The world of recruiting has become a very cutthroat world for the best athletes. There used to be a respect factor that was the dividing line in the sand. Now, that dividing line in the sand is erased and passed by anybody and everybody it seems. 
There are middle school athletes that are receiving special interest from college coaches in virtually every sport it seems anymore. I have heard of some of those unreal scholarship offers to elementary kids and even kids prior to being born. To say that the cart is being put in front of the horses would be an understatement when examining the recruiting world in this day and age. 
Speaking that the recruiting world has seen its fair share and more of violations by schools of all sizes. It seems that offering special privledges and special services has become the normal anymore. The University of Louisville has found themselves in hot water for an assistant coach hiring escorts during recruiting visits. I would be willing to bet that they aren’t the only ones using this method of recruiting to their favor, they are just the only ones that have gotten caught lately. 
It wasn’t that long ago that ESPN had a special feature on the recruiting wars of the old Southwest Conference in Texas, that resulted in the death penalty for Southern Methodist University. That was decades ago and I am guessing that the powers to be, flex their muscle for colleges and sports programs even more now that ever. 
The recruiting wars can be exciting to watch when it comes to signing days for some people to watch, but I am ‘old school’ and loyalty to a verbal committment holds water for me. I totally feel that the use of respect and honor should become a bigger piece of the puzzle for successful athletic programs. 
It is sad to see the results of the recruiting wars bring tears and fears, especially now that it has become mainstream in the high school and middle school ranks. 
Cozad shortstop Conor Young was clutch in finishing 2-3 at the plate along with knocking in three RBI’s in the Reds 11-9 victory over Ogallala. Nate Bubak got the nod on the hill and earned the win by scattering 10 hits over four and 2/3 innings while striking out six batters. 
The Cozad Juniors were able to outscore Elwood 18-7 in diamond action. The Reds went ballistic for seven runs in the third inning and 11 runs in the fourth frame to score the victory. Elwood held an early 1-0 lead before the Reds offensive explosion. Brendan Molden picked up the win on the mound. Dillon Budd and Colin Wetovick both finished 2-3 at the plate to lead the Reds. Wetovick scored three runs and had a pair of RBI’s. Budd scored three runs for Cozad. Chase Dugan and Jason Finnegan also circled to score three times as well. 
The name of the game was 12-1, with the Cozad Juniors and Lexington Seniors winning by that count in a junior/senior diamond doubleheader. Cory Devine picked up the mound win for the Reds Juniors, while Mat Linder finished 3-4 at the plate. Justin Standage was a force for Cozad with a 2-2 outing with four RBI’s. In the nightcap, Lexington’s Seniors platted five first inning runs on their way to cruising to a 12-1 victory. Stuart Long threw a complete game to record the win on the mound, striking out five batters. Christian Diaz led the Orange Nine’s bats with two hits and three RBI’s. 
Gothenburg High School finished 9th overall in the first annual NSAA Cup. The Lady Swedes were knocking on the door of a podium finish, as they were fourth overall in the final standings for the Girls portion of the  NSAA Cup. 
Lexington’s Juniors took advantage of big innings in both games to sweep a doubleheader from Cozad. Cozad opened up a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the first game, but Lex tied the game with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Lexington wasn’t done either, as they added three runs in the third, two in the fourth, then broke the game open with seven runs in the sixth inning. Lexington finished with a 14-5 victory. Curtis Roemmich and Justin Teeters were both 3-for-4 in the game for the Orange.  Lexington won the second game of the doubleheader, 13-5. Lexington fell behind 1-0 in the second, but scored six times in the third and seven in the fourth for the win. Roemmich and Teeters each had two hits for the winners. Cozad collected three hits in the game, two by Logan Hart and one by Josh Pinkelman.
Bruce Hird was announced as the new Head Boys Basketball coach at Lexington High School. Hird will take over the reins of the Minutemen from exiting head coach Chip Bahe. 
Cozad defeated Elwood in a Midget baseball contest 5-1. The Haymakers overcame a 1-0 first inning deficit with a four run surge in the second and third stanzas. An insurance run in the seventh inning gave the Reds a comfortable cushion on the scoreboard. Elwood got on the board early when Shane Tilson singled and advanced on a stolen base. He raced homeward on an RBI-single by Brad Downing. Lane Johnson, Adam Kloepping and David Cumming all scored to put Cozad in command on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the second inning. Jeff Brecks and Joey Cochran both connected on a pair of singles in four official plate appearances to lead the Cozad attack.
Lexington staged a five run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning and collected a 15-13 Midget baseball win over rival Cozad. Just prior to the exciting stanza, the two clubs had exchanged the lead throughout the contest. Lex grabbed a 2-1 edge in the first inning, but fell behind in the fourth when Cozad lit up the scoreboard for five runs, 11-10. Manager Corey Smith’s Haymakers managed a 13-10 advantage before the offensive fireworks ignited from the Orange. Jason Carpenter, Craig Taylor, Jeremy Evans and Ryan Bliven all scored closing runs. Although he was shutout in scoring, centerfielder Gary O’Donnell connected on three hits for the victors. Mike Cumming, who scored three times and Jason Smith with a pair of runs sparked Cozad. 
The Cozad girls age 16 and under softball team won the Hi-line regular season and tournament championships. The girls finished the regular season with a 7-1 record and then defeated Stockville 15-4 in five innings to claim the season ending tournament title Sunday at Farnam. Stockville had won the championship the last three years. Cozad reached the finals of the tournament by defeating Curtis 8-6 earlier Sunday afternoon. The Cozad girls are coached by Gordon Lindstedt and Mike Winterfield. Playing for Cozad this Summer and winning big were Heather Rhoadharmer, Mari Dorsey, Linda Foster, April Werner, Paige Lindstedt, Miki McCoy, Leslie Myer, Alica Rangel, Tonya Bean, Noreen Harwood, Renae Spradlin and Tiffany Stoll. 

Showcasing their expertise on the billards table were a large group of competitors looking to earn the winnings and bragging rights while competing in the American Poolplayers Association (APA) 9-Ball Fun & Cash Tournament that was recently held in Gothenburg.
One of the last one’s standing was Tim McGuire of Lexington in third place overall.

Leslie Trullinger of Gothenburg and Lexington’s Chris Lange both finished in a logjam for fifth place honors.

The tournament hosted 32 shooters from all over western Nebraska and paid cash prizes to the top 25% of the field.

For more information about the APA Pool Leagues, call 308-344-4811. Or follow the Western Nebraska APA Pool Leagues on Facebook.