LINCOLN – The All-Star portion of the annual Nebraska Coaches Association clinic will be a busy one for Saunders County athletes and coaches.
Eight area players and three coaches will take part in the All-Star basketball, volleyball and softball contests.
Wahoo graduates Blake Lacey and Winston Cook will play for Blue team in the 51st annual boys all-star basketball game at Lincoln North Star High School at 8 p.m. on Monday.
Opposing the Wahoo duo will be Mead Coach P.J. Quinn, who will be one of the two coaches for the Red squad.
Cook earned all-state status after a phenomenal senior campaign for Wahoo. He averaged more than 20 points a game and nearly eight rebounds a game for the Warriors who lost to Auburn in the Class C-1 semifinals.
Lacey’s senior season came to premature end when he suffered a broken leg in the opening round of the state tournament against the Boys Town Cowboys.
He averaged 16.4 points a game during his final high school season and led Class C-1 with 88 made 3-pointers.
Quinn has gained recognition as one of the top high school coaches in the state during his two-decade tenure at Mead High School.
Quinn led the Raiders to a state championship win in 2009 (the school’s first in 74 years) and took his team to back-to-back Class D-2 state championship games in 2016 and 2017 only to suffer heartbreaking losses to Humphrey St. Francis and Mullen.
Longtime Yutan Coach Rod Henkel will also get a chance to coach in the girl's game.
Henkel will be one of the two coaches for the Red team in the annual game.
Henkel led the Chieftains to the state tournament in 2015 and 2016 and the Chieftains narrowly missed earning a trip last season after finishing with a record of 20-5.
The 36th annual all-star volleyball contest will be played on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Lincoln North Star High School.
Three of the top players from Class C-1 will be playing in the contest and they all played in Wahoo.
Wahoo graduates Kyla Swanson, Elly Larson and Bishop Neumann standout Kelsie Cada will all play in the game.
Cada and Swanson will play for the Red team while Swanson will play for the Blue team.
Cada solidified herself as one of the top players in Bishop Neumann history with another record-breaking campaign on the hardwood.
She piled up 437 kills during a phenomenal senior year while leading the Cavaliers into the state semifinals.
She finished her career at Neumann with 1,468 kills. She was equally effective on the defensive end of the floor where she finished with 1,267 digs in four seasons.
Questions surrounded Larson after the talented senior suffered an ACL injury in the fifth game of the basketball season in 2017.
Larson worked hard to rehab her knee, got herself in shape and played in all 37 of the Warrior matches.
And she got better and better as the season got into late January.
She was at her best in the state tournament, accounting for 47 kills, (20 against Lutheran) and 59 digs.
She finished with 329 kills, 332 digs, 39 ace blocks and 36 aces serves in 2018.
She will graduate in May with the school record in career kills, amassing 1,261 in her four years at Wahoo High School.
The 6-4 Swanson transferred in her junior year and helped transform the Warrior volleyball program from a great team to a transcendent one.
In her two years, Swanson and the Warriors combined to win 69 of their 73 matches and two Class C-1 state championships.
Swanson, who will play for the University of Illinois this winter, had a monster senior season, finishing with 352 kills while swinging at a .462 clip.
She also finished with a team-best 56 ace blocks and also added 48 ace serves and 129 digs.
The 15th annual NCA all-star softball game will be played at Lincoln’s Bowlin Field on July 24 at 5 p.m.
Bishop Neumann graduates Taylor Stuhr and Hadley Chvatal will get one more chance to play for their high school coach Dave Brabec on the Blue team. Brabec will also coach Wahoo graduate Macy Homes.
Stuhr capped a phenomenal Cavalier career by leading Neumann back to the state tournament for the third time in her four year career.
Stuhr hit .417 for the Cavaliers while finishing with 43 hits, 42 RBI and 25 runs scored while slugging .835. She finished with 22 extra base hits and finished second on the team with 11 home runs.
She was even better behind the plate, where she finished with a .995 fielding percentage and threw out 14-of-18 opposing base stealers. She also picked off three runners.
Chvatal was a workhorse on the mound for the runner-up Cavaliers in 2018.
She worked 210 innings and won 26 of the team’s 27 games in 2018. She struck out 156 and walked just 31 hitters the entire season.
She was also productive at the plate, hitting over .320 and finishing with 29 RBI.
Homes will also play in the annual all-star game and will team with Stuhr and Chvatal on the Blue team.
The Warriors record-setting catcher was named to her first ever All-Area team after a great senior season for the Warriors back in November.
Homes broke the school record for home runs in a season with 10 while hitting .483.
She slugged .921 and led the team with 32 RBI.
She finished with a .961 fielding percentage behind the plate.
Brabec has taken the Cavalier softball team to the next level.
He led the Cavaliers to the school's first ever state championship in 2017 and has also navigated the team to runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2018.