Boone Central graduate Wyatt Mazour is living the dream of every Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Every Saturday during the fall, Mazour runs on to the football field donning the scarlet and cream and wearing a block N on his helmet. It has been a long road that has led Mazour to this point, but it is a road Mazour has embraced and grown from.
Coming our of Boone Central, Mazour was a highly-touted high school recruit. Mazour led the Cardinals to a perfect 13-0 record and Class C-1 state title in 2014.
The Albion native threw for 1,863 yards and 25 touchdowns, while completing better than 56 percent of his passes. On the ground, Mazour rushed for 1,632 yards and 26 touchdowns, with eight 100-yard rushing games.
Mazour was the first-team Super State quarterback by the Lincoln Journal Star and first-team All-Nebraska by the Omaha World-Herald. Both the Journal Star and World-Herald named him the honorary captain of the Class C-1 all-state team in 2014. The Boone Central start had drawn the attention of college programs across the country.
“It was actually kind of tough,” Mazour said. “Growing up and watching Husker football, it was always a dream of mine to play here. I came on visits under Bo Pelini’s staff, but when his staff was let go, I was in limbo. Coach (Mike) Reilly’s staff had to get adjusted and settle down before they started looking at in-state kids. That was tough for me because I wanted to play football at the next level. I had schools like Iowa State, South Dakota State, NAIA schools and others all contacting me. I had to deal with that and heard nothing (from Nebraska) for a while and wondered if I might have to pursue (my college football career) at a different school. Then Kenny Wilhite (Director of High School Relations at UNL) gave me a call and offered me a preferred walk-on spot. That was the last week of signing day. It came down to my heart. I dreamed of playing here and I knew everyone wanted me to come play for the Huskers. I made a decision based on my heart and chances like this don’t come often.”
Despite being one of the top athletes in the state, Mazour had to deal with his share of growing pains, going from high school to college football.
“I remember my freshman year coming in and doing scout team against Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine (current NFL players) and those guys,” Mazour recalled. “That was my holy crap moment. These guys are huge, but after that year I got the hang of things and how to approach things. I just had to work harder and had to have the mentality of getting better and building my confidence in the offseason. I built my confidence up in the weight room during offseason workouts. The past couple of years, I’ve been in the top-four of the most athletic guys in the power index.”
It was that work ethic in the weight room that started turning heads and got the former Cardinal noticed by the coaching staff.
“The talent level is so high that it’s really hard to standout at this level,” Mazour noted. “In high school, I had the quickness, speed and strength that separated me from other people. I got here and it’s really narrowed. I really challenge myself to always be the strongest and the fastest. I take pride in my strength and being able to perform in the weight room. The speed of the game is the big thing I’ve been focusing on. In this offense, speed kills and I’ve been focusing more on my running and conditioning. The workouts are 100-times harder. Coach (Zach) Duval has done an amazing job. That’s one thing that is a huge difference from high school to college is the weight room and workouts.”
After a year of busting his butt, Mazour finally saw his dream become a reality during his redshirt freshman season.
“I played against Wyoming, ran down on kickoff and that was one of those moments where it was a dream come true,” Mazour said. “I was awestruck. That play went so fast for me in my head. Against Wyoming, it was a home game, my first time getting in, with the crowd and in a game that actually counts as a win or a loss. I had a lot of first since then and I haven’t really felt like that since. I’ve been comfortable in the environment”
Unfortunately for Mazour, his next time out ended his season.
“The next game I had my concussion and I missed the rest of the season,” Mazour continued. “It was frustrating because I remember that year I was one of the only walk-ons to play in my class and I was traveling that next week. I had a lot of things going positively and then my season ended.”
Following the 2017 season, Riley was let go as Huskers’ head coach and former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost was brought in to help turn the program around.
“Coach Frost says we need to believe in the system and ride or die for the guys that put in their all for this program,” the junior running back said. “That’s how it should be, especially here and looking back and seeing how successful we were in the 90s and the early 2000s. We had a lot of people playing with passion and you could see it on film. The people before us played their hearts out every single time and that’s what they’re trying to restore. As someone who has grown up from Nebraska, wanted nothing but the best for this program and always watching the games hoping this is the year Nebraska can be a national champion again. That’s always been a dream of mine. To be a part of bringing Nebraska back to its glory.”
In a blowout loss to Michigan, Mazour scored his first career touchdown for the scarlet and cream. The junior’s special moment was overshadowed by the score.
“It was a really big moment for me to score in the Big House (Michigan’s stadium), but we were getting blown out that game,” Mazour said. “If somebody was over-top really excited about that (scoring their first touchdown) and didn’t think about the team’s outcome, that would bother me.”
While starting to find success on the football field, Mazour has been a great example of what a student-athlete should be. The nutrition and health science major has been named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll four times, a member of the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Team in 2016, 17 and 18 and was named academic all-Big Ten in 2017.
“I didn’t think it would be quite the dramatic change that it is, especially with school,” Mazour noted. “In high school I was a 4.0 student, but didn’t really need to study. Then I came to college and that first semester was a huge wake up call. With football and wanting to do physical therapy in the future, I knew I couldn’t slack off. In my free time I study as much as I can and I’ve gotten pretty good at getting things done when I’m supposed to. I usually do my work way before hand and don’t wait till the last minute. My studying habits have gotten a lot better. When I was named to the academic all-Big Ten, it was one of my hardest semesters in college. It shows how much i’ve grown as a student and how to balance everything between football and school.”
Despite a rough start to the season, the Huskers are showing promise and have won ?. Mazour hopes before he hangs up the cleats, he can be remembered as one of guys who helped turn the program around.
“There are a ton of guys on the field that are playing with passion and pride for this program,” Mazour concluded. “This is a hard time, but this is a time that we can truly get this thing turned around and get on the right path like they want it. I try to set a great example of what a Husker player is supposed to be. My mentality has always been to give it my all.”
Nebraska Coaches Association’s recently released its 2018 Girls’ Cross Country Super-State & All-State Teams.
Boone Central sophomore Jordan Soto-Stopak was named to the Class C All-State Team. Soto-Stopak earned second place in the Class C Nebraska State Cross Country Championships in Kearney last month. She crossed the finish line in 20:05.6.
Boone Central/Newman Grove took runner up honors to Columbus Scotus in both the boys and girls team standings at their home invite on Friday afternoon.
Sophomores Jordan Stopak and Samantha Weeder both broke the all-time course records to come out on top in the competitive girls race.
Stopak earned first place with a time of 19:09, followed by second-place Weeder in 19:10. Senior Katie Goodwater placed 5th in the senior girls division and 14th overall with a time of 21:15. Autumn Simons placed 6th in the sophomore division and 19th overall in 21:45. Freshman Lauren Pugh ran a 22:33 for 5th in her division and 30th overall. Rounding out the runners for Boone Central were sophomore Julia Nore with a 23:50 and senior Mariah Olson with a 28:01.
In the boys race, Jonny Lindgren was the top finisher in the sophomore division and 3rd overall with a time of 16:47, followed by Bradley Schindel who was 3rd in the sophomores and 7th overall with a time of 17:09. Other Boone Central runners were Scott Wright, 9th in the senior division and 29th overall (18:26); Gavin Ienn, 4th in freshmen and 34th overall (18:40); Caleb Kohl, 14th in sophomores and 35th overall (18:41); Will Grape 16th in juniors and 59th overall (19:28); and Brian Mock, 21st in juniors and 93rd overall (21:31).
Three Boone County seniors have been selected to the 6th Annual Red vs. White Northeast Nebraska All-Star Football Classic.
Boone Central/Newman Grove's Levi Krueger, Cody Nelson, and Caden Ranslem will be on the white squad.
The game will be played on Saturday, June 9, at Veteran’s Memorial Field in Norfolk. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
Darin Suckstorf of Lutheran High Northeast who will coach the 36-player Red team says he pleased with the pool of players he had to choose from. “We have a great combination of size and speed from programs that historically produce hard-nosed football players,” he said. “I think we’ll have the ability to put some units together offensively and defensively to showcase the athletes.”
Suckstorf is looking forward to the week of practice leading up to the game. “I am excited to see these young men come together in a short period of time to represent their communities.”
Suckstorf’s staff will include Matt Kuchar of Bloomfield, Ken Swanson of Emerson-Hubbard, Max Kant of Lutheran High Northeast, Kevin Miller of Norfolk Catholic and Russ Plager of Wayne.
Andrew Carlson of Battle Creek will coach the 36-player White squad. He likes his team’s blend of size and athleticism. “Offensively, we want to effectively run the ball while taking advantage of some very talented receivers in the passing game,” he said. “Defensively, I really like the length of our secondary and the size of our players that will be playing in the box.”
Carlson is anxious to get to know to know his players. “We look forward to getting the team together and watching them compete as well as see many different individual and team roles established,” said Carlson.
Joining Carlson on the White staff will be Jeremy Weidner of Madison, Kyle Schmidt of Battle Creek, Anthony Ruzika of Scribner-Snyder, Troy Schlueter of West Point-Beemer and Dustin Sealey of Logan View.
Here is the list of this year’s officials, including position and hometown. Daryl Lindsay, Referee, Wayne; Jason Beiermann, Umpire, Wayne; Rod Meier, Head Linesman, Norfolk; Steve Martini, Line Judge, Hartington; Matt Sayler, Back Judge, Hartington.
Red Team Roster: Jared Hornback & Quinten Moles, Bloomfield; Jackson Eickhoff, Jacob Haahr & Quinn Paulsen, Cedar Catholic; Levi Stacken, Creighton; Jaden Janssen & Ethan Poppe, Crofton; Josh Sebade, Emerson-Hubbard; Alex Kneifl, Hartington-Newcastle; Tyler Brand, Blake Freudenburg, Seth Knapp & Korrell Keohlmoos, Lutheran High Northeast; Sam Cantu, Chace Clausen, Payton Love & Kelby Schaefer, Norfolk Catholic; Alex Lindsay, Collin Tinker & Ashton Wragge, Pierce; Michael Hegge, Logan Kingsbury, Dalton Tremayne & Joel Watchorn, Ponca; Mason Nordhues, Randolph; Dathon Klassen, South Sioux City; Noah Lamprecht, Wakefield; Beau Bowers, Justin Dean & Mason Lee, Wayne; Bryce Kerkman, Mason Lofquist & Shayden Neptune, West Holt; Brandon Watters, Winside; Lance Denney, Winnebago
White Team Roster: Lorne Aldana, Blake Heller, Stone Kraft & Andrew Lutt, Battle Creek; Levi Krueger, Cody Nelson & Caden Ranslem, Boone Central/Newman Grove; Tyler Kroger, BRLD; Anthony Bruhn, Clarkson/Leigh; Creston Bertschinger & Andrew Steskal, Clearwater/Orchard; Trevor Klabenes, CWCE; Ryan Macholan, Howells-Dodge; Ashton Dohmen, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family; Pierce Eisenmenger & Nolan Kosch, Humphrey St. Francis; Nolan Miller, Jacob Polk & Nathan Taylor, Logan View; Ryan Haskell, Madison; Nate Buck, Neligh-Oakdale; Mason Flaherty, Dalton Freiberg Zack James & M.J. Montgomery, Norfolk; Marcos Quintero, Oakland-Craig; Justin Appleby, Shayne Campbell & Alex Thramer, O’Neill; Matt Hoffmann & Micah Williams, Plainview; Beau Wilke, Stanton; Cole Hughes, Greg Johnson, Hunter Pilakowski & Devon Priestley, West Point-Beemer
Eighteen Boone County students were selected for Winter NSAA Academic All-State honors.
Chosen for the honor were Boone Central students Dylan Gentrup and Jessie Sullivan, boys basketball; Lauren Hedlund and Kelsey Thompson, girls basketball; and Tyanne Johnson and Walker Stuhr, speech.
Riverside students selected for the honor were Ty Martinsen and Riley Swerczek, boys basketball; Morgan Haschke and Becky Schmieds, girls basketball; and Grant Marisch and Laura Rankin, speech.
Caden Cruise and Trevor Rasmussen, boys basketball; Lacie Cruise and Shonda Shanle, girls basketball; and Miranda Matchett and Sophie Reeves, speech, were chosen for the honor from St. Edward.
The Nebraska School Activities Association and the Nebraska Chiropractic Physicians Association recognize high school students, based on their individual academic excellence, leadership and significant contributions made to their NSAA activity.
A nominated student must be a varsity player or organizational leader who has played a significant role on the team or in the organizational activity during the seasons for which nominations are accepted. The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average, in all curricular subjects, of 93 percent or 3.7 on a 4.0-point scale or the equivalent. NSAA high schools or their cooperative sponsorship may nominate a maximum of two students per NSAA activity program.
The Riverside Chargers finished their season on Saturday night as Runner-Ups after the championship game against Falls City Sacred Heart at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.
The matchup was intense as the boys kept the game within a single digit spread throughout. However, the Chargers could not comeback after a late push in the fourth quarter by the Irish and fell to FCSH 59-42.
The Chargers qualified for the championship game after topping Wynot 54-48 in the first game of the tournament and edging a win over Mullen 66-59 in the semifinals.
After trailing at the end of the first two quarters of play, Riverside charged forward in the second half to earn themselves a spot in the D2 state championship game.
The Chargers picked up a 66-59 victory over Mullen on Friday night to advance. The team trailed by one at the end of the first and second quarters of play, but took control of the game in the third.
Coming into the game our goal was to win each quarter, which obviously we didn't do in the first half," Coach Joe Imus said. "Our new goal became to just win the game."
"They started keying in on (Tredyn) Prososki, and rightfully so, he's probably one of the best scorers in the state, all classes, as just a sophomore," the coach said. "But we have lots of other players who can step up for us and they did."
Prososki led the team with 22 points, followed by Joseph Bloom with 19, Michael Bernt and Trey Carraher 7 each, Riley Swerczek 6 and Ty Martinsen 5.
The #2 Chargers will face #1 Falls City Sacred Heart in the D2 championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Riverside won its first round of the boys state tournament over Wynot on Thursday.
The Chargers held on for a 54-48 victory at Lincoln Northeast High School and will advance to play Mullen at 8:45 p.m. Friday in the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Tredyn Prososki had a big night as he drained 25 points for Riverside, followed by Joseph Bloom with 14 points, Riley Swerczek 8, Ty Martinsen 4, and Keaton Carraher 3.
WHS 5 9 16 18 48
RHS 9 14 13 18 54
Boone Central/Newman Grove and Broken Bow faced off for the third time this season when they met in the first round game of the boys state tournament on Thursday.
The Cardinals won both of the previous matchups, but fell in this double-overtime thriller at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, 66-64.
Jessie Sullivan led the Cardinals with 19, followed by Carter Henry with 15, Cody Nelson 14, Dylan Gentrup 12 and William Frey, 4.
BCNG 21 10 15 7 4 7 64
BBHS 11 11 21 10 4 9 66
Jon Merten of Boone Central/Newman Grove continues to represent Boone County at the wrestling state tournament after two rounds of consolations.
Merten at 220 will continue to fight for a spot on the podium with the tournament continuing into the evening.
Garrett Cornwell at 160 will compete this evening in the semifinals.
Consolations and semifinals will finish tonight with medalist action tomorrow. Stay tuned for more.