Nebraska High School Hall of Fame 2020 class announced

Nebraska High School Hall of Fame 2020 class announced


The 2020 Nebraska High School Hall of Fame class will be inducted Oct. 4 at Lincoln East High School. Tickets will be available through the Nebraska Sports Council — $25 for adults and $10 for K-12 students. Pre-kindergarten children will be admitted for free.


Emily Anderson Hansen, Lincoln Southeast (1996): A key member of six state championship teams in cross country and basketball for the Knights, she finished in the top 10 at the state cross country meet all four years, winning the all-class gold medal as a freshman. She started at point guard for three years in basketball and was a four-year letterwinner in track. Her father, former Nebraska split end Frosty Anderson, was inducted in 2017.

Dawn Crinklaw Gustafson, Ralston (1985): The runner-up for the Dial National High School Athlete of the Year award, she was recruited to play collegiately in four sports, eventually playing basketball and softball at U.S. International in San Diego before playing professional basketball in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Glenwood Einspahr, Hildreth (1950): A one-man track team, competing without a coach, Einspahr gave Hildreth a Class D co-championship by winning the 100- and 220-yard dashes and the long jump. A two-time all-state selection in basketball, he led Hildreth to an undefeated state championship in 1949.

Steve Erwin, Laurel (1971): An all-class all-state selection in football and basketball, he played quarterback for the Laurel team that won the 1970 mythical state championship. In basketball, he scored 1,427 points and collected 1,321 rebounds in his career. At Nebraska, he started 55 of 71 games over a three-year span. 

Todd Eubanks, Lincoln East (1983): A three-sport standout at Lincoln East and the Journal Star Athlete of the Year in 1983, he earned all-state honors in football and basketball, and won two gold medals at the state track meet. A high school All-American in track, he set a city record in the 400.

John Gibson, Papillion-La Vista (1996): A two-sport standout, Gibson earned all-state honors on the football field and was a three-time gold medalist at the state track meet in the triple jump. At Nebraska, he was a four-year football letterman at wingback and was among the team’s leading receivers in 2001.

Jordan Larson, Logan View (2005): A key player on the U.S. Olympic volleyball teams of 2012 and 2016, Larson earned 12 letters in volleyball, basketball and track at Logan View, earning high school All-America honors in volleyball and was an all-stater in basketball. The 2004 Journal Star girls athlete of the year accepted a volleyball scholarship to Nebraska after her sophomore year in high school, starting four years for the Huskers and earning All-America honors three times.

Nate Lashley, Mitchell (2001): A two-time state golf champion, leading Mitchell to the Class C-1 team title both years, he went on to play for the University of Arizona, where he was the Pac-10 runner-up in 2005. He turned professional after graduating, winning the PGA’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2019. 

Megan Neuvirth Maslanka, West Point CC (2005): The Nebraska Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year and Journal Star girls athlete of the year in 2005, she helped her high school volleyball and basketball teams win eight state championships and compile a 201-3 record. 

Robert Rands, Bellevue East (2005): The Journal Star's athlete of the year in 2005, Rands broke Gale Sayers’ 44-year-old long jump record and became the first in the state to jump 25 feet. He also enjoyed a stellar football career, rushing for a Bellevue East record 2,650 yards in his career.

Nora Shepherd Ohrt, York (1994): Undefeated in the 1,600-meter run in her high school career, she won three state cross country championships and seven state track meet gold medals. She set York records in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, establishing a Class B record in the 1,600 as a senior.

Tony Veland, Omaha Benson (1991): Owner of national championship and Super Bowl rings, he was a nine-time letterman for the Bunnies in football, basketball and track. He earned second-team all-state honors as a quarterback, signed with NU and set a Shrine Bowl record for total offense. He was a defensive back on the Huskers’ national championship teams of 1994 and 1995.


Jeff Bellar, Norfolk Catholic: Nebraska’s all-time leader with 363 football coaching victories, Bellar’s 38-year coaching career includes nine state championships and five runner-up finishes.

Norm Manstedt, High Plains: He started the wrestling program at Clarks High School in 1969 and coached the team through its consolidations for 50 years. His program produced four three-time individual state champions and 22 other state champions. 

Elroy Pierce, Eustis-Farnam: His 50-year coaching career, 47 years at Eustis, covered multiple sports. His track teams enjoyed the most success. The Eustis-Farnam girls won three Class D state track championships and finished second four times between 1988 and 1994. 

Jerome Skrdla, Gretna: Currently sixth in state history with 560 victories as a girls basketball coach, Skrdla has coached three schools to the state tournament, winning three state championships — at Kearney Catholic in 1984 and 1985, and Gretna in 2006.

Sue Ziegler, Lincoln Lutheran: The Warriors’ track coach for 29 years and volleyball coach for 22 years, she led them to five state championships — two in volleyball, two in girls track and one in boys track — and four state runner-up finishes. She surpassed the 400-victory plateau in 2019.


Ken and Ryly Jane Hambleton, Lincoln: The Hambletons joined the Lincoln Journal Star in 1974, writing about sports until their joint retirement in 2017. Ken was the first writer nationally to do state ratings in volleyball and girls basketball, and was prep sports editor when he became the Husker football beat writer in 1985. Ryly Jane took over as prep sports editor from her husband and held that position for 32 years. 

Bobby Mills, Grand Island: Known as "1,000-Yard Guy," Mills created a listing of Nebraska’s 1,000-yard rushers in 1974 and has published the list every year since.


Steve Farlee, Norfolk: One of the busiest officials in the state, Farlee officiated more than 3,000 basketball games over a 43-year period. He refereed football and umpired high school and American Legion baseball for more than 25 years.

Other awards

In addition to the inductees, the Hall of Fame honors teams and individuals for special contributions to high school sports. This year’s honorees are:

Great Moments in High School Sports: The 2013 Class A state championship soccer match between Omaha South and Creighton Prep that drew an estimated 8,200 fans, a larger crowd than what attended the Class A football championship in that academic year.

Dominant Dynasties: Lincoln High football from 1911-55, which won 20 mythical state championships and compiled a 324-48-18 record. 

Ron Gustafson Inspiration Award: Megan Wallman of Syracuse, who weighed 2 pounds at birth and overcame several medical issues as a child to earn honorable mention all-conference volleyball honors in 2019 as a serving and defensive specialist. She set a school record for serving accuracy with only 12 errors in 399 serves.

Fischer Family Award: L.G. and Shirley Harrison family of Omaha, whose 11 children figured prominently in the sports scenes at Omaha Creighton Prep, Marian, Central, Benson, Cathedral and Bryan. Eight of the children were involved in athletics in college, and Les played more than 9,000 games for the Harlem Globetrotters and Meadowlark Lemon’s Harlem All-Stars.

Golden Anniversary Team: Fairbury’s 1971 boys basketball team, which won Class B with a 22-3 record after defeating Waverly, Aurora and Cozad in the state tournament.

Golden Anniversary Team: Laurel’s 1970 football team, which included 2020 inductee Steve Erwin and went 10-0, outscoring its opponents by an average score of 48-8.

Silver Anniversary Team: Chappell’s 1995 volleyball team, led by Hall of Fame inductee Kim Behrends, that went 28-0 to win the first of back-to-back Class D-1 state titles

Silver Anniversary Team: Milford’s 1995 football team, which went 13-0 and won the first of back-to-back Class C-1 state championships.


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