The 2016-17 winter sports season was an incredible season across the area. Athletes all across Antelope, Boone, Knox and Holt counties put on a show week in and week out on their way to various records, state finishes and incredible performances.
With that, we are proud to announce the 2016-17 Local County News All-Area Teams for winter sports. 25 of the top girls and boys basketball players, as well as 22 of the top wrestlers proved themselves as elite among their peers each week.
It’s never easy narrowing down so many athletes to such a small list but thanks to some help from area coaches, everyone on these lists are deserving of the accolades they have received.
On the court, Boone County was represented by two senior girls and a talented freshman in 2016-17.
Kalie Bloom, Sr., Riverside: Bloom was the focal point of the Riverside attack on the year. The senior finished with 9.8 points per game, 3.1 assists per game and an impressive 2.8 steals per game.
Lauren Hedlund, Fr., Boone Central/Newman Grove: Hedlund's strong freshman year should have Cardinals fans excited for the future. The young star put up 9.1 points per game, pulled in six rebounds a game and dished out 2.1 assists per game.
Tessa Hedlund, Sr., Boone Central/Newman Grove: The center of the Cardinal offense, Hedlund finished among the area leaders in both scoring and assists with 10.4 points per game and 2.3 assists per game.
On the boys side of things, Boone County's list is full of talented shooters, including three from the county's state-qualifying squad.
Joseph Bloom, So., Riverside: At 6'5", Bloom has a rare combination of height and athleticism in D2. He was a terror inside offensively and defensively all year. He finished with seven double-doubles on his way to 7.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game.
Jonah Micek, Sr., St. Edward: Few players in the area may have meant for to their team than Micek. The senior did a little bit of everything for the Beavers, scoring 19.9 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game, two blocks per game and three assists per game.
Tredyn Prososki, Fr., Riverside: Prososki was the definition of elite from the field. No player in the state made more 3-pointers than Prososki's 112. That incredible number helped him finish the year at 19.6 points per game.
Jessie Sullivan, Jr., Boone Central/Newman Grove: Sullivan was impressive from the floor all year, shooting 56.6 percent for the Cardinals. He led the way with 13.8 points per game and seven rebounds per game.
Noah Valasek, Sr., Riverside: While Riverside certainly wasn't hurting for playmakers in '16-17, it was Valasek that ran the show. The gifted senior filled the stat sheet every night for the state-qualifying Chargers with 21.6 points per game, five rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game and 3.2 steals per game.
Complete All-Area Lists
The full all-area list, including athletes from Holt, Boone and Knox counties, is below, listed alphabetically:
Monica Arens, Sr., Crofton: 19.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG
Payton Birkel, Jr., O’Neill: 11 PPG, 2 SPG
Kalie Bloom, Sr., Riverside: 9.8 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.8 SPG
Hattie Blumenstock, Sr., St. Mary’s: 13.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG
Amber Bruegman, Sr., Bloomfield: 8 PPG, 3 SPG
Sarah Castaneda, Sr., Bloomfield: 19.4 PPG, 10 RPG, 1.4 BPG
Taylor Colman, Sr., St. Mary’s: 10.2 PPG, 3.3 APG
Logan Connot, Sr., St. Mary’s: 10.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG
Harlee Fischer, Sr., Stuart: 19.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3 SPG
Lauren Hedlund, Fr., Boone Central/Newman Grove: 9.1 PPG, 6 RPG, 2.1 APG
Tessa Hedlund, Sr., Boone Central/Newman Grove: 10.4 PPG, 2.3 APG
Kinsley Klabenes, Sr., Neligh-Oakdale: 9.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.9 SPG
Emily Knust, Jr., Niobrara/Verdigre: 9.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG
Jacie Laetsch, Sr., Chambers/Wheeler Central: 20 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 3.2 SPG, 4 APG
Kinzly Macke, Sr., Clearwater-Orchard: 13 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.7 SPG
Amber Miller, So., Elkhorn Valley: 10.3 PPG, 2.5 APG, 2.8 SPG
Hannah Ollendick, So., Elkhorn Valley: 13.6 PPG, 2.5 APG, 2.8 SPG
Taylor Peter, Fr., Chambers/Wheeler Central: 9.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG
Stevie Peters, Jr., Santee: 19.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 4.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG
Kelsey Sanger, Sr., Crofton: 19.1 PPG, 5 RPG, 4.7 APG, 3.9 SPG
Liz Selting, Sr., Elgin Public/Pope John: 8.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.2 SPG
Alison Stracke, Sr., Stuart: 4 PPG, 4 APG
Kylie Thiele, Sr., Clearwater-Orchard: 6.8 PPG, 2.4 SPG
Allyson Wemhoff, So., Elgin Public/Pope John: 11.9 PPG, 2.2 APG, 2.9 SPG
Baylee Wemhoff, Sr., Elgin Public/Pope John: 9.8 PPG, 4.4 APG, 2.5 SPG
Justin Appleby, Jr., O’Neill: 12 PPG, 4.5 APG
Tyson Belitz, Sr., Neligh-Oakdale: 19.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, 2.2 SPG
Ricky Bickerstaff, Jr., Niobrara/Verdigre: 14.3 PPG, 4 APG, 2.5 SPG
Joseph Bloom, So., Riverside: 7.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG
Chad Bode, Sr., Elgin Public/Pope John: 11.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG
Cole Bruns, Sr., Bloomfield: 13.1 PPG, 6 RPG
Kalen Dittrich, Jr., Elkhorn Valley: 10.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG
Brayden Effle, Jr., Elkhorn Valley: 8.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3 APG
Mason Hale, Jr., West Holt: School record for 3s in a season, 78, and game, 7.
Alex Kerkman, Sr., Neligh-Oakdale: 11.7 PPG, 1.4 SPG
Bryce Kerkman, Jr., West Holt: School record for 3-point percentage, 43, and 3s in a game, 7.
Travis Kerkman, Sr., Clearwater-Orchard: 10.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1 BPG
Daniel Libolt, Jr., Chambers/Wheeler Central: 13 PPG, 4.3 APG, 2.5 SPG
Jonah Micek, Sr., St. Edward: 19.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2 BPG, 3 APG
Dylan Potts, Sr., Crofton: 12.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG
Tredyn Prososki, Fr., Riverside: 19.6 PPG, state leader in 3s made
Tyler Regan, Sr., O’Neill: 13 PPG, 7 RPG
Ethan Sattler, So., Stuart: 5.9 PPG, 4.2 APG
Isaac Steinhauser, So., Stuart: 12.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG
Jessie Sullivan, Jr., Boone Central/Newman Grove: 13.8 PPG, 7 RPG
Christian Swally, Jr., Niobrara/Verdigre: 10.6 PPG, 3.6 APG
Alex Thramer, Jr., O’Neill: 10 PPG, 7 RPG, 4 APG
Noah Valasek, Sr., Riverside: 21.6 PPG, 5 RPG, 5.9 APG, 3.2 SPG
Grant White, Sr., Neligh-Oakdale: 18.1 PPG, 2.4 SPG, 2nd in state in 3s made
Grant Wragge, Sr., Crofton: 12.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2 SPG
Jared Atkeson, Jr., St. Mary’s: 45-4, 3rd at state
Will Atkeson, Sr., St. Mary’s: 42-8, 6th at state
Jade Buss, So., West Holt: 18-18, 6th at state
Jason Hahlbeck, Sr., O’Neill: 42-0, 1st at state
Connor Hazen, Sr., Creighton: 24-4, 6th at state
Zac Hazen, Sr., Creighton: 30-7, 4th at state
Andrew Herley, So., Neligh-Oakdale: 40-8, 2nd at state
Jaden Janssen, Jr., Crofton/Bloomfield: 40-11, 4th at state
Jake Judge, Sr., West Holt: 37-9, 3rd at state
Clay Konopasek, Sr., Niobrara/Verdigre: 31-15, 6th at state
Alejandro Martinez, Sr., Elkhorn Valley: 36-3, 3rd at state
Josh McFarland, So., Elkhorn Valley: 44-15, 4th at state
Breydon Mlady, Sr., West Holt: 38-4, 5th at state
Caden Moore, Jr., O’Neill: 41-2, 3rd at state
Cauy Shaw, Jr., O’Neill: 33-7, 4th at state
Darren Stewart, Jr., Elkhorn Valley: 29-8, 4th at state
Dillon Stewart, Jr., Elkhorn Valley: 40-1, 1st at state
Clay Thiele, So., Clearwater-Orchard: 34-17, state qualifier
Bailey Thompson, Sr., O’Neill: 36-4, 1st at state
Cameron Wilkinson, So., Neligh-Oakdale: 44-5, 4th at state
Derek Wortman, So., Creighton: 34-16, 6th at state
Bryce Zimmerer, So., Creighton: 38-11, 5th at state
Honorable Mention, girls basketball
Clearwater-Orchard - Allison Kerkman
Wausa - Mary Johnson, Krissy Kumm
Boone Central/Newman Grove - Jenna Kramer
O’Neill - Samantha Eichelberger, Caleigh Miles, Makayla Pardun
West Holt - Baily Kraus
Elgin Public/Pope John - Jordan Mescher, Lydia Behnk
Elkhorn Valley - Alyssa Rood
Santee - Hannah Sheridan, Kiana Torrez
Crofton - Haley Arens, Josie Sanger, Alexis Arens
Neligh-Oakdale - Jayda Chance, Alexis Jensen
Riverside - Morgan Haschke
Stuart - Trisha Fox
Niobrara/Verdigre - Shania RedOwl, Jace Forker
Honorable Mention, boys basketball
Stuart - Connor Jarman
O’Neill - Jake Young
Chambers/Wheeler Central - Connor Croxen, Zane Patrick, Logan Pelster
Clearwater-Orchard - Jacob Long, Blake Hoke, Ryan Wilhelm
Ewing - Bryce Summers
Elgin Public/Pope John - Ashton Evans, Kenny Bush, Hunter Reestman
Riverside - Ty Martinsen
St. Mary’s Josh Cuddy
Bloomfield - Braden Eisenhauer, Wilson Wagner
Elkhorn Valley - Austin Miller
West Holt - Devon Dohrman, Shayden Neptune
Crofton - Noah McFarland
Boone Central/Newman Grove - Dylan Gentrup, Derek Stuhr