This year’s Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame induction is chock full of Husker volleyball players from the late 1990s.
Renee Saunders from Omaha Marian, Kim (Behrends) Buckendahl from Chappell and Laura (Pilakowski) Buttermore from Columbus are among the 11 athletes, five coaches, one contributor and one official chosen for induction Oct. 1 at Lincoln East.
Saunders is the oldest of the three, playing at NU from 1995 to 1997. She was a freshman on the Huskers’ first national championship team in 1995. Buckendahl was a Husker from 1997 to 2000, joined by Buttermore from 1999 to 2002. Their 2000 team was national champion.
Former NU football players Frosty Anderson from Scottsbluff, Leodis Flowers from Omaha Central and Barrett Ruud from Lincoln Southeast are in this year’s class of athletes, along with 2004 swimming Olympian Scott Usher from Grand Island, two-time NCAA women’s track champion Anne Shadle from South Sioux City, former UNK volleyball standout Erin (Gudmundson) Hausermann from Kearney Catholic, 1956 Olympic Trials track and field participant Richard Knaub from Scottsbluff and two-sport pro draftee Daryl Stovall from Bellevue West.
The five coaches — Rick Hesse, Kathy Mettenbrink, John Miller, Carl Tesmer and Mark Wortman — have led teams to 18 state championships. Tickets will be $25 for adults and $10 for K-12 students. Pre-kindergarten children are admitted for no charge.
Forrest “Frosty” Anderson, Scottsbluff (1969): Was an All-Nebraska back in football, an All-Big Ten player in basketball and a state-qualifying sprinter on the Bearcats’ state championship track team of 1968. A three-year letterman for the Huskers, he played split end on the national championship teams of 1970 and 1971.
Kim (Behrends) Buckendahl, Chappell (1997): Capped a stellar volleyball career with 42 kills in a three-game victory in the Class D-1 finals as a senior. She was twice All-Nebraska and was runner-up as Volleyball Magazine’s national player of the year. State records include career kills (1,643) and season kills (525).She was a two-time D-1 all-stater in basketball, scoring 1,384 points as a four-year starter. A Husker walk-on in volleyball, she averaged more than four kills per game for the 34-0 national champions of 2000.
Leodis Flowers, Omaha Central (1987): A two-time All-Nebraska running back, he was a Parade All-American and one of eight finalists for the Gatorade National Player of the Year after rushing for 1,200 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns in seven games in his senior year. At Nebraska, he rushed for more than 1,600 yards in three years.
Erin (Gudmundson) Haussermann, Kearney Catholic (2002): All-state in volleyball and basketball, she qualified for the state track meet in seven events, winning the all-class gold medal in the high jump as a senior. A three-time volleyball All-American at UNK, she was the NCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2005.
Richard Knaub, Scottsbluff (1954): The World-Herald athlete of the year as a senior won the all-class gold in the pole vault as a sophomore and in the vault and long jump as a junior. Was state pentathlon champion as a senior, then hurt his back during the state meet. Also started at quarterback and was leading scorer as a senior on a state-qualifying team. He went on to win a conference long jump title for UCLA and competed in the 1956 Olympic Trials. Died last April.
Laura (Pilakowski) Buttermore, Columbus (1999): The World-Herald girls athlete of the year as a senior was an All-Nebraska first-teamer and regional player of the year in volleyball, on the All-Nebraska second team in basketball and placed in two events in state track. At NU, she was All-America first team as a sophomore while helping the Huskers to the 2000 title and second team as a senior. She finished her career playing women’s basketball for Nebraska.
Barrett Ruud, Lincoln Southeast (2001): Southeast’s all-time leading rusher helped the Knights to a 48-2 record and three state championships in four years. A four-year Husker letterman at linebacker, he set a single-season record for tackles his junior year. He went on to play eight years in the NFL.
Renee Saunders, Omaha Marian (1995): The World-Herald girls athlete of the year as a senior, she was first-team All-Nebraska in volleyball as a junior and senior and second-team in basketball as a senior. Saunders left Marian as its first 1,000-point scorer in basketball and career kills leader in volleyball. Played volleyball and basketball on scholarship at NU. Currently Omaha Skutt’s volleyball coach.
Anne Shadle, South Sioux City (2001): Won three Class B state cross country championships and three all-class gold medals in track. At NU, she was an NCAA champion in the indoor mile and the outdoor 1,500 meters and a two-time All-American and still holds three Nebraska school records. She ran professionally for three years and competed in the 2008 Olympic Trials.
Daryl Stovall, Bellevue West (1978): Drafted by Major League Baseball and the NBA, he averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds as a senior at Bellevue West and was All-Nebraska in basketball and coaches’ all-state in baseball. At Creighton, he was a three-year starter in basketball and baseball, signing with the Chicago White Sox before his senior season.
Scott Usher, Grand Island (2001): Competed in swimming in the 2004 Olympics, finishing seventh in his specialty, the 200 breaststroke. At Grand Island, he was a gold medalist in the breaststroke and individual medley as a senior after winning the breaststroke as a junior. At Wyoming, he was a four-time first-team All-American and six-time conference champion.
Rick Hesse, Clearwater/Valentine: Led Clearwater to four consecutive state basketball titles from 1984 to 1987. The Gering graduate finished with 440 career wins and 12 state tournament appearances, the first 22 at Clearwater. Died in 2014.
Kathy Mettenbrink, Centura: The Grand Island Northwest graduate coached girls basketball at Centura for 34 years, winning 549 games, making 11 state tournament appearances and finishing as state runner-up twice before retiring in 2015.
John Miller, Chambers/Southern Valley: Retired in 2016 as the winningest basketball coach in Nebraska history with 709 total victories — 585 wins and five state titles coaching the Chambers girls and 124 wins and a state title with the Southern Valley boys. Also coached football for 13 years at Chambers, with the Coyotes winning Eight Man-2 in 2007.
Carl Tesmer, Grand Island Central Catholic/Hastings St. Cecilia: Has coached football for 41 years, compiling a 339-89-2 record, the most wins for an active coach. He’s coached two state championship teams at St. Cecilia.
Mark Wortman, Elkhorn: Has led the Antlers to five Class B state football championships, four other state finals and 28 playoff appearances in 36 years. The Lexington graduate’s career record is 333-77.
Jerry Stine, Omaha: Retired from coaching at Wheeler Central and Bertrand, he continues to work for several organizations including the high school hall of fame. He is the creator, author and secretary of the Nebraska Coaches Association milestone awards that bear his name.
Larry Bornschlegl, Hastings: Officiated basketball in Nebraska for 20 years, working 10 state tournaments and eight state finals. He has been an NSAA observer of officials for 25 years.
Great Moment in High School Sports: Winnebago’s 2015 Class C-1 state championship boys basketball team that captured the attention of the state.
Dominant Dynasty: Omaha Westside swimming, coached by Hall of Fame inductees Cal Bentz and Doug Krecklow, won 24 state championships (13 boys, 11 girls) between 1973 and 1988.
Ron Gustafson Inspiration Award: Taleah Williams of Norfolk was born without a lower left arm but had an outstanding prep career in basketball and track. She competed in the long jump at the 2016 Paralympics.
Fischer Family Award: Pat Novacek family of Gothenburg, including All-Pro tight end Jay Novacek; Bump Novacek, Nebraska’s first 16-foot pole vaulter; and oldest son Jim, a silver medalist in the vault in 1977.
Golden Anniversary Teams: Schuyler’s “Jolly Green Giants” state championship basketball team of 1968; and the Scottsbluff state champion football, cross country, wrestling and boys track teams of 1967-68.
Silver Anniversary Teams: The undefeated state champion St. Paul girls basketball team of 1993, and the Lincoln Southeast championship factory that won seven state titles — boys and girls cross country, football, girls basketball, girls gymnastics, boys swimming and boys golf in the 1992-93 school year.