the attention they deserve – and weʼre asking for your help to make that a reality! To send us stats and scores from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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Trojans return all five starters from last year WINTER SPORTS 2011

6A – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Cambridge Trojans

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska – Bigger, faster, deeper, will hopefully equal more wins for the Cambridge High School boys basketball team. Head coach Craig Wamsley had nine letter winners returning from last year's edition that posted an 8-12 record. "We look to be much improved from last year," Wamsley said. "Lots of size and speed. We have great depth, so we look to play a lot of guys." Wamsley lists all five starters returning this season, led by 6-2 senior guard Rayce Dauwen. Other starters coming back include a pair of 6-3 junior forwards in Zane Petersen and Jordan Volk, 5-11 sophomore guard Weston Rich and 5-8 junior guard Kaden Huxoll. Other lettermen returning include seniors Ethan Long (6-0 guard) and Ty Fischer (6-5 forward), juniors T.J.Gregory (5-11 guard) and sophomore Jake Witte (6-1 guard). Other players who could contribute include a trio of freshmen, 6-2 forward Alex Burke, 6-0 forward Vance Johnson and 6-0 guard Evan Jones.

“We look to be much improved from last year,” [Cambridge head coach Craig] Wamsley said. “Lots of size and speed.”

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Brandon Andrews, Caleb Meyer, Zach Moore, manager Preston Carbaugh, Seth Cope, Ryan Rice, Jared Andrews. Middle row: Taylor Kubik, T.J. Gregory, Jake Whipple, assistant coach John Strand, head coach Craig Wamsley, assistant coach Marcus Vontz, Rayce Dauwen, Weston Rich, Caden Huxoll. Back row: Asante Fuqua, Evan Jones, Alex Burke, Austin Jackson, Zane Petersen, Alex Boucher, Ty Fischer, Jordan Volk, Jake Witte, Vance Johnson, Braxton Miller. Not pictured: Ethan Long.

Knights have ‘much to learn’ JEREMY BLOMSTEDT MCCOOK DAILY GAZETTE

Eustis-Farnam Knights

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: head coach Bobby Johnson, Logan Purdy, Austin Boller, Dustin Koch, coach Jeremy Walters. Back row: Hunter Ringenberg, Mitch Rieker, Hunter Johnson, Jordan Wetovick. Not pictured: Tanner Redenbaugh, Marcus Wilcox.

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EUSTIS, Nebraska – Bobby Johnson, the EustisFarnam High School head boys basketball coach, has an unenviable task ahead of him in this, his sixth year at the helm. He must find replacements for all five starters – plus important bench players – from last year’s 14-8 squad that made it all the way to the D29 subdistrict final. While he does have three returning letter winners in juniors Dustin Koch, Hunter Ringenberg and Jordan Wetovick, Johnson said of them, “This group of young men will be asked to provide leadership to a young team that has much to learn.” While he said that they have had success at the junior varsity level for the Knights, the three “will be challenged to improve at the next competitive level.” The coach also mentioned sophomore Hunter Johnson as someone with the potential to see playing time. “[He] has worked hard in the off-season and could also be a contributing player,” coach Johnson said. “We are a very young team,” Johnson said, “and will have to play at a high level to be competitive in the conference.” The Knights open their season at home against Cambridge, then travel to Paxton.

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Longhorns coach wants young team to step up WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Chase County Longhorns

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 7A

JEREMY BLOMSTEDT MCCOOK DAILY GAZETTE

IMPERIAL, Nebraska – Chase County High School’s boys basketball team is stocked with youth this season, which presents head coach Carl Zuege with a number of challenges. However, there will also be an equal number of chances for the large number of younger players on the roster to learn and grow – and potentially push for playing time. This is especially true at the launch of the season, when the Longhorns will face a trio of varsity squads from Class B schools in the first nine days of December, including their annual tilt with McCook. Two of the three games (contests with Cozad and Sidney) will be on the road to boot. “We have a very tough early schedule which should ready us for the season of conference and district play,” Zuege said. The Longhorns will field a team with only 3 seniors – 6-4 Adam Dickey, 6-1 Adam Moline and 5-11 Steven Fish – and a pair of juniors (5-9 Kale Gockley and 5-11 Hunter Spady) on the roster. Among the underclassmen, Zuege pointed to 6-0 sophomore Justus Wallin as a player who will be expected to shoulder some of the burden. But Wallin isn’t the only one of the younger team members that he wants to step up to the challenge, saying, “Many 10th and 9th graders will be called upon to contribute.”

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Kevin Chavira, Jeff Dickey, Isaac Sorensen, Ty Spickelmier, Freddie Kasselman, Travis Luhrs, Ryan Moline. Middle row: Hunter Spady, Kale Gockley, Trey Milner, Dan Sullivan, Tyler Oxford, Sam Haarberg, Kevin German. Back row: Steven Fish, Darrin Knobbe, Adam Moline, Adam Dickey, Kelton Fisher, Calen Griffen, Holden Dreiling. Not pictured: Justus Wallin.

Maywood: new head coach + experienced players = more wins?

“We have a very tough early schedule which should ready us for the season of conference and district play,” [Imperial head coach Carl] Zuege said.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

MAYWOOD, Nebraska – There's nowhere to go but up for the Maywood High School boys basketball team. The Tigers are ready to improve on last year's 1-19 overall record. Maywood will rely on a wealth of returning veterans to help reach those goals. Charles Jones moves up from assistant coach to take over the reins of the Maywood program. Jones will be familiar with seven returning lettermen, including a trio of seniors in 6-0 Levi White, 6-0 Spencer Dickinson and 6-2 Tyler Bollish. Aaron Doxon, a 6-1 junior, and 5-9 junior Justin Strobel also return along with 5-8 sophomore Jacob Dibbern and 5-9 sophomore Quinten Phillips. Senior Todd Hansen also returns after missing last year due to injury. Maywood will face a tough schedule competing in the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC). "Our conference is a very good one, and we are going to try to get better every week and compete at our best every game," Jones said. "We will have to do the little things right, like take care of the ball and play great defense. "I am looking for our seniors to lead our team, with the younger players filling their roles and playing well early." Maywood is assigned to the Class D2-10 Sub-District at Imperial Feb. 20-23.

Maywood Tigers

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Quinter Phillips, Spencer Dickinson, Levi White, Todd Hansen, Tyler Pollish. Second row: coach Charles Jones, Steve Nielsen, Jacob Dibbern, Aaron Doxon, Dalton Littell, coach Dustin Kinnison. Back: Thomas Jirak, Rapeal Inove, Justin Strobel, Richard Reicher, Derrick Langley, Luke White. Not pictured:d Austin Phillips.

Coaches & Athletic Directors:

To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

8A – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Dundy County-Stratton Tigers

Tigers coach:

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Scott Rotherham, Walter Zarkowski, Cole Stute, Dylan Petersen, Joseph Rettele, Michael Lorens, Tomas Estrada. Second row: Alexx Gonzales, Seth Woods, Gabriel Castillo, Levi Swenson, Orion Hidy, Lane Krug, Tyler Freeland, Jeremy Castillo, Kameron Krutsinger, Max Kiel. Back, Tate Jensen, Thor Hidy, Cade Duvel, Kyle Rotherham, Colton Kerchal, Boone Turpin, Kyle Newcomb, Christian Hughes.

‘We will need time’

JEREMY BLOMSTEDT MCCOOK DAILY GAZETTE

BENKELMAN, Nebraska – Last year’s solid 14-8 season is in the rearview mirror for the Tigers of Dundy County-Stratton High School, along with three of the starters from that team. “We’re going to be a very young team with just two returning starters,” boys head basketball coach Kris Freeland said of his 25member roster. “We will need time to work out the bugs.” The two starters back from the 2010-11 edition of the Tigers, juniors Joe Rettele and

Southern Valley Eagles

Tyler Freeland, will be expected to provide much of the leadership needed to make this a successful season. However, the cupboard isn’t entirely bare for the Benkelman-based squad, with seven additional letter winners at hand to provide their own contributions. They include seniors Scott Rotherham and Walter Zarkowski, plus juniors Lane Krug, Cole Stute and Dylan Petersen, as well as sophomores Cade Duvel and Jeremy Castillo. Freeland said that his team has put a pair of traits at the top of their list of priorities for the season: “Our goal is to get better every game and be a hard-nosed team come February.”

“Our goal is to get better every game and be a hard-nosed team come February.” – Dundy County-Stratton head coach Kris Freeland

John Miller takes over as Southern Valley boys basketball coach STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Photo courtesy Meredith McQuay

Front row, from left: Matt Hansen, Spencer Kucera, Schyler McClain. Dillon Noel, Joe Robinson, Cole Maruhn. Second row: Lane Rogers, Michael Longsine, Dakota Best, Dalten Hansen, Dylan Brooks, Alex Kaup. Third row: Jeremiah Perkins, Hunter Quinn, Alan Varela, Bryce Wessels, Carl Kramer. Back row: Thomas Hoxmeier, Tre Norman, Christian Turner, James Joppa. P. O . B o x 6 0 6 Benkleman, NE 69021 308-423-2222 P.O. Box 1447 McCook, 69001 P.O. Box 190 Hayes Center, 69032 P.O. Box 157 Wallace, 69169

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OXFORD, Nebraska – Southern Valley High School’s boys basketball program is under new leadership. John Miller has taken over as head coach of the school located just south of Oxford. The Eagles finished the 2010-11 campaign with a 7-15 record. Southern Valley has dropped to C-2 for this winter. According to information from the Oxford Standard newspaper, the Eagles started Spencer Kucera, Joe Robinson, Dakota Best, Dylan Brooks and Dillon Noel in a Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame exhibition scrimmage last week. Southern Valley will compete in the rugged Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC) Jan. 21-28 at multiple sites. The Eagles will enter the Class C2-11 Sub-District at Holdrege Feb. 20-23 along with Gazette area rival Southwest.

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Expectations up for experienced Cardinals WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 9A

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

HAYES CENTER, Nebraska – High expectations abound for a strong season from the Hayes Center High School boys basketball program. The Cardinals are loaded with talented players returning and key players back from last year's squad that finished 10-12. "We have a great core of boys that have a lot of experience returning this year," said head coach Louis Cuellar. "We feel that we can be very competitive in every game and use our experience and leadership to have a great season." The letter winners coming back for the Cards included a talented senior trio, all measuring 6 foot, 3 inches tall. Adam Lawson averaged 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in the 2011-12 campaign. Tyler Rehbein scored an average of 12.9 points per game and hauled down an average of 7.8 boards per contest. Michael Bishop averaged 10.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Two sophomores also lettered last year, 6-2 Seth Gohl and 5-8 Tristan Johnson. Coach Cuellar has a handful of promising players hopeful to compete on the varsity level, including seniors Matthew Christner and Riley Goltl, plus freshmen Kasey Schwenk, Zach Cook and Austin Meyers.

Hayes Center Cardinals

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Michael Bishop, Adam Lawson, Tyler Rehbein, Seth Gohl, Rylie Goltl. Second row: Taylor Walker, Branson Rawlings, Brody Tyan, Tristan Johnson, Joey Anderjaska, Alan Parra. Back row: head coach Louis Cuellar, Bradley VanCura, Matthew Christner, Alex Lawson, Kasey Schwenk, Austin Meyers, Zack Cook, assistant coach Loren Wagner. Not pictured: Tony Clifton.

Medicine Valley faces demanding schedule STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Medicine Valley Raiders

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Riley Garey, Lucas Gleisberg, Shawn Welch, Kash Houser, Colton Aspenleiter, Brendan Johnsen. Second row: Dakota Hazen, Sage Schmidt, Keith Towne, Zach Hawke, Dylan Wiles, Terran Weeth, Marcus Florom. Third row: Cody Aspenleiter, Zane Michelsen, Chase Barthel, T.J. Aanenson, Keaton Lenz. Back row: manager Matt Florom, assistant coaches Trent Florom and Jeff Gleisberg, head coach Steve Gleisberg, manager Sam Aanenson.

Coaches & Athletic Directors:

CURTIS, Nebraska – Medicine Valley High School's boys face a tough schedule in the 2011-12 season. The Class D-2 Raiders have just five D-2 opponents on the slate, and head coach Steve Gleisberg said every game will be a challenge. Gleisberg does have seven returning letter winners and three starters in 6-0 senior Shawn Welch, 6-1 junior Lucas Gleisberg and 5-10 junior Riley Garey. The other lettermen include 6-4 senior Colton Aspenleiter, 6-0 senior Kash Houser, 6-0 junior Brendon Johnsen and 6-1 junior Keith Towne. Towne is expected to be sidelined until January with an injury. "We hope to be competitive every game this season," Coach Gleisberg said. "We have some talented players fundamentally, several with a solid work ethic, and 10 underclassmen battling for a varsity spot." The Raiders finished 5-15 last season. The Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC) member will compete in the Class D2-10 Sub-District Tournament at Chase County High School in Imperial Feb. 20-23.

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To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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Four starters back for Falcons this season WINTER SPORTS 2011

10A – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

TRENTON, Nebraska – Hitchcock County High School's boys are looking for better days ahead in the 2011-12 high school basketball season. Head coach Mike Tines has a strong nucleus of returning players to fuel hopes to improve on last year's 10-13 finish. "We return a lot of experience and look to improve on last year's record," Tines said. "We should compete well in our district and conference. Four starters are back for the Falcons, led by a pair of senior guards in Cale Brown and Gabe Ware. Brown, 5-8, averaged 13.5 points per game last year and has hit 112 career 3-point shots. Ware, 5-11, averaged 13 points per game last season. Tanner Bauer, a 6-2 junior forward, and Austin Blume, a 6-0 sophomore forward, also return to the starting lineup. Blume scored an average of 12.2 points and grabbed an average of 9.3 rebounds per contest. Bauer averages 4.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per outing. Four sophomores could also play key roles for the Falcons, including 6-1 Nathan Rick and three more players at 5-10 each – Jacke Viox, Alex Whipps and Morgen Wimer. Hitchcock County is a member of the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC). The Falcons will enter the Class D1-10 Sub-District Feb. 20-23 at McCook.

Hitchcock County Falcons

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: manager Dylan Propp, manager Nic McConnel, John Rippen, Jorden McConnel, manager Zach Whipps, manager Dakota Hagan. Second row: manager Matt Rippen, Brady Jones, Justin Kefalas, Justin Kershaw, Morgan Wimer, Daniel Arp, manager Matt Johnson. Back row: manager Will Kisker, Ryan Rogers, Jacke Viox, Alex Whipps, Gabe Ware, Tanner Bauer, Nathan Rick, Austin Blume, Cale Brown, coach Mike Tines.

Red Devils will have three top players back on the court this year STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Decatur Community-Oberlin Red Devils

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Kyle Breth, Ryan May, Regent Erickson, Tyler Shields, Dalton Jones, Shane McEvoy. Middle row: Konner Fortin, Garrett Berry, Zach May, Connor McHugh, Kennedy Fortin. Back row: Tyler Bruggeman, Logan Berry, Gannon Henningson, Kaine Fredrickson, Jarod Smith, Kelden Breth. Not pictured: Justin Gee.

OBERLIN, Kansas – Decatur Community High School's boys basketball team will look for leadership from three top players returning from last season. The Red Devils finished 14-8 last year and lost in the finals of their Northwest Kansas Class 2A SubState Tournament. Head coach Jeff Jones will lean on a trio of 5-9 senior Dalton Jones, 6-0 junior Zach May and 6-2 junior Tyler Brueggeman to be team leaders this winter. Jones was selected to the All-Northwest Kansas League team last year. May also started and Brueggeman was the first man off the bench. "We return three outstanding players," Jones said. "Dalton Jones made 48 3-point shots last year. Zach May is a strong player inside and out. As long as we find three or four good defenders who will accept their roles, we should be competitive." Other letter winners coming back this season for the Oberlin squad include 5-9 senior Tyler Shields, 6-1 senior Garrett Berry, and 5-11 junior Ryan May. Seniors Shane McEvoy and Conner McHugh should also battle for playing time. The Devils are scheduled to compete in the Cattle Trail Tournament in McCook the second week of December.

Coaches & Athletic Directors:

To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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Southwest Roughriders

McCook Daily Gazette

WINTER SPORTS 2011

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 11A

Roughriders counting on experience to pay off

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: coach Marcus Bish, Matt Broad, coach Chris Watt. Second row: James Rae, Dylan McConville, Justin Daffer, Tyler Messinger. Back row: Tyler Cuellar, Dakota McBride, Andrew Conway, Brenton Ellis, Daniel Sughroue.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

BARTLEY, Nebraska – Experience will hopefully pay big dividends for the 2011-12 Southwest High School boys basketball team. The Roughriders lost just one player from last year's team that finished with a 3-18 record. "Experience will play a key role in the growth and success of this year's team," head coach Marcus Bish said,

as the Riders will look to improve that win total. The Riders are young this season

led by 6-0 senior guard Michael Brodd. Two juniors are back in 5-9 guard Dylan McConville and 6-3 forward

Two other players earned varsity letters last season, including 5-10 junior James Rae and 5-11 junior

“Experience will play a key role in the growth and success of this year's team,” [Southwest] head coach Marcus Bish said. with just one senior listed among the top players. Coach Watt has five starters back,

Justin Daffer. Sophomore starters include 6-0 guard Dakota McBride and 6-2 forward Andrew Conway.

Tyler Messersmith. Several other players should fight for playing time, including 5-7

sophomore Tyler Cuellar, 6-0 freshman Brenton Ellis and 6-1 freshman Daniel Sughroue. The Republican Plains Activities Conference members will enter the Class C2-11 Sub-District at Holdrege Feb. 20-23. Southwest’s season tips off against Medicine Valley at home; their first road contest will be at Maywood. The Roughriders are also set to compete at the Cattle Trail Tournament in McCook.

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Senior season: Buffaloes pin 2011-12 hopes on quartet

WINTER SPORTS 2011

12A – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

ATWOOD, Kansas – Rawlins County High School hopes a strong cast of returning starters will help improve the fortunes of the Buffs this winter. Head coach Jeff Lankas had four starters back from last year's team that compiled a 7-14 overall record and 2-3 mark in the Northwest Kansas League. The Buffs will compete in the 2A classification in Kansas, with sub-state tournament action in late February at a site to be determined. The starters coming back are all seniors, led by 63 center Damian Kogl, who averaged over 8 points and 6 rebounds per game last year. Collin Clark, a 63 center, and 6-3 forward Gabe Skolout also return, along with 5-11 Joey Leitner. Coach Lankas expects 6-3 sophomore James Peterson to join the four players mentioned above in the Rawlins County starting lineup. Lankas also has three other sophomores expected to contribute, including 5-8 Michael Capo, 5-8 Dylan Tiemeyer and 5-10 Cameron Ginther. The Buffs will venture into Nebraska to face Southwest at Bartley Jan. 10.

Rawlins County Buffaloes

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Cameron Ginther, Neil Portschy, Ezequsel Baca, Michael Capo, Jason Sis, Michael Blodgett. Middle row: Marcus Portschy, Joey Leitner, Dylan Tiemeyer, Blake Bergling. Back row: head coach Jeff Lankas, Damian Kogl, Gabe Skolout, Collin Clark, James Peterson, assistant coach Mathew Withington.

Broncos in rebuild mode after heartbreaking loss in championship game STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Wauneta-Palisade Broncos

Grant Strunk/ McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Jake Maris, Weylin Davis, Landon Jutten, Reese West and Lorenzo Cavanaugh. Back row: coach Dave Kuhlen, Wes Anderjaska, Jack McGraw, Hayden Pollmann, Logan Bischoff, Connor Kayton, Bo Fanning and assistant coach Seth Alberts. Not pictured: Chris Carl.

WAUNETA, Nebraska – Wauneta-Palisade High School’s boys basketball fans, players and coaches probably still see the last-second shot in their sleep. The Broncos lost a 57-54 decision to Giltner on a 3point shot at the final buzzer in the 2011 Class D2 State Tournament championship finals. Coach Dave Kuhlen's squad finished with a 26-2 record last year. The bad news – Kuhlen lost a strong group of senior leaders from last year's D2 state runner-up team, but the Broncs still have enough talent to be very competitive again this season. Kuhlen has just two seniors listed on the early-season roster. 5-11 center Bo Fanning is the top returning scorer as he averaged just over five points per game last year. The other senior is 5-9 guard Reese West. Top juniors coming back this season include 6-2 forward Logan Bischoff, 5-10 guard Jacob Maris and 6-0 forward Jack McGraw. The Broncos also picked up 511 junior Connor Kayton, who transferred from Holdrege. Coach Kuhlen is in his 14th season coaching at Wauneta. He has taken the Broncs to the state tournament several times, including the Class C-2 state championship in 2007.

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Rawlins County girls basketball senior leaders

The 2011-12 Rawlins County (Kansas) High School girls basketball team should be one of the best in the Gazette area, led by three returning seniors. The Rawlins County senior trio includes Abbey Wolters (11), Hillary Chvatal (24) and Summer Castens (13). Buffs opponents will face a tall task against the Atwood squad this winter when they face Chvatal, a 6-foot-2 center who averaged over 25 points and 17 rebounds per game to lead the Buffs to a 15-7 record last season. Chvatal will take her basketball talents to the NCAA Division I level, as she has plans to join the Missouri State womenʼs basketball program next year. Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

McCook Daily Gazette Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

2011 Winter Sports

Arapahoe Warriors • Cambridge Trojans • Chase County Longhorns McCook Bison • Maywood Tigers • Dundy County-Stratton Tigers Hayes Center Cardinals • Hitchcock County Falcons Medicine Valley Raiders • Decatur Community Red Devils Eustis-Farnam Knights • Rawlins County Buffaloes • Southern Valley Eagles Southwest Roughriders • Wauneta-Palisade Broncos


Lady Bison have high expectations WINTER SPORTS 2011

2B – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

McCOOK, Neb. – The McCook High School girls basketball program has shown steady improvement under the tutelage of head coach Jeff Ellis. Ellis took over the program at the start of the 2009-10 season, and the Bison varsity girls went without a win that season. But many McCook faithful probably noted improved play as the Bison progressed through Ellis’ first campaign. Younger players show promise Last year, the McCook girls broke the losing skid and then some, recording double-digits wins to finish with a 10-15 overall record. It’s safe to say that Ellis, his players and McCook fans are expecting more improvement this season, both in on-the-court effort and even more W’s. Those hopes are fueled by a solid core of young returning veterans who have logged plenty of varsity playing time the last two years. “Our goal – loud and clear from the start – is to have a winning season,” Coach Ellis said. “We really, truly felt like we were close last year. We let a few games slip away that would have taken us right to that .500 mark maybe a game or two above. Our goal this year is to have a winning season, be competitive every night we step on the court. We want to be competitive in that conference tournament.” Girls have chances to erase habit The Bison girls have been accustomed to losing twice on Thursday and Friday, then playing for seventh place in regular-season tournament play. McCook will have two chances to erase that habit before the new year at the Topside Tip-off Tournament at Goodland, Kan., Dec. 9-11, and at the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament at Lexington Dec. 28-30. Besides the goal of more wins that losses for the season, the Bison girls will also aim to have a winning record in each of the four regularseason tournaments they enter. McCook also is set to compete in the Orange & Black Tournament at Colby, Kan. Jan.19-21, and the EastWest Shootout at home Feb. 9-11. One more goal for the season – the McCook girls are shooting for a berth in the championship game of the Class B-6 District in late February at a yet-to-be-determined site. Of course, if the Bison can reach the district final, that puts them one step away from the ultimate goal – qualifying for the Class B state tournament in Lincoln March 1-3.

Bison letter winners

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL LETTER WINNERS – Left to right, front row: Emilyne Nichols, Rachel Goltl. Back row: Megan Ruppert, Kassidy Gillen, Brooklynn Trew.

“The middle of the year, toward the end of the year coming closer to districts, have a nicelooking record on paper, and our goal is to get into that district championship game,” Ellis said. “We got to the semifinals last year, played pretty good basketball for the first half against

Scottsbluff, and we probably ran into a better basketball team. The more and more these girls’ confidence picks up and they believe in that, it can happen. “We have narrowed the gap in our district and we’re going to be right there in the thick of

things come the end of February, and it’s exciting.” This year’s varsity line-up will still have just one senior, 5-9 forward Emilyne Nichols. Four other junior letter winners also return in 5-6 point guard Brooklynn Trew, 5-9 forward Rachel Goltl, 5-6 guard/wing Megan Ruppert and 5-10 center Kassidy Gillen. Coach Ellis lists three other sophomores with the potential to contribute, including 5-6 guard Molly Sughroue, 5-5 point guard Brenleigh Daum and 5-10 forward Danica Liess. McCook will have inside presence One thing Ellis and his team haven’t had in recent years is an inside presence. That may change with the tallest roster in recent years. A handful of players in the Bison program stand 5-10 or taller. Ellis said his centers have to develop and improve their skills around the basket. “As they develop, that’s just going to make us a whole lot more scary team with a lot more weapons,” he said. Another facet of the Bison girls game that is getting attention is shooting. The McCook might best be described as “shy” when it’s come to shooting the basketball in recent years. Ellis is stressing both taking open shots when those opportunities are presented, and also each individual player making more opportunities to shoot by working to get open.” The Bison head man knows the season won’t be an easy task, and he knows his team has to continue to work hard in order to improve and win more games. There’s also the challenge of a competitive slate of opponents. Bison face tough schedule “We’re going to run into some giants on our schedule. We have a tough schedule,” Ellis said. “What I’m most interested in is to see how we compete against some of those giants on our schedule. “I think we’ve been together now long enough for a couple years – this is going into our third year with some of these girls and I – I truly believe that our competitive spirits are a little bit higher than they’ve been in the past. We took huge steps last year and these girls all were there and saw it and believed in it and they seem to be picking up right where they left off (last season).” The Bison girls open the 2011-12 season with a trip to Imperial Friday, Dec. 2, to face a competitive Chase County squad. McCook will open the home portion of the schedule when Holdrege invades the Senior High gym Saturday, Dec. 17. The Bison coaching staff includes Darin Nichols, Tracey Fischer and Art Rose.

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL STAFF – Left to right: assistant coaches Art Rose and Kelsey Pralle, head coach Jeff Ellis, assistant coaches Tracey Fischer and Darin Nichols. Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

Bison juniors

McCook Daily Gazette

McCook

Date Opponent Class 12/02/11 @ Chase County C1 12/08-12/10 Topside Tipoff Classic Goodland, KS (opponent to be determined)

12/13/11 12/16/11 12/17/11 12/28-12/30

@ Cozad @ North Platte Holdrege GNAC Tournament Lexington

C1 A B

(opponent to be determined)

01/03/12 01/06/12 01/07/12 01/13/12 01/19-01/21

@ Phillipsburg, KS C1 @ Hershey C1 Sidney B Hastings B Orange and Black Classic Colby, KS

(opponent to be determined)

@ Lexington Ogallala Gering Alliance Scottsbluff East West Shoot Out Lexington High School 02/17/12 Northwest

01/27/12 02/03/12 02/09/12 02/10/12 02/11

Bison sophomores

B C1 B B B B

Bison senior

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL SENIOR – Emilyne Nichols.

GO BISON!

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL JUNIORS – Left to right, front row: Madison Chitwood, Jaima Watson. Back row: Brooklynn Trew, Megan Ruppert, Kassidy Gillen, Rachel Goltl.

Bison freshmen

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL SOPHOMORES – Left to right, front row: Caitlyn Leitner, Megan Vetrovsky, Brenleigh Daum, Molly Sughroue. Back row: Brittany Unger, Allison Sheets, Morgan Felker, Danica Liess, Kira Johnson, Maddie Elder, Jamee Stewart, Abi Mohr.

5

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

4B – McCook Daily Gazette

Three letter winners back for Arapahoe

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Arapahoe Warriors

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gzette

Front row, from left: Kate Besler, Halle Stephens, Rachel Koller, Ashley McCoy, Audrey Breinig, Savannah Schaben, manager Shelby Kapperman. Middle row: Carley Polston, Stephanie Paulsen, Aubriel Loomis, Alyssa Downey, Kaylea Watson, Melinda Eichenberger. Back row: Ashley Groves, Hannah Hanke, Rochelle Wendland, Sarah Crawford, Paige Jenkins, Christen Williamson, Jacci Stagemeyer.

Chvatal leads veteran Rawlins County squad

ARAPAHOE, Nebraska – Arapahoe High School's girls basketball team lost a big share of its offensive production from the 2010-11 season with the graduation of seven seniors. But the cupboard is not bare for the Warriors. Coach Kip Stephens had three returning letter winners back from last year's edition that finished with a 158 record. Alyssa Downey, a 5-8 junior, averaged 7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game last season. Rochelle Wendland, a 5-9 sophomore, also averaged 5.6 points and 5.2 boards per contest. Downey and Wendland both started, and Ashley McCoy, a 5-3 senior, also earned a letter as she averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. "The Lady Warriors lost two-thirds of their scoring, with seven seniors, to graduation," Coach Stephens said. "Although we will be young and not very experienced, I feel we will be very competitive this year." Stephens listed a host of other players who could contribute on the varsity this season, including 5-6 senior Rachel Koller, 5-5 junior Melinda Eichenberger, 5-3 junior Halle Stephens, 5-8 junior Paige Jenkins, 5-3 sophomore Carley Polston and 5-7 sophomore Stephanie Paulsen.

STEVE KODAD MCCOOK DAILY GAZETTE

ATWOOD, Kansas – The "center" of attention in area girls basketball this season probably suits up for Rawlins County High School. The Buffs have arguably the top player in the Gazette area in 6-2 senior Hillary Chvatal, who has earned All-Northwest Kansas League honors the past three seasons. Chvatal, a starter since her freshman season, averaged over 25 points and nearly 18 rebounds per game in the 2010-11 season. Chvatal plans to compete at the NCAA Division II level next year for Missouri State University. Long-time head coach John Terry has three other veteran players returning from last year's team that finished 15-7 and lost to Oakley, Kansas, in the Class 2A Sub-State Tournament semifinals. Abbey Wolters, a 5-8 senior, returns to the starting lineup. Wolters averaged about 5 points and 4 rebounds per game last season. Keshia Green, a 5-6 sophomore, also started last year, but will be sidelined until January due to knee surgery late last summer.

Rawlins County Buffaloes

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Summer Castens, Hillary Chvatal, Abbey Wolters. Middle row: Nicole Oelschlager, Tasia Rueber, Katie Withington, Nikki Hemel, Morgan Withington, Sierra Castens, Mattie Higley. Back row: head coach John Terry, Isabella Skolout, Keysha Green, Lexy Leitner, Shelby Castens, Tina Zorn, assistant coach Audrey Vap.

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Cambridge Trojans

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 5B

Cambridge aims for a strong finish

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Marissa Chambers, Amber Schultz, Breezy Huxoll, Brooke Juhl, Jamella Pedersen. Second row: Sloan Johnson, Kadee Long, Rachelle Carpenter, Breanna Eubanks, Emily Whipple, Sheldon Cross, Haleigh Westadt. Third row: Taylor Cross, Elisabeth Cope, Shelby Farr, Mikayla Kent, Jordin Wasson, Mallory Patterson, Lauren Sprinkle. Back row: assistant coach, James Blex, head coach Brett Webster. Not pictured: Tori Garcia, Lora Taylor, Kenzie Rich, Brianna Nawara, Kenzie Hansen.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

while Juhl averaged 4 points and 2 boards last year.

CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska – Cambridge is looking to be a strong team by the end of the 2011-12 high school girls basketball campaign. The Trojans went 10-10 last season, and head coach Brett Webster has four letter winners returning from last year. Two returning starters are in that veteran list, Tori Garcia a 5-8 senior, and Brooke Juhl, a 5-6 senior. Garcia averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds per game,

earned varsity letters a year ago. Coach Webster is looking for a list

junior Marissa Chambers, 5-9 junior Taylor Cross and 5-8 junior

plus freshmen Sloan Johnson (5-7) and Mikayla Kent (5-6) could also battle for varsity playing time. "We will have to fill a lot of holes early," Webster said. "We will grow throughout the season and hopefully be knocking teams off at the end." Cambridge, a member of the Republican Plains Athletic Conference, will face a tough post-season in the D1-10 Sub-District Feb. 13-16 at McCook. Gazette area teams Arapahoe and Hitchcock County, plus Elwood and Overton will compete in the McCook sub-district.

“We will have to fill a lot of holes early,” [Cambridge head coach Brett] Webster said. “We will grow throughout the season and hopefully be knocking teams off at the end.” Breezy Huxoll, a 5-6 senior, and Emily Whipple, a 5-7 junior, also

of underclassmen to make key contributions. That list includes 5-9

Jordin Wasson. Sophomores Kadee Long (5-10) and Lora Taylor (5-5)

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Three starters returning for Chase County girls WINTER SPORTS 2011

6B – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

IMPERIAL, Nebraska – A veteran roster should fuel hopes for more success for the 2011-12 Chase County High School girls basketball team. The Longhorns won just five games last winter, but head coach Nancy Sorensen has seven returning letter winners. "We are quicker and more experienced, yet still young," Sorensen said. "Strong and competitive upperclassmen will provide leadership for our younger players." Three starters are back, led by a pair of seniors in 5-8 forward Shannon Liewer and 5-6 guard Chantal Heathers. Bethany Sorensen, a 5-5 junior guard, also started last season. Michaela Ketter, a 5-4 senior forward, also earned a varsity letter last season along with junior Morgan Fisher, a 5-2 guard. A pair of sophomores also lettered in their first year of high school basketball – 55 guard Kristen Jussel and 5-8 center Bridget Langin. Coach Sorensen is looking for 5-6 sophomore guard Emma Engbrecht and 5-9 sophomore center Kaycee Bubak to also contribute on the varsity level. Chase County will compete in the Class C1-11 SubDistrict at Lexington Feb. 13-16. The Longhorns open the season at home Friday, Dec. 2 against McCook.

"Strong and competitive upperclassmen will provide leadership for our younger players." – Longhorns head coach Nancy Sorenson

Chase County Longhorns

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Morgan Fisher, Chantel Heathers, Shannon Liewer, Michaela Ketter, Bethany Sorensen. Second row: Kristen Jussel, Emma Engbrecht, Kelsey Wood, Makenna Wallin, Jessica Hartman, Emma Bauerle. Third row: manager Blair Hartman, Alyssa Fisher, Anna Bauerle, Aubrey Fisher, Mindy Castle, Ramina Blatz, manager Katie Engbrecht. Back row: Makala Bartels, MaKenna Ketter, Bridget Longin, Paige Spady, Kaycee Bubak, Jodi Koellner.

With no seniors, Raiders looking for leadership STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Medicine Valley Raiders

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: manager Jade Earhart, Regan Garey, Starla Henderson, Sierra Schmidt, Taylor Sandoe, Shaylee Schroeder. Middle row: manager Kassie Jorgensen, Andie Chapman, Rachel Towne, Jessa Lemon, Grayce Jorgensen, Madison Clark, Elle Martin. Back row: head coach Derek Bantam, assistant coach Liz Jorgensen. Not pictured: Kathryn Schick.

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CURTIS, Nebraska – The Medicine Valley High School girls basketball team is taking applications for the position of leader on the 2011-12 team. It's a three-month position that could stretch into longer employment in the coming years. Med Valley head coach Derek Bantam is looking for leadership to replace graduated seniors from last season. "We return some experience from last year," Bantam said. "We will miss our senior leaders from last year. We will need to have someone step into that leader role as we are very young. But we hope to be competitive and improve throughout the season." Coach Bantam has five letter winners back from the team that went 2-19 last winter. Three starters are among the returnees, including two big juniors in 511 Taylor Sandoe and 6-1 Sierra Schmidt. Shaylee Schroder, a 5-7 sophomore, also started last season. The other two letter winners returning are 5-4 sophomore Regal Garey and 5-5 sophomore Starla Henderson. There are no seniors on this year's Med Valley girls basketball roster. Medicine Valley is a member of the Republican Plains Activities Conference. The Raiders will enter the Class D2-10 Sub-District at Chase County High School in Imperial Feb. 13-16 along with Gazette area teams Hayes Center, Maywood and Wauneta-Palisade.

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Dundy County-Stratton young, talented WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 7B

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

BENKELMAN, Nebraska – Dundy County-Stratton lost a host of players from a very successful girls basketball team in 2010-11. But DCS still has plenty of talent to be a competitive team in southwest Nebraska. The Tigers finished 15-6 last year, winning the Cattle Trail Tournament in McCook in early December and finishing runner-ups in the Republican Plains Activities Conference Tournament. DCS head coach Nathan Behlke has just two letter winners back from last season in seniors Morgan Jones and Faith Stroup. Coach Behlke listed juniors Harley Powell and Meg Peterson plus sophomores Angela Crouse, Sarah Stute and Natalie Kent as non-letter winners who should contribute this season. "We have a young group with limited varsity experience," Behlke said. "We may be young, but we still have a talented group of girls." The Tigers will battle in the RPAC Tournament in January in preparation for Class C2-12 Sub-District Tournament play at Gering Feb. 13-16. The DCS coach said his team worked hard in the opening days of practices, and the team is looking forward to the season. "The lack of experience will not slow these girls down," Behlke said. "They are bound and determined to have a great season."

Dundy County-Stratton Tigers

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Morgan Jones, Faith Stroup, Meg Peterson, Harley Powell, Taylor Walker, Morgan Walker. Second row: Saskia Gehrmann, Friederike Hartwich, Jayde Behlke, Adrianna Bolio, Keely Confer, Angela Crouse, Maggi Hardwick, Natalie Kent, Aubrey Peckham. Back row: assistant coach Trina Stute, Sarah Stute, Elysia Bolio, managers Libby Haines, Aubrey Frederick, Madison Lambley, Colby Duvel, Nicole Kent, head coach Nathan Behlke.

Southern Valley coach says team needs scorers STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Southern Valley Eagles

Photo courtesy Meredith McQuay

Front row, from left: Emily Carlson, Alissa Brooks, Sara Lennemann. Second row: Jordan Paine, Mikaela Hoxmeier, Kattie Sadd, McKenzie Nielsen, Jaelyn Lewis, Ali Norman. Third row: Brooke Hays, Peyton Ellis, Abby Carlson, Emily Becker, Jacque Murdoch, Shelisa Brooks, Kaitlyn Lennemann. Back row: Abby Eden, Bailey Graff, Baily Craig, Rachelle Dougherty, Laura McInturf, Kristyn Bose.

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OXFORD, Nebraska – The Southern Valley High School girls basketball team is looking for some offensive players. Head coach Darren Tobey has an experienced squad coming back from last season when the Eagles posted a 16-10 record. Southern Valley also won the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC) Tournament title and finished runner-up in district play. "We are a very deep team that need to find some scorers," Coach Tobey said. "Success will depend on how we play defense." The Eagles have four returning starters back this winter, led by Alissa Brooks, a 5-11 senior. Brooks averaged 16 points per game last season. Other starters coming back include 5-5 senior Emily Carlson, 5-8 junior Ali Norman and 5-8 junior McKenzie Nielsen. Four other letter winners also return in 5-5 senior Sara Lennemann, 5-6 junior Makaela Hoxmeier, 5-5 junior Katie Sadd and 5-9 sophomore Emily Becker. Southern Valley will enter the Class C2-11 SubDistrict Tournament Feb. 13-16 at Holdrege.

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Tough season ahead for Red Devils? WINTER SPORTS 2011

8B – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

OBERLIN, Kansas – Decatur Community High School will face a tough battle in girls basketball this season. The Red Devils have four returning veterans, but head coach Terry Ream will field a team short on tall players. Brianna Klima, a 5-7 senior, heads the list of returning letter winners. Miki Dorshorst, a 5-2 junior, and Darbi Rouse, a 5-3 junior, also return along with 5-5 sophomore Alexis Hissong. Coach Ream noted five players who could make strong bids to contribute on the varsity. That list includes 5-3 senior Megan Huntley, 5-1 junior Mika Hackney, 5-7 sophomore Hannah May, 5-7 sophomore Jamie Soderlund, and 5-1 sophomore Ashley Witt. The Devils finished 9-11 last season, including 3-2 in Northwest Kansas League action. Oberlin will compete in Class 2-A Sub-State Tournament play in late February at a site to be determined.

Decatur Community-Oberlin Red Devils

Cardinals aiming high this season

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Demi Murray, Ashley Witt, Miki Dorshorst, Alexis Hissong, Mika Hackney, Grace Randel. Middle row: Darbi Rouse, Shawn Baker, Morgan Jansonius, Whitney Witt, Asia Tegels. Back row: Molly Jansonius, Hannah May, Brianna Klima, Kariah Castle. Not pictured: Megan Huntley, Jamie Soderlund.

Of the Red Devils’ four returning letter winners, only one – Brianna Klima, a senior – is listed as taller than 5-5. (She’s 5-7.)

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

HAYES CENTER, Nebraska – The Hayes Center Cardinals have some big hopes for the upcoming high school girls basketball season, fueled by a big lineup long on experience. The Cardinals went 7-15 last year, but head coach Matt Cox and his team will set their sights much higher this winter. "I am very excited for the upcoming year," Cox said. "The girls want to finish with a record above .500 and try to earn a trip to the state tournament." The Cards will pin their hopes on six returning letter winners, including four seniors – three standing 5-foot-10 or bigger. Annie Deaver, a 6-0 senior, 5-11 senior Haley Tyan and 5-10 senior Halsie Large were among the team's leaders last year. Larissa Wach, a 56 senior, 5-8 junior Sarah Cox and 5-6 junior Kerbie Large also earned letter awards. Whitney Rosno, a 5-7 freshman, could also be a key member of this year's squad. Hayes Center should be among the top teams in the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC) Tournament next January.

Hayes Center Cardinals

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Kerbie Large, Megan Christner, Halsie Large, Haley Tyan, Sarah Cox, Whitney Rosno. Back row: Iliana Reynoso, Kaitlin Howard, Taylor Cooper, head coach Matt Cox, assistant coach Rachel Peter, Larissa Wach, Kendra Cook, Andrea Wach.

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McCook Daily Gazette

Hitchcock County Falcons

Class jump:

WINTER SPORTS 2011

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 9B

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: manager Tayler Blume, manager Kyleigh Scott, Jyssica Forch, Jacee Kershaw, Laramey Lewis, Laura Miller, manager Allison Hoyt. Second row: Karissa Burns, Haley Hrnchir, Allison Cole, Alexis Bantz, Brooke Hoyt, Kori Bauer, Terra Dutcher, manager Charlie Apple. Back row: coach Lacey Lewis, Nicole Nichols, Monica Ebert, Bryce Jones, Joslyn Pierce, Ketra Vlasin, Taylor McCauley, Leslie Stehno, coach Jarod Albers.

Hitchcock County girls to begin play in D-1 this year

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

TRENTON, Nebraska – The Hitchcock County High School girls are charting unknown waters with a jump up to Class D-1 in basketball this season. One thing likely won't change, however – a competitive Falcons team with state tournament aspirations. Hitchcock County returns all five starters from a team that won 19 games a year ago.

The leader is two-time first team all-state performer Laramey Lewis, a 5-9 senior center/forward. Lewis averaged over 21 points and nearly 8 rebounds per game last season. Seniors Jacee Kershaw, a 5-9 guard/center, and Laura Miller, a 5-8 guard, also started last season. Kershaw averaged 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest, while Miller averaged 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. The other veterans are junior Alexis Bantz, a 5-8 junior guard, and Kristen Garner, a 5-10 junior center, both averaging about 6 points

per game last year. Allyson Cole, a 5-7 junior, also saw parttime starting duty last season. Terra Dutcher, a 5-6 junior guard, also showed improvement throughout the summer, according to head coach Jarod Albers. The Falcons should be among the best teams in the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC). Hitchcock County will stay close to home to start the post-season in the Class D1-10 Sub-District Tournament at McCook Feb. 13-16.

New Eustis-Farnam coach inherits three returning starters STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Eustis-Farnam Knights

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Bryn Bellamy, Inga Schummel, Tira Redenbaugh, Andrea Werth, Kali Vyhildal, Preston Rieker, Alex Pleschourt, Miranda Lauby, Second row: Shelby Ferrell, Kian Jones, Katie Adkisson, Jenna Widick, Melanie Johnson, Melissa Johnson, Pam Felix, Sarah Nichelson. Back row: assistant coach Caleb Wall, managers Jessica R. Deterding, Southern Timm, Haley Ringenberg, Lindsy Wolf, Valan R. Bellamy, Mallory Headley, head coach Jason Lauby.

EUSTIS, Nebraska – “Cautiously optimistic” might be the best term used to describe pre-season hopes for the 2011-12 Eustis-Farnam High School girls basketball team. Head coach Jason Lauby takes over the Knights program. Lauby inherited three returning starters and four letter winners from the team that compiled a 14-8 record a year ago. Four strong seniors also graduated from the team last season. "We have good experience returning," Coach Lauby said. "We are cautiously optimistic and look to replace key girls in the paint and ball handling that were lost due to graduation. "With a new coaching staff, we look to revamp and bring a new style of play to the Lady Knights basketball team." The returning starters include senior Andrea Werth, a 5-10 guard/forward, junior Preston Rieker, a 5-10 guard/forward, and sophomore Melanie Johnson, a 5-8 forward. Sophomore Melissa Johnson, a 57 guard/forward, also lettered for the Knights last season.

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10B – McCook Daily Gazette

Southwest Roughriders

WINTER SPORTS 2011

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Four starters return for Southwest

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Allie McConville, Holli Oltmer, Amber Daffer, Taylor Brooks, Madison Mousel. Second row: Kimberly Lord, Kate Kelley, Cassa McConville, Brooke Hoffman. Back row: Kenzie May, Kaylie Potthoff, Ashley Ryan, Abby Ryan, Lindsey Sughroue, Brooke Ruggles, Shelby Malleck, Makayla Brooks.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

BARTLEY, Nebraska – One thing that's pretty certain each winter in Southwest Nebraska is Southwest High School fielding a tough girls basketball team. This year should be no exception, as veteran head coach Dennis Troester has a host of players coming back from a strong team that posted a 13-9 record one year ago. The Roughriders have four starters returning, including 5-10 senior Allie McConville and 6-0

senior Madison Mousel. McConville averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds last season, while

surgery, according to Coach Troester. Junior Kate Kelley is the team's

senior, also saw starting duty last year. Other letter winners coming

"We need to develop perimeter players who can contribute offensively and handle pressure," [Southwest head coach Dennis] Troester said. "We should be competitive with most teams." Mousel averages 5 points and 6 boards. Mousel will miss the early part of the season recovering from

leading scorer coming back from last year, as she averaged 11 points per contest. Holli Oltmer, a 5-5

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back include Amber Daffer, a 5-8 senior, and Taylor Brooks, a 5-6 senior.

A group of non-letter winners should be strong contributors, including 5-6 junior Cassa McConville and 5-9 junior Kimberly Lord, plus 5-10 sophomore Abby Daffer and 5-6 sophomore Kaylee Potthoff. "We need to develop perimeter players who can contribute offensively and handle pressure," Troester said. "We should be competitive with most teams." Southwest is a member of the Republican Plains Activities Conference. The Roughriders will be entered in the Class C2-11 SubDistrict at Holdrege Feb. 13-16.

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Six return to court for Broncos

WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 11B

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

WAUNETA, Nebraska – Wauneta-Palisade High School's girls basketball team will rely on youth for success on the hardwood this winter. Veteran head coach Roger Lauhead has six returning letter winners from last year's team that finished with a 16-7 record. But four of those returning players for the Broncos are sophomores. "Our team is young, but we will be competitive," Coach Lauhead said. Two starters from last year are back, including 59 senior Sheyla Christner and 5-5 sophomore Abbie Fanning. Four other players who earned varsity letters last season also are back this year, led by 5-8 senior Jonee Maris, plus 5-10 sophomore Tailor Lee, 5-8 sophomore Cassidy Rathe and 5-11 sophomore Brooke Nordhausen. The Broncos are members of the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC). Wauneta-Palisade will battle with Gazette area teams Hayes Center, Maywood and Medicine Valley in the Class D2-10 SubDistrict Tournament Feb. 13-16 at Chase County High School in Imperial.

“Our team is young, but we will be competitive.” – Wauneta-Palisade head coach Roger Lauhead

Wauneta-Palisade Broncos

Tina Kitt/Wauneta Breeze

Front row, from left: Jonee Maris, Sheyla Christner. Second row: Emma Skelton, Abbie Fanning, Sydnee Harchelroad, Leiauna Alberts. Back row: Brianna Einspahr, Hannah Nordhausen, Brooklyn Nordhausen, Nicole Strand, Cassidy Rathe, coach Roger Lauhead. Not pictured: Tailor Lee, assistant coach Betsy Johanson.

Maywood looking to make a big move STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Maywood Tigers

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Tess Whitman, Cat Foster, Abby Werkmeister, Amber Hickert, Taylor Stone, Liz Snider. Second row: coach Jamie Silas, Corey Eshleman, Brooke Moore, Katelynn Gerlach, Brittney Esslinger, head coach Kim Stengel. Back row: Marisa Foster, Justine Stone, Stine Pederson, Tyler Esslinger.

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MAYWOOD, Nebraska – Maywood is hoping for improved fortunes in the girls high school basketball ranks this winter. The Tigers won just one game last year, but head coach Kimberly Stengel has a wealth of experienced players returning. The team should be ready to record a larger win total in 2011-12. "I am very excited for another basketball season," Coach Stengel said. "We have some new players that have stepped up the overall competition in practice, and a nice returning core of players that have improved from last season." Leading veterans returning for the Tigers are a pair of seniors in Amber Hickert and Catharina Foster. Hickert averaged 12 points and over 6 rebounds per game last year, while Foster had an average of 9.5 points and 5.4 boards per contest. Senior Taylor Stone also lettered last season, along with juniors Tess Whitman and Brittney Esslinger, plus sophomores Justine Stone and Breanna Phillips.

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Making her move

Rachel Goltl (24) of McCook tries to dribble past an unidentified Palmer Ridge, Colorado, defender during girls basketball action at the Orange & Black Tournament in Colby, Kansas, last season. Goltl, a junior, is one of a handful of veterans returning for the Bison girls this season as McCook has plans to improve on the 10 victories the varsity team recorded during the 2010-11 campaign. Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette


2011 Winter Sports

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Arapahoe Warriors • Cambridge Trojans • Chase County Longhorns • McCook Bison • Maywood Tigers • Dundy County-Stratton Tigers Hayes Center Cardinals • Hitchcock County Falcons • Medicine Valley Raiders • Decatur Community Red Devils • Rawlins County Buffaloes Eustis-Farnam Knights • Southern Valley Eagles • Southwest Roughriders • Wauneta-Palisade Broncos

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Medicine Valley High School should field another competitive wrestling squad again this winter, with a host of veterans returning. This quartet, including, from left, Hunter Timmons, Josh Leas, Rulon Taylor and Jacob Brennemann, all competed in the Class D state meet last February in Omaha, and each won at least one state meet match. Timmons finished second at state at 140 pounds, and Taylor placed sixth at 215.

Med Valley state meet veterans


Bison to fill more varsity spots this season WINTER SPORTS 2011

2C – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

McCOOK, Neb. – The new weight classifications in high school wrestling nationwide could benefit the McCook Bison squad in 2011-12. Weight class changes The weight class changes were developed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). According to the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) web site, the new weights were developed to help create “close to equal distribution of wrestlers in each weight classes as possible.” Here are the old and new weight classes compared side by side: OLD ....................NEW 103 ........................106 112 ........................113 119 ........................120 125 ........................126 130 ........................132 135 ........................138 140 ........................145 145 ........................152 152 ........................160 160 ........................170 171 ........................182 189 ........................195 215 ........................220 285 ........................285 McCook head coach Nick Umscheid said his team should fill more varsity spots this season. For most varsity meets last season, the Bison were open in five weights, mostly in the heavier classes. Part of the ability to fill more weights is the new classifications, plus McCook has more wrestlers in the practice room. Top veterans return The Bison have a solid group of lettermen returning, led by a pair of state meet veterans. Senior Skyler Kalinski had an outstanding season last year, as he lost just two matches all season, including a setback in the

Bison letter winners

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING LETTER WINNERS – Left to right, front row: Jon Scott, Clayton Korus, Austin Swartz. Back row: Kyle Groshong, Jake Fahrenbruch, Skyler Kalinski, Mitch Collicott.

semifinals in the 145-pound class at the Class B state meet in Omaha last February. Kalinski rallied to win two more matches to earn a third-place medal at state. The goal this year will be a state meet gold medal for the Bison standout. Kalinski is expected to wrestle at 145 pounds before the season is complete.

Clayton Korus is a junior with two years of state meet experience under his belt. Korus lost two matches at 119 pounds at the Class B state meet last season, but he will hope that state meet experience will pay dividends this season. Korus is expected to compete at 120 pounds this year. Four other lettermen should give

Bison seniors

Date 12/03-12/03 12/10-12/10 12/17-12/17 12/29/11

12/29/11

01/03/12

01/03/12

01/07-01/07 01/14-01/14

01/19/12 01/21-01/21

01/27-01/27 01/26/12 02/04-02/04

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING SENIORS – Left to right, front row: Jon Scott, Austin Swartz, Jake Fahrenbruch. Back row: Skyler Kalinski, Kyle Groshong, Gabe Marentes.

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the Bison a solid lineup. Senior Jake Fahrenbruch is expected to compete at 126 pounds. Senior Kyle Groshong will likely be at 138, and another senior, Austin Swartz, will likely be the Bison 170pounder. Mitch Collicott will see his first full varsity season at 285, with the powerful junior coming off a standout football season where he

McCook

started at offensive guard and defensive for the 10-1 Bison. Freshman Kasey Taylor will be an interesting new member of the Bison squad. The freshman has excelled in off-season competition, and he should step into the varsity lineup at 113 pounds. Experience and youth Coach Umscheid said this year’s team is a good mix of experience and youth. The goal is to send at least six wrestlers to the Class B state meet in Omaha Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 16-18. The Bison will compete at the Class B-4 District meet at Gothenburg Feb. 10-11. The host Swedes and McCook will battle with Alliance, Broken Bow, Chadron, Cozad, Gering, Holdrege, Lexington, Ogallala, Scottsbluff and Sidney, with the top four individuals in each weight class advancing to state. Goal: finish high in districts Coach Umscheid said the McCook goal will be to finish either first or second in the district meet team standings. The Bison coaching staff includes Josh Jones, Colt Hosick, Jim Kenny, Bob Chalupa and Tab Kalinski. Season opens Dec. 3 McCook opens the season Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Cozad Invitational, with both varsity and junior varsity divisions. The Bison have just two varsity home meets on the 2011-12 schedule, including a dual meet with Hastings Jan. 19 and the annual McCook Duals Jan. 27. The Bison will take a long trip to Norfolk Feb. 4 for the annual Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference meet one week prior to district competition. The McCook junior varsity will host the annual McCook 9-10 Open Thursday, Dec. 15 at the Senior High gym.

Opponent Class Tournament Name (To Be Determined) Cozad invitational (To Be Determined) Holdrege Invite (To Be Determined) Valentine Invite North Platte A Triangular (host: Ogallala) Ogallala B Triangular (host: Ogallala) Phillipsburg, KS Triangular (host: Decatur Community, KS) Decatur Community, KS Triangular (host: Decatur Community, KS) (To Be Determined) J.R. Durham Invitational (To Be Determined) DCHS Invitational Oberlin, KS Hastings A (To Be Determined) Lexington - John Higgins Invite Lexington High School (To Be Determined) McCook Duals @ Chase County C (To Be Determined) GNAC Tournament Norfolk High School

GO BISON!

McCook Bison Boosters

Wish all McCook athletic teams the best of luck this Fall Sports Season.

Football

Volleyball Tennis

Golf

Softball

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You’re All Great Competitors And Hope You Have A Safe And Fun Season!


WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 3C

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Kolton Stone is the lone sophomore on the 2011-12 McCook High School wrestling team.

Bison sophomore

Bison juniors

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING JUNIORS – Left to right, front row: Clayton Korus, Javier Beltran. Back row: Mitch Collicott, Alex Morgan, James Kain, Dakota Baumgartner.

Area Coaches & Athletic Directors: The Gazette wants to give your athletes and teams the attention they deserve – and weʼre asking for your help to make that a reality! To send us stats and scores from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

Bison freshmen

FCB

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2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING FRESHMEN – Left to right, front row: Kasey Taylor, Tyler Kotschwar. Back row: John Paul Kain, Dalton Goodenberger, Andrew Messersmith.

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4C – McCook Daily Gazette

WINTER SPORTS 2011

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Hitchcock County Falcons/Wauneta-Palisade Broncos

Tag team:

Jeremy Blomstedt/McCook Daily Gazette

From left: coach Jeff Schwarz, Alex Pollmann, Mikey Erickson, Joe Jones, Chelcee Hrnchir, Will Miller, Corey Anderson. Not pictured: Keagan Haarberg, Kaleb Straub, Colton Doetker, Zack Wright, Levi Baughman, manager Monique Leahy.

Wauneta-Palisade Broncos and Hitchcock County Falcons continue wrestling partnership

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

TRENTON, Nebraska – Hitchcock County and Wauneta-Palisade will again offer a coop wrestling team for the 2011-12 season. Head coach Jeffrey T. Schwarz has a core of four returning letter winners back from last season, headed by a pair of state meet veterans. Senior Keegan Haarberg is expected to compete

Area Coaches & Athletic Directors:

at 195 pounds, while Alex Pollmann will likely wrestle at 220 pounds in the new adjusted weight classes for high school wrestling nationwide. Sophomores Michael Erickson (138 or 145) and Zach Wright (113) also earned varsity letters last year. Coach Schwarz lists a quartet of promising newcomers, including senior Kaleb Straube (145) and sophomore Joe Jones (145), plus freshmen

P. O . B o x 1 4 4 7 McCook, NE 69001 308-345-6690

To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com We’re the same friendly, courteous folks who’ve been serving the area since 1886.

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Levi Baughman (113) and Colton Doetker (106). Schwarz is looking for success on the mats if his team members are willing to pay the price. "I expect the boys to work hard and do very well this year as long as they put their hearts into wrestling," Schwarz said. The Hitchcock County/Wauneta-Palisade co-op squad will compete in the Class C ranks this winter, with entry in the C-4 District meet at Kearney Catholic Feb. 10-11.

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Arapahoe grapplers focused on their goals

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 5C

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

ARAPAHOE, Nebraska – A young Arapahoe High School wrestling team will aim for personal goals for the 2011-12 season. The Warriors have eight squad members working for first-year head coach Josh Cooley, but just one senior on the roster. "This year will be an exciting year for the eight wrestlers on the team," Coach Cooley said. "Each wrestler is dedicated to reaching their personal goals. Whether their goals are winning a match, having a winning record, placing at districts, placing at state, or winning state, each wrestler is working hard to achieve their goals." The Warriors return four letter winners from last season, including three state meet veterans. Senior Wyatt Kipp and junior Patrick Gardner each earned a sixth-place medal at the 2011 Class D state meet. Kipp is expected to compete at 132 pounds this year, while Gardner will like be at 160. Anthony Shimmin, a sophomore, also competed at state last season but did not place. Shimmin will probably be at 138 pounds this winter. The other letter winner returning is sophomore Tyler Kipp, probably competing at 152 pounds this year.

Arapahoe Warriors

Tammie Middagh/Arapahoe Public Mirror

Rawlins County wrestlers strongest in lower weights

Front row, from left: Brandon Pruitt, Brett Gardner, Garrett Monie. Back row: Wyatt Kipp, Patrick Gardner, Tyler Kipp, Anthony Shimmin, head coach Josh Cooley.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Rawlins County Buffaloes

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Johnathan Markland, John Solko, Clayton Griffith, Rhett Mizer, Hunter Leibbrandt. Back row: David Ford, Macre Mischelbrink, Tyler Hueftle, Cody Wright, Kris Enfield, Dakota Steinke, Bryce Henry.

ATWOOD, Kansas – A veteran team strongest in the lower weights should be a trademark of this year's Rawlins County High School wrestling team. The Buffaloes have four letter winners back from the team that won one of four dual meets in the Northwest Kansas League. John Solko was a state qualifier at 103 pounds last season in the Kansas 2A state meet. Solko is expected to compete at 113 pounds this season. Other returnees including Clayton Griffith (132 pounds this year), Johnathan Markland (138) and Cody Wright (160). Other promising non-letter winners include Hunter Liebbrandt (106), Macre Mischelbrink (106) and Rhett Mizer (126). "We will have a good core of guys in the lower weights," said Buffs head coach Scott Urban. "Plus we have a couple of returning lettermen in a couple of upper weights. Most of our wrestlers do have a lot of experience."

FCB

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To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

6C –McCook Daily Gazette

Cambridge Trojans

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Defending state champ leads Cambridge wrestlers

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Jacob ten Bensel, Nick Martin, Kalen Farr, Sam Pearson, Anthony Rodriguez. Middle row: assistant coach Jason Benson, Anthony Fischer, Austin Rice, Alec McCurdy, Brock Shoff, head coach Les Painter. Back row: Isaac Johnson, Taten Banzhaf, Mike Shoff, David Steinkruger.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska – Expectations are sky-high in the Cambridge High School wrestling room this season. The Trojans have a host of experienced seniors and one of the state's top prep wrestlers, fueling hopes for a strong 2011-12 campaign. Mike Shoff has lost just one match in his high school career. Shoff spent two years in Sutton before transferring to Cambridge as a junior. Mike is the two-time defending Class D state

champion at 285 pounds, with backto-back unbeaten seasons after losing 2-1 in overtime in the 285-pound

other senior state meet veterans back this year, including three-time state qualifier Kalen Farr at 126 pounds,

meet experience. Senior Isaac Johnson (152), plus sophomores Taten Banzhaf (145) and

“If this set of kids put their minds to it, we will be in the hunt at the end of the season to be one of the teams to beat at the state tournament.” – Cambridge head coach Les Painter state finals as a Sutton freshman. His overall prep career record is 115-1. Coach Les Painter has several

two-time state qualifier Anthony Rodriguez at 132, and 170-pound Alec McCurdy, with one round of state

Brock Shoff (195) other other returning lettermen for the Trojans. Junior Austin Rice (182) also promises to be

Area Coaches & Athletic Directors:

among the team's top contenders this season. "I have very high expectations for this team," Coach Painter said. "We are very senior-heavy, which means we have a lot of experience. If this set of kids put their minds to it, we will be in the hunt at the end of the season to be one of the teams to beat at the state tournament." Cambridge will compete in the Class D-3 District meet Feb. 10-11 at Elm Creek. The Trojans finished third in districts and fourth in last year's Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC) meet.

To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 7C

Eustis-Farnam Knights

Three returning to Eustis-Farnam wrestling squad

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Broedy Metzler, Kaleb Gibbens, Colten Thompson, Aaron Hueftle, Chris Werth. Second row: coach Adam Hock, Tyler Green, Shane Robbins, William Jack, Shawn Gibbens, head coach Travis Metzler. Back row: Travis Green, Yantsy Clafin, Collin Thompson, Mitchel Head, Dusty Earwood. STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

EUSTIS, Nebraska – Eustis-Farnam High School will field a young wrestling team this winter. The Knights have just one senior on the squad and just 10 team members. But head coach Travis Metzler does have a trio

of returning letter winners in sophomore Aaron Hueftle, junior William Jack and senior Shane Robbins. Hueftle qualified for the Class D state meet last season at 105 pounds and he brought home a sixth-place medal in his first year of high school competition. Hueftle is expected to compete at 113 pounds this season in the new weight classifications. Jack is penciled in at 160

pounds, and Robbins is expected to wrestle at 220 pounds. Seven of the 10 E-F matmen are either freshmen or sophomores. The Knights are members of the Fort Kearney Conference. Eustis-Farman will enter the Class D-3 District meet at Elm Creek Feb. 10-11 along with Gazette area teams Arapahoe and Cambridge.

Chase County:

Individual goals will be focus of team STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Chase County Longhorns

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Javier Casarez, Andrew Schilke, MaKayla Bell. Back row: John Fegley, Jake Lueth, Luis Rodriguez.

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IMPERIAL, Nebraska – The Chase County High School wrestling team will focus on individual accomplishments this season. Head coach Matt Vlasin has just six team members and no seniors on the roster. There are also no returning letter winners for the Longhorns this season. "We have a very small, young team," Vlasin said. "We have four freshmen, one sophomore and one junior, but we have some wrestlers with a lot of mat time and experience for their ages. We many not be bringing home too many team titles, but I look for this group of kids to do well as individuals." Coach Vlasin looks for freshmen Andrew Schilke (106 pounds) and Jake Lueth (138) to be top competitors for the Longhorns. Chase County will be competing in the Class C-4 District meet at Kearney Catholic High School Feb. 10-11.

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8C – McCook Daily Gazette

Southwest Roughriders

WINTER SPORTS 2011

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Six state qualifiers back for Southwest

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: coach Jay Helberg, Dillon Fries, Austin Minard, Trevor Van Pelt, Adam Eaton. Second row: Asic Helberg, Oliver Kragelund, Devin Sughroue, Austin Miller, coach Rick Teel. Back row: Zack Riley, Tanner Teel, Sam Osterman, Chase Downey, Zach Herrman.

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

and Zach Herrmann (170), junior Adam Eaton (113) and sophomore

BARTLEY, Nebraska – Longtime Southwest High School coach Jay Helberg will likely field another competitive wrestling team for the 2011-12 season. Coach Helberg has a long list of returning veterans with state meet experience. That list (expected weight classes this season in parenthesis) includes seniors Zach Riley (126), Tanner Teel (152), Sam Osterman (160)

sophomore Austin Miller (195) also earned varsity letters last season.

Coach Helberg said. "We're looking forward to an excellent season."

“We have a good group of returners to lead our young guys,” [Southwest coach Jay] Helberg said. “We're looking forward to an excellent season.” Dillon Fries (106). Senior Chase Downey (182) and

"We have a good group of returners to lead our young guys,"

Several other Roughrider underclassmen should battle for varsity

positions, including juniors Oliver Kragelund (160) and Devon Sughroue (170), sophomore Trevor Van Pelt (138), plus freshmen Austin Minard (120) and Asic Helberg (145). Southwest was second in Class D district competition last winter and second in the Republican Activities Conference Plains (RPAC) meet. The Roughriders are assigned to the Class D-4 District meet at Sutherland High School Feb. 10-11.

Good luck to all area athletes, coaches and teams!

McCook Daily Gazette

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 – 9C

Southern Valley Eagles

Photo courtesy Meredith McQuay

Front row, from left: Starla Kemp, Quinton Harouff, Logan Miller, Wyatt Livingston, Austin Krejdl, Sam Hunt, Christian Lewis, Dakota Ridpath. Middle row: head coach Rudy Glur, assistant coach Jeff Spaulding, Cole Haase, Michael Lincoln, Dillon Hunt, Cyrus Thomas, Brandon Trueblood, Taylor Jackman. Back row: assistant coach Dave Becker, John Spangler, John Shaw, Jessie Jackson, Issac Bergquist, Dexter Becker, Austin Bowers, Tucker Bergquist, Courtney Kresser. Not pictured: Tom Percival.

Southern Valley:

Eagles wrestling roster largest ever

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

OXFORD, Nebraska – Southern Valley High School head wrestling coach Rudy Glur is seeing something he hasn't seen in quite a few years – a crowded practice room. The Eagles have an unusually large number of wrestlers on the team this season. Ac-

cording to the Oxford Standard newspaper, Coach Glur has nearly 20 competitors, one of the biggest number of wrestlers the team has has in the 16-year history of the program. Glur said he hopes to be able to fill most of the 14 weight classes. The report said Glur has 11 freshmen on the team.

Three seniors are returning for the Eagles, including state qualifier Brandon Trueblood (125 pounds, Dexter Becker and Courtney Tresser. Southern Valley is a member of the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC). The Eagles will compete in the Class C-4 District meet Feb. 10-11 at Kearney Catholic High School.

Trio of state medalists lead Red Devils STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

Decatur Community-Oberlin Red Devils

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: Tristan Sepeda, Gabe Anderson, Troy Juenemann, Chris Anderson, Adam Zillinger, Dayton Dreher. Middle row: Matthew Helm, Brent Juenemann, Kade Brown, Zach Bishop, Ben Glading. Back row: Channing Fortin, Cody Wurm, Matt Glading, Jeff Shaw, Rex Diederich. Not pictured: Grant Gilliam.

Area Coaches & Athletic Directors:

OBERLIN, Kansas – A young but veteran team should equate to more success this winter for the Decatur Community High School wrestling team. The Red Devils from Oberlin, Kansas, have nine letter winners coming back, including three state meet medalists. But head coach Joe Dreher has just two seniors on the squad this winter. The leading vets include the trio of state meet medalists – senior Brett Juenemann (fourth at 112 pounds last year), junior Kade Brown (fourth at 135) and sophomore Dayton Dreher (third at 112). Juenemann is expected to compete at 132 pounds this season, while Brown will likely be at 145 and Dreher at 126. Junior Channing Fortin also qualified for state at 215 pounds, and he is expected to compete at 220 this year. Other returning letter winners and their expected weight classes include junior Matthew Helm (103), Matt Glading (160), and Cody Wurm (285), plus sophomores Chris Anderson (132 or 138), and Grant Gilliam (152). Senior Jeff Shaw will likely man the 195-pound class for the Devils.

To contact the Gazette with scores and stats from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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State qualifier Downey set to lead Dundy County-Stratton WINTER SPORTS 2010

10C – McCook Daily Gazette

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

BENKELMAN, Nebraska – Dundy County-Stratton is looking to field a more competitive wrestling team this winter. The Tigers have a strong number of returning veterans for head coach Dan Fox. The letter winner list is headed by senior Paul Downey, a three-time state meet qualifier who placed fifth at state last season. Downey is expected to compete at either 145 or 152 pounds this season. Seniors Ben Fox (128) and Tayler Jensen (220/285) also have state meet experience. Other lettermen returning include juniors Logan Evans (160/170) and J.J. Johnson (285), plus sophomores Tyrell Reichert (132) and Trevor Jensen (195/220). Coach Fox also lists freshman Marcus Fox (145) as a promising newcomer. "We have a good core of upperclassmen this season," Fox said. "With several wrestlers able to score some points, we should be more competitive as a team than we have been the last few years. We also have the opportunity to have some individual success and have several wrestlers qualify for state." DCS will enter the Class D-4 District meet at Sutherland Feb. 10-11.

“With several wrestlers able to score some points, we should be more competitive as a team than we have been the last few years.”

Dundy County-Stratton Tigers

Grant Strunk/McCook Daily Gazette

Medicine Valley: 2011 state runner-up Timmons hopes to take top step in ’12 – Dundy County-Stratton coach Dan Fox

Front row, from left: Scott Adkins, Trevor Jensen, Logan Evans, Tayler Jensen, Jonathan Johnson, Chris Rotherham. Back row: assistant coach Josh Fanning, manager Elisabeth Jensen, Marcus Fox, Tyrell Reichert, Ben Fox, Paul Downey, head coach Dan Fox.

Medicine Valley Raiders

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

CURTIS, Nebraska – Medicine Valley High School will try to back up last year's sixth-place state meet effort with another solid team in the 2011-12 season. The Raiders have seven letter winners back from last year's edition that claimed a district title and also finished third at the Republican Plains Activities Conference (RPAC) meet, in addition to the sixth-place finish at the Class D state meet in Omaha last February. Senior Hunter Timmons placed second at 140 pounds at state last year, with hopes to take one higher step up the state meet podium next February. Coach Barry Mraz has four other state meet qualifiers returning this season in seniors Josh Leas and Jacob Brennemann, junior Rulon Taylor and sophomore Thomas Foster. Sophomores Quinten Chancellor and Cory Merrigan also earned varsity letters last year. Coach Mraz has a long list of hopefuls ready to battle for spots on the varsity lineup this winter, including Jason Conklin, Ty Contrerez, Tanner Mickelsen, Rodger Farr, Wayne Wills and Brett Jones. "We should be a competitive team," Mraz said. "We have solid leadership from the upperclassmen and a lot of young talent." The Raiders will battle with Gazette area teams Dundy County-Stratton and Southwest in the Class D-4 District meet at Sutherland Feb. 10-11.

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

Front row, from left: managers Jake Korinek, Justin Anderson and Scott Taylor. Middle row: head coach Barry Mraz, Rodger Farr, Thomas Foster, Hunter Timmons, Josh Leas, Ty Contrerez, Tanner Mickelsen, Wayne Wills. Back row: assistant coach Keithan Cochran, Taylor Kemp, Quinten Chancellor, Rulon Taylor, Jason Conklin, Jacob Brennemann, Cory Merrigan, assistant coaches Allan Taylor and Brandan Salpas. Not pictured: Brett Jones.

Along with Timmons, Medicine Valley has four additional state qualifiers returning this year – seniors Josh Leas and Jacob Brennemann, junior Rulon Taylor and sophomore Thomas Foster.

Proud to be your source for local news – and sports.

McCook Daily Gazette

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Bison swimmers have largest squad ever WINTER SPORTS 2011

McCook Daily Gazette

STEVE KODAD GAZETTE SPORTS EDITOR

McCOOK, Neb. – The McCook High School swimming and diving program is setting records before the first competition of the season. Head coach Lori Jumps said she has the largest squad in program history, with 47 total boys and girls working out in early-season drills. That group includes 29 girls and 18 boys. In Nebraska high school swimming and diving, all the schools compete in one class, and McCook is one of the smallest schools in the state enrollment-wise that offer the sport. There are a total of 38 girls teams and 37 boys teams competing this winter, with several small schools running co-op teams with larger schools nearby. Southwest High School has several athletes competitors on the McCook team. Even with the largest squad ever, the Bison will likely not have enough strength to compete with the rest of the state’s teams. As is the case nearly every year, Coach Jumps will stress individual improvement over team goals with hopes to earn several state qualifying marks before the season is complete. There are no district meets in which to qualify for state. Instead, competitors earn state meet berths by exceeding state qualifying standards in each of the 12 events during sanctioned events during the season. The 2012 Nebraska State High School Swimming and Diving Championships are scheduled Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 23-25, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln. The order of events for most high school meets includes the 200-yard medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, one-meter diving, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 100 backstroke, 100 breast stroke and 400 freestyle relay. Jon Graff will assist Coach Jumps this season, with Graff working with the Bison divers. Coach Jumps expects strong seasons from seniors Dalton Bundy and Jordan May. Bundy will compete mainly in the 50yard freestyle for the Bison boys. May should be one of the top Bison girls in the 50 free and the 100 backstroke. McCook also has two veteran boys on the diving board in seniors Josh Stevens and Austin Molcyk. Other letter winners returning for the Bison boys include seniors Josh Detty and Lucas Jumps, juniors Colton Brown and Jacob Reimann, plus sophomores Conner Stamm and Kalan Stamm. Besides May, other McCook girls letter winners back this season include seniors Jackie Carfield, Amanda Fuchuck, Kinsley Hurst, Michelle Tinglum and Anna West, junior Kelsey Woitaszewski plus sophomores Maddie Shepherd, Emiline Sides and Miranda Wordekemper. Coach Jumps is pleased that she has a good group of freshmen on this year’s squad. The Bison swimmers and divers open the season Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Hastings Invitational. McCook has just two home meets this season, with the McCook Invitational scheduled Friday, Dec. 9 at the Ed Thomas YMCA pool, and a triangular meet with North Platte and Grand Island Jan. 5. The Bison will compete at the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference swimming and diving meet at Columbus Feb. 1011.

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Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING & DIVING SENIORS – Left to right, front row: Jordan May, Kinsley Hurst, Anna West, Josh Detty, Dalton Bundy. Middle row: Angelique Witt, Jackie Carfield, Kalie Kennedy, Emily Tolliver. Back row: Josh Stevens, Austin Molcyk, Alan Goodenberger, Luke Mabile, Nate Cummins, Lucas Jumps. Not pictured: Amanda Fuchuck.

Area Coaches & Athletic Directors:

The Gazette wants to give your athletes and teams the attention they deserve – and weʼre asking for your help to make that a reality! To send us stats and scores from your games, please fax them to 308-345-7881, or send an e-mail to sports@mccookgazette.com

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WINTER SPORTS 2011

12C – McCook Daily Gazette

Bison sophomores

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING & DIVING SOPHOMORES – Left to right, front row: Conner Stamm, Reid Wilcox, Kalan Stamm. Back row: Madison Shepherd, Becca Sehnert, Samantha Kalinski, Madison Aufrecht, EmIlene Sides, Bryn Carriker, Katie Rabas. Not pictured: Miranda Wordekemper.

Bison juniors

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING & DIVING JUNIORS – Left to right, front row: Jacob Reimann, Tristan Thomas, Colton Brown. Back row: Karlie Blank, Sara Larington, Kelsey Woitaszewski, Olivia Paz.

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette

2011-12 McCOOK HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING & DIVING FRESHMEN – Left to right, front row: Amanda Slattery, Anna Graff, Erica Wood, Jane Reiners. Middle row: Lexis Jones, Bailey Kool, London Scott, Taylor Geisler, Josie Witt. Back row: Isaac Langan, Zach Strecker, Sam Backer.

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2011 Winter Sports Edition