Taking advantage of great field position and turnovers, the Aquinas Catholic Monarchs were able to gain the early momentum on their way to a 42-6 victory over host Gothenburg in the Nebraska Class C-1 State Football Playoffs held on the Swedes home turf on Friday evening.
Looking to score points off of a short field ahead, the Monarchs used their misdirection rushing attack to be flirting with paydirt near the halfway point of the first quarter. Soon after reaching the red zone, Gothenburg’s defense was flexing their muscle and holding the Aquinas offense out of the endzone until Monarch quarterback Gavin Rech called his own number to score on a two-yard plunge with 5:34 left in the opening quarter. Aquinas Catholic was able to make the score 7-0 with Trevor Siroky splitting the uprights on the extra point try.
On the ensuing possession, Gothenburg was able to continue their efforts to chip away at the vaunted run defense of the Monarchs with the methodical rushing attack that the Swedes are known for until an untimely miscue allowed Aquinas to gain possession and put together a sustained drive that finish in the endzone with Gavin Rech reaching paydirt again on the ground, this time with a one-yard run with less than a minute to play in the first quarter to make the score 14-0 in favor of the Monarchs.
The Aquinas gridders had a grasp on the momentum and lead on the scoreboard as the opening quarter ended and the second stanza began.
Scoring as a result of advantageous field position and the continued churning of the rushing attack, the Monarchs were in business as a result of the Gothenburg defensive forces flexing their muscle.
The Swedes were able to gain the upper hand with the momentum swinging in the balance and the Monarch offensive attack being nearly stuck in the mud. Aquinas was able to get back in business when Rech dialed his own number on a homerun trot that spanned 34 yards with 9:56 left in the second quarter. The Monarchs took a 21-0 lead.
homerun trot that spanned 34 yards with 9:56 left in the second quarter. The Monarchs took a 21-0 lead.
Aquinas continued to prosper on Swede miscues as the Monarchs went to the air for a Rech to Tyler Vavrina nine-yard scoring connection at the 7:07 mark of the second quarter and then cushioned their lead with a Rech scoring his fourth rushing score to make the Aquinas lead 35-0 entering the halftime break.
Coming out of the intermission, the Gothenburg defense stood tall and strong in thwarting off the opening drives by the Monarchs.
Just as they had on prior drives, the short field allowed Aquinas to cash in with a Rech to Vavrina seven-yard scoring connection to extend the lead to 42-0 with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
With limited time remaining, Gothenburg was able to break the ice on a Maguire Bartlett eight yard scoring run to cap all the scoring with Aquinas Catholic netting the 42-6 victory over the Swedes.
Jordan Cudney has been around athletics and activities for his whole professional career that has involved coaching at High School and Collegiate levels. Going one step further, Cudney is now the new Activities Director at Cozad Community Schools.
“I feel that it is important to build relationships, Inspire others to discover their God-given talens and joyfully pursue the realization of one’s potential,” explained Jordan Cudney.
Prior to his new position at Cozad, the Hickman-native Jordan Cudney taught and coached at Crete High School. He was in charge of high school strength and conditioning and taught health courses since 2012.
Along with his experiences at Crete, Jordan has also been in charge of the strength and conditioning programs while teaching physical education and health at Omaha Benson High School and Ord High School during his years in education.
At the collegiate level, Cudney has coached at Morningside College as an assistant football coach and also at Midland University in Fremont as an assistant football coach as well as being the strength and conditioning coordinator.
Jordan achieved his Bachelors degree at Doane College in Physical Education and History and then completed the requirements to earn a Masters in Professional Education at Morningside College. He is currently finishing course work to soon achieve his Masters in Educational Leadership from Doane University.
Jordan is a certified strength and conditioning specialist along with being a NFOHS Wrestling Official.
Jordan Cudney and his wife Kara have one daughter and they are excited about being a part of the Cozad Community School district.
Tyler Herman has been to the top of the mountain as a coach of state championship winning teams and he hopes as the new Activities Director at Gothenburg Public Schools, he can assist the teams and organizations of the Swede City continue to be successful.
“I was very intrigued when I applied for the position. I heard nothing but great things about the Gothenburg School District and how progressive the school and community continue to get better and better,” expressed Tyler Herman. “Opportunities to be an Administrator and Activity Director in great school districts like Gothenburg’s, don’t come around to often.”
Tyler started his new job on August 1st and has enjoyed being back involved in activities.
Prior to being named to his new position in Gothenburg, Herman was the Dean of Students at Kearney High School. Prior to his work for two years at Kearney, Tyler was a teacher and coach at Amherst Public Schools. He was a teacher for 10 years and coached for 12 years at Amherst. Along with coaching the well-known Broncos Wrestling squad, Herman also gained experience as an Activities Diretor along with coaching, Golf, Football Track and Cross Country at various levels.
“I have big shoes to fill, but it is great to have Mr. Ryker still being in the school to look to for guidance when needed,” stated Herman. “It is important for me to be a good listener and an active listener in all aspects of being a administrator and activities director.”
Herman and his wife Jacque have three daughters that are also excited to be Swedes.
Scoring the early lead paid off for the Gothenburg as they defeated the Reds Juniors 6-1 in an as good as advertised Dawson County rival on the diamond on Thursday evening at Muni Park in Cozad.
Attempting to hit the door running were the Melons Juniors during their first at-bat in the top of the first inning. Carlos Magdaleno singled and then Kristopher Pearson was able to gain access to the base paths on a hard-to-handle hit to put runners on first and second base for the Purple-clad Nine. Soon thereafter, Magdaleno and Pearson advance further into scoring position and Magdaleno ventures towards the plate to score on Jacob Barkmeier’s RBI-groundout to make the score 1-0. During the ensuing at-bat, Conner Baker drives a ground ball that sneaks through the Cozad infielders defensive efforts that results in Pearson scoring to make the score 2-0 before the smoke cleared in the top of the first inning.
Cozad’s leadoff batter Maddux Myer was a sparkplug for the Reds offense with a single into centerfield. Myer was able to steal second base and advance another 90 feet on Adam Cole’s ground out. Myer was able to sprint the final leg to score from third base on Christian Timm’s RBI-single into left field. Using the momentum in their favor, Blake Hoffmaster singled as well to put Timm in scoring position in hopes of knotting the score at 2-2. Gothenburg’s defense had other ideas and retired the side on a strikeout with the score being 2-1 at the end of the first inning of play.
With the momentum swinging in the balance, the Gothenburg offense went back to work. Jordan Rossell earned a walk and Bryce Ryker got on base on a hard-to-handle hit.
During the ensuing at-bat, Rossell was able to score on Matt Zimbleman’s RBI-single into centerfield. Soon thereafter, Ryker was able to score on a fielders choice off the bat of Carlos Magdaleno to make the score 4-1.
The Melons weren’t done going back to the well offensively. Vincent Nichols connected on a fielders choice that scored Matt Zimbleman to pust the lead to 5-1 as the first out is notched.
Gothenburg was able to show great patience at the dish with Conner Baker and Brady Harrison earning walks that resulted in Kristopher Pearson being pushed across the plate to make the score 6-1 at the midway point of the second inning.
With the momentum at his back, Brady Harrison started hitting his stride on the mound, as he retired two of the three batters on strikeouts to keep the score at 6-1 entering the third inning.
In the top of the third inning, Matt Zimbleman got on base via an error. He was then able to get into scoring position for the Melons on miscues along with Carlos Magdaleno gaining access on the base path’s with the pair being in scoring position. Cozad’s Adam Cole was then able to thwart off the scoring threat with a flyout to centerfield that was snagged by Jonathan Neill and a strikeout to keep the score at 6-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, Adam Cole tried to help out his own cause after he was hit by a pitch. The threat to score was short-lived as the Melons Juniors got a flyout and a strikeout to end the threat.
After the early fireworks, the defensive units of the Melons and Reds simmered and kept the scoring threats to a minimum. Gothenburg was able to notch the 6-1 win over Cozad.
Brady Harrison etched the mound win for the Melons Juniors by allowing just three hits and striking out nine batters.
Spencer Pleschourt and Adam Cole combined to allow just three hits while pitching for the Reds.
Score By Innings
Gothenburg 2400 000- 6
Cozad 1000 000- 1
Scoring rave reviews for their efforts behind the wheel of their hot rods were Dan Smith, David Murray Jr, Jacob Wolsleben, Mike Nichols, Luke Wassom and Justin Smallcomb on their way to the winners circle during the racing action held at Lexington Raceway on the Dawson County Fairgrounds on Sunday evening.
Grabbing an early lead and never looking back, Dan Smith of Beloit, Kansas was able to cruise to the victory in the NeSmith Late Model Feature. Starting deep in the field, Josh Leonard of Gibbon had to work his way through traffic to be in contention of a podium finish. Leonard tried his best to reel in Smith but he ran out of real estate and was forced to settle with runner-up honors. Aurora young gun Rece Vaught was among the leaders during the initial laps of the feature and he was able to stay among the leaders throughout the event to earn a third place finish for his efforts. Delbert Smith of Wichita and Denton Duncan of Ravenna crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth to round out the top five finishers.
Veteran wheelman David Murray Jr. of Oberlin, Kansas is no stranger to the winners circle and it took him only four laps to garner the lead in the IMCA Modified Feature. Murray worked the top and bottom grooves to his favor to gain the lead and never trail again to claim yet another feature win. Continuing to showcase his skills behind the wheel of his hot rod, Scott Smith of Davenport was able to work his magic to drive into second place and stay in the runner-up position until the checkered flag was waved. Brandon Clough of Wallace started on the front row and battled with pole sitter Chuck Stryker of Eddyville during the first four laps of the feature event until Murray gained the lead. Clough was able to stay heavy on the loud pedal to the tune of a third place finish in the feature. Jay Steffens and Todd Schwanz were able to earn fourth and fifth place honors in the spotlighted feature event.
Starting up front and staying up front for the juncture, Cozad’s Jacob Wolsleben was the winner in the highly contested IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature. Wolsleben was riding ‘high, wide and handsome’ all the way to victory lane for his first open wheel feature win of the season at Lexington Raceway. Jacob Slough of Doniphan had his best finish of the season at Lexington Raceway with a runner-up accolades being earned. Lexington’s Craig Howard was running in second place and was reeling in Wolsleben until a late caution flag bunched the field as the top two drivers at the time had a big cushion over the rest of the field. Howard stayed up on the wheel to earn third place honors. Battling for position during the waning laps was Bryan Herrick of Curtis and Gothenburg’s Jamey Kennicutt crossed the finish stripe in fourth and fifth place overall.
Continuing to hit homeruns was Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa in winning top honors in the class too tough to tame, the IMCA Stock Cars on Sunday evening. Nichols drove his way into contention and never looked back after garnering the lead. Finishing strong during the feature was Kyle Clough of Wallace in earning runner-up accolades. Shickley speedster Jed Williams had a stellar night in Lexington with a third place finish.
Luke Wassom of Broken Bow was able to cruise to the feature win in the hobby stock division. Nate Refior of Sutton was a close second when the checkered flag was waved. Tanner Jones of North Platte was third overall.
In a very tight race, Justin Smallcomb of Grand Island was the winner of the IMCA Sport Compact feature. Travis Thelander of Blue Hill was a very close second.
--NESmith Late Model Feature: 1. 92s-Dan Smith; 2. 85-Josh Leonard; 3. 20v-Rece Vaught; 4. 92-Delbert Smith; 5. 83d-Denton Duncan; 6. 6c-Cale Osborn; 7. 23-Jacob Kubicka; 8. 15-Collin Safranek; 9. 14-Bill Kubik; 10. 24j-Dennis Price Jr.
--IMCA Modified Feature: 1. 97m-David Murray Jr; 2. 50-Scott Smith; 3. 20b-Brandon Clough; 4. XII-Jay Steffens; 5. 727-Todd Schwanz; 6. 50s-Kale Smith; 7. 19-Chuck Stryker; 8. 50c-Colton Osborn.
Heat Races: 17j-Frenier
--IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature: 1. 01-Jacob Wolsleben; 2. 15d-Jacob Slough; 3. 68-Craig Howard; 4. 0hp-Bryan Herrick; 5. 15k-Jamey Kennicutt; 6. 12j-Kerry Jones; 7. 15-Herb Slough; 8. 511-Zach Buesing; 9. Tyler Rajdl; 10. 1c-Cole Egge.
--IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1. 63-Mike Nichols; 2. 11k-Kyle Clough; 3. 77-Jed Williams; 4. 45-Mikey Dancer; 5. 31-Darin Racek; 6. 24w-Casey Werkmeister; 7. 90-Allen Zimmerman; 8. 84-James Sheldon; 9. 19-Dana Morgan; 10. 57x-Scott Stoll.
--IMCA Hobby Stock Feature: 1. 2w-Luke Wassom; 2. R89-Nate Refior; 3. 12t-Tanner Jones; 4. 2x-Travis Kernick; 5. 250-Tathan Burkhart; 6. 1-Tanner Clough; 7. 88m-TC McKain; 8. 99m-Allyn Myers; 9. 5-Chuck Ledbetter; 10. 1j-Jakob Egge.
--IMCA Sport Compact Feature: 1. 85-Justin Smallcomb; 2. 55t-Travis Thelander; 3. 71c-Christian Destefano; 4. 07-Merle Johnson; 5. 69b-Casey Bagwell; 6. 93h-Klancey Honeycutt; 7. 73-Quincy Eggleston.