Each year three awards are presented to players on each team, Best Teammate, Offensive Player of the Game and Defensive Player of the Game. Each team votes on their best teammate. The offensive and defensive awards are decided by a committee appointed by the Board of Directors.


<—-Reid Korth of Wayne was named Red Team “Best Teammate”.



Mason Walsh of O’Neill was named White Team “Best Teammate”.  —->





Most Valuable Players

White Team: #1 Sutton Pohlman, Stanton – Offensive Player of the Game and #52 Mike Brands, Oakland-Craig – Defensive Player of the Game

Red Team: #20 Garrett Boelter, Lutheran High Northeast – Defensive Player of the Game and #23 Nicholas Arenas, Wakefield – Offensive Player of the Game

Cheerleaders from Pierce, Battle Creek, West Point-Beemer, and Wayne helped cheer on the 2023 Red & White Teams!  We appreciate your pep!!


Tom Olson, recently retired head football coach and member of the Board of Directors had the honor of delivering the coin toss for the 2021 NEN All-Star Football Classic. Olson was the speaker at the Recognition Banquet held on Friday evening preceding the game.

The officials for the game were Bryan Daum of Battle Creek, referee; Jeff Keagle of Wakefield, umpire; Nate Hahne of Norfolk, back judge; Chris Barry of Battle Creek, head linesman; and Brian Chapman of Battle Creek, as line judge.

The Board of Directors of the NEN All-Star Football Classic presented three awards at the game on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

Rod Bummels of Osmond received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Randy Hagedorn and Joe Tjaden, both of Norfolk received the Contributor Awards.

Rod Brummels is a 1971 graduate of Clearwater High School.  He attended both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Wayne State College. Upon graduating he returned to Clearwater in the fall of 1978 to begin his teaching and coaching career.  During his 31 years at Clearwater, he served as an assistant football coach for his first three years and then took over the reins of the program for 27 years.  His last year at Clearwater he co-coached the first year of the Clearwater-Orchard OC Cyclones.  From there he moved to Osmond and served one year as an assistant before taking over the football program for seven years.

After retirement from teaching, he served as an assistant at Humphrey-Lindsay Holy Family for one year, Pierce Public Schools for two years, and is currently an assistant back at Osmond.

During his coaching tenure he also logged 27 years as an assistant high school basketball coach with 20 of those at Clearwater. In 2011 he was blessed to be a part of the Clearwater Basketball program that was inducted into the Nebraska High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a Dominant Dynasty.  He also coached track for over 20 years either as a head coach or as an assistant.

He has coached in the Nebraska 8 Man All Star game (assistant and head), The Nebraska-Kansas 8 man All Star Game (assistant and head), and the Northeast Nebraska All Star Football Game (assistant and head).

He served as the president of the Nebraska 8 Man Football Coaches Association for five years.

Rod’s family consists of his wife, Jane, his four children: Seth, Josh, Sydney, and Morgan, and his 11 grandchildren.

Randy Hagedorn has worked at the Norfolk Family YMCA for 37 years, the last 23 as the Executive Director. He led a $14,000,000 capital campaign to expand the current facility. The new addition opened in 2014. The current facility is now 181,000 square feet.
He graduated from West point CC High School, attended Northeast Community College and then Dana College. He participated in college basketball for 4 years and then coached college basketball for 5 years. He is well known as an area official. He has officiated high school basketball and football games for 38 years, working numerous football playoff games and 5 state championship games. He has also worked numerous district basketball games and has worked 16 state tournaments. He has officiated the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic, the Shrine Bowl, the State All-Star basketball game, and Northeast Nebraska All-Star basketball game. He has also worked numerous college basketball and college football games, including playoff and championship games.
He has been married for 30 years to Patti who teaches and coaches at Norfolk Junior High. Their children are daughter Breanna who coaches and teaches in Lincoln, son Tyler who is playing pro basketball overseas, and son Matt who plays basketball at Doane College.

Joe Tjaden is a graduate of Ft. Dodge Senior High, Iowa Central Community College, and Iowa State University.  After radio stints in Iowa at Ames and Webster City, he came to Norfolk in August of 2000 as the Sports Director of 105.9 WJAG/97.5 KEXL/106 KIX.  The award that Joe received that he is most proud of is from September, 2009 when he was presented the ‘Contributions to Athletics and the Youth of Our Community Award’ from the Norfolk Coaches Association.  He commented “It’s been a blast over the last 20+ years being honored to cover these athletes, playing the game they love, and building relationships with Northeast Nebraska coaches.  This acknowledgement today, would not be possible without his crew members he has worked with over the years.  It’s hard to say so much…… in so little to so many,….But, if a man can be judged by the friends he keeps, I must be the luckiest guy in town.”

The 2021 NEN All-Star Football Classic Band performed the National Anthem and a half-time show for the appreciative crowd at the NEN All-Star Football Classic on Saturday, June 12. There were 55 members of the band this year. Directors were Todd Cook, Clint Dennis, Samantha Hahn, Dr. Wade Howels, Carrie Jensen, Mike Sindt, Jason Stech and Brad Weber.

Each year two band awards are presented. The winners this year are Nathan Kalous from Norfolk Catholic – Most Improved and Ryan Yost from Norfolk High School – Best Leader.

Here are some other band pictures from the game:

Here are some action photos from the game:

Mason Walsh of O’Neill threw a touchdown pass to Haustyn Forney of Humphrey St. Francis in the final seconds of the game and the White team beat the Red team 17-10 in the ninth annual Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic at Veteran’s Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon.

As Red lined up to punt at their own 32-yard line with 20 seconds left, it seemed as if the game — then tied 10-10 — would be headed to overtime for the first time ever. Suddenly, Mason Bruggeman of Stanton broke through the offensive line and blocked the kick, allowing White to take over deep in Red territory.

The play was one that Red coach Steve Neptune of West Holt thought should not have happened. According to the All-Star Football Classic website, once the punter moves laterally (like one would for a rugby punt) linebackers and defensive backs may rush him. However, Neptune felt Bruggeman was not one of those allowed to rush.

“They had a guy come through that’s not supposed to and blocked it, but when you don’t practice it that way, then something like that happens, it’s just unfortunate,” he said. “But it’s an all-star game. Stuff like that happens.”

No penalty was called, and White took over at the Red 25-yard line with 16 seconds left. It might only have taken a couple yards to put Ryan Kramer of Boone Central in range to seal it with a field goal. However, White coach Dan Maresh of Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons Decatur Northeast called for a deep ball to the end zone in hopes of ending things with a bang.

“You always want it to end with your offense,” he said. “You only get a week to put in that special teams. I’d rather see our quarterback go make a play.”

On the play, Mason Walsh took the snap and began looking for an open receiver. With the play winding down, he narrowed his options to Forney and Sutton Pohlman of Stanton. With pressure coming, Walsh moved to his right and found Forney, who leapt over his defender to make the game-winning grab in the corner of the end zone.

“I knew I had Haustyn in the corner, so I just kind of put it in the corner of the end zone because I knew there was a shot for him to get in, Walsh said. “Haustyn went up and made a great play and that’s the only reason that happened because he made a great catch.”

Things didn’t start off so smoothly for Walsh and the White team. After throwing an interception on fourth down to Rumen Rentschler of West Holt in the first quarter, Blake Brown of Wakefield found fellow-Trojan Nick Arenas for a 59-yard touchdown to put Red up 7-0 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Alex Prim of Norfolk Catholic tacked on a field goal in the second quarter and Kramer answered with one of his own to make it a 10-3 game going into halftime.

Walsh threw two interceptions in the first half and was uncomfortable in the pocket early on. As the game went on, he became more confident knowing the teammates around him had what it took to make game-changing plays.

“I was a little antsy in the pocket in the first half,” he said. “But I got comfortable in the second half and realized how much time I had and was able to work around and help make some plays.”

Walsh had an opportunity to make one of those plays in the third quarter when, after a failed fake punt by the Red team, the White team took over deep in Red territory. On third down and 14 from the Red 32-yard line, Walsh found Pohlman on a post route down the middle of the field to tie the game 10-10.

Pohlman was named the offensive player of the game for White while Mike Brands of Oakland-Craig was named their defensive player of the game. Arenas was named the offensive player of the game for the Red team and Garrett Boelter of Lutheran High Northeast earned defensive honors.

On defense, Pohlman set a new All-Star Classic record with two interceptions, both of which came in the final 90 seconds. His last one was made on the final play of the game.

“It was an amazing moment, and I couldn’t be more happy to be with the group of kids I’m with,” he said regarding the play. “They’re all great kids and just had a great week with them and that was the cherry on top. Sealing the deal and getting the W.”

Peyton Matthews of O’Neill set a new record with a 58-yard punt.

Walsh, along with fullback Reid Korth of Wayne, were both named “Best Teammates” for White and Red, respectively.

Score by quarters

Red 7 3 0 0 — 10

White 0 3 7 7 — 17

Scoring summary

First quarter

RED: Nick Arenas 59 pass from Blake Brown (Prim kick), 4:43.

Second quarter

RED: Alex Prim 41 FG, 8:56.

WHITE: Ryan Kramer 31 FG, 5:34.

Third quarter

WHITE: Sutton Pohlman 32 from Mason Walsh (Kramer kick), 6:39.

Fourth quarter

WHITE: Haustyn Forney 25 from Mason Walsh (Kramer kick), 0:07.

The Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic Board of Directors presented a check for $5000 to Faith Regional Health Services at the recent Recognition Banquet held for the 2021 Classic. Each year the Board donates a portion of the proceeds from the previous Classic to FRHS Sports Medicine and Rehab Department. The check was presented by Board of Directors President Jeff Bellar and received by the Certified Athletic Trainers that were in attendance at the banquet. Trainer Adam Hervert (second from right) spoke thanking the Board. He also introduced the certified trainers present at the banquet.

The certified athletic trainers provide an important service to the Classic. Trainers are present at each practice and at the game to ensure athletes have the best care.

The 2021 NEN All-Star Football Classic held their Player and Coach Recognition Banquet on Friday, June 11 at the Norfolk Catholic Activities Center. Board of Directors President Jeff Bellar was the master of ceremonies.

Guest speaker, Tom Olson.

The featured speaker was recently retired head football coach from Norfolk High School, Tom Olson. Olson spoke about why football is a good sport, teaching mostly young men about life. He shared stories from his coaching years showing examples of player leadership and integrity. Olson is a member of the Classic’s Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors were introduced, as well as the game officials and the Certified Athletic Trainers from Faith Regional Health Services, title sponsor of the Classic.

The Red Team coaches were introduced and Head Coach Steve Neptune introduced the members of the Red Team. The White Team coaches were also introduced and Head Coach Dan Maresh introduced the members of the White Team.

Special guests were parents, family, friends and fans of the players. First Choice Catering catered the meal.