Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Jock Talk


One track meet in the books with the Chadron State College Indoor held this past Saturday. Number two meet is scheduled for today (Thursday), but the weather is not looking to cooperate and there is a good chance the Kimball Invite will be delayed and moved back to a later date.


I do have some wrestling results to pass your way as the Federation State Tournament was held in Grand Island this past weekend with four from the Kimball Club qualifying.

Proud to report that Britton Culek and Ciena McKenzie both finished second and won runner-up honors. Trey Schindler and Matthew Johnson also wrestled well but came up a bit short of medal honors.

A total of 7 Kimball wrestlers participated in the Rocky Mountain National Wrestling Tournament in the Denver area this past weekend with coaches Jeremy Kirby and Wade Brashear also attending.

Kylee Kirby finished 3rd in the 7-9 age rookie heavyweight bracket. Bradley Lee was 3rd in the 13-15 rookie 86 pound class. Ethan Ratzlaff was 4th in the 13-15 rookie 130 pound weight class, and Trevor Ryschon was 3rd in the 13-15 rookie 123 pound class.

Also wrestling but failing to medal were Cody Kirby in the 18 and under 220 pound class, Zavyer White in the 13-15 rookie 105 pound class, and Zach Wagner in the 13-15 rookie 130 pound division.

It appears Kimball will send some wrestlers to the Midwest Classic in Kearney the first weekend of April.


Post season honors still being announced including the Western Trails All Conference Wrestling selections. Kimball was represented by freshman Jordan Cluff and sophomore Cody Kirby on the All Conference Team.

The SPVA also announced their All Conference Basketball selections and senior Danika Daum was named to the select Girl’s First Team along with sophomore Alex Reader. Freshman Kate Reader was named to the second team and senior Madison Biesecker was given Honorable Mention.

Kimball did not land anyone on the Boy’s All Conference first or second teams but senior Trent Rutledge and junior Jordan Greenwood were both Honorable Mention.


Still on the subject of post season honors, how about the Pine Bluffs Hornets winning both the girls and boys State Basketball championships? What a reason for the community of Pine Bluffs to celebrate. This is certainly a rarity. Basketball is good in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming.

You have to have some outstanding individuals to come up with state championship teams and the Hornets certainly had some. I noticed in the Southeast Conference selections Azhane Bufford and Jadyn Golding were all conference and all state plus Sierra Shelit, Montanna Crystal, and Kammie Ragsdale were also All Conference.

On the boy’s side, junior Hunter Thompson was named the 2-A Conference Player of the Year and was all conference and all state. Sophomore Haize Fornstrom was also all conference and all state. Kylet Steger and Trent Werner were all conference. Lots of these outstanding young people return next year!


By the way, Hunter Thompson, despite having his senior year remaining has already given a verbal commitment to play his college basketball at Creighton. Now we will have another Nebraska tie to an area All Star to cheer for, right along with Kimball’s Mike Daum up at South Dakota State


Mike Daum closed out his amazing red-shirt freshman year of basketball at South Dakota State University by playing in the NCAA National Tournament. Despite losing 79-74 in their first round pairing with the game played at Spokane, Washington, Mike stood out one more time scoring 16 points and pulling down 6 rebounds. Once again he received praise from the opposing Maryland Coach, along with the broadcast announcers, and his own coach. At one time Maryland was ranked number two in the nation and were ranked number 18 coming into this showdown.

The Jackrabbitts took Maryland right to the wire before a last second turnover cost them a chance at winning.

It was so special for all of Nebraska, especially his home based fan club which includes all of Western Nebraska and beyond, to watch him perform last Friday afternoon on National TV. Neat to see his family in the stands. You know, when ever you hear or view the name Daum, you know you are relating to success. As far back as I can relate to is Nick and Pat and what special people they are. Mike’s mom and dad were both standout athletes and community leaders, Uncle Mark and Aunt Judy are more of the same, and sister Danika, and cousins Colton and Jake, they are all special and they are all winners.

I am starting to get into this High Tech Social Media stuff and Karen and I now enjoy our tablet and Facebook and all that crazy stuff. I really enjoyed seeing the picture on Facebook of Colton Daum and Tony Robinson in the cockpit of Colton’s Frontier Airline commercial jet airplane. How neat! Colton was another of those outstanding Daums playing his high school sports at Kimball High. His dad, Mark, said they took Colton up for a flight when he was about five years old and he fell in love with flying and made that his dream, and his goal, to become a pilot. Now he is living that dream as Frontier Airlines youngest pilot at age 24. Now Colton wants to become a Captain by age 26 which would also be another youngest ever for Frontier. My friend, Rollie Hager, brought to my attention a few weeks back that Colton had become a pilot for Frontier and knowing how I liked to follow up on the lives of our young people, he thought I might like to know this. Better yet, Colton flies out of Denver, can still live back in Kimball a good share of the time with brother Jake, and still do some farming too. Life is good for the Daum family but I was thinking, as high as Mike Daum has been flying this season, I think Colton is flying higher than any of the Daums!


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