Central Plains Satelite

Wolfpack Girls To Start Year At EV Jamboree

August 24, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Members of the 2016 Wolfpack volleyball team are (front row, l-r): student managers Allyson Selting, Jeslynn Beckman, Olivia Lindgren, Hayley Zegers, Kayce Kallhoff, Faith Kinney, Araceli Palmer, and student managers Skylar Reestman and Kirsten Krebs. Second row: Ass’t. Coach Audrey Wondercheck, Allyson Wemhoff, Kaylee Martinsen, Lauren Seier, Maddie Schrage, Marie Meis, Lizzy Mlnarik, Anna Heilhecker and Head Coach Tina Thiele-Blecher. Third row: Ass’t. Coach Sandi Henn, Paige Meis, Grace Henn, Heather Bauer, Lydia Behnk, Nicki Payne and Calli Krebs. Back row: Taya Voborny, Amy Nelson, Elizabeth Selting, Kelsey Welding, Baylee Wemhoff and Jordan Mescher. E-R photo

Members of the 2016 Wolfpack volleyball team are (front row, l-r): student managers Allyson Selting, Jeslynn Beckman, Olivia Lindgren, Hayley Zegers, Kayce Kallhoff, Faith Kinney, Araceli Palmer, and student managers Skylar Reestman and Kirsten Krebs. Second row: Ass’t. Coach Audrey Wondercheck, Allyson Wemhoff, Kaylee Martinsen, Lauren Seier, Maddie Schrage, Marie Meis, Lizzy Mlnarik, Anna Heilhecker and Head Coach Tina Thiele-Blecher. Third row: Ass’t. Coach Sandi Henn, Paige Meis, Grace Henn, Heather Bauer, Lydia Behnk, Nicki Payne and Calli Krebs. Back row: Taya Voborny, Amy Nelson, Elizabeth Selting, Kelsey Welding, Baylee Wemhoff and Jordan Mescher. E-R photo

By Dennis Morgan
Publisher
ELGIN — Having reached the district finals the last three years, Elgin Public-Pope John has established itself as one of the best volleyball programs in northeast Nebraska. This year, with a change in classification, the roadmap for the Wolfpack’s postseason aspirations will take a different direction.
Coach Tina Thiele-Blecher said the team’s classification may have changed, but the Wolfpack remain focused on reaching the state tournament.
“Well, I was a little bummed going to D-1 because the NSAA went to substates this year in C-2 so was excited to be a part of that,” Thiele-Blecher said last week. “But we’re excited, looking at our schedule we play a lot of D-1 teams which is only fair since we used the schedule from when we were separate teams and both D-2. We have made some adjustments obviously the last couple of seasons; so now our schedule will only really help us prepare for the post season.
“It is nice going into the season, knowing that Crofton is not in our district; however we have some tough teams in our subs with North Central and Clearwater/Orchard. And in the district is Lutheran High, which has had a great volleyball program the last couple of years, and Randolph. Just because we went “down” to D-1, isn’t going to make it any easier. We are going to have to work hard each practice and game and prepare for the post season.”
Last season the Wolfpack posted a 25-7 record, their season coming to an end in the district finals falling in the fifth game to Crofton. Gone from last year’s team are Jenna Parks, Nicole Beckman, Jill Schindler and Terri Seier, each playing a vital role in the success of last year’s team. Yet, looking at this year’s squad, Thiele-Blecher knows there is plenty of talent coming back.
Five starters return from last year’s team, led by All-NVC First Team selection Elizabeth Selting. Last year Selting led the Wolfpack with 303 kills and should finish her career, barring injury, with a host of individual records. Second Team All-NVC selections Baylee Wemhoff and Jordan Mescher will make their mark. Wemhoff last season had 288 set assists, three off the team high set by Parks. Mescher led the Wolfpack in serve receive one year ago with 471 and digs with 248.
Amy Nelson provided EPPJ with strong play as a blocker with 52 solo blocks. The other returning starter is junior Paige Meis. As an outside hitter, Meis had 83 kills one year ago. Both Nelson and Meis should post bigger numbers this year.
The core of the Wolfpack team has plenty of experience, but there are a number of other players who’s contributions will be vital to the success of this year’s team. They are setters Nicki Payne and Ally Wemhoff, attacker Grace Henn and back row specialist Calli Krebs.
“We have a great bunch of hard-working, fun-having girls,” Thiele-Blecher said. “Being in the district finals the last three years, they want even more this year!”
Describing her team as being very athletic, Thiele-Blecher said the team hustles very, very well. “I don’t see too many balls dropping on our court.” One concern the coach does have going into the season involves height. “We are a little short,” she said. “We’re looking to replace some good leadership due to graduation. We aren’t a real vocal group, I’m having to tell them to talk and communicate a lot.”
The Niobrara Valley Conference remains very competitive. Thiele-Blecher said Stuart, North Central, St. Mary’s and CWC are the teams to beat.
The Wolfpack will open the regular season on Thursday, Sept. 1, on the road, at Stuart.

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Professional sports have their pre-season games.
This year, so too, the Wolfpack varsity volleyball team who will compete in a “jamboree” triangular leading up to the start of the regular season.
The volleyball jamboree will be held Monday, August 29th beginning at 6 p.m. at Elkhorn Valley (Tilden).
The schedule will be as follows:
Laurel-Concord-Coleridge vs. Elkhorn Valley
Elgin Public-Pope John vs. Laurel-Concord-Coleridge
Elkhorn Valley vs. Elgin Public-Pope John
This jamboree will take place of the scrimmage and parent meeting that is normally held.
The following are a few things to note about the jamboree:
• This will be for varsity only.
• The games will be two sets only to 25.
• These games do not count toward our record or NSAA wild card points.
• Cost for the jamboree games will be $5 for adults and $4 for students. No passes will be accepted.  All proceeds go to the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Wolfpack Football Team Opens Season At Home On Friday

August 24, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Elgin Public-Pope John will kick off the 2016 football season Friday night at home against Burwell. Members of this year’s team are (front row, l-r): Corey Romej, Conor Ramold, Austin Bauer, Adam Dreger, Lane Bartak, Tyler Iburg and student manager Cade Heithoff. Middle row: Ervin Dohmen, Joseph Bailey, Carter Schindler, Liam Heithoff, Hunter Reestman, Cameron Nielsen, Kyle Schumacher and Hayes Miller. Back row: Ass’t. Coaches Ben Spiegel and Michael Becker, Miles Schrage, Nick Iburg, Chad Bode, Brody Hupp, Kenny Bush, Noah Knievel and Head Coach Randy Eisenhauer Not pictured: Ass’t. Coach Tyler Reestman, student managers Logan Henn and Luke Henn. E-R photo

Elgin Public-Pope John will kick off the 2016 football season Friday night at home against Burwell. Members of this year’s team are (front row, l-r): Corey Romej, Conor Ramold, Austin Bauer, Adam Dreger, Lane Bartak, Tyler Iburg and student manager Cade Heithoff. Middle row: Ervin Dohmen, Joseph Bailey, Carter Schindler, Liam Heithoff, Hunter Reestman, Cameron Nielsen, Kyle Schumacher and Hayes Miller. Back row: Ass’t. Coaches Ben Spiegel and Michael Becker, Miles Schrage, Nick Iburg, Chad Bode, Brody Hupp, Kenny Bush, Noah Knievel and Head Coach Randy Eisenhauer Not pictured: Ass’t. Coach Tyler Reestman, student managers Logan Henn and Luke Henn. E-R photo

By Dennis Morgan
Publisher
ELGIN — Victories came easy for the Wolfpack last season, posting an 8-3 record. Then, 10 seniors led the way as EPPJ made a run deep into the state playoffs.
On Friday night a new season begins, with new Friday night heroes waiting to bask in the glory of cheering fans.
Coach Randy Eisenhauer faces a big challenge and one of the toughest schedules in all of Class D-1 as the Wolfpack seek to remain among the elite high school programs in the state.
“After losing 10 seniors off of last year’s team we have a lot of positions to fill,” he said last week. “The kids have been working hard to improve throughout the summer and the first two weeks of football practice.”
The Wolfpack return just two starters from last year’s team. Senior Chad Bode is the lone backfield starter from a team which racked up 3,555 yards rushing last season. Bode, at 6’1” and 190 pounds, will be the featured back this season. Last year he averaged five yards per carry as he rushed for 315 yards on just 63 carries. Those numbers are sure to increase this season.
“He’s working really hard,” Eisenhauer said about Bode.
A running back is only as good as the blockers in front of him. Teammate Miles Schrage is the only other returning starter, anchoring the offensive line. At 207 pounds on a 5’10” frame, Schrage’s experience will be crucial up front. Eisenhauer said senior Liam Heithoff saw plenty of action last year and easily steps in as a starter. Another senior, Brody Hupp (6’4” and 220 pounds) will likely fill the other spot at center. This marks the first year for Hupp to play for the Wolfpack.
“With two returning starters we will have to have a lot of kids step up in the program and be a key asset to what we do. Bode will be our workhorse throughout the year as he has been starting the last two years for us.”
Another player on offense who has big shoes to fill will be sophomore Hunter Reestman who will play quarterback. Reestman saw limited action last season backing up Seth Schumacher, completing two of two passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.
“Hunter came in and did some real good things for us last year,” Eisenhauer said. “He does a good job of seeing the whole field. He’s very smart about the game of football.”
Last year the Wolfpack averaged 42 points per game on offense and surrendered 24 points per game.
On defense, linebacker Bode is the top returning tackler. Last season he was third on the team in tackles with 97, Schrage had 40 from his defensive end position including two quarterback sacks.
Heithoff will anchor the other defensive end position and look for Carter Schindler and Nick Iburg to see action in the line also. Aside from Bode, other linebackers will be Reestman, Ken Bush and Hayes Miller. Kyle Schumacher will see action at safety as will Cameron Nielsen.
Eisenhauer said work ethic remains one of the team’s strength, but depth and physicality are concerns heading into the season.
This year’s Wolfpack team is made up of five seniors, five juniors, four sophomores and six freshmen.
When Reestman goes to the air, expect to see split end Kenny Bush, as well as running backs Hayes Miller, Kyle Schumacher and Cameron Nielsen.
“We are going to have to be a sound football team with not a lot of mistakes and turnovers,” Eisenhauer said about the keys to producing a winning season.
The first four weeks of the season can be described in one word: brutal. Opening with Burwell followed by High Plains, Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing and Clearwater/Orchard, all four of those teams reached the semi-finals or finals in the state playoffs in their classes last season. “We’re going to need to start very strong,” Eisenhauer said. “Hopefully, we’ll learn a lot of things … We want to go out and make a name for ourselves right away.”
Looking at the district race, Eisenhauer pegged Neligh/Oakdale and Howells-Dodge (new to the Wolfpack schedule this year along with Clarkson/Leigh) as pre-season favorites.
“We want to be able to compete in all our games and get better each week,” Eisenhauer said.
Assisting Eisenhauer as coaches this year are Michael Becker, Tyler Reestman and Ben Spiegel. Student managers are Cade Heithoff, Luke Henn and Logan Henn. Doing statistics will be Andrew Heithoff, Jesse Schindler and Trent Ostransky.   ©The Elgin Review

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EPPJ Gatorade Football Scrimmage Set For Saturday

August 18, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Fans of Wolfpack football will have an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the upcoming season.
Coach Randy Eisenhauer announced the Wolfpack will hold a scrimmage Saturday morning, Aug. 20, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Elgin Field.
Admission will be a bottle of Gatorade/Powerade.

Wolfpack To Play In Volleyball Jubilee

August 18, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Professional sports have their pre-season games.
This year, so too, the Wolfpack varsity volleyball team who will compete in a “jamboree” triangular leading up to the start of the regular season.
The volleyball jamboree is scheduled for Monday, August 29th beginning at 6 p.m. at Elkhorn Valley (Tilden).
The schedule will be as follows:
Laurel-Concord-Coleridge vs. Elkhorn Valley
Elgin Public-Pope John vs. Laurel-Concord-Coleridge
Elkhorn Valley vs. Elgin Public-Pope John
This jamboree will take place of the scrimmage and parent meeting that is normally held.
The following are a few things to note about the jamboree:
• This will be for varsity only.
• The games will be two sets only to 25.
• These games do not count toward our record or NSAA wild card points.
• Cost for the jamboree games will be $5 for adults and $4 for students. No passes will be accepted.  All proceeds go to the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Elgin, Petersburg On The Route For 7 Cities Century Bike Ride In August

July 28, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Most people have owned a bicycle at one time or another and those bikes have often found their way to a shed or garage to collect dust. However, the 7 Cities Century Bike Ride, now going into its 5th year of existence, encourages individuals, friends and families of all skill levels and abilities to get out their bikes and join this year’s ride to be held August 6-7.
The final ride registration deadline is July 25. People can register online or by mail by visiting www.7citiescentury.com.
Entry fee includes meals from the Friday evening through Sunday lunch plus all rest stop refreshments. It also includes hauling of overnight gear, an event t-shirt, a chance to win one of many door prizes and entrance into a bike giveaway. The event website contains more information on the route and ride details as well as answers to frequently asked questions. This year’s ride has a 250 rider participant limit so early registration is encouraged.
The 7 Cities Century could be thought of as “bike sightseeing” because the pace of the ride is leisurely and the focus is on having fun rather then on competition.
Riders can bike at their own pace with family, friends or acquaintances they meet along the way.
The two-day, one-hundred mile weekend ride takes advantage of small-town hospitality offered by friendly northeast Nebraskans and combines it with cyclist camaraderie and simple biking fun. This year’s ride travels to Madison, Kalamazoo Petersburg, Elgin, Oakdale, Meadow Grove, Battle Creek and starts and ends in Ta-ha-Zouka Park in Norfolk.
Early on Saturday morning on the first day of the ride, riders from Nebraska and beyond depart from Norfolk for the first fifty miles of the ride. Throughout the route, break areas called SAG (Support And Gear) stops are positioned every ten to fifteen miles. Riders are greeted with friendly volunteers offering anything from water and Gatorade to homemade pastries, cookies, fruit and other treats. Support vehicles and volunteers are also available along the route to help with repairs and transportation.
Once the overnight town located about half-way along the route is reached, bikers pitch their tents or grab their gear transported by event staff to prepare themselves for the overnight stay at the school in Petersburg. They then can enjoy an evening of fun, relaxing, eating, listening to music and sharing stories from the day’s travels.
The next day riders mount their bikes and head out on the road back to Norfolk where they will complete the second half (approximately 50 miles) of the ride.
The “7” refers to the 7 cities the inaugural ride route visited within Madison County, Nebraska. Following its success, the event organizers decided that this experience should not be limited to just one county but to other areas of northeast Nebraska. Now it has become an annual event that joins riders of all levels to ride anything from road and hybrid bikes to cruisers, mountain, tandem and recumbent bikes and even trikes!
The ride benefits area biking and trail opportunities as well as youth college scholarships and projects in towns visited on the route. Proceeds from past rides helped benefit a new shelter on the bridge connecting the Cowboy Trail over the Elkhorn River. Funds from the 2015 ride helped fund the purchase of new equipment lockers for the fire hall in Pilger, Nebraska. Also, every year, college scholarships are awarded to two graduating students from the high school at the current year’s overnight town.
This ride born from the desire of a small group of local avid cyclists to show off the beautiful towns and roads in northeast Nebraska by bike seems to have brought many new riders into the wonderful world of cycling.

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