Congratulations to our Elkhorn Hills UMC youth athletes and coaches for their participation in the Nebraska State tournaments.
Elkhorn Antler Softball
The Elkhorn Softball team won the 2018 Class B State Championship. This is the first title since 2014. This year marked the Antlers’ 14th trip to State since 1997, including a run of nine straight years from 1999 to 2007 that included four state titles and two runner-up finishes.
2018 was a magical year for the Antlers as they came into the tournament as the number 1 seed with a mission to bring home the title once again.
In the first game, Elkhorn took on No.8 seed North Platte. The Antlers found all the offense they would need in the bottom of the second, scoring 5 runs with a 3-run home run from Jadyn Hunt. Sydney Nuismer then shut North Platte down with 16 strikeouts.
In the second round game, the Antlers faced off with the No.5 seed, Hastings. The Tigers made into the game after defeating the Class B defending State Champions Crete 6-2 in the first round.
With two wins under their belts, Elkhorn finally faced off with their nemesis, Omaha Skutt. The Skyhawks came into the State Tournament as the No.2 seed, but had a claim to be No.1 after defeating the Antlers three of the four times the teams had met this season, including the District Title game a week before.
This game, like the rest, was a battle from the first pitch. Omaha Skutt struck first with a single run in the top of the third. Solid defense and great pitching by Sydney Nuismer managed to shut the Skyhawks down the rest of the game. This allowed Elkhorn to rally and tie the game up in the bottom of the fifth off an Ari Crafton RBI. Nuismer then found the game winner with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth as the Antlers won 2-1.
The win gave Elkhorn a spot in the State Final, where they waited for the winner between No.3 seed Beatrice and the Skyhawks. Beatrice surprised the Skyhawks, scoring 9 runs to upset Skutt and reach the final. The Orangemen needed to beat Elkhorn twice while the Antlers only needed to win once to win the State Championship.
The showdown came on Saturday, October 13. Beatrice was confident coming as they won the regular season meeting 2-0 back on September 8th. The Antlers though got off to a strong start, scoring a single run in the bottom of the first. Elkhorn’s defense was once again a force to be reckoned with as Sydney Nuismer threw a 4 hitter, giving Beatrice few chances to score. Behind Nuismer and the defense, this was enough as Elkhorn won the game 3-0 to capture the 2018 Class B State Championship.
“Our goal this year was to play for a Championship,” Coach Allen Schutte said.
“I am so proud of our effort and focus all week in Hastings. There were so many delays, and it didn’t seem to bother the girls…Elkhorn ends the year with a 30-6 record as they captured their sixth State Title Championship on the last day of playing high school softball.’
The team includes: (front row, l-r) Payton Cooley, Sydney Nuismer, Jadyn Hunt, Rachel Bruner, Cassie Coltvet and Sarah Riddell; (second row) Coach Kelsey Maxell, Fidelis Neneman, Ari Crafton, Bailey Miller, Megan Garcia, Sydney Palmer and Jaycee Schutte; (third row) Coach Randy Mendlik, Lexi Knott, Paige Roessner, Ella Dalton, Mattea Martin, Camryn Cramer and Coach Kristin Lange; and (back row) Head Coach Al Schutte and Coach Tim Peterson.
Photo: Al Schutte
Read the entire article from the Douglas County Post Gazette by clicking on the link.
Skutt Skyhawks Softball
As noted in the write up above, the Omaha Skutt Skyhawks came into the State Tournament as the No.2 seed. They played against the Elkhorn Antlers in a tough battle but lost 1-2. Ellie Beeson plays catcher for the Skutt Softball team.
While the win gave Elkhorn a spot in the State Final, Skutt played No.3 seed Beatrice in the consolation round. Beatrice surprised the Skyhawks, scoring 9 runs to upset Skutt and reach the final. Omaha Skutt Skyhawks ended their season ranked third in Class B Softball.
Elkhorn Antler Boys Tennis
The Elkhorn Boys Tennis team finished third at the State Tournament with a score of 39.25 behind Class B Champion Lincoln Pius X (48.5) and Runner-up Elkhorn South (score of 44). Elkhorn Mount Michael finished fifth with a score of 27.25.
Elkhorn head coach Jon Holtz said of his team and season,
“As a team, our goal was finish in the top three and for all of our guys to get medals at the State Tournament. Well, we were able to accomplish both of those goals.
This team has worked very hard to be in a position to compete at the top at the State Tournament. Their regular season work was very impressive. We have five guys coming back next year so the future is bright, but there are things we do need to work on to make sure we get the opportunity to compete at the highest level again.”
Elkhorn was led by two State Runner-up finishes. Freshman Zach Kuo finished as the Class B State Runner-up at #1 singles, falling in the final 7-5, 6-4 to Mason Warner of Lincoln Pius X. He came into the tournament with a 23-3 record with 2 losses to the Class B top seed and one to the Class A State Champion.
The Antlers’ second State Runner-up came at #2 singles as Wyatt Behlen reached the final after an upset of #2 seeded Nolan Sughroue of Adams Central. In the final, he fell 0-6, 1-6 to Lincoln Pius X’s Will Ulrich in the championship match.
Elkhorn South was led by Seth Fink and Michael Day, who defeated York’s Hayden Royal and Hunter Royal 6-1, 6-3 to capture the State Championship at #2 doubles. At #1 doubles, Elkhorn South’s Jon Fink and Ben Fink finished as the State Runner-up, falling 6-1, 4-6, 4-6 to York’s Bradyn Heiss and Luca Struffi. At #1 singles, Elkhorn South’s Smaran Marupudi finished 4th, falling 0-6, 3-6 to Mount Michael in the third place match. At #2 singles, Miles Meier finished 4th, falling in the third place match 0-6, 2-6 to Adams Central.
Since 2011, only three boys tennis teams have won the Class B State Title. The Storm of Elkhorn South has taken four titles, including 2017, 2014, 2012 and 2011; Lincoln Pius X won titles in 2016 and 2013, and the Knights of Mount Michael broke through to win the title in 2015.
Click here to see the entire Douglas County Post Gazette article.