Tigers play well at Elgin
ELGIN—The Osmond Tigers football team defeated Elgin Public/Elgin Pope John Wolfpack 80-8 on Friday at Elgin.
The Tigers overcame some penalties in the early-going, but they played well for a majority of the game. This allowed the junior varsity Tigers to play a significant amount of the game.
“The major aspect of the game we’re concerned with was coming out and playing well. Our team played the game with focus and intensity.”
The Tigers scored on all three of their first quarter drives.
This began with a 32-yard touchdown run by senior Anthony Heiman.
After a punt by the Wolfpack, the Tigers used seven plays to go sixty-one yards for a touchdown. After several penalties left the Tigers at a 3rd and 25 from the 39 yard-line.
Justus Maertins (Jr.) made a great catch on a ball from Heiman. He battled a defender for the ball, tipped up the ball to himself, and then caught it running backwards.
He then turned around and ran roughly twenty yards for a Tiger touchdown. Josh Gansebom (Jr.) ran in the two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead.
“This was really the turning point in the game,” Morrison said. “We had a few penalties in a row, and Coach Todd Schulze called timeout, which he used to encourage the offense. They responded in a big way.”
After forcing the Wolpack to punt on their next drive, the Tigers scored on their next offensive play. Heiman rushed fifty-nine yards for a score.
Then, after an EP/PJ offsides penalty that put the Tigers on the Wolfpack one-and-a-half yard line, the Tiger offensive line powered Heiman into the endzone for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 lead.
The line includes Nick Reikofski (Sr.), Alexis Solorzano (Jr.), Landon Stelling (Jr.), Justus Maertins (Jr.), and Zach Huwaldt (So.).
While the Tigers played well in the first quarter, they carried their play into the second quarter as well.
This started when the Tigers intercepted a pass on an attempted trick play. Heiman was sitting back in coverage and attacked the errant pass.
The Tigers scored two plays later. Gansebom caught a pass behind the line and advanced it for eleven yards. Heiman then ran 35 yards for a score. The Tigers were up 28-0.
Landon Stelling then jumped on a fumble caused by Zach Huwaldt and Alexis Solorzano. The Tigers took advantage of the turnover as Heiman found Maertins for his second touchdown.
Heiman’s two-point conversion put the Tigers up 36-0. They would extend the lead to 44-0 after the Wolfpack turned the ball back to the Tigers on downs.
The Tigers scored five plays later. Mason Byker’s 30-yard reception put the Tigers at the Wolfpack 11. Gansebom ran in an iso play and Maertins caught a pass from Heiman to convert the two-points.
Next the Tigers scored on a 49-yard run by Heiman. Maertins again capped the drive by catching a two-point conversion pass from Heiman, putting the Tigers up 52-0.
Connor Gutz took advantage of his opportunity to carry the ball, rushing for 16 yards and another Tiger touchdown.
“Connor ran the ball hard tonight,” Morrison said. “He did a good job getting up the field and finding holes.”
The Wolfpack nearly scored at the end of the half. Regulation ended as a Wolfpack receiver caught the ball at the Tigers one yardline.
After the halftime break, the Tigers varsity starters stayed in for the first drive defensively. They stopped the Wolfpack and then marched down the field to score a touchdown.
Heiman found Josh Gansebom for the only third 35-yard touchdown, where Gansebom ran the distance behind the Tiger line. Maertins caught his third two-point conversion pass, making the score 66-0.
Tigers junior varsity played in the fourth quarter. They scored two touchdowns, while allowing the Wolfpack their only score of the game.
Bryan Solorzano (Fr.) and Patrick Vinson (Fr.) each scored a touchdown. Vinson also ran in a two-point conversion.
Several younger players contributed to the junior varsity’s success. Of course Vinson and Solorzano took a majority of carries. However, Landon Stelling (Jr.), Logan Stelling (Jr.), Blake Bahr (So.), Parker Johnson (So.), and Brenden Gillespie (So.) all drove their team forward.
Defensively, Logan Stelling, Bahr, and Gillespie all played on the line. Vinson, Johnson, and Gutz played at inside linebacker. Hunter Beacom, Mason Bykerk, and Bryan Solorzano each played in the secondary.
The Tigers now move on host Riverside. The game will be Parents/Senior night. It will also be the return of the 1972 football team!
Today they are salesmen, real estate agents, farmers, ministers, teachers, entrepreneurs of all kinds, and much more.
They are fathers, grandfathers, community members, American citizens, and much more.
These men, in their 60s now, got their start and developed their roots at Osmond High School, clad in orange and black with sideburns and mid-neck long hair.
While the forty members of the 1972 Osmond Tigers football team have been out of school for over forty years and have long since gone their separate ways, they share a bond—a foundation that guides them every day.
Of course, the members of the ’72 Tigers are known for their prowess on the football field and in other athletic endeavors, but what they learned in competing together has aided them in becoming successes in life.
Yes, being on a team with a 9-1 record and that won a Lewis and Clark Conference Championship was an outstanding experience for all involved, but the opportunity for the players to play football was more about opportunity to learn about life.
Their example is timeless. It shows the value of competition, the value of life in rural America.
On the field the Tigers were a Class C 11-man team. They were forced to battle together and shine in several close games.
They finished the season ranked third in both the Norfolk Daily News (behind Pierce and Wayne) and the Sioux City Journal, while finishing eighth in the Omaha World Herald and tenth in the Lincoln Journal Star.
They outscored their opponents 254-110, out-gaining them 2,927 to 1672, while holding their opponents under eight points in five of their nine regular season games.
But they weren’t an overnight success.
Their story is actually one where struggle, hard work, and perseverance all came together to create what was one of the best football teams and athletic groups in Osmond High School history.
It begins in the 1960’s version of Osmond where family farms were numerous, industry was beginning to develop and thrive, and the baby boomers were in full force.
This is an Osmond that Dan Morfeld, a senior on the 1972 team remembers candidly.
“Our situation when we were in high school was different from the way it is today,” Morfeld said. “The size of Osmond hasn’t changed much, but there were just more kids around. There were bigger families and bigger class sizes in school.”
Osmond had three schools, the Osmond Community School, St. Mary’s Catholic School, and Immanuel Lutheran Elementary School—both of the religious schools were elementary schools.
Immanuel Lutheran has been closed for several years.
Athletics were becoming more popular as well. Osmond High School added junior high school football the fall of 1968, something that attracted Brett Moritz.
“I had previously been attending St. Mary’s Catholic School, but when the public school started offering junior high football I was an eighth grader, so I started going to the public school.”
As the class of 1973 entered high school, ten of the boys went out for football. These included Pat Clayton, Doug Gansebom, Jim Gibbs, Larry Hansen, Mike Liewer, Jeff Moore, Morfeld, Moritz, Brad Witte, and Bill Zechmann.
Of course Jim Gray, the team’s loud and commanding coach, helped lead his young football team. Gray was assisted by Al Porter and Terry Ourada.
Their campaign began with a 1-8 season in 1969. Most of the players in the class of 1973 group were too young to be on the varsity field as freshmen. So they watched as the team was outshined by bigger, more football-tradition-oriented teams like Class B Creighton and Randolph.
As the school year came and went and the football season emerged again in 1970, the class of ’73 was joined by the class of ’74, which was also an athletically oriented group.
This included Brian Borgmann, Mike Clausen, Chris Engler, Bruce Fuelberth, Allan Gansebom, Lou Hoeppner, Wayne Kudera, Robin Reed, Jim Schmit, and Jon Timmer.
The sophomores played a majority of the reps; however, and their play as well as their record improved (4-5 record).
It wasn’t until 1971 that the Tigers began to see the fruits of their efforts and the emergence of possibility. The Tigers finished the year 5-4 and seemed to gel.
The excitement started to build for Morfeld and his teammates.
“We really started to pick it up in the second half of the season, and we could see that we had potential to be a good team,” Morfeld said.
In ’71 the group began to experience success in all of their athletic ventures (basketball, wrestling, and track and field). There was no one more ready for a breakout season in football than senior Jeff “Moose” Moore.
“We got beat up our sophomore and junior years, and finally our senior year we said, ‘enough of that!’”
By 1972 the team was ripe for a great season.
After back-to-back wins to begin the season (21-14 over Hartington and 21-0 over Wausa), the Tigers lost their only game of the season to Class B Randolph (19-14).
Ironically, this was the turning point in their season: the moment when players and coaches knew they were a part of something special.
Brett Moritz recounted the ride home from the game:
“I remember coming home on the bus,” Moritz said. “We were looking at each other and knew we should have won that game, and that was important because Randolph was one of the best teams on our schedule.”
The Tigers went on to edge Verdigre 28-27, propelling them to a seven-game winning streak and an eventual conference championship.
Moore, a defensive lineman, remembers the game for a bout that he had with Verdigre’s center.
“I remember my coach coming over during pregame to talk to me about Verdigre’s center,” Moore said. “He pointed to him an said that he was going to be tough.”
Moore looked at the center, Greg Bauer, and pondered his coach’s warning but ultimately failed to take it heart considering that the center was an amputee.
Bauer gave Moore a difficult time, plus some. The center had a way of using the remaining part of his arm to pin his counterpart, making it a long night for Moore.
Ironically, the game included another Verdigre standout, junior Terry Viterna, the current head coach of Osmond High School girls basketball team.
OHS routed Coleridge 36-6 before taking on Creighton, a Class B team, which turned out to be one of the Tigers’ toughest tests of the season.
The Tigers outlasted the Bulldogs (who defeated Randolph in the same season) 15-14.
Moritz, a 6’5” 230 lb. lineman who would go on to play for Army, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and then ultimately be drafted by the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, credits this game for when college coaches started seriously recruiting him.
“There were a few coaches from area colleges who came to watch one of Creighton’s linemen that night,” Moritz said, “but I had a solid game and started hearing from them from that point forward.”
The game was pivotal for the team’s conference championship hopes, but would not be their last test during the season.
After defeating Wynot 41-6, the Tigers marched into Winside and drove down the field to score a touchdown on the first possession of the game.
The Tigers felt they would have an easy win, but the Wildcats had other ideas. In fact, they battled the Tigers so hard that Moritz and his teammates had to rise to the challenge defensively.
“We scored the first touchdown of the game on our first possession, and we were looking at each thinking that we were going to win the game easily,” Moritz said. “We spent what felt like the rest of the game on defense struggling to survive.”
As Morfeld remembers, Coach Gray was more than upset with the way the game was going.
“Coach Gray was so mad at us, I think he wanted to kill every one of us,” Morfeld said.
But survive they did, and this led to an anti-climactic regular season win (36-8) over Elkhorn Valley.
They moved on to the post season and a chance to play Walthill in the Lewis and Clark Conference Championship.
The Walthill team had an outstanding regular season and featured a strong quarterback in John Bellar. Dan Morfeld and Jim Gibbs would eventually team up with Bellar at Wayne State College.
The lead-up to the game was full of hype favoring Walthill.
“Walthill was getting so much credit for how much of a good team they were,” Moritz said. “while it seemed like no one was giving us much credit, not even Coach Gray.”
However, when the game started, the Tigers came out aggressively and defeated Walthill 35-14.
Overall, many of the Tigers had great individual statistics as a result of their on-field successes.
Jim Gibbs ran for 1,172 yards and eighteen touchdowns on 178 carries, while Mike Liewer had three touchdowns and 463 yards on ninety-three carries.
Pat Clayton scored eight touchdowns on thirty-two carries.
Robin Reed's golden arm threw for most of the team's 918 yards.
Defensively, the Tigers had an extremely balanced team. They had eight players with over eighty tackles, four of which had over 100 tackles.
Dan Morfeld had 125 tackles while Brett Moritz had 120 tackles. Mike Clausen had 111 tackles and Jeff Moore had 100.
Jim Gibbs had ninety-seven tackles and Mike Liewer had ninety-three tackles. Doug Gansebom finished with eighty-three tackles, while Bill Zechmann had eighty-two tackles.
The Tigers had earned six all-conference players. These were Brett Moritz, Jim Gibbs, Dan Morfeld, Mike Clausen, Jeff Moore, and Marty Kumm.
Moritz was an Honorable Mention All-State player. He also was All-State Top 20. Jim Gibbs was also an All-State Top 20 player. He was voted the school’s Most Valuable Senior Athlete.
The year was capped in style as then University of Lincoln coach Bob Devaney came to the school and was the banquet speaker.
While the season was a magical one for the Tigers and the community, it did come to an end and with it the football/athletic careers of most of the team members.
However a few of the ’72 players went on to play college football. Of course, this included Moritz’s tenure at West Point, as a Husker, and as an NFL player.
Moritz recounted his story about the time he spent at Army, crediting being a subject in an experiment ran by the inventor of the Nautilus exercise machine for changing the direction of his athletic career.
“Our coach was instrumental in remodeling the weight room, and the inventor of the Nautilus exercise machine agreed to donate equipment as long as he could conduct an experiment using us players as his subjects.”
“I thought I knew what hard work was until I had to take part in those workouts,” Moritz said.
As Moritz became an accomplished lineman at Army, he set his sights on transferring to the University of Nebraska. He did eventually do this for his senior year and found his way into the rotation for offensive guard.
Among Brett’s favorite memories as a Husker was his team’s 21-17 victory over the North Carolina Tarheels in the 1977 Liberty Bowl.
The game included future NFL standout linebacker Lawrence Taylor, “Famous” Amos Lawrence (RB), and future NFL linebacker Buddy Curry.
Moritz was then drafted by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He was part of the Buccaneers, New York Giants, and Oakland Raiders.
While he may not have been as big as Moritz, Jim Gibbs was extraordinarily talent. He played with Morfeld at WSC.
Mike Liewer also played college football at Fairbury Junior College. Robin Reed, now a teacher at Plainview High School, played football at Yankton College.
It’s fun to look back at who went where to extend their athletic careers, but these opportunities lasted only a brief while and lead to careers for these men in other areas.
Other members of the team included twelve sophomores and eight freshmen.
The sophomores were Mike Bowling, Steve Christensen, Scott Clausen, Dallas Gansebom, Danny Johnson, Doug Johnson, Marty Kumm, Tim Moore, Blake Moritz, Randy Rasmussen, Jerry Schmit, and Phil Stanoscheck.
The freshman class was made up of Randy Boice, Tim Bowling, Dave Fuelberth, Kevin Koehler, Allan Maxey, Marvin Neubauer, Craig Padgett, and Mike Pittack.
The cheerleaders in 1972 were Sandy Padgett Burbach, Vickie Bowling Clausen, Deb Kumm Clausen, Cherrie Geneski, and Deb Lorenz Schmit.
Of the forty Tigers and their coaches six have passed away and are remembered. These include Coach Gray, Doug Gansebom, Larry Hansen, Mike Liewer, Mike Clausen, Danny Johnson, and Marvin Neubauer.
One cheerleader also passed away. This was Deb Kumm Clausen; she was married to Mike Clausen.
Although the surviving Tigers don’t likely wear much orange and black these days (and have long since trimmed or lost their sideburns and neck-length hair), they are spread throughout the country now, living their lives with their families and in their chosen professions.
Regardless of where they live and what they do, they all can trace their roots back to being from Osmond and to learning the lessons that guide them in their daily lives to being Tigers at Osmond High School.
The Osmond Tigers volleyball team hosted the Wausa Vikings on Tuesday, October 9. The Tigers fell in the three sets 13-25, 21-25, 22-25.
Throughout the match the Tigers had solid attacking performances from Grace Gansebom (Fr., 8 kills) and Makenzie Johnson (Sr., 6 kills). Overall the team had twenty-four kills.
The Tigers picked up several points from the service line; they had eight ace serves—two by Haven Schultze (Sr.) and two by Kennedy Johnson (Jr.).
Schultze and Gansebom both set their hitters. Schultze had thirteen assists while Gansebom added 12.
Elisa Herrera (So.), the team’s libero, had a team-high seven digs. Kennedy Johnson added six digs.
The Tigers play in the Pierce County Tournament at home on Thursday, October 11. They play Pierce in the opening round.
Game 6 StatsTigers battle shorthanded Wildcats on busy OHS night
The Osmond Tigers football team hosted the Winside Wildcats on a rainy Thursday, October 4. The Tigers outdid a Wildcats team with just eleven players on its team.
The Wildcats gave the Tigers their best shot, and the Tigers benefited from the game. The Wildcats exposed some of the Tigers’ deficiencies in all phases, which forced the Tigers to adjust.
They also benefited from the fact that everyone on the team got some legitimate playing time and some valuable experience.
“We weren’t sure we were going to get to play this game due to Winside’s numbers,” Tigers coach Scott Morrison said. “Not only did we get the game in, but our younger guys got to play for a majority of the second half. This is huge considering we had to cancel our junior varsity season due to low numbers.”
The Tigers scored the game’s opening touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Anthony Heiman to Justus Maertins immediately after a Wildcats turnover.
Then after getting the ball back, the Tigers scored again, this time on a 42-yard run by Anthony Heiman. This was part of a 13-play drive, which was capped off by a two-point conversion. This made the score 14-0.
Josh Gansebom (Jr.) had a great 57-yard touchdown run. The offensive line rendered him untouched as he went through the line of scrimmage.
“Josh stepped up and had a great game tonight,” Morrison said. “Likewise, we typically go as our offensive line goes. Once they hit their grove tonight, they were difficult to stop.”
The offensive line includes Nick Reikofski (Sr.), Alexis Solorzano (Jr.), Landon Stelling (Jr.), Logan Stelling (Jr.), Justus Maertins (Jr.), and Zach Huwaldt (So.).
In the second quarter, the Tigers struck first with an 11-yard run by Heiman. Zach Huwaldt caught a pass from Heiman to score on the two-point conversion.
This built the Tiger lead to 22-0, but it didn’t last long. The Wildcats scored on a 50-yard kick return for a touchdown. The Wildcats converted the two extra points and made the score 22-8.
The Tigers went on a 14-play drive that was capped by an 8-yard run by Josh Gansebom. Heiman scrambled in the two-point conversion and the Tigers were up 30-8.
They added one more touchdown before half, going into the half up 38-8.
The Tigers came out in the second half and scored twice in as many drives. Gansebom scored both touchdowns.
This put the Tigers up 54-8. Gansebom and Maertins both scored on two-point conversions.
The Wildcats scored the game’s final touchdown, making the final 54-14.
For the Tigers the game was extremely valuable considering the opportunity it granted for several younger players to get in the game.
Mason Bykerk (Jr.) jumped in at outside linebacker and safety. He also played tight end offensively. At one point, Mason made a touchdown-saving play on a wide receiver after the receiver broke free in the secondary. He also came up hard on a couple run plays, causing a fumble on one occasion.
Logan Stelling did a nice job offensively as a guard and defensively as a nose guard. Stelling led the charge on the line for the younger group, and he made a really nice tackle in A gap on a fullback dive play.
Landon Stelling got some reps at center.
Connor Gutz (So.), Parker Johnson (So.), and Patrick Vinson (Fr.) all worked at inside linebacker. All three continue to work on taking defeating blocks and taking good angle to the ball carrier.
Vinson also played quarterback, while Johnson saw time at offensive end.
Blake Bahr (So.) and Brenden Gillespie (So.) worked as defensive ends. This was Brenden Gillespie’s first ever high school football action.
Bahr did play at offensive tackle.
Freshmen Bryan Solorzano and Hunter Beacom came in at outside linebacker. Solorzano made some beautiful, physical form tackles. Beacom came up and made a big play on Winside’s quarterback who was running around the right end.
Solorzano carried the ball several times offensively.
Headed into next week, the Tigers travel to Elgin to play the Elgin Public/Pope John Wolfpack on Friday, October 12.
The Osmond tigers Marching Band earned the Harvest of Harmony Parade crown. Congratulations!!!
On Friday September 28th the elementary student council held a kindness assembly in the lunchroom. The assembly was to promote kindness in Osmond community School.
There was a readers theater, a play that has narrators in it, consists of Cody Gansebom, Keely Gubbels, Meagan Wagner, Kaydance Martins, Adalyn Koehler, Korrine Moes, Alexa Aschoff, and Jaxson Wingert.
Reader's theater was called The Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan is about a boy who falls off his bike and hurts himself. While sitting on the floor two older kids just walk passed, not stopping to see if he’s okay. The third person, who is a grade younger than him, stopped and helped him.
After the play they colored kindness pictures to hang around the school and discuss how to be kind to people all ages.
Tigers, Pirates battle on the court
The Osmond Tigers and the Plainview Pirates added another intense chapter to the history playing against each other. After five hard fought sets, the Pirates prevailed by two points: 22-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-28, 15-13.
Osmond took the upper hand first as they went up 2-0 after the first two sets. Then the Pirates edged the Tigers in the next three sets.
The Tigers had several solid performances from essentially everyone on their team. This started defensively with fifty-four digs.
Kennedy Johnson (Jr.) had seventeen digs, while teammates Haven Schultze (Sr., 12 digs) and Grace Gansebom (Fr., 11 digs) both played well defensively too.
Libero Elisa Herrera (So.) had seven kills.
On the attack, Makenzie Johnson (Sr.) stood out with thirteen kills and six solo blocks. Kiera Moes (Fr.) added six kills, while Madeline Huwaldt (Jr.) had four kills.
Schultze led the team with five ace serves. Kennedy Johnson also had two.
Schultze had twenty-one set assists while Gansebom added ten.
The Tigers host Wausa for Parents’ Night on Tuesday, October 9.
Junior Labor Auction
BY AVERIE SCHMIT
The Junior Labor Auction was on Friday, September 21 at Osmond Community School.
The twenty juniors that were sold to local community members after the football game to raise money for prom and graduation. They earned a grand total of $4080.
The top three sellers were Ashley Wingert, Madeline Huwaldt and Alexis Solorzano. Wingert was sold at the highest price at $400. Huwaldt was sold for $350 to Brad Huwaldt, and Solorzano was sold for 260 to Ross Stelling.
Logan Stelling was sold for $250 to Jay Reikofski. Zach Alderson was sold for $245 to Brad Huwaldt.
Grace Broekemeier and Nichols Beacom were sold for $200 to Rob Broekemeier
and Dan Timmerman. Diandra Polt was sold for $190 to Shawn Gansebom.
Mason Bykerk and Mary Kahny were sold for $170 to Sec Bank and A+R Constitution. Kennedy Johnson was sold for $160 to La Donna S.
Four juniors were sold for $150, those juniors were Aaron Chishiba to Kurt Polt,
Josh Gansebom to Jennifer Gansebom, Justus Maertins to Curtis Maertins, and Makenzie Vargas to B+C Industrial.
Gabriel Knepp was sold for $100 to Tiger Town. And last but not least Hannah Ferry was sold for $90 to Dwight Kanhy.