ELGIN — Held scoreless for the first 10 quarters of the season, Elgin Public-Pope John lit up the scoreboard in the second half of a 54 to 12 loss to Chambers/Wheeler Central/Ewing (CWCE).
Kenny Bush, seeing his first action at running back, lunged into the endzone with 47 seconds left in the third quarter to give Wolfpack fans something to celebrate.
Then, with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, sophomore Joseph Bailey went left, then cut back right and outraced Renegade defenders to the endzone for the team’s second touchdown of the night.
That proved to be all the offensive highlights for a Wolfpack team, decimated by injuries, missing four of the eight players who started the season. On this night the Renegades, who reached the Class D-2 state championship game last year, were the better team. They scored the first two times they touched the ball on offense as the Wolfpack fell behind early in the game.
Capitalizing on a Wolfpack fumble, the Renegades’ first touchdown came when quarterback Carter Croxen connected with Daniel Libolt on a 63-yard touchdown pass. Libolt scored the second touchdown on a 52-yard run, making the score 16 to 0 with 7:23 left in the first quarter.
Two more touchdowns before the end of the quarter gave the Renegades a 32 to 0 lead.
A Wolfpack fumble gave the Renegades the ball on EPPJ’s 26-yard line early in the second quarter. CWCE took advantage with their third one-play scoring drive of the game, a Croxen to Connor Croxen pass for a 40 to 0 lead.
The Wolfpack offense showed a spark on their ensuing possession as Conor Ramold connected with Kyle Schumacher on a 21-yard reception past midfield. A penalty stalled the drive and it came to an abrupt end with a Connor Croxen interception.
The Wolfpack got the ball back on the next play when Schumacher recovered a Renegades’ fumble on the CWCE 14-yard line. The Wolfpack’s best chance to score in the first half came up empty as Nicholas Haburchak picked off Ramold.
The Wolfpack defense stiffened after the Renegades moved the ball across midfield. The teams then took turns with fumble recoveries to quash drives thus ending the first half.
The Renegades took the second half kickoff and went 55 yards in four plays, scoring on a Croxen to Croxen 41-yard strike. Leading 54 to 0, the Renegades were then picked apart by the Wolfpack on a 5-yard scoring drive.
The drive appeared to be going nowhere when the Renegades were flagged for a roughing-the-punter 15-yard pe-nalty. That put the ball on the Renegades’ 36-yard line.
The Wolfpack got big runs from Bush and Carter Schindler to get the ball down to the five-yard line where, on the next play, Bush took a pitch and beat two tacklers to the pylon for EPPJ’s first score.
Wolfpack reserve running back Joseph Bailey gave the team a spark with a 31-yard run deep into Renegades territory midway through the fourth quarter. Four plays later, Bailey got the Wolfpack’s second touchdown.
Renegades 54, Wolfpack 12
Renegades……32 14 8 0 — 54
Wolfpack……….0 0 6 6 — 12
CWCE — Carter Croxen 63 pass to Daniel Libolt (2-pt conversion good)
CWCE — Libolt 52 run (2-pt conversion good)
CWCE — Croxen 9 pass to Libolt (2-pt conversion good)
CWCE — Libolt 34 run (2-pt conversion good)
CWCE — Croxen 26 pass to Connor Croxen (2-pt conversion good)
CWCE — Carter Croxen 51 interception return (PAT failed)
CWCE — Croxen 41 pass to Croxen (2-pt conversion good)
EPPJ — Kenny Bush 5 run (PAT failed)
EPPJ — Joseph Bailey 16 run (PAT failed)
Team statistics EPPJ
Total plays 48
First downs 10
Passing Yds 72
Total Off. 191
Fumbles lost 2
Fumbles recovered 2
Rushing — Conor Ramold 4/-2, Joseph Bailey 4/50, Kyle Schumacher 3/-1, Kenny Bush 20/30, Carter Schildler 5/42
Passing — Conor Ramold 3/11/3 — 72
Receiving — Kyle Schumacher 2/62, Liam Heithoff 1/10
Tackles (solo/assists) — Cameron Nielsen 2/2, Conor Ramold 0/3, Joseph Bailey 4/0, Miles Schrage 8/4, Kyle Schumacher 9/1, Cory Romej 4/0, Kenny Bush 6/6, Liam Heithoff 4/3, Lane Bartak 2/2, Austin Bauer 3/1, Tyler Iburg 1/0
Tackles for loss — Joseph Bailey 1, Kyle Schumacher 1, Kenny Bush 1
Fumble recoveries — Miles Schrage 1, Kyle Schumacher 1
The Wolfpack volleyball team went undefeated at a round-robin tournament played in Dodge.
Against Shelby/Rising City in their first match, the Wolfpack won in three games by the scores of 25-16, 23-25 and 25-12.
Elizabeth Selting led the Wolfpack with 12 kills, Grace Henn had 10 followed by Amy Nelson nine, Paige Meis eight, Baylee Wemhoff three and Nicki Payne one.
Shelby/Rising City was led by Sydnie Adams with 10.
The Wolfpack had three ace serves, led by Ally Wemhoff with two, Nelson had one. Shelby/Rising City was led by Sydney Smith with three.
The Wolfpack had six solo blocks in the match, led by Henn and Selting with two apiece, Nelson and Meis each had one.
Jordan Mescher led EPPJ in digs with 11. Courtney Smith and MaryEli Kohl each had nine for the Huskies.
Baylee Wemhoff had 22 set assists in the match, Ally Wemhoff added 13. Erica Pokorney led the Huskies with 13.
Mescher led in serve receive with nine.
The easiest match for the Wolfpack may have been the second match of the day when EPPJ defeated Howells-Dodge in the championship game by the score of 25-22 and 25-19.
The Wolfpack had 22 kills in the match, led by Selting with seven, Nelson had five, Henn and Meis each had four while Mescher and Payne each had one.
Sam Brester led Howells/Dodge with nine.
EPPJ had five ace serves in the match. Leading the way was Baylee Wemhoff with two, Krebs, Nelson and Selting each had one. Emily Ritzdorf led Howells/Dodge with two.
Nelson had three solo blocks in the match, Selting, Meis and Henn each had one.
Selting led EPPJ in digs with four, Krebs had three and Mescher added two. Macey Kulhanek led Howells/Dodge with 11.
Baylee Wemhoff led EPPJ with 12 set assists, Ally Wemhoff added eight. Tessa Brester led Howells/Dodge with 21.
Mescher and Selting tied for the team-high in serve receive with 10 apiece.
The Wolfpack defeated Elkhorn Valley 23-25, 25-9 and 25-21 in their final match of the day.
Selting led the way with 17 kills, Henn had seven followed by Meis with five, Nelson had four and Payne contributed three. Elkhorn Valley was led by Sierra Rystrom with seven.
EPPJ had eight ace serves in the match. Baylee Wemhoff, Nelson and Krebs each had two, Ally Wemhoff and Mescher each had one. H. Ollendick had four for Elkhorn Valley.
The Wolfpack had five solo blocks in the match, led by Nelson and Selting with two apiece, Meis had one. H. Ollendick led Elkhorn Valley with four.
Mescher again led EPPJ in digs with six. Bri Werner and Alyssa Rood each had 12 for Elkhorn Valley.
Baylee Wemhoff led EPPJ in set assists with 16, Payne had nine and Ally Wemhoff had eight. Amber Miller led Elkhorn Valley with 14.
Mescher led the way in serve receive with 10 while Ollendick led Elkhorn Valley with 18.
By Dennis Morgan
ELGIN — Class D-1’s top-ranked Burwell Longhorns showed why they are the odds-on favorite to be state champions.
In an awesome display of quick-strike offense and shut down defense, they posted the most rare of feats at Elgin Field — shutting out the Wolfpack.
Elgin Public-Pope John managed just three first downs in the game which was shortened in the second half by the 35-point rule.
To make matters worse, the Wolfpack may be without senior running back Chad Bode for much of the season. On the first play of the second quarter, Bode scrambled to his right attempting a halfback pass. He was hit and fell to the ground, suffering an apparent broken wrist. He left the field and did not return.
“We knew coming into this year it was going to be a learning curve for us,” Coach Randy Eisenhauer said after the game. “They’re (Burwell) ranked number one for a reason. They showed that tonight against us. We have to fight adversity.”
On this night, Burwell had more experience and size and they used it to their advantage early and often.
On their first offensive play, after holding the Wolfpack on downs, Burwell’s Tori Huffman broke free for a 35-yard touchdown. He would add two more touchdown runs (two, five yards) as the Longhorns took a 20 to 0 lead.
Capitalizing on turnovers, Burwell added one more touchdown before the end of the quarter on a 17-run by Cayden Owens.
The biggest cheers for the Wolfpack came midway through the second quarter when linebacker Kenny Bush picked off an Owens pass and returned it to near midfield. Unfortunately, two plays later the Wolfpack fumbled the ball and the Longhorns recovered. It was one of five fumbles lost by the Wolfpack in the game.
Burwell added two more touchdowns before halftime to lead 42 to 0. Then, they started the second half with Ryan Dawe returning the kickoff for a touchdown, the first of two touchdowns he would score in the second half. The Longhorns tacked on one more score in the fourth quarter.
Burwell’s defense limited the Wolfpack to just 72 yards in total offense. Sophomore starting quarterback Hunter Reestman, under constant pressure for most of the night, completed three of nine passes and rushed nine times for 19 yards. Bode, before being injured, had 39 yards on 10 carries.
On defense, the Wolfpack were led by Liam Heithoff with 12 tackles, Miles Schrage had eight.
The Wolfpack (0-1) will next be in action Friday night, on the road against High Plains (1-0).
The game will be played in Clarks. Kickoff will be 7 p.m.
“Our kids will come back ready to go,” Coach Eisenhauer said.
Longhorns 62, Wolfpack 0
Burwell………28 14 14 6 — 62
Wolfpack……..0 0 0 0 — 0
BHS — Tori Huffman 35 run (PAT failed)
BHS — Huffman 2 run (2 pt conversion good)
BHS — Huffman 5 run (PAT failed)
BHS — Cayden Owens 17 run (2 pt conversion good)
BHS — Owens 20 pass to Tyler Gideon (2 pt conversion good)
BHS — Ryan Dawe 1 run (PAT failed)
BHS — Dawe kickoff return (PAT kick)
BHS — Dawe 59 run (PAT kick)
BHS — Sage Konicek 17 pass to Joshua Urbanovsky (PAT failed)
Team totals EPPJ
Passing Yds 17
Total Yds 72
Total plays 39
First downs 3
Fumbles lost 5
Interceptions by 1
Passing — Hunter Reestman 3-9-0 — 17
Rushing — Conor Ramold 1/0, Chad Bode 10/39, Kyle Schumacher 4/-2, Hayes Miller 1/-1, Hunter Reestman 9/19
Receiving — Kenny Bush 1/8, Liam Heithoff 1/9
Tackles (solo/assists) — Cameron Nielsen 2/2 Conor Ramold 2/2, Miles Schrage 2/6, Chad Bode 1/3, Kyle Schumacher 1/3, Cory Romej 1/1, Kenny Bush 1/6, Liam Heithoff 1/11, Hayes Miller 2/2, Lane Bartak 0/1, Austin Bauer 0/1, Hunter Reestman 3/4, Brody Hupp 0/3, Nick Iburg 1/2
Tackles for loss — Hunter Reestman 2, Conor Ramold 1, Cory Romej 1, Liam Heithoff 1
Quarterback sacks — Miles Schrage 1
Interceptions — Kenny Bush 1
August 24, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
By Dennis Morgan
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.
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.
August 24, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
By Dennis Morgan
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