Athlete of the Month

Platte River Preps Athlete of the Month is awarded by the Platte River Preps staff to recognize outstanding high school athletic achievement.   One female and one male athlete will be chosen at the beginning of the month for the prior months athletic events. Listeners are encouraged to submit their nominations (see form).

The winners will receive a certificate and a Platte River Preps shirt.

May Winner:

Jessica Stieb, Arcadia/Loup City Girl’s Track

Jessica was the Class C State Shot Put Champion and won the All Class Gold with a throw of 44′ 7 1/2″.

May Winner:

Gage Fries, Minden Boy’s Track

Gage is a Junior at Minden HS. Most notable performances include 110m hurdle Champion at Nebraska Track and Field Festival, Southwest Conference Champion in the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles, District Champion in the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles, and most recently NSAA State Class B 110m hurdle Champion which earned the NSAA All-Class Champion

April Winner:

Shavanna Douglas, Ravenna Girl’s Track

Leads Kearney Hub area in Class C 1600-meter run; 5:59.14
Leads Kearney Hub area in Class C 3200-meter run; 12:23.27
Shavanna broke the school record in the 3200-meter run with above time.

April Winner:

Kaden Miller, Kearney Boy’s Track

Leads Kearney Hub area in 100 meter dash; 11.0
2nd in Kearney Hub area in 200 meter dash; 23.02
On Leading Kearney hub relay team for 4×100; 43.16
2nd in Kearney Hub area Long Jump; 22’ 3/4”

March Winner:

Kaci Pierce, Pleasanton Girls’ Basketball

Kaci, a Senior, finished her career leading Pleasanton to the Class D1 State finals to finish as runner up.  During the season, she led a very talented team in scoring at 12.7 points per game, finishing her career right at double figures.  She eclipsed 1000 career points and was named the Kearney Hub player of the year two years running, as well as 1st team all-state in the major papers. The senior class were 4x FKC champs, 4x State Qualifiers, finishing Runner up this year, champions last year, 3rd place as sophomores, and 4th place as freshman. In volleyball this also were state champions in the fall.

March Winner:

Matthew Weismann, Gibbon Boys’ Basketball

Matthew, a senior, for his performance on the basketball court. In his career, per game, Matthew averaged 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.8 steals. He was 38.3% from the 3pt range, 36.3% from the field goal range and 84.5 from the free throw line. Over the four years he made 116 three pointers and took 29 charges. Matthew will be attending Concordia University where he will be majoring in secondary education and playing basketball.

February Winner:

Flavia Nagatani, Kearney Wrestling

Flavia Nagatani recently in this year’s girls state tournament pinned all five of her opponents at the 2020 NSWCA Girls State Championships at 106 lbs. She is now a two-time state champion and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the State meet.  She is also the 106 wrestler for the boy’s team where she finished one match shy of the State Meet where the four wrestlers who qualified were ranked in the top six in the state.

February Winner:

Brody Arrants, Grand Island Wrestling

Brody pinned his way to the state final, where he won by decision over Beau Hostler of Kearney 2 to 1 for the Class A 145 crown. Brody finished the season 39-3 and capped his career off with a gold medal to accompany his 33 wins from a year ago and 6th place finish at 138.  He helped lead the Islanders to a 4th place finish as a team at the state meet his junior year and a 3rd place finish this season. At the State Duals last year, the Islanders finished 3rd.

January Winner:

Boston Boucher, Wood River Basketball

Boston is averaging 15.3 ppg, 4.1 rbs, 2.4 assists
Is on path to become Wood River record holder in points in a career this season.
Already holds records for , 3’s made in a career, season, game, points in a season, game

January Winner:
Gavin Sheen, Wilcox Hildreth Basketball

As a senior 18.8 ppg / 3.7rpg / 2spg
8 3pointers in a game twice this season. Most recently on Jan.16 against Ansley-Litchfield

December Winner:

Alexis Billeter, Loomis Basketball

Alexis, a senior,  is a 4 year starter at Loomis. She scored her 1000 career point on Saturday, December 19 vs. Brady..  Averaging 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and steals on the season

December Winner:
Quinn Johnson, Loomis Basketball

Quinn, a junior, has been on a tear this basketball season averaging 25 points per game including 7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. Just dropped 42 points against Brady as well  leading a ranked team off to a 5-2 start.

November Winner:

Haley Fleischman, Overton Volleyball

Haley, a senior, led Overton to the 2020 State Volleyball Tournament, just the third trip in school history.  The Eagles placed third in Class C2 and Haley was a key component averaging 20 kills a match in the tournament. For the season she finished with 403 kills, 79 blocks, 43 aces, 2003 service points, while hitting .425%.  She recently committed to play volleyball at Bellevue University.

November Winner:
Tyler Slechta, Adams Central Football

A team captain, Tyler helped lead Adams Central to the State Championship game this year by excelling on Offense, defense, and special teams. A four year starter at placekicker, Tyler has excelled on kickoffs and field goals. In the run to the state championship game, Tyler recorded 13 receptions, 493 yds, 7 touchdowns as a receiver. On defense Tyler recorded 27 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 5 interceptions. He also kicked two field goals in our playoff run.

October Winner:
Kiernan Paulk, Wood River (GICC) Softball

Kiernan, a four year starter for the Crusaders, helped lead the GICC/WR/DT/HL co-op to the program’s first ever state tournament appearance. During the best-of-three district final against Wayne, Kiernan was 4-6, (2 doubles, 2 triples) with 5 RBI, including a walk off RBI double to win Game 1. At the state tournament, Kiernan was 6-10 with 5 RBI, including a home run in the opening round game vs. Norris.
During district and state competition, Kiernan’s batting average was .625 (10-16) with 10 RBI. Eight of her ten hits were for extra bases.

October Winner:
Sam Hoppe, Doniphan-Trumbull

Sam , a senior from Doniphan-Trumbull finished as the leading tackler in all the state, not just his Class C2. He is ranking nationally in the top 20 weekly. A hard worker and leader on and off the field who has not missed a daily workout since his high school career began, He finished 2020 with 107 unassisted tackles, 44 assisted tackles, for 258 total tackle points.  He averaged 17 tackles per game including 3 TFL per game.

September Winner:
Alayna Vargas, St Cecilia Cross Country

Alayna, a sophomore, is back to to defend her Class D State medal from a year ago. She is on pace to do just that after a first place finish at the UNK XC Invite, home to the State Meet.  A frequent sub 20:00 min runner, paced the field at 20:08.  She has top five finishes in every meet this season, including winning the Fillmore Central Invite.

September Winner:
Tyce Westland, Pleasanton

Tyce, a senior, recently committed to play football at Wyoming. Back to lead Pleasanton after a State Football finals appearance last year, has helped the Bulldogs to a 5-0 record thus far. Tyce is a leader on the offensive line as well when it comes to blocking. One game he touched the ball with 6 receptions and scored 4 times, blocked and punt, and returned it for a TD, scoring a total of 5 TD’s.
Mid Season Totals:
Offense: Recieving 19/471 w/ 9 TD’s
Defense: Tackles Solos 22 Assists 33 w/ 1 INT

March Winner: Tori Thomas, St. Cecilia Basketball

Tori, a Senior, led the Hawkettes to their second straight state title, had games of 10, 16 and 12 points in the three games at the state tournament vs. Superior, Crofton and Ponca. In those same games pulled down rebounds of 7, 10, and 9.  Averaging just shy of a double double for the tournament. For the season lead the Hawkettes in points with 13.5 and rebounds with 7 per game. St Cecilia finished with a 26-3 record and C2 State Basketball Champs.


March Winner: Gavin Lipovsky, Adams Central Basketball

Gavin, a senior, led the Patriots to a third-place finish at the state tournament. Gavin had 24 points in the tournament opener against St. Paul, then had nine points against Ogallala and 16 against Lincoln Christian.  On the year he averaged right at 12 per contests, helping lead Adams Central to a 26-2 record, a school best, while also winning the Central Conference Tournament.

February Winner:
Abbie Skupa, Silver Lake Basketball

Abbie, a senior, recently broke the Silver Lake all time scoring record.  For her Senior campaign she is averaging 18 points per game and six rebounds. In February she had a 30-point performance against Red Cloud 28, 26 versus Loomis, 27 versus Giltner and 26 vs Bertrand, and helped lead the Mustangs to the District Final finishing  as Runner Up in the D2-8.

February Winner:
Jakob Jerabek, ALC Wrestling

Jakob is a Senior just won the Class C. State Championship at heavyweight. He is a 3-time State qualifier and a 3-time medalist. Finished his senior year 44-1. His high school wrestling record was 154-10 with a total of 119 pins. He is president of the Loup City FFA chapter and a member of the National Honor Society. He is involved in 4-H and helps coach the Pee Wee wrestlers.

January Winner:
Whitney Brown, GINW Basketball

Whitney is a team captain and hard working dedicated basketball player – she is averaging around 18 points a game – 3 assists – 5 rebounds -2 steals. She has helped lead the lady vikings to a 15-5 record and a conference runner up this month.  A future Husker, Whitney is walking on at Nebraska to play basketball.

January Winner:
Dustin Klingsporn, Axtell Wrestling

Dustin is a senior, has had an excellent season, with a 41-2 record, and during February will eclipse 150 career wins.  He is one of the favorites to win the 138 pound weight class in Class D at the State Meet.

December Winner:
Bell Paitz, Pleasanton Basketball

Isabelle Paitz is a terrific leader that leads the Pleasanton Girls Basketball team in scoring with 10ppg. She had games where she scored 19 points against Cozad and 19 points against Arcadia Loup City. She has helped lead the Bulldogs to the top ranking in Class D1.

December Winner:
Brett Mahony, KCHS Basketball

Brett was the #1 Freshman last year in state of Nebraska, all classes. So far this year he is ranked #2 in C1 scoring , #1 rebounds, #2 in field goals, and #1 in double doubles for Sophomores and #3 in scoring all grades. He is an all around great athlete with basketball as a preference and he also excels in football and baseball.

November Winner:
Nadia VanSlyke, ALC Volleyball

A senior setter for the Rebels helped lead ALC to the Class C2 State Tournament.  On the year she finished with 830 assists averaging just shy of ten per set.   From the setter positon she still managed 122 kills, 46 blocks, a .291 hitting percentage, 46 ace serves, a service percentage north of 95%,  and 183 digs.

November Winner:
Jakson Keaschall, Pleasanton Football

Jakson, the Senior QB of the Bulldogs, helped lead Pleasanton to a Class D2 state runner up finish, the first in school history.  He finished the year with 2780 passing yards and 33 TD’s,  while on the ground finding the end zone for 10 TD’s and enough rushing yards to eclipse 3100 yards of total offense. Defensively, he had 128 tackles, 69 of which were solo, including 10 TFL. A nose for the ball he also picked off two passes and had two fumble recoveries.  As a Punter he had a booming 31. 1 average distance.

October Winner:
Josie Jakubowski, St Paul Volleyball

Outside Hitter for the Wildcats, considered on the of top players in Class C1.  She has over 200 kills for the year, which is near the top throughout the state.  She also performs well in the back row, with her serving over 30 Aces on the season.   A calm demeanor and good teammate that led St Paul to an undefeated regular season, without dropping a set.  They claimed the LouPlatte conference title and the top seed in Class C1.

October Winner:
Trey Mieth, Ravenna Football

In 4 games in the month of October, Trey caught 18 balls for 513 yards and 12 touchdowns.  In this 4 game span he also rushed 8 times for 130 yards and 2 more touchdowns.  For the season, Trey had 939 yards receiving, 181 yards rushing and accounted for 22 TD’s and 10-2 pt PAT’s.  He helped lead Ravenna to a 7-1 record and the D1-6 District championship.

September Winner:
Whitney Bauer, Elm Creek

Junior Setter Whitney Bauer has been true leader to the Elm Creek Volleyball Team through the first month of the season. She is averaging 6.0 assists per set. Whitney picked up her 1,000 career assist this month. Whitney has a team leading 31 aces through 41 sets played. She has also had four double-double efforts with over ten assists and ten digs in a match. The setter is also chipping in 0.4 kills per set.

September Winner:
Phillip Tran, Kearney

Phillip is a two-time state medalist. As a senior, he has been a strong leader for our tennis team this season. Phillip has medaled at 4 invites this past month, including winning #1 singles in both the Hastings Invite and the North Platte Invite. In September, Phillip recorded his 100th career singles win in the finals of the Hastings Invite. Only one other boy has achieved this at Kearney High. Phillip is only 4 singles wins short of breaking the school record for career wins in singles. Phillip is able to compete at a high level, but he also has a high standard of sportsmanship as well.

May Winner:
Erica Bertrand, Axtell

Erica, a junior, helped lead the Wildcats track team numerous 1st and 2nd place finishes including the during the season and a 4th place finish at State.

400 – first/second at every meet – 3rd at state meet – school record of 60.5
200 – first/second at every meet – 8th at state meet
4×1 – anchor leg – finished first at every meet – first at state meet
4 x 4 – anchor leg- finished first at every meet – first at state meet – school record of 4:07

May Winner:
Sam Wibbels, Hastings

Sam, a senior, helped lead the Hastings tigers to a runner up finish at the 2019 Class B State Championships.  During state he batted .375 and had clutch hits in the opener. He really shined on the mound going 2-0, at state with 25 strikeouts only allowing three earned runs over 11 and 2/3 innings pitched.  During the regular season he was 7-1 on the mound with a 1.41 ERA, and was among the state leaders in strikeouts.

April Winner:
Madison Smith, Lexington

Madison, a senior, has lead the Minute-maids track team numerous 1st place finishes including the Holdrege and McCook invites. She has placed 1st in the 100 meter dash in four April meets with a season best time of 12.15; placed 1st in the 200 meter dash in four April meets with a season best time of 25.28; placed 1st in the 400 meter dash in two meets with a season best time of 59.6; placed 1st in the Long Jump in three meets with a season best jump of 19′ 2.5″. Anchored the 4×400 relay to a Class B area best time of 4:18.37.

Madison also excelled in Cross Country placing 5th at State. She was the Class B State Power Lifting Champion, and all class Power Lifting runner-up.

April Winner:
Jacob Hardy, Kearney

Jacob, a Senior, has lead Kearney to a perfect 16-0 record in 2019.   He has 46 saves so far this year yielding only 4 goals (.25 gaa), and is now the career all saves leader in all classes with 334.  He also now owns the Kearney High school record for a season with 13, and is now the all class leader in shutouts for a career with 45.

Jacob also plays the Violin and will be continuing his education at UNL next year.

March Winner:
Lexi Vertin, St Cecilia

Lexi, a senior, lead the Hawkettes with 57 total points over the 3 day State Tournament, helping St Cecilia win the Class C2 crown. During the year she averaged 10.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, & 1.4 steals. Lexi plans on continuing her education and running track at UNL next year.

March Winner:
Baylor Scheierman, Aurora

Baylor, a Senior, lead Aurora to the Class B State semifinals by scoring 30 points versus Alliance.  In the semifinal against Roncolli he had 37 points, 17 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.  For the year he averaged 20.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.  He is committed to play basketball next year at South Dakota State University.

February Winner:
Morgan Baker, Adams Central (Hastings Swimming)

Morgan, placed 4th at State in the 100 Free (53.55) and 5th at State in the 50 Free (24.41) breaking the school record. Placed in the 200 and 400 Free Relays at State as well. During the season placed either 1st or 2nd in the 50/100 Free events in every meet but one. Anchored the relays to numerous 1st place finishes during the year including the GNAC conference meet.

February Winner:
Grady Griess, GINW

Grady won the 2019 Class B 195 pound weight class.  He pinned his way to the finals and was a 12-3 winner in the championship match. Finished 48-1 on the year helping GINW win the class B team title.

January Winner:
Olivia Micek, Kearney Catholic

Olivia averaged 14.5 points per game, 4 assists, and 3 steals during the month of January.

She has chosen to further her academic & athletic career at Kansas, and has signed to be on the rowing team there.

January Winner:
Evan Waddington, Wood River

In January, Evan won his fourth straight LouPlatte Conference Wrestling championship. He has surpassed the class C wins record with 181 and compiled a 41-1 record in the 2019 season thus far. A three time state finalist, he won his first state championship in 2018 and looks for another in 2019. He owns 12 Wood River school records. He has chosen to further his academic & athletic career at Chadron State.

December Winner:
Allie Bauer, Elm Creek

Allie Bauer, a Senior,   is averaging over 20 points a game,  5.5 rebounds a game, and 3.5 steals a game. She had a career high of 31 points and tied her career high of 14 rebounds in the game against SEM, had a season high of 8 three pointers against Shelton (one of her own school record of 9), and also had 7 three pointers against Ansley-Litchfield. She is a team leader helping Elm Creek to a 8-1, which is their best start to a season since 2002-2003 when Elm Creek went 24-1.

She has committed to playing Basketball at Hastings College.

December Winner:
Morgan Wallace, Overton

Played 6 games leading Overton to a 5-1 record, while averaging 23.8 points per game, 2.8 assists per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 4.3 steals per game.  He has a season high 38 points vs Loomis as well as 12 rebounds. Versus Axtell he was one rebound and steal away from a triple double.

November Winner:
Kacey Allen, Blue Hill

Kacey Allen, a Senior, helped lead the Bobcats to the first State Volleyball Championship in school history.  She now owns three school records: Career Kills, Career Ace Serves, and Single Game Ace Serves (8).  She finished 2018 with 344 kills with a hitting percentage of .233, had 343 digs and 47 Ace Serves.  Kacey finished her prep career with 1227 kills, a .208 hitting percentage, 44 blocks, 1161 digs, 67 assists and 194 aces.

November Winner:
AJ Jenkins, Wilcox-Hildreth

AJ Jenkins, a Senior, helped lead the Falcons to its first State Football Championship in school history.  He ran the pigskin for 2752 yards, averaging and had 46 rushing touchdowns.  He added another 14 more scores via passing, receiving, and defensively.  On defense he amassed over 120 tackles of which 76 were solo stops, had six fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. AJ finished his career with over 6600 rushing yards and is one of only a handful of players in state history to finish with four 1,000 yard seasons.  He owns twelve NSAA state records, including six-man touchdown record with 127.

October Winner:
Gabby Moser, Central City

Gabby, a junior, set NSAA state records this season by hitting 21 home runs in a season (previous 18), 3 homers in a game, and career home runs with 33 (previous 31). She hit for an average of .663 with 55 hits and 57 rbi’s. Gabby has signed a division 1 scholarship to play softball at South Dakota.

October Winner:
Dayne Hinrichs, Giltner

Dayne, the Quarterback of the Hornet football team, finished October off with over 1200 yards of total offense, including 945 yards passing and 260 rushing.  He found the end zone 18 times, nine times each rushing and passing. He also booted in 7 PAT’s for the Hornets. Defensively, Dayne had 42.5 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and found the end zone twice more.  Dayne helped lead the Hornets to 2018 Class D2 State Playoffs.

September Winner:
Katy Lindner, Pleasanton

Katy has helped lead the Bulldog volleyball team to 16 wins. This month she has 148 kills while hitting at an efficiency of .373. In the last 14 games she has a hitting efficiency of .405 with only 12 hitting errors.

September Winner:
Aidan Wheelock, Minden

Aidan, a Doane commit, was the Champion of 3 events in September, including the Minden and Malcolm Invites.  Runner up finishes at Broken Bow and the Class A meet at the UNK Invite. He also ran in the Regional Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence, KS placing 32nd.

Athlete of the Month