New Husker coach honed skills as Junior High Bison

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
The University of Nebraska’s new head football coach, Scott Frost, started his football career in McCook in 1988, playing quarterback and middle linebacker for the McCook Bison eighth grade team. This picture, paying tribute to the 1988 team’s undefeated record, still occupies a prominent place in the McCook Junior High Trophy Case. Scott is the player pictured fourth from the left in the back row, wearing number 17. Scott’s 1988 teammates and coaches include (front row, from left) Student Managers Nate Schneider and Brian Haverkamp. Second row: Mike Chancellor, Matt Roth, Greg Premer, Tim Longo, Chris Symington, Bob Schilz, Tony Kalinski, Geoff Gillen and Neil Sims. Third row: Kevin Janousek, Jeff Sprenkle, Bronson Riley, Jason Rathbun, Grey Lyne, Jeff McArthur, Matt Meisenbach, Nathan Eldred and Eric Wagner. Back row: Assistant Coach Dave Gordon, Dan Callan, Bryan Lytle, Scott Frost, Luke Krizek, Bill Wilkinson, Stacy Winters, Ryan Lavery, James Brown, Scott Beckenhauer, Assistant Coach Bill Beckenhauer and Head Coach Dennis Berry.
McCook Junior High/Courtesy photo

McCOOK, Neb. — The Nebraska Cornhuskers’ new football coach, Scott Frost, started his gridiron career in McCook when, as a 13-year-old quarterback and linebacker, he led the McCook Bison eighth graders to an undefeated season.

Showing the talent which would lead him to football playing and coaching success, Frost was the star on the ‘88 McCook junior high team which won all four of its games by wide margins.

In consecutive contests, the 1988 Bison eighth graders trounced Oberlin, 38-6; beat Colby, 34-8; blanked Ogallala, 46-0; and blasted North Platte St. Patrick’s, 34-0.

Frost lived in McCook from 1986 until 1989 while his father, Larry Frost, was the head football coach and physical education teacher at McCook High School, and his mother, Carol Frost, a former Olympian, was a math teacher and assistant football coach.

Even though Scott was in grade school and junior high when he lived in McCook, his athletic ability was already apparent, as he qualified for the Junior Olympics as a hurdler at a young age, said Dennis Berry, the retired junior high principal who served as the head coach of the 1988 Bison eighth grade squad.

One of Scott’s close friends during this McCook years was Nate Schneider, who is now McCook’s city manager. While Nate didn’t play on the 1988 Bison eighth grade team, due to a broken ankle, he still treasures the times as grade schoolers that he and Scott spent tossing the football back-and-forth.

Along with all of Scott’s 1988 eighth grade teammates and coaches, Nate has a special memory to cherish, sharing the experience of helping launch one of the most special football careers in the history of Husker nation.

In a sign of things to come for Frost, Coach Berry’s junior high Bison in 1988 played a multiple offense, with strong emphasis on the spread formation and special option and wishbone plays.

When future Husker teams take the field with Scott Frost as head coach, the 1988 Bison eighth grade players and their coaches — Dennis Berry, Bill Beckenhauer and Dave Gordon — can take pride in the fact that they played a part in launching the career of the man rewarded this month with a seven-year, $35 million contract to guide Nebraska football into the future.

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  • Good group of eighth graders! Proud Scott started his career in organized football in McCook. Steve Frost, Scott’s older brother was also a good athlete. He lettered as the football long snapper at Stanford University. His dad, Larry, lettered as a wingback for the Huskers. His mom, Carol, was an outstanding football coach in her own right. Very athletic family.

    -- Posted by dennis on Thu, Dec 7, 2017, at 8:52 AM
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