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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dustin Klingsporn, Axtell Wrestling
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.
Brett Mahony, KCHS Basketball
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.
Jakson Keaschall, Pleasanton Football
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.
Trey Mieth, Ravenna Football
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.