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Scholarship Nominees

The following students are nominees for the 2018 Sportscasters Club Scholarship for their respective school. The nominees were chosen by the faculty and staff at each of their schools. The winners are chosen by the Sportscasters Club members. The banquet to honor these student athletes takes place on Wednesday, May 30th.


Trey Hoerner: Football (4), Wrestling (4), Baseball (4)

Hoerner was a force on the wrestling mat. As a sophomore, Hoerner qualified for the Class 4A state wrestling meet at 152 pounds. After switching to the 182-pound class, he had much more success. In 2017, Hoerner won the state championship, helping the Cowboys win the team title. Although Abilene didn’t go back-to-back in 2018, Hoerner was still a champion, closing out his career with consecutive titles. Hoerner was a four-time regional finalist, three-time champ and two-time All-NCKL. Off the mat, Hoerner started two years on the gridiron and three campaigns for baseball. In 2017, he earned All-NCKL honors at catcher. In the community, Hoerner worked the Chisholm Trail Fair. Hoerner plans to attend Fort Hays State University and major in business management. Trey is the son of Chad and Chelsea Hoerner.

Jensen Roth: Volleyball (4), Basketball (4), Softball (4)

Roth brought success to the three sports throughout her career. As a junior, her play helped the Cowgirls earn the top overall seed at the Class 4A-I state tournament. Later in the athletic year, the Abilene girls basketball team placed third at the state tournament after qualifying during Roth’s sophomore campaign. In her final year on the diamond, Roth accumulated the highest batting average for the team. Roth was an all-league selection in volleyball and softball. In addition to her athletic career, Roth was a Spirit Cowgirl. In the classroom, Roth earned a 4.0 GPA, was a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll, National Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society, and made the All-State basketball academic team. Outside of school, Roth helped with the church youth group, nursery, and attended a mission trip to an orphanage in Guatemala. Roth continues her athletic career by playing volleyball at Bethel College and major in history education. Jensen is the daughter of Brian and Deb Roth.

Tucker Robinson: Football (4), Basketball (4)

Robinson excelled on both the football field and basketball court. He received all-state honorable mention recognition from numerous media publications in both sports. Sports in Kansas listed Robinson as a member of the Top 100 Seniors group in 2018. In basketball, Robinson was a two-time All-NCKL member. For football, he earned honorable mention all-league in addition to a first-team honor as a senior. In the classroom, Robinson was on the honor roll every semester with a 3.69 GPA. Robinson was also an active member of the German Honor Society. For volunteer work, Robinson was active with youth events at church, and helped coach elementary basketball players. Robinson plans to attend the University of Kansas and major in physical therapy. Tucker is the son of Wendy and Daniel Robinson.


Avery Bradley: Football (4), Basketball (3), Baseball (4), Wrestling (1)

Bradley played a big role in Ell-Saline’s rise in football for 2018. The Cardinals finished 8-2, falling in double overtime to Plainville in the Class 2-1A Sectional round of the state playoffs. Bradley commanded the trenches and his play put him on the 2-1A All-State first team. In the Heart of America League, Bradley was an all-league selection on both sides of the ball. He was named as the Cardinal Player of the Year. Elsewhere in school, Bradley was a member of National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, Science Olympiad, band, Student Council and the A-Honor Roll. Bradley qualified for state all four years in a band ensemble, and advanced to state for large group in band. He also qualified in Science Olympiad and BPA. On top of that, he served as the treasurer for NHS and vice president of the Student Council. Bradley has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas, Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart, Bowl for Kids Sake and St. Elizabeth. Bradley is going to attend Kansas State University to major in mechanical engineering. Avery is the son of Jamie and Darcy Bradley.

Lexington Kochanowski: Volleyball (4), Basketball (4), Softball (4), Cheer (4), Dance (4)

Kochanowski was extremely active while in high school. In volleyball and softball, Kochanowski was an All-HOA honorable mention pick. For basketball, Kochanowski earned all-county honorable mention, and was a member for the all-tournament team at the Hilltop Hoops Classic. She lettered in volleyball and basketball twice while gathering a letter in softball all four years. In school, Kochanowski served on the National Honor Society, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, band and Peer Assistance and Leadership. Kochanowski was also an A-Honor Roll member. For volunteer work, she helped at the CAPS Auction and Booster Club Youth Track Meet. Kochanowski also was a part-time gymnastics coach for X-Treme Gymnastics. She plans on going to Fort Hays State University to get a degree in social work. Lexington is the daughter of Sean and Lori Kochanowski.

Spencer Came: Football (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (3), Powerlifting (2)

Came played an integral role for the Ell-Saline football program as well. Came played tight end for the Class 2-1A Regional football champions, earning a spot on the All-HOA first team and all-county honorable mention list. His leadership was vital as he served as the team captain for both football and basketball. For school activities, Came was the vice president of Future Farmers of America and National Honor Society. He was also a part of Business Professionals of America and PALs. For the FFA, Came was awarded first place for the District FFA Dairy Foods Competition. He also earned the FFA Proficiency Award for Diversified Crop Production. Came was a BPA national qualifier and was on the A-Honor Roll. In volunteer work, Came helped with the Tri-Rivers Fair, CAPS Auction, Brookville Rodeo, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Elementary Ag Education Day and Farm Bureau Days. Spencer is set to attend Hutchinson Community College, searching for a major in farm and ranch management. Came is the son of Bill and Laurie Came.


Trenton Brubaker: Football (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (4), Baseball (3), Track & Field (1)

Brubaker’s leadership was counted on in multiple sports. He was named as team captain for football in 2016 and 2017. In hoops, Brubaker was in a similar position for 2018, becoming the team captain.  On the gridiron, Brubaker was a second team All-NCAA selection at defensive back. Brubaker lettered all four years in basketball and football, three times on the diamond and once for track. In the classroom, he was a member of National Honor Society, Student Council and Drama Club. Brubaker was a recipient of the Minneapolis High School Citizenship and Leadership Awards. He also earned a spot on the MHS Honor Roll and the All-NCAA Academic team. Brubaker volunteered in events dealing with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 4-H, Meals on Wheels and the Salvation Army. He also taught basketball for youth members. Brubaker plans to attend Kansas State University to major in social students and education. Trenton is the son of Ron and Deb Brubaker.

Courtney Walker: Volleyball (4), Basketball (4), Softball (4)

Much like Brubaker, Walker was seen as a leader in multiple sports. Walker was the team captain for both volleyball and basketball in 2018. Walker lettered in softball all four years while gathering a letter in basketball and volleyball three times. She was also an all-academic member in volleyball all four years. Around Minneapolis High School, she was a part of Future Farmers of America, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Student Council. Walker was a consistent member of the High Honor Roll and earned the Citizenship Award. She also was a class officer. Walker was active in Delphos Youth Group and 4-H. Walker is set to attend Cloud County Community College to get a major in agribusiness. Courtney is the daughter of Harold and Vicki Walker.

Dalton Wilson: Football (4), Basketball (3), Baseball (4)

Wilson excelled in both the classroom and the field. Back in 2014, Wilson helped Minneapolis claim the NCAA championship. That sparked a Lions’ run that advanced to the Sectional title match in the Class 3A state playoffs. Minneapolis didn’t have that happen in 2018, but Wilson finished as an All-NCAA second team member. He also was named as the Vype Magazine Athlete of the Month. Elsewhere in school, Wilson was the treasurer for National Honor Society and co-president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was also in Musical Crew. Wilson was a recipient of the Citizenship Award, and was named as Most Outstanding Spanish Student. He was on the High Honor Roll all four years while getting a spot on the All-NCAA Academic Team. Wilson helped with Meals on Wheels, Salina DVAC, Community Service Day and Kings Kids. He also coached a little league team and assisted the Minneapolis Grade School Carnival. Wilson plans to go to Kansas State University to major in mechanical/nuclear engineering. Dalton is the son of Tabitha and Daniel Wilson.

Sacred Heart

Grant Herrenbruck: Golf (4), Basketball (4)

Few have accomplished what Herrenbruck did in his high school career. In golf, Herrenbruck was a winner, serving as a member of the three-time Class 2A state champions. Two of those three tournaments saw Herrenbruck standing as individual champion. As a freshman, Herrenbruck finished second with a 73. He won by two strokes as a sophomore with a 74 and ended up with a 73 to win by a pair in his junior campaign. On the basketball court, Herrenbruck played a role in Sacred Heart’s completed quest for a Class 2A state championship. As a senior, Herrenbruck was injured, but his effort gave him all-county and all-league honorable mention. In school, he was a High Honor Roll member and served on the National Honor Society. He also helped with the Catholic Youth Organization, Meals of Wheels and was a Junior Civitan member. Herrenbruck moves on to the University of Kansas to play golf, shooting for a degree in marketing. Grant in the son of Todd and Tara Herrenbruck.

Kelsey Doll: Volleyball (4), Basketball (3), Track & Field (4), Powerlifting (1)

Doll left her mark in more ways than one. On the volleyball court, Doll lettered all four years. After being an all-county pick her junior season, Doll aimed for the very top. She accomplished that feat, being on the all-county first team and Class 2A All-State first team. Doll also lettered twice in basketball and track. In the classroom, Doll was a School Community House Leader and Junior Civitan. She was apart of the National Honor Society, Friends of Rachel and SAFE. Outside of school, Doll was an active member of CYO, March For Life and Relay For Life. She attended the National Catholic Youth Conference and summer missions for Prayer and Action. Doll plans to attend McPherson College to play volleyball and major in health science. Kelsey is the daughter of Barry and Laurie Doll.

Jacob Faerber: Football (4), Track & Field (4), Basketball (1)

Faerber flashed his speed in every football and track contest throughout his high school career. Faerber received all-county and All-NCAA honors all four years on the gridiron. He holds the single-season rushing record at Sacred Heart, racking up 1,537 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore. Faerber didn’t stop there, qualifying for the state track and field meet every year. As a freshman, Faeber was on the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams. The 4×400-meter relay group claimed the state championship. The following year, the 4×100 group took third. During his junior campaign, the 4×100 folks finished fourth, but Faerber took first and second in the 400-and-200-meter dashes. Outside of sports, Faerber participated in Scholar’s Bowl, Science Olympiad, Math Counts, Fort Hays State Math Relays, National Honor Society and Student Council. He was also the SAFE president, St. Mother Teresa Community Leader and freshman class president. Faerber volunteered in numerous events, serving in Catholic Charities, Red Cross, Relay For Life, the Food Bank, the Ashby House, the Salina River Festival, and DVACK. Faerber is set to go to Fort Hays State University to run track and major in chemistry. Jacob is the son of Bill and Lori Faerber.

Salina Central

Ethan Kickhaefer: Basketball (4), Baseball (4)

“Kick” certainly had quite the finish to high school career. Kickhaefer played a pivotal role on the basketball squad. The Mustangs placed second at the Class 5A state tournament, winning their first state game since 2009 and advancing to the state title match for the first time since 2001. Kick was a part of that run as well as the three consecutive trips to state, a first in program history since 1974-76. Kickhaefer’s toughness and spirit gave him the 2018 Salina Invitational Tournament Most Inspirational Player award. On the diamond, Kick was an all-state honorable mention selection in 2017. Kickhaefer also was an All-AVCTL first team member. At the Hays Diamond Classic, Kick made the all-tournament team twice. Around school, Kickhaefer did four years of Spanish. He was on the honor roll all four years and served on the National Honor Society. In the community, Kick helped coach baseball and basketball. He also offered his services for the CAPS auction and the United Way. Kickhaefer heads to Kansas Wesleyan University to major in financing and play baseball. Ethan is the son of Darin and Teresa Kickhaefer.

Elisa Backes: Basketball (4), Volleyball (4), Track & Field (4)

Backes was a force to be reckoned with in every sport she participated in. In basketball, Backes climbed the ladder, starting out with third-team all-state honors in 2016 on the squad that took fourth at the Class 5A state tournament. Central placed fourth the following year with Backes grabbing second-team honors, but in her final season, she rose to the top, being named to the all-state first team. Backes was the 2018 Salina Invitational Tournament Most Inspirational Player, AVCTL Most Valuable Player, and scored 430 points during the campaign, the most ever in program history. Backes was also a three-time SIT all-tournament team member while being named to the all-county squad three times. For volleyball, Backes was an all-county selection and second-team All-AVCTL pick. On the track, Backes qualified for state five times in various events. She won a medal twice. As for other school activities, Backes played in the drum line, and participated in National Honor Society, Scholar’s Bowl and SC Link Leaders. Backes recorded a 4.0 GPA in her four years, won the Evelyn King Scholarship for NHS, became a Wendy’s High School Heisman Winner, and ended up on the All-KBCA Academic team. Backes was an active member of St. Mary Queen of the Universe, Medical Explorers, and volunteered at SRHC and the library. Next year, Backes goes to the University of Nebraska-Kearney to major in communication disorders and play basketball. Elisa is the daughter of Dave and Wendy Backes.

Gunnar Holmgren: Swimming (4)

Holmgren was a swimming specialist. Holmgren lettered all four years in swimming, working his way up to being named team captain his senior campaign. Holmgren went to the Class 5-1A state meet his final two years at Central. He was a part of the relay teams that participated. In the 200-yard medley relay, Central took 18th in preliminaries. The place was the same in the 200-yard freestyle, but Holmgren willed the squad to a 15th-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle. Holmgren used his athletic ability for Swim to a Wish for the Salina Aquatics Club. In the classroom, Holmgren was on the honor roll. Next year, Holmgren travels to Lindsborg, shooting for a physchology degree at Bethany College. Gunnar is the son of Richard and Lisa Holmgren.

Salina South

Jessica Coleman: Tennis (4), Soccer (4)

Coleman shined on the pitch and on the tennis court. As a freshman, Coleman started high school with a bang. She was named as the Most Valuable Freshman and Defender of the Year by the soccer team. In addition, Coleman received recognition by the state, being placed on the Class 5A All-State second team and earning All-AVCTL first team. For tennis, Coleman qualified for the Class 5A state meet and grabbed eighth place in doubles. She would be a state qualifier and All-AVCTL honorable mention selection as a sophomore, but following the conclusion of the soccer season, Coleman tore her ACL. Coleman completed the comeback, getting 10th in doubles at the state meet her senior campaign and was rewarded with the Comeback Player of the Month by Vype Magazine. Besides sports, Coleman flashed her talent in the arts through orchestra. Since the fifth grade, she has been a violist for the Salina Youth Symphony. She also was a Summer State intern, helped at the Salina Community Theatre, and was chosen for art show display twice. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Coleman was a member of the National Honor Society. Coleman travels to Winfield to play tennis at Southwestern College, shooting for a health sciences degree. Jessica is the daughter of John and Lisa Coleman.

Carson Harris: Tennis (4), Basketball (3)

Harris improved daily on the tennis court. The hard work showed his junior season, winning the Hutchinson tennis meet. That was just the beginning as Harris qualified for the Class 5A state tennis meet. When not on the clay, Harris played hoops, seeing minutes at the varsity level. Harris’ work truly shined in the classroom. He won the Citizenship Award, Superintendent’s Excellence Award, Merit Scholarship, Honors Scholarship and Wendy’s Heisman Scholarship. Harris was a class representative, Renaissance student, a member of National Honor Society, LINK crew, and was on the honor roll. He also served on a medical internship. In the community, Harris helped with the Ashby House, Relay For Life, and being a LINK leader. Harris is ready to visit Wichita State University to major in chemistry. Carson is the son of Stephanie and Jeff Harris.

Jacie Marcotte: Softball (4), Basketball (4)

Marcotte saw a successful career in both sports. As a senior basketball player, Marcotte propelled herself to the All-Salina Invitational Tournament team. In softball, Marcotte helped the Cougars reach the Class 5A state tournament. She was named to the All-AVCTL second team after earning honorable mention the year prior. Around school, Marcotte was active in National Honor Society and was on the honor roll. Her love for both sports was used with the youth in the area, participating in the Lady Cougar basketball and softball camps. Marcotte was also a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Marcotte makes the trek to Concordia to partake in softball at Cloud County Community College. She’s majoring in pre-nursing. Jacie is the daughter of Jason and Elizabeth Marcotte.

Smoky Valley

Nick Reinert: Basketball (4), Tennis (4)

Reinert did extremely well in both sports over the years. Reinert served as the team captain as a senior, racking up 1,347 points in his career. He was  two-time Class 4A-II All-State Second Team member while earning all-state honorable mention as a sophomore. As for Central Kansas League honors, Reinert was a first team member for two years, second team selection as a sophomore and all-league honorable mention as a freshman. In tennis, Reinert placed three times at state. In 2015 and 2018, Reinert finished fifth in doubles play and took sixth in 2016. He also won the CKL doubles championship the past two years. As for other school activities, Reinert was a member of FCA, pep club, KAYS and Business Professionals of America. He was a LaVerne Tolle Memorial Scholaship recipient, served as freshman class president and recorded a 3.5 GPA during his time at school. For volunteer work, Reinert was a youth basketball and tennis instructor, youth umpire/official, Camp Dala Days counselor and a volunteer for the Messiah Lutheran Church Youth Group. Reinert goes to Kansas State University to major in finance and accounting. Nick is the son of Arne and Christine Reinert.

Zach Able: Football (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (4)

Able excelled in every sport. In baseball, Able went from an all-league second team outfielder to first team after a solid senior campaign. On the gridiron, Able was all-league honorable mention pick as a utility pick. He then was listed on the all-league second team as a defensive back and ended up as an all-state honorable mention selection at the same position. For basketball, Able was also all-league honorable mention. Elsewhere, Able was a member of band, National Honor Society, FCA, KAYS and drama club. In the classroom, Able graduated with highest honors after accumulating a 4.0 GPA. He also received a Presidents Award for Academic Excellence, the Paul Lehman Senior Athlete Award, the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, and was named as a KU Honor Scholar. For volunteer work, Able helped with the Elim Lutheran Church Youth Group, International Thespians Society and Sunday School. Able stays in Lindsborg to play football at Bethany College. Zach is the son of Darren Able and Trish Reed.

Darren Heitschmidt: Football (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (4)

Heitschmidt received honors in every sport during high school. He was a Class 4A-II All-State honorable mention pick his junior and senior year while being named to the All-Central Kansas League second team twice. On the diamond, Heitschmidt was all-league honorable mention as a catcher in last two years after being an honorable mention shortstop as a freshman and sophomore. To add to his awards, Heitschmidt was named as the recipient of the Steve Malm Outstanding Senior Athlete Award. He was also the Homecoming King this past fall and received an Excellence in Leadership Award. Outside of sports, Heitschmidt is a member of FCA, KAYS, National Honor Society, drama club and band. For NHS, he was extremely active as a volunteer. Heitschmidt continues his baseball career when he heads to Hesston College. Brett is the son of Darren and Julie Heitschmidt.

Southeast of Saline

Grant Tillberg: Football (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (4)

Tillberg showed his skills in every sport. Tillberg’s leadership was well known, serving as team captain for football and basketball. He was an All-NCAA honorable mention pick in football and basketball. On the diamond, Tillberg was a two-time all-league selection. He was also a Sports in Kansas Class 3A assist recipient. Elsewhere in school, Tillberg received Academic Excellence, Excellence in Writing, and won Homecoming King. Tillberg was also a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. For volunteer work, Tillberg helped with the Salvation Army, Ashby House, Camp Tomah Shinga Immanuel Lutheran Church, Prairie Patch Craft Show and Southeast of Saline Elementary Fun Night. Tillberg heads to Kansas State University to earn a major in accounting. Grant is the son of David and Karla Tillberg.

Morgan Thaxton: Volleyball (4), Softball (4)

Thaxton thrived on the volleyball floor and diamond. As a sophomore, Thaxton set the record for blocks in a match. She didn’t stop there, ranking top 20 in Kansas in hitting, kills and blocks her senior year. Thaxton was a first team All-NCAA selection three times while being named to the all-county squad twice. She lettered her last three years and served as the team captain her senior campaign. Thaxton also was a Kansas Volleyball Association All-Academic honorable mention pick. In softball, Thaxton was the team captain her senior year, lettering all four seasons. During her junior year, Thaxton earned All-NCAA honorable mention, helping the Lady Trojans take third at the Class 3A state tournament. Thaxton was active in other groups, being a part of Student Council, National Honor Society, Relay For Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Science Club. Thaxton received excellence awards in Spanish, writing and literature. Outside of school, Thaxton volunteered at Vacation Bible School, Salvation Army, Southeast of Saline Education Foundation, Elementary School Fun Night and Youth Volleyball Clinic. Thaxton is set to attend Wichita State University, looking for a major in dental hygiene. Morgan is the daughter of Casey and Tammy Thaxton.

Damon Douglas: Football (4), Basketball (4), Track & Field (4)

Douglas embraced being a multi-sport athlete. In football, Douglas racked up the awards. In 2016, Douglas was an all-county honorable mention selection, helping the Trojans claim their third consecutive NCAA title. In his senior campaign, Douglas was named to the All-NCAA first team while being the team captain. Douglas earned Class 3A All-State honorable mention recognition to go with the honorable mention for all-county and for Sports in Kansas Top 100 Seniors. On the hardwood, he provided help to allow the Trojans to grab back-to-back third-place finishes as state in 2016 and 2017. For track, Douglas started as a 100-meter finalist in the NCAA his freshman year. The following year, he earned fourth in the 200-meter and 6th in the 100. As a junior, Douglas was a third-place recipient in the 100-and-200-meter while helping with the 4×100 relay. He used his knowledge in football and basketball to help with youth camps, spent time on National Honor Society, and volunteered for the Numana Project and Grandparents Day. Douglas won the American Citizenship Award twice, Trojan Choice Award, and was a Homecoming King candidate. Outside of the classroom, Douglas was heavily involved in St. John’s Lutheran Church Youth Group, Salvation Army, Southeast of Saline Fun Night and Prairie Patch Craft Show. Douglas is undecided on his college selection, but wants to major in mechanized systems management. Damon is the son of Timothy and Heather Douglas.




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