COLUMBUS — Lakeview High School knows how to celebrate hall of fame night.
For the second straight year the Vikings earned a victory on the football field while the school’s athletic legends from years past watched from the sidelines.
The Vikings won their season-opening game 30-14 on Friday night over Milford/Dorchester, and recognized the second group of Lakeview Hall of Fame inductees at halftime of the home victory.
This year’s honorees include one team and five individuals, including the man who helped get the hall of fame off the ground.
The hall of fame, which inducted six athletes, two coaches, two Lakeview supporters and two teams during the inaugural year in 2015, was established to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of former Lakeview student-athletes and longtime school supporters.
A “Wall of Fame” located inside the school features a stainless-steel plaque for each inductee, who are selected based on achievements during their Lakeview and post-high school careers.
The 2016 Lakeview Hall of Fame inductees are:
1971-72 Boys Basketball Team
In Lakeview’s third year of existence, this group of athletes and coaches became the school’s first team to qualify for state in any sport. The excitement and boost this gave the newly formed school and Lakeview community at that time is immeasurable.
The team started slowly, but finished the season hot by winning the Class B-4 district championship with a hard-fought victory over rival Schuyler.
Sixth-seeded Lakeview rallied to upset third-seeded Sidney 61-50 in the opening round of the state tournament, earning the school’s first playoff victory.
The Vikings fell to state runner-up Crete, finishing the season with a 15-8 record.
Andrea (Janssen) Smejkal
Andrea Smejkal earned 11 varsity letters while playing three sports at Lakeview.
In volleyball, she earned three letters as a setter and was named all-conference and all-state honorable mention. She held school records for most set attempts in a match, season and career.
Smejkal lettered four years in basketball while playing point guard. She earned all-conference, all-city and second team all-state honors.
Smejkal broke the single-game school scoring record with 35 points against Fairbury. At the end of her senior year, she held nine of the 18 individual school basketball records. She was selected to play in both The Columbus Telegram/Platte College All-Star Game and Nebraska Coaches All-Star Game.
During her track career, Smejkal earned four letters. She placed fifth at state in the 3,200-meter run as a freshman while setting a school record. As a senior, she set the Lakeview Invite record in the steeplechase and school record in the 1,600-meter run.
Smejkal won 33 track medals at Lakeview, not including conference, district or state events.
In 1986, she was named the Lakeview Booster Club Athlete of the Year and KLIR Prep Club Student-Athlete winner.
She continued her basketball career at Concordia University, where she was a four-year starter and hall of fame inductee.
Utilizing size and quickness, Bob Wachal honed his athletic skills to take his place as Lakeview’s first state track champion and also became one of the best linemen to ever wear a Viking football jersey.
By mid-season of his sophomore year, Wachal earned a starting spot on the varsity football team and became a solid performer at guard — a position he dominated over the next three seasons.
Strong line play proved to be a key factor during Wachal’s football career as the Vikings used a punishing ground attack to dominate their opponents.
“We never lost any yardage when we ran behind Bob. In my opinion, he is the best blocking guard in the state,” stated former Lakeview head coach Fred Kobza.
After being elected team co-captain his senior year, Wachal earned offensive and defensive all-conference status and was a unanimous all-state selection by the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star. He capped his high school football career by becoming the third Lakeview athlete to represent the north squad in the Shrine Bowl, playing in 1973.
Wachal’s victory in the shot put throw helped propel the track team to a conference championship during his senior season. He captured Lakeview’s first gold medal with a school-record toss of 53 feet, 8 inches during the 1973 state track meet.
Coach Ron Greenwall’s Lakeview coaching career began when the school opened its doors.
He served as the freshman and assistant varsity coach in football and freshman, junior varsity and varsity assistant coach in basketball. His two freshman football teams finished with unblemished records while his 1970-71 junior varsity basketball team went 15-2 and the freshman squad was 8-3.
The highlight of this coaching career was the 1971-72 basketball team that captured the district title and won its first-round game at the state tournament.
In 1976, Greenwall began coaching junior high football. He became the JV girls basketball coach in 1985 and served in that position for 14 years, compiling a career record of 144-40, including two undefeated seasons and a stretch of 28 consecutive victories over three seasons.
Greenwall became the boys golf coach in 1998 and continued this duty until his retirement in 2006. His first golf team qualified for the state tournament, finishing 10th.
Greenwall was honored during his 37-year teaching and coaching career at Lakeview by being named the Eagles Outstanding Educator, and on three occasions, Lakeview High School Teacher of the Year.
Dick Kamm more than epitomized Lakeview pride. He donned the blue and white from Day 1 and served as a passionate advocate of the school district from its inception in 1969 until his passing in 2015.
Kamm, a Platte County native whose career in education spanned 39 years, was more than a principal, superintendent and co-worker to the people he met in the hallways at Lakeview High School. He was a leader, mentor and friend — someone who formed bonds with members of the Lakeview community that lasted well beyond his days as an administrator.
“You think of Dick Kamm, all you think about is he’s Lakeview. He’s the founding father of Lakeview,” said University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen, who graduated from Lakeview in 1974.
His leadership skills landed him the principal job when Lakeview High School opened in 1969. Kamm was extremely proud of the Lakeview community for building a school from the ground up and took great pride in the fact that he was part of that process from the beginning.
Kamm served as the district’s superintendent from 1971 until his retirement in 1994, and remained active with all things Lakeview for two more decades.
He was instrumental in starting the Lakeview Education Foundation, which raises money for student scholarships and classroom needs, and played a key role in establishing the Lakeview Hall of Fame.
“If it weren’t for him and his help, we would never have gotten the hall of fame off the ground,” Lakeview Athletic Director Jake Shadley said.
Ryan Specht was a wide receiver, defensive back, kicker and punter for the Lakeview football team.
As a senior, he was named All-Central Conference, an Associated Press first-team punter and kicker in Class B and Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star all-state kicker. The 1990 team finished with an undefeated regular season and Central Conference championship, and was second in the final Class B rankings.
Specht kicked a school-record 45-yard field goal in 1990, and career-long 48-yarder during his junior season in a JV game.
In basketball, Lakeview assistant coach Tom Lange, noted: “Ryan was a guard who, because of his intelligence, was a player that would always have himself in the correct position on the court.”
Specht was also a four-year starter and letter winner on the golf team. He was a member of the 1990 and 1991 golf teams that finished as district runners-up, with the 1991 team taking fifth at state. Specht was named the 1991 KLIR Male Athlete of the Year, having competed in 12 sports seasons, earning 10 letters.
At Doane College, he participated in seven sports seasons, earning six letters, three all-conference football selections and an honorable mention All-American nod. Specht booted a school-record 52-yard field goal at Doane.
He’s been an assistant coach with the Lakeview football team for 11 seasons.