Following a Class C1 state football championship last fall, Boone Central sent four players to the 11th annual Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic, tied for the most of any team.
The Cardinals made their presence felt.
A trio of Boone Central players — Hank Hudson, James Fogleman and Parker Borer — provided all three touchdowns for the White Team in a 21-14 victory at Veterans Memorial Field on Saturday.
“I knew we had a great group of guys, and coming in to practice with us four, it was great,” Fogleman said. “I was glad that both the Boone kids and other kids that we played against had a chance to ball out in this game.” Fogleman won the offensive MVP award for the White Team, racking up 96 yards passing and 40 yards rushing to go along with one passing touchdown.
“It was kind of unexpected, but it’s nice because I’m not going to get to put on the pads again, so it’s good to go out with a bang,” Fogleman said.

Both teams pitched shutouts to start the game, with the score tied at 0-0 after the first quarter.
Shortly after the second quarter started, the Red Team broke the seal, with Norfolk Catholic’s Carter Janssen connecting with Lutheran High Northeast’s Tate Collison on a 58-yard play-action touchdown. Collison made a terrific play, making an almost blind over-the-shoulder catch before running nearly 30 yards to pay dirt. “I really wanted these boys to play for each other today, and I thought they did that,” said Red Team coach Mike Hassler of Wakefield.
The White Team responded with a drive late in the second quarter to tie things up.
Its offense, which had been struggling to gain traction, found a spark by running the option as Borer was able to find the edge multiple times, scampering for 48 yards on six carries during the drive. On first and 10 from the Red Team’s 33-yard line, Fogleman lofted a pass to Battle Creek’s Blake Borchers, who made an acrobatic catch at the 2-yard line to set up Hudson’s short plunge on the next play, evening the game at 7-7.
“Offensively, we just tried to do what works and get the ball to Parker (Borer), which worked there,” Fogleman said.
The White Team then got the ball back at the 49-yard line with only 48 seconds to go in the half, but instead of running the clock out, White Team coach Cory Valasek of Riverside decided to try for a score. It paid off. Fogleman connected on a long pass down the right side of the field to Elkhorn Valley’s Dawson Hansen for a 49-yard score and a 14-7 halftime lead.
“That was big. Anytime you can get momentum going into halftime and get the ball again to start the second half, it can blow it open,” Valasek said. “That play really did it for us today.”
“We came into the game going run heavy, but we knew we could throw it over the top if we got the
backers flowing down,” Fogleman said. “We were actually trying to hit the quick out there, but both of the backers covered it so I just took the shot and it worked out. That was a big game changer for us.”
The White Team extended the lead to 21-7 on its first drive of the third quarter.
A kickoff return by Spencer Hille of Plainview set the squad up at its own 40-yard line, and a steady diet of runs combined with a 15-yard face-mask penalty put the ball on the 1-yard line, where Borer punched it in on third and goal.
The White Team’s defense managed to hold the Red Team off the board in the second half until late in the fourth quarter, with defensive MVP Dylon Lueking of Elgin Public/Pope John making a number of tackles to disrupt the Red Team’s running game.
“Defensively, we were limited to running a 4-3 and couldn’t blitz, but good players make good plays, and we were fortunate to have a lot of good players do that today,” Valasek said.
A late score with less than two minutes left made things interesting.
The Red Team turned to a no-huddle offense with Hartington-Newcastle quarterback Riley Sudbeck in an attempt to go up-tempo. The Wildcat graduate led an 11-play, 61-yard drive that he finished with a quarterback keeper for a 1-yard touchdown with 1:52 left on the clock to cut the lead to 21-14.
“We just got to the point where I told the offensive coaches, ‘We have to start going for it,’ and we
emptied everything from the playbook,” Hassler said. “Whatever we worked on over the week, we tried to use, and we spread them out and found something that worked to get ourselves back into the game.”
The Red Team got the ball back at its own 25-yard line with 38 seconds remaining and had a chance to send the game to overtime, but the White Team sealed the win as Sudbeck had a pass tipped up into the air, which Oakland-Craig’s Lincoln Benne picked off for a game-ending interception. “When you get into all-star games, it’s really just athletes making plays, and they did that there,” Hassler said.
Both sides valued the camaraderie and team-building over the past week as it was the last chance to suit up for many of the players.
“There’s a lot of guys on teams that have played against each other for four years and might not have been the best of friends, but they practice all week long and end up becoming good friends,” Valasek said. “I think that’s the best part about this.”

“We just wanted to have fun,” Fogleman said. “A lot of these guys, it’s their last time putting on the pads, including me, so we wanted to go out there and have fun, and it was a great game and a great experience.”
“A lot of these boys, it’s their last chance to strap on a helmet, so we really wanted them to cherish this, almost as a gift,” Hassler said. “This is a memory that they’re going to cherish, so just go out there and don’t regret anything, and I think the kids took advantage of that gift. It was a great opportunity.”
With the win, the White Team avenged its 42-14 loss in last year’s game. The White Team now leads the all-time series 7-4 and has won five of the past six matchups.
While Fogleman and Lueking won the White Team’s MVP awards, Stanton’s Mitchell Hupp won the best teammate award. Pierce’s Keenan Valverde won the offensive MVP for the Red Team, rushing for 67 yards and kicking two extra points, while Norfolk Catholic’s Mason Weidner won the defensive MVP. Ben Sousek of Norfolk Catholic won the best teammate award.

Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic
Red 0 7 0 7 — 14
White 0 14 7 0 — 21
SECOND QUARTER
R: Tate Collison (LHNE) 58 pass from Carter Janssen (NC) (Keenan Valverde (PIE) kick)
W: Hank Hudson (BC) 2 run (Samuel Zazueta (NOR) kick)
W: Dawson Hansen (EV) 49 pass from James Fogleman (BC) (Zazueta kick)
THIRD QUARTER
W: Parker Borer (BC) 1 run (Zazueta kick)
FOURTH QUARTER
R: Riley Sudbeck (HN) 1 run (Valverde kick)

 

June 8, 2024 Official Stats for NEN ALL STAR FOOTBALL CLASSIC

White Team:

Rushing:

Parker Borer- 30/133 yds, 1 TD

James Fogleman- 7/45yds

Hank Hudson- 1/2yds, 1 TD

Landon Weindandt- 1/-4yds

Mitchell Hupp- 2/18yds

Total Rushing Yards- 41 carries for 194 yards

Receiving:

Landon Weindandt- 1/6yds

Spencer Hille- 1/12yds

Blake Borchers- 1/30yds

Dawson Hansen- 2/62yds, 1 TD

Parker Borer- 1/-5

Total Receiving Yards- 105 yards

Passing:

James Fogleman- 6/10 105, 1 TD

Punting:

Sam Zazueta- 4/158, 39.5 avg

Kicking:

Sam Zazueta- 4/233, 58.25 avg with 2 touch backs

Same Zazueta- 3/3 Extra Points, 0/1 49yd field goal attempt

Kick Returns:

Spencer Hille- 2/57yds long return was 34yds

Blake Borchers- 1/0yds

Scoring:

Parker Borer- 6

Hank Hudson- 6

Dawson Hansen- 6

Sam Zazueta- 3

Tackling:

Ryan Brichacek- 2 assisted

Landon Weinandt- 1 assisted

Colton Klosen- 2 unassisted, 3 assisted

Hank Hudson- 3 unassisted, 6 assisted

Dylon Lueking- 9 unassisted, 2 assisted, 2 pass deflections

Landen Redding- 2 assisted

Cameron Korth- 2 unassisted, 1 assisted

Blake Henn- 3 unassisted, 4 assisted

Lincoln Benne- 1 unassisted, 1 assisted, 1 Interception

Kyler Case- 1 assisted

Dylan Higby- 1 unassisted, 1 assisted

Mitchell Hupp- 1 unassisted

Connor Kreikemeier- 1 unassisted, 4 assisted

Parker Wiedeman- 1 unassisted

Mavrick Hagemann- 2 unassisted

Trent Patzel- 1 assisted

Brendan Weber- 1 assisted

 

Red Team:

Rushing:

Keenan Valverde- 14/66yds

Clayton Carney- 2/5yds

Riley Sudbeck- 10/26yds, 1 TD

Carter Janssen- 4/5yds

Dayton Sudbeck- 2/-4yds

Total Rushing Yards- 32 carries for 98 yards

Receiving:

Clayton Carney- 2/23yds

Carson Wieseler- 3/39yds

Tate Collison- 5/80yds, 1 TD

Total Receiving yards- 142 yards

Passing:

Riley Sudbeck- 7/15, 67yds, 1 INT

Carter Janssen- 3/6, 71yds, 1 TD

Punting:

Riley Sudbeck- 6/198, 33 yard average

Punt Returns:

Wiley Ziegler- 3/41, 13.6 average return

Kicking:

Keenan Valverde- 3/99, 33yd average

Keenan Valverde- 2/2 extra points

Kick Returns:

Wiley Ziegler- 1/17, 17yd average

Keenan Valverde- 1/15, 15yd average

Scoring:

Riley Sudbeck- 6

Tate Collison- 6

Keenan Valverde- 2

Tackling:

Dalton Lamprecht- 1 unassisted, 1 assisted

Mason Weidner- 2 unassisted, 7 assisted

Champion White- 2 unassisted, 5 assisted, 2 Pass Deflections

Karsan Albers- 4 unassisted, 3 assisted

Ty Thoene- 2 unassisted, 1 assisted

Ian Laetsch- 2 unassisted

Michael Dickens- 1 unassisted, 4 assisted

Garrett Schultz- 2 unassisted, 2 assisted

Carter Janssen- 1 unassisted, 1 assisted

Tucker Shabram- 2 assisted

Casey Jeannoutot- 1 unassisted, 4 assisted

Hunter Heikes- 2 assisted

Keenan Valverde- 1 unassisted

Chase Schroeder- 1 assisted

Caleb Davis- 1 assisted

Wiley Ziegler- 2 assisted, 2 Pass Deflections

Zach Meier- 3 unassisted, 1 assisted

Ben Sousek- 1 unassisted

William Paxton- 2 assisted

William Steffen- 1 assisted

 

 

2024 Outstanding Contributor Bob Jensen & President Dave Stoddard

2024 Outstanding Contributor Bob Jensen & President Dave Stoddard

2024 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Rich Rethwisch & President Dave Stoddard

2024 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Rich Rethwisch & President Dave Stoddard

2024 All Star Cheerleaders

2024 All Star Cheerleaders

Tucker Shabram of O'Neil buying lemonade from the neighborhood on way to game

Tucker Shabram of O’Neil buying lemonade from the neighborhood on way to game

Our Ball Boys! Future All Stars!

Our Ball Boys! Future All Stars!

2024 Red Team Captains Garrett Schultz (Wayne), Keenan Valverde (Pierce), Carter Janssen (Norfolk Catholic), Ben Sousek (Norfolk Catholic)

James Fogleman, Mitchell Hupp, Hank Hudson, Blake Borchers

2024 White Team Captains James Fogleman (Boone Central), Mitchell Hupp (Stanton), Hank Hudson (Boone Central), Blake Borchers (Battle Creek)

2024 Most Valuable Teammate Mitchell Hupp, Stanton

2024 Most Valuable Teammate Mitchell Hupp, Stanton

Most Valuable Teammate Ben Sousek, Norfolk Catholic

Most Valuable Teammate Ben Sousek, Norfolk Catholic

Defensive Red Team MVP Mason Weidner

Defensive Red Team MVP Mason Weidner (Norfolk Catholic)

Defensive White Team MVP Dylon Lueking

Defensive White Team MVP Dylon Lueking (Elgin Public/Pope John)

Offensive Red Team MVP Keenan Valverde

Offensive Red Team MVP Keenan Valverde (Pierce)

Offensive White Team MVP James Fogleman

Offensive White Team MVP James Fogleman (Boone Central)

Jarod Bearinger, back judge; Aaron Kruger, line judge; Jeremy Woeppel, umpire; Steve Arehart, head linesman; Steven Hankla, referee (Crew Chief) 

 

 

2024 Cheerleading Squads

 

2024 Banquet Speaker Bill Lafleur

 

The 2024 speaker for the NEN All Star Football Classic banquet is Bill Lafleur. Bill graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School where he participated in football, basketball, and track.  Bill attended University of Nebraska Lincoln where he played football.  He was a punter for the Big Red and lettered four years.  While at Nebraska, Bill set records for performance index scores for punters as well as setting a record for season punting average.  Bill led the BiG XII as a senior and was named Second Team All Conference as well as a First Team Academic All American for the Big Red.  During his time at Nebraska (1994-1999), Bill was a member of three National Title teams. 

After graduating from Nebraska, Bill played professional football for six  years before retiring in 2008.  He played for the New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, and the San Francisco 49’ers as well as time in the CFL and NFL Europe.  

Bill has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Nebraska and Masters Degrees in Teaching and Administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha and Wayne State College respectively.  Bill accepted a job to teach and coach at Norfolk Catholic in 2012 and transitioned to being the Elementary Principal at Norfolk Catholic in 2016.   

Bill is married to Jade Lafleur who is a realtor in Norfolk and owns RELY Real Estate Company. They have three children: Knox (13), Lola (10), and Vivienne (6) who all attend NorfolK Catholic.

Bill Lafleur

2024 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award

Rich Rethwisch graduated from Elkhorn Valley High School in Tilden, NE, where he participated in football, basketball, track, and Legion baseball, gaining all conference football and basketball honors, along with making the Class C all-state basketball team and the North team in the 3rd annual Coach’s Association All-Star Basketball team his senior year.  Rich retired from a 42 year teaching and coaching career in 2018 and just this year retired from a 45 year officiating career.  

His first head football coaching job was at Ainsworth, NE, where he was hired in 1978.  After an initial less than average first year, Rich led Ainsworth to their first winning season in eight years culminating his second season with a 3-0 win over Chadron in the Rangeland Conference title game and followed that with three more East Rangeland titles, which included four straight wins over arch-rival Valentine and Ainsworth’s first ever state playoff berth, a 1980 Class B state appearance opposite McCook.  

He was hired in 1983 as head football and track coach at O’Neill St. Mary’s where the Cardinals made their first appearances ever in state playoff history, going three straight years and winning the 1984 Class C-2 State Championship, beating Grant, 39-15.  

After a brief tenure at hometown Elkhorn Valley, where they snapped a 29 game losing streak, Rich was hired at Pierce and continued their winning tradition owning a  three year record of 29-5 and two straight Class B state playoff appearances, which included semi-final and final appearances, losing to Elkhorn, 31-17, in the 1989 Class B final.  Rich stated he was blessed to have won as a young coach where speed and talent overcame his coaching, but adds assistant coaches John Lucero, Tom Earley, Randy Pospisil, Tom Martin, Ron Soenksen, as blessings to have on staff.    

He finished his football coaching career at Neligh-Oakdale where they stopped a 26 game losing streak and Wayne High, making two straight Class C-1 playoff appearances.  He finished his tenure with a 110-92 record.

Along with attending Elkhorn Valley, Rich attended Doane College and Wayne State College, receiving his Master’s Degree in Counseling from WSC.  His idea jump-started the NEN All-Star Football Classic, and he was a founding Classic Board member.  He was the Red Team’s first head coach, winning the initial 2013 Classic, 20-10.  He also officiated the 2019 Classic.  Rich also served as an assistant coach for the 1992 Nebraska Shrine Bowl and officiated that contest as well in 2007. 

Rich has been married for 43 years to the former Kathi Tomjack of Ewing, calling her the outstanding backbone of our family.  They have three children, Cali and husband Cody Guffey of Omaha, Gage and wife Jaci (Weidner) and three sons, Knox, Easton, and Miles of rural Norfolk, and Luke and wife Savannah (Bush) of Omaha.  

Rich Rethwisch

Rich Rethwisch

 

2024 Outstanding Contributors Award

Bob Jensen established Huskerland Prep Report in 1990 and has been covering Nebraska statewide football ever since, adding basketball to the mix in 1995. For 33 years Huskerland was a weekly printed product, adding a Web presence in 1999 when he became the Rivals.com Nebraska high school publisher.

In addition to his “hobby” of publishing, Huskerland Bob and his wife Penni were weekly community newspaper publishers in both Callaway (4 years) and Central City (31 years). Bob got his start in newspaper sports writing at his hometown Arnold Sentinel, where he reported junior high and high school sports, and Little League baseball, for six years. He later served as sports editor for newspapers in Broken Bow, Alliance, Fairbury and Lexington before he and Penni became newspaper publishers.

A 1976 graduate of dear old Arnold High (you can look it up), Bob is a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2015), Nebraska Eight-Man Hall of Fame (2019), and is undefeated in elephant racing, winning his only race at Alliance in the fall of 1982. Again, you can look it up!

Bob and Penni have been married for 38 years and have two children, son Matthew and daughter Jessie, and a Golden Retriever named Cooper.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen

Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic Records

(many thanks to Greg Warneke, our official statistician)

 

Team Records

Series Record – Red 4 wins – White 6 wins

 

Most Yards Rushing – Red – 260 – 2014

Most Yards Passing – Red – 423 – 2018

Most Total Yards – Red – 513 – 2018

Most First Downs – White – 23 – 2016

Most Points – White – 49 – 2016

Most Total Points Combined – 75 – 2018

Most Passes Attempted – White – 43 – 2014

Most Passes Completed – White – 23 – 2018

Most Pass Interceptions – White – 3 – 2019, 2021

Most Fumbles Recovered – White – 2 – 2017

Red – 2 – 2019

Individual Records

Longest Rushing TD – Taggart Bailey – Pierce – Red – 31 – 2016

Longest Passing TD – Bryce Kerkman – West Holt – Red – 81 – 2018

Longest TD Reception – Mason Lee – Wayne – Red – 81 – 2018

Most Yards Rushing – Noah Scott – Randoph – Red – 154 – 2019

Most Yards Passing – Alex Thramer – O’Neill – White – 348 – 2018

Most Carries – Noah Scott – Randolph – Red – 34 – 2019

Most Passes Completed – Alex Thramer – O’Neill – White – 23 – 2018

Most Pass Receptions – Mason Lee – Wayne – Red – 10 – 2018

Most Yards Receiving – Mason Lee – Wayne – Red – 275 – 2018

Most Receiving Touchdowns – Mason Lee – Wayne – Red – 3 – 2018

Most Rushing Touchdowns – Karter Kerkman – Norfolk Catholic – Red – 3 – 2023

Most Passing Touchdowns – Gunner Fuelberth – Norfolk – White – 5 – 2016

Longest Kickoff Return – Grant Meyer – Logan View – White – 45 yds – 2017

Longest Punt Return – Sutton Pohlman – Stanton – White – 42 yds – 2021

Most Interceptions – Sutton Pohlman – Stanton – White -2 – 2021
Longest Interception Return – Ty Martinsen – Riverside – 51 yds – 2019

Most PAT’s –Quinton Heineman – Pender – Red – 6 – 2023
Most FG’s – Devan Roth – Pierce – Red – 2 – 2019

Connor Clayton – Norfolk – White – 2 – 2019
Longest FG – Devan Roth – Pierce – Red – 46 yds – 2019
Longest Punt –  Peyton Mathews – O’Neill – White – 58 yds –  2021
Most Tackles – Jared Janssen – Crofton – Red – 13 – 2018

 Awards

2013
Honorary Coin Toss – Glen Blakeman
Red Team Best Teammate: Nate Meier
White Team Best Teammate: Jake Werner
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game: Nate Rogers
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game: Riley Knake
White Team Offensive Player of the Game: Travis Wright
White Team Defensive Player of the Game: Cody Merchant

2014
Lifetime Achievement Award – Bob Schnitzler
Lifetime Contributor Award – Denny Fuehrer
Honorary Coin Toss – Clete Blakeman
Red Team Best Teammate: Caleb Lienemann
White Team Best Teammate:  Cody Carlson
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game: Jackson Love
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game: Taylor Kathol
White Team Offensive Player of the Game: Tyler Hedlund
White Team Defensive Player of the Game: Landen Thieman

2015
Lifetime Achievement Award – LaMarr Gibson
Lifetime Contributor Award – Don Kraemer
Honorary Coin Toss – Jack Guggenmos
Red Team Best Teammate: Dylan Loberg
White Team Best Teammate: Louis de Jager
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game: Tayib Toussaint
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game: Wyatt Tremayne
White Team Offensive Player of the Game: Zach Bellar
White Team Defensive Player of the Game: Zac Glidden

2016
Lifetime Achievement Award – Arnie Johnson
Lifetime Contributor Award – Mark Ahmann
Honorary Coin Toss – Russ Hochstein
Red Team Best Teammate – Cade Kalkowski
White Team Best Teammate – Drew Lanman
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Taggart Bailey
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – Gunnar Fuelberth
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Lane Walton
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – Andy Kerkman

2017
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jeff Bellar
Lifetime Contributor Awards – Ray Doerr and Jim Paige
Honorary Coin Toss – Dr. Jim Tenopir
Red Team Best Teammate – Caleb Sullivan
White Team Best Teammate – Cooper Von Seggern
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Jason Wieseler
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – Devin Denker
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Sam Morrill
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – Jason Hahlbeck

2018
Lifetime Achievement Award – Chuck Ross
Lifetime Contributor Award – Mike Fuehrer
Honorary Coin Toss – Jeff Bellar
Red Team Best Teammate – Dalton Tremayne
White Team Best Teammate – Stone Craft
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Mason Lee
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – Alex Thramer
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Kelby Schaefer
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – MJ Montgomery

2019
Lifetime Achievement Award – Bill Mimick
Lifetime Contributor Award – Tim Brogan
Honorary Coin Toss – Joe Glenn
Red Team Best Teammate – Brad Tomasek
White Team Best Teammate – Connor Clayton
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Noah Scott
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – BenVander Griend
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Kyle Smith
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – Ty Martinsen

2021
Lifetime Achievement Award – Rod Brummels
Lifetime Contributor Award – Randy Hagedorn and Joe Tjaden
Honorary Coin Toss – Tom Olson
Red Team Best Teammate – Reid Korth
White Team Best Teammate – Mason Walsh
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Nick Arenas
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – Sutton Pohlman
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Garrett Boelter
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – Caden Nelson

2022
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Jon Cerny
Lifetime Contributor Award – Phyllis and Don Wood
Honorary Coin Toss – Jay Bellar
Red Team Best Teammate – Jon Munoz
White Team Best Teammate – Kamden Dusatko
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Tanner Walling
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – Parker Krusemark
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Charlie Schroeder
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – Agustus Gomez

2023
Lifetime Achievement Award – Tom Olson
Lifetime Contributor Award – Jay Bellar
Honorary Coin Toss – Bill Busch
Red Team Best Teammate – Abram Scholting
White Team Best Teammate – Drew Beeson
Red Team Offensive Player of the Game – Karter Kerkman
White Team Offensive Player of the Game – Aiden Kuester
Red Team Defensive Player of the Game – Jay Steffen
White Team Defensive Player of the Game – Carson Bloom

OFFENSIVE STATS

WHITE TEAM
White Rushing                       Carries      Yards            TD
Aiden Kuester                        14                   78                 1            18 yards
Trevor Thompson                   6                   28
Jackson Wemhoff                   7                   24
Cale Kinney                              3                   16
Carson Bloom                          1                    13
LJ McNeill                                3                    10
Drew Beeson                            1                     1

White Receiving                  Receptions               Yards                  TD
Will Hamer                             5                                51                       1          5 yards
Elliot Nottlemann                 6                                50
Cale Kinney                            2                                20
Carter Werner                       1                                 11
Jackson Wemhoff                 1                                 7
Jaden Kosch 1 7

White Passing                      Completions       Attempts      Yards      TD      INT
Aiden Kuester                      16                           29                  146          1            1

Extra Points                         Attempts               Made
Jake Licking                             2                            2

Field Goals                           Attempts                Made
Jake Licking                                1                          0

Punting                                 Punts                     Yards
Will Hamer                             1                               57

Kickoffs                               Kicks                        Yards
Jake Licking                            1                              60

Punt Returns Returns Yards

Kick                             Returns                   Yards
Trevor Thompson        3                               73
Carson Bloom               5                               67
Kendrick Schroeder     1                                1

Interceptions 0

Fumble                Recoveries Number       Return Yards
Drew Beeson            1                                             0

Penalties            0 -0 yards
First Downs        17
Rushing Yards    170
Passing Yards     146
Total Yards          316
Fumbles 0

RED TEAM
Red Rushing                   Carries      Yards       TD
Karater Kerkman            12              109            3           2-29-5 yards
Kanyon Talton                  9               44
Avery Overfelt                   4               33              1           5 yards
Lane Heimes                     4               18
Alex Phelps                        2               15
Quinton Heineman          1                8
Abram Scholting               1                6
Sedjro Agoumba               1                2
Asher McCart                    1                2

Red Receiving               Receptions               Yards                  TD
Sedjro Agoumba               3                                 99                         1          46 yards
Grant Arens                       2                                 39
Mason Timmerman         1                                  29
Jaxson Bernecker             1                                  21                         1           21 yards
Carson Arens                     1                                  11
Alex Phelps                        1                                   9
Daniel Judd                       1                                   8

Red Passing                      Completions       Attempts      Yards      TD      INT
Abram Scholting              10                         12                    216          2          0

Extra Points                     Attempts        Made
Quinton Heineman        6                        6

Field Goals                       Attempts          Made

Punting                             Punts                Yards
Jaxson Bernecker            1                        20

Kickoffs                            Kicks                  Yards
Quinton Heineman         5                        235
Karter Kerkman              4                        197

Punt Returns                   Returns             Yards

Kick Returns                    Returns            Yards

Interceptions                   Number            Return Yards
Brandon Bartos               1                          0

Fumble Recoveries Number Return Yards

Penalties 2-10 yards
First Downs 20
Rushing Yards 237
Passing Yards 216
Total Yards 453
Fumbles 0

DEFENSIVE STATS

White Tackles Interceptions
Drew Beeson 8
Jestin Bayer 7
Carson Bloom 7
Jackson Bos 5
Jason Claussen 5
Alex Vinson 5
Kamren Lingenfelter 4
August Scholting 4
Tanner Frahm 3
Eli Hintz 3
Jacob Ottis 3
Kayden Kettler 3
Aandy Dominguez 3
Diego Gastelum 3
Payton Novak 2
Trevor Weitzenkamp 2
Klayton Kleffner 2
Kendrick  Schroeder 1
Andrew Kotik 1
Jaden Kosch 1
Red Tackles Interceptions
Carson Arens 8
Jaxson Claussen 7
Jay Steffen 6
Daniel Judd 6
Sutton Ehlers 6
Alex Phelps 5 1 0 yards
Josh Wattier 5
Jaxson Bernecker 4
Evan Keller 4
Avery Overfelt 4
Michael Hamilton 4
Lane Heimes 3
Asher McCart 3
Cameron Borgmann 3
Ty Tramp 3
Mason Timmerman 3
Jake Rath 3
Mason Topp 3
Dawson Raabe 2
Braxton Volk 2
Evan Glaser 2
Grant Arens 2
Carter Meier 1
Sedjro Agoumba 1
Colton Sanderson 1
Brody Koopman 1
Paxton Bartles 1

Kerkman breaks scoring record as Red rushes past White

By Nick Benes
Norfolk Daily News

In the 10-year history of the Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic, 24 players had rushed for one touchdown. None had rushed for two or more.

Norfolk Catholic graduate Karter Kerkman and the Red team needed less than a half to take care of that anomaly.

Kerkman ran for three first-half touchdowns to set a new Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic record, and the Red team rolled past the White squad 42-14 in the 10th annual exhibition played Saturday at Memorial Field in Norfolk.

“It feels pretty good,” Kerkman said of breaking the record. “But I can’t take all the credit there, because we had a great offensive line that was working hard all week to learn a new scheme, and they blocked it really well today, and we had other guys on the team who were making plays to get us close to the end zone. I was the one who got to get in.”

Kerkman was right. Nine different players on his team had at least one rushing attempt, and seven caught at least one pass. It added up to the Red team rolling up 447 yards of total offense — 227 rushing and 220 passing.

Pierce’s Abram Scholting completed 10 of 13 passes, with three of those going to Wayne’s Sedjro Agoumba for 98 yards.

“We really tried to shove about a month of football in the five days, and that’s not easy to do. … Our guys worked hard, they were attentive all week, and I’m really proud of their effort,” said Mark Brahmer of Pierce, the Red team head coach. “They’re a group that I’d love to keep for about two to three months. I think they could really become a good team. So, in five days, they did a tremendous job.”

One advantage for Brahmer and his team was that he got to coach four of his players — Scholting, along with linemen Schuyler Simpson, Carter Meier and Dawson Raabe. Those four played a big role in helping the team learn the offensive and defensive schemes.

“Those guys were really able to help teach through the week the other offensive linemen, and they were the example that I used when we were doing defensive drills, and the other guys caught on and really did a great job,” Brahmer said.

The White team still averaged almost 5 yards a carry with 184 rushing yards on 37 carries, and Aiden Kuester of Neligh-Oakdale went 16 of 29 passing for 147 yards and a score.

“We had a great week of practice, and it would have been nice to win, but the thing that makes you feel good is that the kids enjoyed the week,” said Greg Wemhoff of Elgin Public/Pope John, the White team head coach. “We would have liked to win the football game, but that team we’re playing, they had some kids who were great football players, and obviously coach Brahmer and his staff had them well-prepared.”

The dagger came with 20 seconds left in the first half, when Scholting hit Agoumba for a 46-yard strike and a 28-7 lead that it took into halftime.

It appeared that there might not have much of a chance to score one final time in the first half after a 57-yard punt by Will Hamer of Battle Creek pinned the Red team at its own 18 with 1:09 left and no timeouts. That punt was 1 yard away from the record 58-yard boot by Peyton Mathews of O’Neill just two years ago.

But Scholting and company went right to work. After two Kerkman runs netted 15 yards, Scholting heaved it up to Grant Arens of Hartington Cedar Catholic, who came back to the ball for an 11-yard catch. Scholting spiked it with 34 seconds left, found Carson Arens of Hartington Cedar Catholic for a 10-yard gain, and then hit the scoring play.

Scholting stepped back and waited for Agoumba, who made a leaping catch in front of a defender and scampered in for a touchdown to polish off the textbook two-minute drill.

“I told some of the guys on the sidelines that, if we got the ball back, we’re going to go score because we’ve got a lot of weapons,” Scholting said. “I live for those moments. I was pretty excited. I just enjoy being in those situations and make the best of it.”

Avery Overfelt of Homer added a touchdown run in the third quarter for a 35-7 lead, and Jaxson Bernecker of Hartington Cedar Catholic caught a 21-yard scoring pass from Scholting with 4:39 left to cap the game’s scoring. In between, Hamer caught a short touchdown pass from Kuester.

Kerkman appeared on pace to break the game’s rushing yardage record, too. He had 110 in the first half, but suffered a knee injury on his first carry of the second half and did not return. Kerkman was still selected as the Red team’s offensive MVP with 112 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries.

The Red team’s defensive MVP was Jay Steffen of Hartington Cedar Catholic, who sacked Kuester late in the first quarter to help force a turnover on downs.

“It was great,” Steffen said. “The experience was fun, being able to control and contain that great group of offensive players. That’s really special.”

THE GAME appeared on pace for a shootout for both teams early on.

The White team received, and Kuester connected on four-straight passes, including a 22-yard strike to Cale Kinney of Elgin Public/Pope John, and then Kuester took a quarterback draw 18 yards for a touchdown on third-and-8.

“I think that everyone was just pretty fired up,” Kuester said. “We all knew the other team had some studs on their team, so we were just having fun and letting it fly.”

The Red team roared back with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that included a 34-yard pass from Scholting to Grant Arens that put the Red team at the 19. Five plays later, Kerkman plunged in from the 2.

The White team came up empty the rest of the first half. It was held to just 38 yards in the entire second quarter, while the Red team scored three touchdowns.

The first turning point in favor of the Red team was an interception by Alex Phelps of Wayne. The Red team converted a third-and-inches, and on the next play, Scholting rolled right and threw left to Agoumba for a 29-yard play. Kerkman then took off down his own sideline on the next play for a 29-yard touchdown run.

A failed fourth down stopped the White team on its next possession again, and the Red team again took advantage with an 11-play drive that featured 10 rushes, capped by Kerkman’s 5-yarder up the middle for a 21-7 lead with 2:30 left in the first half, and the defense’s three-and-out led to the Red’s final first-half possession.

“It was just an honor to coach guys like these,” Wemhoff said. “They’re kids who are leaders in their school … they want to come here and they want to do football. It’s just fun. I mean, it was a joyful week. I enjoyed every moment of coaching them.”

Game notes:

* Kerkman wasn’t the only individual to set a game record. Quinton Heineman of Pender successfully made all six of his extra-point kicks, breaking the previous record of five set in 2016 by Aaron Wilken of Norfolk High.

* It was the first win for the Red team since a 14-7 triumph in 2017, and the highest-scoring contest since the White’s 40-35 victory in 2018. Until Saturday, the 2018 game was the most points the Red team had scored in an all-star game.

* The White team had won the previous four, and six out of the last seven since the Red team won each of the first two contests.

Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic

Red 7 21 7 7 — 42

White 7 0 0 7 — 14

Scoring summary

FIRST QUARTER

W: Aiden Kuester (N-O) 18 run, Jake Licking (NOR) kick, 9:02.

R: Karter Kerkman (NC) 2 run, Quinton Heineman (PEN) kick, 5:05.

SECOND QUARTER

R: Kerkman 29 run, Heineman kick, 10:26.

R: Kerkman 5 run, Heineman kick, 2:30.

R: Sedjro Agoumba (WAY) 46 pass from Abram Scholting (PIE), Heineman kick, 0:20.

THIRD QUARTER

R: Avery Overfelt (HOM) 5 run, Heineman kick, 2:28.

FOURTH QUARTER

W: Will Hamer (BC) 5 pass from Kuester, Licking kick, 9:02.

R: Jaxson Bernecker (HCC) 21 pass from Scholting, Heineman kick, 4:39.

Thank you to Jay Koozer for his beautiful Star Spangled Banner and the American Legion & VFW for raising the flag!

Red Team Awards:

Captains:  Abram Scholting #4, Alex Phelps #10, Dawson Raabe #55, Jaxson Bernecker #89

Offensive MVP: Karter Kerkman #32

Defensive MVP: Jay Steffen #62

Best Teammate (voted on by players): Abram Scholting #4

White Team Awards:

Captains:  Aiden Kuester #1, Jackson Bos #90, Jestin Bayer #28, Drew Beeson #13

Offensive MVP: Aiden Kuester #1

Defensive MVP: Carson Bloom #15

Best Teammate (voted on by players): Drew Beeson #13

2023 Banquet Speaker 

Bill Busch Speaks Directly to Players

A banquet for the players, coaches, parents, officials, and Board is held yearly the night before the game.  This year’s speaker was Bill Busch, former defensive coach for the Nebraska Huskers. Both he, along with our Board past president Jeff Bellar and head coaches Mark Brahmer and Greg Wemhoff, spoke to the players about seizing the moment when it comes.  You just never know what your future holds! The meal was catered by First Choice.

Bill Busch, a Pender, NE native, earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Nebraska Wesleyan in 1988. Busch added a master’s degree in 1990 from Nebraska-Kearney. He married the former Laura Bonta in April of 2019, and the couple has three children: Sydney, Olivia, and Gianna. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Nebraska Wesleyan in 1989, after playing wide receiver there from 1985 to 1987. He has coached at LSU Rutgers, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Utah State, Utah, New Mexico State, with his first full-time coaching job at Northern Arizona State.

Busch served as a defensive analyst for Nebraska in 2021, helping the Huskers develop one of their best defenses in recent yearsIn 2022, Busch helped dramatically improve Nebraska’s special teams, as the Huskers ranked sixth nationally in punt return average (16.5), seventh in blocked punts (3) and 19th in blocked kicks (3).

Busch was elevated to interim defensive coordinator after the first four games of the season, helping lead a turnaround for the Blackshirts. After Nebraska allowed 35.5 points and 514.0 yards per game in the first four games, the Blackshirts limited opponents to 23.6 points and 364.6 yards per game in Busch’s eight games as interim defensive coordinator.

Busch served as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2004 to 2007. In his first season, he coached the outside linebackers and served as special teams coordinator. Busch then coached the safeties and continued to handle special teams duties from 2005 to 2007. During his tenure, the Huskers blocked 16 kicks, including seven in 2005. Nebraska ranked in the top 25 nationally in net punting (24th in 2006) and punt returns (17th in 2005) under Busch. NU’s kickoff coverage unit ranked 15th nationally in 2006 after finishing 22nd the previous year.

Busch also spent four seasons as a graduate assistant with the Huskers from 1990 to 1993. Busch worked with the secondary at Nebraska, helping the Huskers to three straight Big Eight titles from 1991 to 1993.

Busch won a national championship as an assistant at LSU in 2019, and he coached in one national title game as a graduate assistant at Nebraska. He has served on the staff of three national championship head coaches (Urban Meyer, Ed Orgeron and Tom Osborne).

Coach Busch won Football Scoop National Defensive Backs Coach of the Year (2012).

During the halftime of the game, the Board recognized this year’s award winners for contributing to the world of football and life.

2023 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award

Tom Olson

Tom Olson has been coaching for 41 years, both in Nebraska and South Dakota.  He started in 1981 at Lexington, NE, where he coached football, basketball, and track for two years, followed by coaching the same sports in Eureka, SD, for three years. After that, Tom settled in Norfolk, NE where he coached football and track for 35 years. He is now coaching football at Bennington, NE. Tom has also coached in two Shrine Bowls (2004, 2006) and two NEN All Star Football Classic games (2014, 2016).

Tom attended Spearfish High School in SD. Black Hills State University in SD and received his Master’s in psychology at Wayne State College. He was a founding member of the NEN All Star Football Board and served as President in 2016. Tom also served on the NCA Board and Executive Board for 14 years, and as president in 2017.

Tom has been married to his wife Valorie for 43 years.  They have four children, all Norfolk High School graduates, and 7 grandchildren.

2023 Outstanding Contributors Award

Jay Bellar

Jay Bellar graduated from Walthill High School where he participated in football, basketball, and track. Jay continued his post-secondary education at Wayne State College where he was a member of the basketball team for four years and football team for one. Upon graduating from WSC, Mr. Bellar taught physical education and coached football, girls’ basketball, and track at Trenton, Nebraska. While at Trenton, his girls’ basketball team qualified for the state tournament. Leaving Trenton, Jay spent 3 years coaching and teaching at Johnson-Brock Public Schools in Johnson, Nebraska. After teaching and coaching football, girls’ basketball and track for 1 year, Bellar completed his time at JBHS as head football coach, activities director and principal. During his tenure, Coach Bellar’s football team qualified for the state playoffs.

Crossing the river into Iowa, Mr. Bellar was hired at Tri-Center in Neola, Iowa as the principal/athletic director as well as head football coach and was honored as Coach of the Year as the Trojans qualified for the state playoffs. After7 years at Tri-Center, Bellar was hired at Battle Creek, Nebraska where he spent 20 years as the superintendent of schools. Although he hung up his coaching whistle, he continued to be involved in activities coaching his sons’ youth basketball team. As superintendent, Jay worked tirelessly to help the community pass a bond to build a new high school.

In 2015, Jay was named Superintendent of the Year for the state of Nebraska. In 2018, Mr. Bellar was honored, again, being named NRCSA Superintendent of the Year. During his time at Battle Creek, Jay was privileged to represent Northeast Nebraska as a board member for the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA), a position he held for 11 years.

Completing a 35-year career as a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal, and superintendent, Mr. Bellar accepted the position of Executive Director of the NSAA in 2018. As the Executive Director, Jay enjoys working with all activities offered by member schools for their students from speech and drama to athletic events including unified sports for special needs students. Although his job is certainly challenging at times, Jay feels the rewards of watching students compete and achieve easily outweighs the challenges and he is proud to play a role in  the lives of Nebraska students and school personnel.  After five years, Jay will retire from the NSAA, looking forward to a new chapter.

Jay’s supportive family includes wife, Lori, who is a school counselor for the Lincoln Public Schools and twin sons, Zach and Jared, who work for US Bank.