Wyatt McGuire widens his lead down the stretch of the state cross-country meet.
Photo by James Parrish
Levi Nekuda prepares to throw against Kearney in the state tournament July 28. Nekuda was the winning pitcher in the game.
The nine-year-old North Platte All-Star baseball team won the Cal Ripken League state title on July 13 in Alliance, kicking off a series of Lincoln County sports achievements during the second half of 2013.
Bill Wood Field in North Platte hosted the Juniors state tournament from July 27-31. The field, which was built in 1956, was well-received by out of town visitors. One Lincoln parent said it was the best Legion field in the state.
The North Platte First National Bank Juniors went 1-2 as the host team of the state tournament. The Juniors lost the opening game on July 27 8-3 to eventual state champion, Lincoln Pius X.
In the second game on July 28, North Platte upset Area 7 champion Kearney 6-4. With the game tied at four runs apiece in the bottom of the sixth inning, Kevin Hancock hit a two-run bases loaded single to score what would be the winning-runs.
The First Nationals (24-33) were eliminated the next day in a 16-0 loss to Papillion-LaVista on July 29.
North Platte Community College men's basketball Head Coach Kevin O'Connor was named the Omaha World Herald Midlands College Men's Coach of the Year.
O'Connor earned the honor after leading the Knights to a school record 30 wins and the second round of the NJCAA National Tournament.
The Knights also finished a perfect 14-0 at home. O'Connor finished his 28th year at North Platte Community College and compiled a 567-318 record in his career. O'Connor is a native of North Platte. He graduated from St. Patrick's High School and played basketball for NPCC from 1974-1976.
Former North Platte High School football stars Danny Woodhead and Nathan Enderle were reunited when Enderle signed with the San Diego Chargers in the preseason. Enderle was one of the last cuts for the Chargers before the start of the season.
The North Platte High School softball team finished the regular season by winning the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference tournament on Oct. 5 by beating McCook 10-5 in the finals.
The Lady Bulldogs then qualified for state for the first time in nine years by winning the district championship on Oct. 11. They beat McCook 9-1 in the finals as catcher Kenzi Wiseman broke the school record for most home runs in a season by hitting her fifth and sixth homers in the win over the Bison.
NPHS (25-11) went two and out in the Class B state tournament on Oct. 16 by losing to Omaha Skutt and Norris.
The Hershey volleyball team won the South Platte Valley Association tournament on Oct. 19 by sweeping North Platte St. Pat’s in the championship match. It was the first conference championship for the Lady Panthers since 2005.
In a battle of unbeaten teams, the Hershey football team beat St. Pat’s 25-14 at home to win the district championship in the final game of the regular season on Oct. 24.
On Oct. 25, North Platte High School’s Wyatt McGuire won the state cross country championship. McGuire finished with a time of 15 minutes and 26 seconds, the third fastest time in the state meet since 1980.
McGuire became the second in his family to win the state title in cross country after his older brother, Brady, won it in 2009.
After winless seasons in 2011 and 2012, the Sutherland football team qualified for the state playoffs under new coach John Sloup. The Sailors finished the season at 5-4 after losing to Palmer in the first round on Oct. 31.
Drew McClellen of St. Pat’s kicked a school-record 58-yard field goal at the end of the first half in the Irish’s first round playoff win over Cambridge.
On Nov. 2, the North Platte High School volleyball team won the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference championship.
North Platte St. Pat’s senior Alex Harms was named as Nebraska’s nominee for the Wendy’s High School Heisman.
The Hershey football team’s season ended with a 13-6 loss at home to Hastings St. Cecilia in the second round of the Class C2 state playoffs. The Panthers finished the season 9-1.
The Wallace football team ended its season with a 50-44 loss at Amherst in the Class D2 quarterfinals on Nov. 12 to finish 9-2 on the season. It was the deepest run in the playoffs for the Wildcats since 2006 as they defeated Brady and Hay Springs in their first two playoff games.
St. Pat’s (9-2) also saw its season end in the state quarterfinals on Nov. 13 when the Irish lost 42-20 to eventual Class C2 champion Doniphan-Trumbull.
The Brady and Wallace volleyball teams both qualified for the state tournament. Both teams lost in the first round on Nov. 15. Brady (23-7) lost in four sets to Bruning-Davenport-Shickley and Wallace (16-8) was swept by Bertrand.
The defending Region IX champion North Platte Community College mens’ basketball team got off to its best start in school history by entering the holiday break with a 12-0 record after beating Northeastern Junior College. The Knights also achieved its highest ranking in school history as they are now ranked No. 6 in the country.
On Dec. 20, the North Platte High School boys’ basketball team got a big win over Lincoln North Star after senior guard Kade Erickson made the game-winning free throws after being fouled on the final shot of the game.
On Dec. 31, the St. Pat’s boys’ basketball team won the Kearney Catholic tournament.