First Nationals Hall of Fame Inductees Announced with Schedule for the Hall of Fame Weekend

North Platte American Legion Baseball First NationalsNorth Platte American Legion Baseball has had a long and distinguished run in North Platte, with the program officially starting around 1960.  Hundreds of players and fans, along with dozens of coaches and others truly dedicated to the program have been involved in American Legion Baseball.  In 2013 the Board of Directors decided a Hall of Fame to honor these outstanding individuals should be started.  The inaugural class included two coaches, two players and two individual volunteers.

This year’s class includes one player, one state championship team, and two individuals who donated countless hours to making North Platte American Legion Baseball what it has become.  This year’s class includes Zane Smith, Bob and Pat Sparks and the 1989 Midget Post 163 baseball team.

The Hall of Fame weekend will begin at 4:30 pm Friday May 1st at Bill Wood Field with an intra-squad scrimmage of our current Legion teams followed by an alumni vs alumni game at 6:30 pm.  In between innings we will honor the Hall of Fame inductees.  Admission is free.  Saturday May 2nd, the American Legion 4 person golf scramble will begin at Lake Maloney Golf course with a shotgun start at 12:30 pm.  Following the golf tournament, there will be a banquet in the clubhouse honoring the 2014 North Platte Legion Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.  The golf tournament cost is $65.00 which includes the banquet. Tickets for the banquet only are $20.00.   All past Legion players are invited to come out and participate. The entire community is welcome as well.

The First Nationals will start their regular season Sat May 16th when the Seniors travel to Scottsbluff. The Juniors host Scottsbluff at Bill Wood Field in North Platte at 1:00 pm.  The Juniors and Seniors will be home to host a doubleheader against Hershey on May 20th and all proceeds will go to North Platte Legion Alumni Kade Folchert and his family.

Alma’s David Ehrke Will Sing National Anthem at State Games of America

state-games-of-americaLINCOLN, Neb. (April 23, 2015) At first, David Ehrke didn’t even know he was entered in a competition to sing the national anthem at the State Games of America (SGA). Now he’s excited for the opportunity to take his talent to Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he’ll perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” for thousands during the opening ceremonies of SGA 2015 on July 31.

Ehrke, 15, of Alma, Nebraska, was chosen by voters at the State Games of America Facebook page. His video of a past national anthem performance at a Lincoln Saltdogs game earned 1,457 “likes,” edging Marlana Vanhoose of Denver, Kentucky. Ehrke’s video was submitted by his brother Jared without his knowledge. A panel of judges selected Ehrke to be one of five finalists from a pool of 52 entrants from 21 states.

“It was amazing when I found out I’d won,” said Ehrke. “I’ve always dreamed of performing at Memorial Stadium. It will be an honor.” He says a grassroots social media campaign led by his brother and sister helped put him over the top, and he’s thankful for all the people who supported him in the contest.

Ehrke is the youngest of five children in a family known for performing at local churches and special events in the Alma area. He began singing solos at age seven and enjoys learning and performing a wide variety of music.

The 2015 State Games of America is scheduled for July 28–August 2 in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. With nearly 20,000 competitors, the event will be the largest amateur sports festival in the U.S. SGA 2015 is open to all Nebraskans and qualifying athletes from throughout the nation. In addition to Ehrke’s performance, the opening ceremonies will feature the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team and the Metal Mulisha motocross daredevils.

Details regarding events, eligibility, hotel accommodations and the host city of Lincoln are available at SGA2015.com. Follow State Games of America on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Nebraska National Anthem Try-Outs – May 6 & 9

Memorial-Stadium-Huskers-NeThe Nebraska Athletic Marketing department is holding National Anthem tryouts for individual singers, groups, and instrumental ensembles on Wednesday, May 6 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 9 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Individuals or groups that are interested in trying out for a chance to perform the National Anthem at Husker sporting events must pre-register with the Nebraska Athletic Marketing department by visiting and pre-registering at huskers.com/nationalanthem no later than Monday, May 4 at 4 p.m. Time slots are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Information needed for pre-registration will include the singer or group name; age of individual singer (if under 18); e-mail address; daytime phone number; cell phone number; and preferred tryout date. More details, including the assigned tryout date and time, will be provided after pre-registration.

Each performance is limited to two minutes or less. Selected performers will have a chance to perform the National Anthem at a variety of Nebraska Athletic sporting events, including men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, bowling, soccer, softball, track and field, wrestling and gymnastics.

Please contact Matt Tomjack at mtomjack@huskers.com with any questions.

Huskers Set for Showcase in Grand Island

Nebraska-Volleyball-HuskersThe Nebraska volleyball team plays its only official match of the spring when it takes on Kansas State in Grand Island on Saturday at the Heartland Events Center. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m., with doors opening 60 minutes prior to first serve. The Huskers will sign autographs for a short time after the match, which sold out in less than an hour. While the Huskers will be playing for the first and only time this spring, Kansas State has already put 22 sets under its belt against eight different opponents enteringSaturday. The Wildcats also play Nebraska-Kearney early on Saturday before taking on the Huskers Saturday night.

SERIES HISTORY

Record: NU leads 82-4 (Last Meeting: KSU 3-2, Dec. 2, 2011 in Lincoln)

Notes: The last meeting was Kansas State’s upset of the Huskers in Lincoln in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. It snapped Nebraska’s 14-match win streak in the series. Nebraska last played in Grand Island in the 2011 spring season, topping Wichita State 3-2. A packed crowd of 5,522 fans filled the Heartland Events Center for that match.

NOTING THE HUSKERS

  • The Huskers are coming off a 23-10 (14-6 Big Ten) season in 2014 in which they advanced to an NCAA Regional Final for the third consecutive season. After defeating Hofstra and Utah to advance to the Seattle Regional, the Huskers upset No. 3 Washington 3-1 on its home court to reach the final eight teams. NU’s season came to an end at the hands of the BYU Cougars, who went on to reach the NCAA Championship match.
  • Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen was an AVCA third-team All-American for the second time in 2014, earning Nebraska’s nation-leading 77th AVCA All-America certificate. She is the 27th Husker to earn multiple honors in her career. Rolfzen led Nebraska in kills with 405 (3.55 per set) and posted a double-double in all four NCAA Tournament matches to help lift the Huskers to the Elite Eight for the third straight season. Rolfzen, a Papillion-La Vista South grad, finished second on the team in digs with 316 (2.77 per set), establishing herself as one of the top all-around players in the nation, region and Big Ten for the second straight season.
  • Kelsey Fien earned honorable-mention All-America honors following her junior season. The outside hitter from Bakersfield, Calif., was second on the team in kills with 286 (3.21 per set) and was particularly strong in conference play, posting 3.39 kills per set while hitting .303, the best mark by an NU player and third among all B1G outside hitters.
  • Briana Holman and Alicia Ostrander were selected to the U.S. Collegiate National Team Program this spring. Holman is one of 12 players who will represent the U.S. Collegiate Natioanl Team at the 2015 World University Games July 2-12 at Gwangju, South Korea. It’s her second career selection to the team. Ostrander is one of 36 players who will train and compete conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships from June 21-29 in New Orleans, La.

SCOUTING KANSAS STATE

The Wildcats finished 22-9 (9-7 Big 12) last season. Their season came to an end in Lincoln in an NCAA Tournament first-round loss to Utah. KSU is led by outside hitter Kylee Zumach, who was the unanimous Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was an All-Big 12 first-team selection with setter Katie Brand in 2014. Saturday’s match marks a homecoming for the GI native Brand, who led Grand Island Central Catholic to a state title in her junior year of high school. Brand is coming off an honorable-mention All-America season as a sophomore with the Wildcats.

Huskers-Michigan State to be Played in Prime Time

nebraska_helmetThe Big Ten Conference and ESPN/ABC announced Thursday that Nebraska’s Nov. 7 game against Michigan State will be a prime-time contest at Memorial Stadium.

The will be carried on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, with kickoff at either 6 or 7 p.m. CT. The final network designation and kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

The Huskers’ matchup with Michigan State is one of the top Big Ten games this fall. The Spartans finished with an 11-2 record in 2014 and were ranked fifth in both of the final national polls.

Nebraska and Michigan State will be televised in prime time on the ESPN family of networks for the second straight season. A year ago, Michigan State defeated Nebraska,27-22, in a night game at Spartan Stadium.

Overall this will mark the fifth straight year the Nebraska-Michigan State tilt has been televised on an ESPN platform. The 2011 game in Lincoln was televised on ESPN, with each of the past three matchups were on ABC.

The Nebraska-Michigan State game is one of seven Big Ten games that will be televised in prime time on the ESPN family of networks.

As announced last week, Nebraska will also play host to South Alabama in a prime-time game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 12. That contest will be televised by BTN.

Big Ten Volleyball to Participate in Foreign Tour June 13-25

Big-Ten-LogoROSEMONT, Ill. – For the first time in conference history, Big Ten volleyball student-athletes from all 14 schools will travel overseas to take part in a foreign tour to feature not just competition on the court, but also community service initiatives and the opportunity to experience new cultures in some of the world’s greatest cities. The Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team will travel to Slovenia, Croatia and Italy from June 13-25.

Northwestern’s Keylor Chan will serve as the head coach of the Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team. Indiana’s Paul Koncir and Rutgers Phuong Louong will travel as assistant coaches, while Michigan State athletic trainer Lianna Hadden will also accompany the team.

“The Big Ten Volleyball Foreign Tour Team will have a great opportunity this summer to come together and compete against some of the best players in the world,” said Chan. “These tours provide student-athletes and coaches with the ability to visit different places, meet new people and experience new cultures through the game that we all love. I’m really looking forward to representing Northwestern University and the Big Ten Conference overseas in June.”

The first stop for the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team is Maribor, Slovenia, where matches with four national teams will take place. The squad will then travel to several cities in Croatia to play in two contests versus the Istrian Select team. The final leg of the tour will be in Italy, where the team will play the Italian National Team.

In addition to competition on the court, the 14 student-athletes will have the opportunity to partake in community service initiatives, study foreign languages with local students and visit some of Europe’s most historic cities, including Ljubljana in Slovenia, Istra, Pula, Rovinj and Porec in Croatia, and Padova and Venice in Italy.

The complete Big Ten Foreign Tour Team and final schedule will be announced at a later date.

Placzek Delivers Again in 7-6 Win at Creighton

husker baseballLincoln – The No. 23 Nebraska baseball team (27-11, 5-4 Big Ten) came away with a 7-6 victory on Tuesday night at TD Ameritrade Park and for the third time in four games against the Creighton Bluejays (20-9, 5-1 Big East), Nebraska’s Jake Placzek delivered the game-winning hit.

A junior from La Vista, Neb., Placzek came through with a RBI single in the top of the ninth to give the Huskers a 7-6 lead. Last season, Placzek produced a walk-off single in Lincoln on March 19 and later delivered an eighth-inning two-RBI single in a 4-2 win at TD Ameritrade Park on April 8.

Josh Roeder got the final five outs of the game for the Huskers and picked up his first win of the season after notching 11 saves on the year. The senior closer last notched a win against Illinois on May 17 of last season.

The Huskers had a 6-2 lead after the third, but the Jays scored three in the seventh and one in the eighth to tie the game. Nebraska matched a season high with three errors on the evening, that resulted in three unearned runs.

Freshman Garett King started for the Huskers and left the game with a lead, but didn’t factor into the decision. After going a career-high 8.0 innings in a 5-1 win over the Jays in Lincoln on March 31, King gave up five runs, only three earned, over 6.1 innings on Tuesday night. King allowed two hits the first inning on, but then that Anaheim Hills, Calif., native found a grove allowed four hits over the next 5.1 innings. In two starts against the Jays this season, King has allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks over 14.1 innings, while striking out eight.

After the Jays took a 2-0 lead in the first on a pair of hits and a NU error, the Husker offense responded and tied the game in the top of the second, with the tying run scoring out a two-out double off the bat of Ryan Boldt.

The two-out hits continued in the third when the Huskers plated four runs, all with two outs, to take a 6-2 lead. With Tanner Lubach on second, Austin Darby got the two-out rally started with a single that put runners on first and third. Scott Schreiber then gave the Huskers a 3-2 lead with a RBI single and Christian Cox followed with a two-RBI double. The Jays went reliever Connor Miller, but the Huskers kept hitting, as Jake Schleppenbach lined the first offering he saw from Miller into right field for a RBI single. Schleppenbach stole second to put himself in scoring position, but Miller put an end to the bleeding when he got Boldt to groundout.

Miller kept the Jays in the game by retiring the Huskers in order in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Miller’s effort gave the Jays’ offense a chance and they took advantage in the seventh with three runs on two hits and NU’s second error of the night. After King struck out Ryan Fitzgerald to start the inning, Harrison Crawford notched his first career home run with a blast to left field. King then gave up a single and walk, and with the tying run at the plate the Huskers went to Jeff Chesnut. The junior reliever got the ground ball he needed for a double play, but Schleppenbach committed an error and a run scored. Daniel Woodrow tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly before Chesnut got out of the inning with back-to-back groundouts, but NU’s lead was cut to 6-5.

After Miller had sent down 13 straight Huskers, NU’s Ben Miller snapped the streak with a leadoff double in the eighth. Elijah Dilday entered the game as a pinch runner and was soon 90 feet from home following a sac bunt by Darby. Dilday tried to score on a ground ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Austin Christensen, but was out on the play, 4-2-5-1.

Colton Howell took the mound for the Huskers in the eighth and was quickly in trouble after Reagan Fowler started the frame with a double and Fitzgerald later produced a one-out single to put runners on the corners. NU turned the ball over to Roeder, who struck out Crawford, but on the play Fitzgerald stole second base and a throwing error by Lubach allowed Fowler to score and tie the game, 6-6. Roeder then struck out Matt Gandy to strand the go-ahead run at second base.

With the game tied, Schleppenbach led off the ninth with a double to put the go-ahead run in scoring position for the top of NU’s lineup. Creighton turned the ball over to David Gerber, who was welcome by an infield single by Boldt that put runners on the corners. Placzek stepped lined the seventh pitch he saw from Gerber back through the box for a go-ahead RBI single. Gerber then got a double play and a ground out to end the top of the ninth.

Roeder came back to the mound and struck out Kevin Connolly to start the frame, Roeder’s third strikeout of the night. Kevin Lamb then singled up the middle to put the tying run on base with the top of CU’s order coming to the plate, but Roeder stranded Lamb at first base with a fly out and a 4-3 putout, sealing the Huskers’ 27th win of the season.

Nebraska will be back home at Hawks Field tomorrow night to host the Omaha Mavericks, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. The game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.

Maniohuta Archery Club’s 3D Shoot Schedule Released

Maniohuta Archery ClubNorth Platte’s Maniohuta Archery Club released its 3D Shoot schedule for 2015 on Tuesday.

The 3D Shoots will take place the third Saturday of each month from April through September. The dates are as follows: April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15 and September 19.

Registration for the 3D Shoots begins at 9:00 am and will be a continuous line until 1:00 pm on the day of the shoot. The cost is $15 for non-members and $10 for members. Kids 11 and under are $5.

The shoots will take place at 204 Pheasant Run Rd., by Lake Maloney and concessions will be available. You can get more information by going to the Maniohuta Archers Facebook page or by emailing maniohutaarchers@gmail.com.

State Games of America National Anthem Finalists Announced

state-games-of-americaLINCOLN, Neb. (April 14, 2015) — State Games of America (SGA) officials have announced five finalists in the SGA 2015 National Anthem Contest.

Finalists include: David Ehrke, 15, from Alma, Nebraska; Teena Handline, 25, from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; Jaden Nandkeshwar, 12, from Layton, Utah; Andrew Portnoy, 40, from Austin, Texas and Marlana VanHoose, 19 from Denver, Kentucky.

The contest now moves to the public voting phase on the SGA Facebook page. The performer with the most likes by 11:59 p.m. CDT on April 20 earns the honor of performing the Star Spangled Banner at the SGA Opening Ceremonies on July 31.

The finalists were chosen from among 51 contestants from 22 states who submitted audition videos via YouTube. A selection team ranked the auditions and the consensus top five was chosen for the public-voting phase. Travel and lodging expenses for the winner are underwritten by the contest sponsor Amigos / Kings Classic, a popular Nebraska restaurant chain.

The State Games of America is expected to draw more than 18,000 participants to Lincoln and Omaha from July 28–August 2 for competition in 63 sports. Besides the national anthem, the Opening Ceremonies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium includes the traditional parade of athletes, a freestyle motocross exhibition by the Metal Mulisha and a torch lighting finale including Olympians Lolo Jones and Jordan Burroughs.

Participant registration is open through May 15 for non-Nebraskans and July 1 for resident athletes. More than 1,500 competitors from 40 different states are already registered. Details regarding events, eligibility, hotel accommodations and the host city of Lincoln are available at SGA2015.com. Follow State Games of America on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.