Supporting roles had much to do with Lincoln Southwest repeating as Class A’s All-Sports champion.
“We had a lot of special things this year,” Southwest Athletic Director Mark Armstrong said, “but the main thing is we got a lot out of our kids.
“We really try to stress the multisport philosophy and encourage them that even if it’s not their main sport, they can be a contributor and help the team. If you look at the sports in which we did well in and look at the rosters, a lot were doing a lot of different things.
“They may not be the star in their second or third sport, but the kids buy in, and the coaches promote it.”
Take girls track, for instance. Southwest repeated as state champion, its fourth title in six years. All-Nebraska softball player Abbie Squier, who helped the Silver Hawks win their first state title on the diamond and was on the school’s state runner-up basketball team, won the Class A shot at the state meet. Jaden Ferguson, a volleyball and basketball standout who was a World-Herald athlete of the year finalist, tried the shot for the first time and took sixth.
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“That’s the special part,” Armstrong said. “In some case, it’s putting egos aside to help the school win.”
Southwest was in a close race with runner-up Millard West, winning 124-121.5. Elkhorn South, in Class A for the first time for the All-Sports Award, was third with 100.25.
Southwest also topped the girls standings for the third straight year and fifth overall. All-boys school Omaha Creighton Prep was the boys leader for the seventh year in a row and 20th time overall.
Southwest was fifth in the boys standings, but Armstrong said the mindset of widespread participation was prevalent with the boys, too.
The Southwest girls, with their championships in golf, softball, swimming and track, scored 83 points to 65 for Elkhorn South. Millard West was third by one point over all-girls Omaha Marian.
Southwest’s girls also were second in basketball, fourth in cross country, sixth in tennis and ninth in soccer. The boys were second in golf, third in track, fifth in soccer and sixth in tennis and cross country.
Creighton Prep again counted big on its four spring sports to rally to keep the boys title. The Junior Jays scored 46 of their 79 points from their unexpected state championship in boys golf, a No. 2 final ranking in soccer, a No. 3 in baseball and a fourth-place finish in track. Their other state title was in swimming (their 13th in a row) and they were second in cross country, sixth in basketball and seventh in tennis.
Millard West, which edged Kearney 60-56.5 for second, won baseball for the first time in eight finals appearances.
Southwest will have all of its head coaches returning, except in track. Brett Schuster is stepping down for an administrative role as an instructional coordinator at the school. Former Southwest state cross country champion Parker Schoen, who was Schuster’s assistant since 2013, will take over.
Armstrong said Schoen and Schuster are from the same mold in connecting with students and “making them believe.”
“We’re excited for what he brings,” Armstrong said. “One of Parker’s strengths is as a motivator, to get someone who doesn’t like to run to try it.”
State champions — Girls golf: Lincoln Southwest. Boys tennis: Millard North. Softball: Southwest. Cross country: Fremont boys, Lincoln East girls. Volleyball: Millard North. Football: Omaha Burke. Wrestling: Millard South. Swimming: Omaha Creighton Prep boys, Southwest girls. Girls basketball: Millard North. Boys basketball: Omaha South. Boys soccer: Omaha South. Girls soccer: Millard West. Girls tennis: Lincoln Southeast. Track and field: Fremont boys, Southwest girls. Baseball: Millard West. Boys golf: Creighton Prep.
Combined boys-girls scoring — Lincoln Southwest 124, Millard West 121.5, Elkhorn South 100.25, Lincoln East 93, Millard South 83, Omaha Creighton Prep 79, Kearney 78.5, Millard North 76.5, Papillion-La Vista 75.25, Omaha Westside 61.5, Omaha Marian 60.5, Papillion-La Vista South 58.5, Gretna 55, Fremont 50.75, Omaha Burke 42.75, Grand Island 37, Bellevue West 35.5, Omaha Central 35, Omaha South 35, Lincoln Southeast 32.75, Lincoln North Star 24, Omaha North 18.75, Lincoln High 17.5, Norfolk 16, Lincoln Northeast 7, Omaha Benson 6, Bellevue East 3.
Boys: Creighton Prep 79, Millard West 60, Kearney 56.5, Omaha Westside 41.5, Lincoln Southwest 41, Millard South 40.5, Elkhorn South 35.25, Omaha South 35, Omaha Burke 33.75, Lincoln East 33.5, Fremont 32.25, Grand Island 32, Omaha Central 32, Bellevue West 30, Papillion-La Vista 22, Gretna 20, Millard North 19.5, Lincoln North Star 19, Papillion-LV South 18.5, Lincoln High 17.5, Norfolk 14, Omaha North 13.5, Lincoln Southeast 12.25, Bellevue East 3, Lincoln Northeast 3.
Girls: Lincoln Southwest 83, Elkhorn South 65, Millard West 61.5, Omaha Marian 60.5, Lincoln East 59.5, Millard North 57, Papillion-La Vista 53.25, Millard South 42.5, Papillion-La Vista South 40, Gretna 35, Kearney 22, Lincoln Southeast 20.5, Omaha Westside 20, Fremont 18.5, Omaha Burke 9, Omaha Benson 6, Bellevue West 5.5, Omaha North 5.25, Grand Island 5, Lincoln North Star 5, Lincoln Northeast 4, Omaha Central 3, Norfolk 2.
» The World-Herald uses a four-class system for its All-Sports Awards, although there are six classes in football, volleyball and basketball.
» Boys basketball classifications are applied to the All-Sports Awards. Classes C-1 and C-2 form Class C, with D-1 and D-2 forming Class D.
» The All-Sports point system awards 20 points for a first-place rating in football, volleyball and basketball; 15 for track, wrestling, soccer, softball and baseball; and 10 for all other sports. The scoring value in each sport diminishes with order of finish: 20-18-16, 15-13.5-12, 10-9-8.
» Final World-Herald ratings are the basis for All-Sports scoring in football, volleyball, softball, basketball, baseball and soccer. State-meet placings dictate points in other sports. Schools in selective-sport cooperative sponsorships receive equal splits.