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1981/1982 Thousand Yard Club Top Ten Rushers and more......Posted Friday, December 25, 2009, at 2:56 PM
1. Kirk Berggren-Grand Island Northwest..1,697
2. Tim Werner-Humphrey St. Francis.......1,670
3. Devin Empfield-Stapleton..............1,655
4. Victor Breakfield-Omaha Burke.........1,624
5. Kirk Olsen-Coleridge..................1,612
6. Nick Ross-Wheatland...................1,520
7. Greg Roan-Cedar Rapids................1,500
8. Rick Giger-Guide Rock.................1,494
9. Joe Carraher-Spalding Academy.........1,437
10.Dino Salcedo-Bellevue East............1,424
The city of Grand Island had it's first and only State Rushing Champion, well at least back then Northwest had "GI" in front of it anyway. Omaha Burke won Class A with the splendid Breakfield, whom I see in stripes on the sidelines now and then. Looks like he could still suit up. Bob Schnitzler turned the Touchdown Twins, Ron Schnitzler and Marty Mullens loose every week...all the way to a C-1 title. That Championship game with Aquinas was still one of the best I have ever witnessed. Henderson uncovered a fabulous Sophomore by the name of Kroeker and ran to the C-2 Title. John Kroeker would end up being one of the finest athletes I ever watched. He went on to punt for the Big Red. Shelby claimed the D-1 crown without a 1000 yarder, but Wheatland blasted Decatur 42-14 behind the running of Nick Ross, who notched his 2nd 1000 yard campaign.
Class A again only landed 4 backs on the list, but it was the most ever Besides Breakfield and Salcedo, Ray Nelson (1,100) from the now defunct Omaha Tech and "A" runner-up Omaha NW ace Gerald Kellogg (1,001) made it.
Again, look at the schools on the list that are gone: Guide Rock, Omaha Dominican (Darrin Cargle-1,325), Hordville (Todd Tyler-1,238), Monroe (Russ Melcher (1,098), Nelson (Ted Murray (1,058), and Rising City (Randy Ruth-1,009). There were only 47 backs that hit the 1000 yard mark in '81.
1982 1000 Yard Club Top 10
1. Kelly Haecker-Odell...............1,971
2. Todd Tyler-Hordville..............1,758
3. Mike Kozeal-Sargent...............1,695
4. Kern Gydesen-Elwood...............1,660
5. Mark Everett-Fremont Bergan.......1,642
6. Kent Proud-Bartley................1,593
7. Lonnie Fredrichson-Palmer.........1,568
8. Ted Murray-Nelson.................1,516
9. Ken Engle-Humphrey St. Francis....1,468
10. Jeff Jamrog-Elkhorn Mt. Michael..1,460
1982 set a record for 1000 yard rushers with 70 backs reaching the magic plateau. The second set of "actual twins" highlighted the list. Lonnie and Donnie Fredrichson of Palmer hit the mark. Lonnie was 7th in the state with his 1,568 and brother Donnie rushed for 1,263. Quite a pair. Class A was back down to two backs, Tom Rush of Bell. East (1,183) and Jeff Hardick of Prep (1,123) made it. I witnessed future Husker player and coach, Jeff Jamrog run all over O'Neill (38-Zip) in the "B" Final at Elkhorn Middle School. Lawrence, led by Russ Faimon (1,129) made a laugher out of the D-1 Finals by blasting Ansley 67-8, and State Rushing Champ Kelly Haecker led Odell over Hordville and Todd Tyler, 66-22. That Title game featured the top 2 backs in the State and Haecker fell short of the 2000 yard mark by just 29 yards. I also remember Tyler had been in an automobile accident earlier that week and made a miraculous recovery to play in that one.
Stromsburg featured a couple of speed burners, Scott King (1,283) and Todd Burgeson (1,081) and a sports writer by the name of Todd Henrichs (Journal-Star) was on that squad if I recall. Again, look at these names and keep them in your memory bank for possible sons down the line: Kraig Axmann-Pleasanton (1,061), Bert Lingenfelter-Plainview (1,045).
Devin Empfield completed a trifecta 1000 Yard trick by hitting the mark Soph/Jr/Sr.
And a super athlete named Lynn Menke emerged on the scene for tiny Marquette by gaining 1,044 yards as a 10th grader and would become untouchable in the 400 meter dash in Track.
Once again, witness the schools represented on this list that are "no more":
Hordville, Bartley, Oxford (John Hoxmeier-1,391), Culbertson (Matt Brown-1,218), Benedict (Chad Bailey-1,213), Silver Creek (Rich Kielien-1,168), Trumbull (Eugene Consbruck-1,127 and Robb Samuelsen-1,023), Clarks (Jerry Sunburg-1,086), Chappell (Steve Acheson-1,081), Butte (Terry Druary-1,044), Marquette, Polk (Greg Dose-1,038) and Wauneta (Dan Resmond-1,007).
Newspapers around the State were actually printing the list and with the help of Associated Press guy, Bob Lee, the Club would take off and hit most all of the "dailys" and even some TV and radio stations.
.....and some names you may recognize from this neck of the woods:
Mark Young-North Platte St. Pats..1,084
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