(GI Little League/Facebook) On Sunday night, we held a board meeting to discuss plans for the future of our baseball and softball season. At this meeting we came to the — unfortunate — unanimous decision that we are going to not have a summer baseball or softball season in Grand Island. A few notes that went into our decision making and questions you may have we will try to answer below:
1. Cases in our community continue to grow — 954 as of Monday’s update. When we posted our survey update asking for feedback, we were hopeful that we may see a decline in cases with a hope of Hall County possibly getting a Phase 1 reopening by mid-May. We no longer think that is the case.
2. Many cases we see are people in the age ranges who will want to come to our games: 50 cases up to age 19 and in the parent ranges for ages 20-49 we have 492 cases.
3. Had we been able to get to Phase 1 by mid-May we would have to had 28 days of declines and then a mid-June start date was possible. With the data we continue to see we don’t think Grand Island will have a chance at Phase 3 (when we could justifiably have a game) until just after July 1st on a best case scenario.
4. This reality left us with no other choice but to not have a season and we stand behind this based on the current status of how the Coronavirus is affecting our community.
5. Thinking long-term about the beginning of the school year we did not want to do anything that may jeopardize the return to school. Some things are more important than Little League.
6. We are hopeful that if there is some normalcy that returns in July that we may be able to work with some some local baseball and softball organizations to have some free camps and clinics for our players.
7. REFUNDS: We are committed to refunding entry fees to all participants and families. As we work through this we will be in touch. There is a possibility that card fees and the $3 registration fee and not refunded but all else will be.
We are hopeful we can get everything back but will be in communication via this page and e-mail on how this process will work. It is our hope we can get this all completed in the next 2-3 weeks. Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to having a wonderful season in 2021. Stay home. Do your part. We are all in this together.
Indians Sign Golfer from The Netherlands via Florida
The McCook Community College golf team has signed another recruit for the upcoming golf season.
Michael Boer, from the Netherlands via Florida is the latest Indian commit. Boer has been attending high school in Florida since his sophomore year.
“He is another talented international player that is going to be a big asset for our team come fall,” said MCC Golf Coach Tyler Loop.
When Boer and his mother visited McCook, it was on a very snowy day.
“I felt bad that they made such a long trip from Florida and because of the weather, they were not able to get the full MCC golf experience, but the good news was he left with a scholarship offer and committed very soon after,” Loop said.
The coach said that Boer plays and practices most of the year since he's doing high school in Florida.
“I have no doubt he going to fit in very well at McCook and be a big part of our effort to meet our goal of winning our region and qualifying for nationals,” Loop said.
Matt Wiemers Receives Gold Star Award
Andrea Gallagher | April 20, 2020
To honor their100th anniversary in 2020, the USTA Missouri Valley is recognizing 100 deserving recipients with the Gold Star Award. This award recognizes contributions that recipients have made in growing the game of tennis in their community. One of the first Nebraska winners, just announced this month, is Matt Wiemers of McCook.
When Matt Wiemers played tennis at McCook Senior High School in the 1980’s, he never imagined he would return years later as the head tennis coach. After all, his passions were basketball and volleyball. He even played basketball at McCook Community College, and later coached there as well. However, he quickly discovered a new passion: tennis.
“I enjoy tennis because it requires so many facets, athleticism, strategy, mental toughness and drive,” Wiemers explained. “As a player I prefer singles because I want all the pressure on me. But now as a coach, I love teaching doubles and the fast pace and quick reflexes it takes to be a proficient player.”
Wiemers has been coaching boys' and girls' high school tennis for twenty years in McCook. He’s also an elementary school P.E. teacher. He decided to offer a no-cut tennis program at the high school level, and has never looked back on that decision.
“Running a no-cut program requires more time from coaches, flexibility from our players and families, and a school that supports what you do,” he said. “With the larger team numbers and only two coaches, we have split our teams into two practice sessions which provides much better one-on-one coaching.”
Wiemers and his wife Traci Wiemers, along with several current and former standout players, also put on summer tennis camps in the local community that continue to grow each year. They started the camps in 2000 with 12 participants. Now, more than 100 kids attend each summer. “We are so proud of the programs we have built and the many opportunities tennis offers to the students of our community and Southwest Nebraska,” Wiemers added. “We look forward to continuing to build the sport and finding new avenues to better enrich our players, both young and old.”
Normally during this time of year, Wiemers would be out on the courts daily with his girls’ team, practicing and playing matches. However, the COVID-19 suspension of play has put a stop to this. Instead, he is in regular contact with them either by email, text or a Zoom video meeting, as well as sending out weekly “cyber results”. He hopes to have a senior tennis event once the restrictions are lifted.
The recipients of the Gold Star Award will receive personal items to keep, a plaque and a special gift. Congratulations to all of the Gold Star Award recipients.
Trio of MCC Golfers Receive Post Season Recognition
NORMAN, Okla. — McCook Community College sophomore golfer Chesney Tatman (North Platte) was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association all-District team this week. The team was selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Tatman was also one of three MCC golfers to be named to the All-Region IX second team along with sophomores Kyle Zimbelman (North Platte) and KC Carlson (Delta, Colo.)
Five golfers from Region IX were named to the PING District I team which combines teams from Region IX and Region I (Arizona). In addition to Tatman, five members from Eastern Arizona and four Eastern Wyoming Lancers were named to the team.
The all-Region IX team is based on points earned during the season. This year the Covid-19 virus prevented teams from competing in the second half of the season this spring, so the points were based on individual performances during the fall portion of the schedule. Eastern Wyoming also dominated the Region IX first-team with four players selected in: Jo Vin Tan (40 points), Tomas Kubata (36 points), Mason Hale (32 points) and Lucas Howell (28 points.)
Three Indians and a Lancer made up the second team: Tatman (23 points), Zimbelman (22 points),
RJ Moya, Eastern Wyoming (22 points) and Carlson 17 points.
Tatman finished fifth in the individual standings for the region and had a 76.2 gross score for the fall season and a low score of 72. Zimbelman carried a 76.3 gross score with a low score of 70 and Carlson, averaged 76.8 stokes per round with a low of 69.
In addition to post-season honors, MCC Coach Tyler Loop has announced that Tatman will be returning to MCC for another year.
“The NJCAA has granted student-athletes that didn't finish their season another year of eligibility so Chesney will be return while Kyle and KC are still deciding what they will do,” Loop said. Last week the other MCC sophomore, Trevor Oberg signed a letter of intent to continue his golf career this fall at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina.
The Indians finished the year in second place behind Eastern Wyoming in the team standings. At the half-way point of the season the Lancers had 57 points to 45 for MCC, Lamar was third with 26 points, Northeastern Junior College fourth with 22 points, Central Wyoming fifth with 12 points and Otero Junior College was sixth with six points.
In October, the Indians appeared in the top 20 national JUCO rankings at No. 19 and were poised to make their third straight trip to the NJCAA national tournament when the NJCAA cancelled spring sports and prevented the start of the spring golf season that was to have continued on March 19.
ThreeMCCPlayers Moving on to NCAA Programs
Three members of the McCook Community College men’s basketball team have signed letters of intent to continue their careers at NCAA Division 1 and Division II programs.
Sophomores Raheim Sulivan and Tyrik Singh signed with Marist and Saginaw Valley State respectively and freshman Le’Tre Darthard is leaving MCC after one year to continue his basketball career at a Division I school.
On Wednesday, Darthard (Denton, Texas) announced he is transferring to Division 1 Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah to play for a two-time NBA champion.
"Le'Tre is a player who impacts a game in many ways," said Utah Valley Coach Mark Madsen. "He is an elite shooter who shot 45 percent from the three-point line. He also excels on the defensive side of the ball where he loves guarding top players on other teams.”
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard/forward played his freshman season for the Indians averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 assists per game. He shot 58.7 percent from the field and 44.9 percent from long range. He also shot nearly 80 percent from the free-throw line. Darthard scored 20 or more points in 10 games and 30 or more points three times. He earned multiple postseason accolades, including All Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference, All-Region IX third team, Region IX all-tournament team, and Omaha World Herald All-NJCAA team.
“Le'Tre has defined himself by adding new aspects to his game each summer. He plays the game with ferocity and emotion,” said Madsen. “In addition to being an excellent basketball player, Le'Tre is an elite student who will be pursuing business coursework.”
Masden, in his first season as the head coach of the Wolverines is a two-time NBA champion, former Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach, and former Stanford University basketball star. He took over the Utah Valley program after serving the previous six seasons as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. He won NBA champion titles as a player with the Lakers (2001 and 2002), and he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves for six seasons.
The Wolverines play in the Western Athletic Conference and were 11-19 when the season was halted in March because of the Covid-19 virus.
Raheim Sullivan(Toronto, Ontario), a 6-1 guard and sophomore transfer from Moberly Area Community College, will continue his career with Marist, a D1 program in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Sullivan averaged 16.5 points per game, shot 47.6 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from the 3-point line and 74.5 percent from the free-throw line. He averaged 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He scored 513 points on the year and had 62 steals. He was named to the all-Region IX third team as well as first-team all-NCCAC honors and honorable mention on the Omaha World-Herald all Nebraska JUCO team.
The Red Foxes concluded their 2019-20 campaign March 10 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament and finished 7-23 under Coach John Dunne, in his second year with the team.
Also on Wednesday, sophomore transferTyrik Singh signed his letter of intent to play next season at Saginaw Valley State in University Center, just north of Saginaw, Mich. SVS is an NCAA Division II program.
Singh, a 6’7 forward from San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago, spent his freshman campaign at Daytona State before transferring to McCook for his sophomore season. He earned First Team All-NCCAC honors.
In a Tweet from the team’s social media feed, welcoming Singh to “The Valley” the Cardinals say the 6’7 forward “will bring a lot of skill and shooting ability to the Cardinals after graduating from McCook CC next month. High character, hard worker, great fit! Can’t wait to get to work, Tyrik!”
Singh started 29 of 31 games for the Indians this year averaging 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He shot 47.3 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the 3-point line.
Under Coach Randy Baruth, in his eighth season with the Cardinals, the team went 16-13 and competed in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
McCook Community College sophomore and McCook High School graduate Trevor Oberg signed his letter of intent this week to continue his golf career this fall at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina.
“I'm really proud of Trevor as he deserves to be rewarded for his hard work,” said MCC golf Coach Tyler Loop. “He has come a long way in his two years at McCook and will continue to progress under his new coach.”
Oberg had an average gross score of 77.8 this season with his low score of 68 coming in the first day of the Otero Junior College tournament Sept. 26 in La Junta, Colo. He finished fourth in the two-day tournament with a two-day score of 144.
“Trevor works harder on his golf game than anyone I've ever seen and I know his new coach and teammates will be impressed with his determination,” Loop said.
While the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the team from continuing its season this spring, Oberg was 10th in the Region IX individual standings with the 15 points earned in 12 Fall tournament dates. He earned standings points in all six of the Fall tournaments.
“My only regret with Trevor is that he didn't get to finish his career at McCook proper due to Covid-19 as we were well on our way to qualifying for nationals and Trevor was a major part of that,” Loop said.
The McCook Community College has added three more players to the 2020-2021 squad adding a power-hitting corner infielder from Colorado, a pitcher from Wisconsin and an Iowa power hitter.
Ashland Baca, Byers, Colo., signed her letter of intent to play softball and pursue a business degree when she comes to campus.
According to MCC Coach Kevin Kaalberg Baca is a power-hitting corner infielder who is a multi-sport athlete, as a four-year varsity letter-winner for both basketball and softball.
Playing both outfield and infield, Baca racked up many accolades over the last four years as a Strasburg Indian, landing herself three Patriot League All-Conference nominations, an All-State Honorable Mention, and a First Team All-State selection.
During her four-year career, she earned two state championships, a runner up and a third-place finish.
Academically, she was also selected for the Academic All-State First Team. This year, Ashland was ranked fourth in the state for home runs and was in the top 20 in six other state-ranked categories. At the plate, Baca averaged .392 over the course of four years smacking out 16 home runs and driving in 94 runs.
Ashland was recently added to the Strasburg Wall of Fame as an acknowledgeable athlete. Wrapping up her high school career, she looks forward to playing more softball and pursuing a Business Degree.
Avery O’Neilis a pitcher/first baseman from Ellsworth, Wis. who “moves the ball very well up and down to keep hitters off-balance” according to Kaalberg. “She also brings a good bat to the lineup.”
She grew up with her mom, dad and younger brother while attending Ellsworth High School. She was also a varsity volleyball player.
During high school she compiled a 53-11 record with 393 innings pitched, 456 strikeouts, and a 1.99 ERA. She is a three-time first-team all-conference honoree and after her junior year she was named first-team all-district.
She is a student representative for her school board and a school store manager.
“I have been on the clay target team for four years, I like to be outdoors and play with my dog,” she said. At MCC she plans to major in psychology in hopes of becoming a forensic psychologist.
Rae VanMilligan of Marion, Iowa joins MCC as “a versatile athlete with the quickness and athleticism to play multiple positions,” Kaalberg said. The MCC coach also is excited about the power she brings to the plate.
At North Linn High School, she was named MVC second-team all-conference and honorable mention Cedar Rapids Metro Area, 5A All-Eastern Iowa District and a three-year letter winner.
In addition to softball she has been involved in FBLA, FCCLA, and taking sports photos. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with my friends, watching tik toks and working out.
“Next year I plan to study education at McCook. I am so beyond excited for what this next chapter holds,” she said.