Hayes Center Cardinals

Posted February 11, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: Class D

Word we hear is that the Hayes Center seniors get to redesign the Cardinal helmet every year.  Any Cardinals out there that can update us on the plan for next year?


Ravenna Blue Jays

Posted February 5, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: Basketball, Class C, difficult helmets

Tags: , ,

Thanks to Coach Hudson for the beauty of a Ravenna Jays helmet decal that arrived in the mail yesterday. Ry has the helmet done and we’ll get it up on the site tonight. I thought everyone would like to see the decal in greater detail, so here it is:

Update: The new helmet is up on the C2 page.

Coach Hudson says that the outline around the oval was added to help protect them form Jets copyright issues. The Jets logo originally was more football shaped. I have a classic kids version of that helmet at home. I’ll post a pic of it later to show the difference. Here’s a couple of pics of an old child’s Jets helmet I got at a garage sale a while back to compare it to.

On top Ravenna athlete, I’ll go with current RMAC East Player of the Week Drake Baranek. Drake and his dad and teammates created the best prep story of this decade during his Bluejay career. They were a class act in winning the state title in 2005; they were a class act in taking on the giant of Bellevue West the next year (more hereone of my all-time favorite prep sports pictures here); and they were a class act when David City Aquinas upset their fairy tale ending in 2006. I’m not sure there have ever been better ambassadors for high school sports.

For #2 I’ll stay on the hardwood and take current Gibbon coach Paul Reinertson who put up 59 against Sandhills in 1978. Reinertson’s Bluejays scored over 100 twice that year.

Now, I need help from you guys: Is it pronounced <RA-ven-na> like it’s spelled, or <ra-VAN-na> like my dad and grandfather say it? I suspect it is the latter, as my dad played in the LouPlatte and grandpa delivered propane in those parts for years. Ravenna-natives, clue me in.

Milford Eagles

Posted February 1, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: Class C, difficult helmets


milford.gifMilford is proving to be one of the toughest C1 helmets for us to get information about. This picture is all I kind find of it today. I know I’ve seen a better picture, but Google is failing me right now. It is a purple shell with a white stripe and mask. The decal is a shield of some type, but of course, you can’t see that here. Can anyone help with more information on the Eagles?

Update: A comment on this post says the Milford shield looks a lot like this:

Anyone have a good pic of the helmet itself?

On the good news front, Coach Hudson is sending us a decal so we can create a Ravenna helmet. That decal was tricky like Milford, so there’s hope!

Grand Island Islanders

Posted January 31, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: Class A, history

Tags: , , , ,

OK, before I start talking about how I don’t like the new GI logo, I want to start with what I like.

Islanders. Nickname-wise, it doesn’t get any better. Perfect with the city name. Individual. In Nebraska you can be talking about no other school. The palm tree on the gym floor is one of the best designs in Nebraska. And, it allowed my favorite tradition from my high school days long ago in Hastings, Islander Day. A great excuse in the middle of the long, cold Great Plains winter, to break out the shorts and Hawaiian shirts, sunglasses and sandals.

Alright, back to helmets. I don’t understand the reason that Grand Island would switch from their old vertical interlocking GI to the off-set GI. Here they are side-by-side.

New GI helmetOld GI helmet

Ignore the differences in the purples (those are unintentional). Why would they make that change? There must be a reason. Often when a slight change like this happens it is copyright issues: a school has borrowed a college or pro insignia and they want to be on stronger legal ground. But, this is the opposite. The new logo is a hybrid of Georgia Tech’s GT logo. As far as I know, the original GI was just that, original. Anyone know the story about the switch?

My favorite GI helmet design goes even further back, though I’d bet it is the Islanders’ only real design before the two above. It is the two-purple-stripe design of the Ken Fisher era GI teams, including the 1978 state champs.

My list of top Grand Island athletes:

1. Bobby Reynolds, 1949. Mr. Touchdown led the Islanders on a long basketball win streak as well. It ended in a district final played in front of 3,000 in a hanger at the GI airport (the Islanders were still playing home games at the tiny Liederkrantz Ball Room then) in a loss to Chuck Stickles and Hastings. GI still qualified for state (all district finalists did) and won its second straight state title.

2. Jeff Finn, 1977. Great Husker tight end and fabulous high school basketball player.

3. John Sanders, 196?. Also long-time NU baseball coach.

4. Tom Rathman, 1981. NU and 49er fullback.

5. Chris Murrell, 1988?. One of the best high jumpers in state history.

6. Harry Grimminger 1980?. Great Husker lineman is now a GI principal, I believe.

For old time’s sake, here’s a mid-eighties look at Islander Day in the Hastings High halls.

Best Basketball Team of all-time

Posted January 30, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: Basketball, history

There was an interesting discussion the other day on the HuskerlandPrep Rivals basketball page about best Nebraska team of all-time. Some teams that were mentioned:

  • Omaha Tech of 1963 with Fred Hare and Ron Boone
  • Boys Town of 1965 with future NFLer Ken Geddes
  • Ed Johnson’s two greatest teams: 1970 with Maury Damkroeger and 1982 with Dana Jansen
  • 1974/75 Omaha Central state champs. The last time the state’s largest high school asserted its superiority until the last two years.
  • Wahoo of 1991, the last championship in ‘the streak’
  • 1969 Schuyler teams with Chuck Jura, the Jolly Green Giant.
  • 1979 Lyons team
  • Jack Johnson’s 1972 Columbus team which one out-state’s only Class A crown between 1961 (Fremont under Al Bahe) and 1987 (Norfolk under Dave Oman)
  • 1991 Bellevue West with Eric Strickland
  • 1989’s perfect Millard South team. Coach Ribble’s finest team with future pro baseball player Scott Bream, son and D-I talent Dale Ribble and UNK star, 6’8″ Brian Nielson.
  • Lincoln Northeast’s amazing run from 1995-1998 was probably highlighted by the 1995 squad.

I’d add some special mentions:

  • 1981 Creighton Prep with Trotter and Lazzereti as juniors, part of the Prep tri-fecta of football, basketball and baseball titles. For me personally, that sealed Prep as the Yankees forever, a team you loved or hated, but weren’t neutral about.
  • 1990 Omaha South which won in exciting style with hig-flying Terrance Badgett
  • 1999 and 2003 Grand Island which made Dave Oman’s inclusion into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame a lock. How does Norfolk feel about that now?

(Amazingly, I couldn’t find a picture of Northeast’s coaching legend Ed Johnson anywhere on the Internet to go with this post. Unbelievable! That’s Boys Town star Ken Geddes at the top instead.)

Go here for a list of all the Nebraska NSAA state champs if you want to go looking for the teams I’ve missed.

McCook revisited

Posted January 29, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: Class B, history

Tags: , , , , ,

A few odds and ends from a trip to McCook High School recently. First, McCook has a nice presentation of trophies and memorabilia. I like it when a high school makes an effort to display its history in an intriguing manner. McCook definitely fits that definition.

The prize for me was the display of Jeff Kinney’s tear-away jersey from the Game of the Century: Nebraska 35, Oklahoma 31, 1971.

The second image is a close up of Kinney as a McCook QB. I got an impromptu tour of the trophies from a wonderful man in a wheelchair who told me stories of great games (he was at the 1946 McCook-GI Big Ten Championship game that featured Leo McKillip and Bobby Reynolds in which McKillip’s weaving punt return was the game-winner) and of coaching Kinney in Little League.

This sign caught my interest; it celebrates the Bison’s 1956 upset of undefeated Hastings in the Big Ten title game. It cost the Tigers a mythical state title. I assume the “3” is for the McCook field goal in the 3-0 classic.

(Maybe the “3” means something else? Anyone know?)

The final pic I took is the traveling Holdrege-McCook football trophy. When’s the last time that actually traveled east? I love traveling trophies; what other rivals compete for one? Have any been lost in state scheduling?

Update on my earlier post about McCook’s interlocking MC logo and its Bison head. Both are prominent at on the walls and displays of MHS. The interlocking MC is far from a football-only logo.

Update #2: According to the comment section McCook has defeated Holdrege 13 straight times since the last Duster win in 1996.  Eleven regular season wins and two triumphs in the playoffs.

Uni-Watch Blog: Lexington Junior High

Posted January 28, 2008 by nebraskahelmets
Categories: general helmet talk, uniforms

Tags: , , ,

Beyond my obvious obsession with helmets, I have a wider interest in uniforms. My wife loves to make fun of my ‘fashion sense’ as I acclaim or decry some new uniform style we see. One great place I’ve found on the Internet is a refuge for uniform junkies like me; it’s Paul Lukas’s UniWatchBlog.

I actually discovered it last year when the new Hastings St. Cecilia football uniforms were mentioned in his blog (the mentioner works at the Omaha World Herald). You can see that post at the link above, about 2/3 down the page. He also has a nice search engine that lets you find other Nebraska-related posts. Here’s the picture of StC that was declared the worst high school football uniform. The Black Blue Hawks have improved their look this year by incorporating more of their ‘new school color’ by changing from grey helmets to black.

I’m going to make my first foray into the UniWatch comment section today with this picture of the Lexington junior high girls basketball team showing off a unique team name. We all know them as the Minutemaids, but I think the national audience of the UniWatcBlog will find the shortening of that name humorous.