During the fall sports season, I dove into the some stats for local athletes. I found it to be an interesting exercise and, now that we are halfway through the winter sports season, I thought we should take a look at the stats again.
I took a trip to maxpreps.com, the website that the NSAA uses to track their stats. I took a look at the statistical leaders for Nebraska. I didn’t discriminate against the classes, making it more impressive that these athletes are among the leaders.
Now, as a disclaimer, it is important to note that it is on the coaches of each team to enter the stats after every game. Some coaches do, while others simply keep them for their own use. Therefore, while there may be some players missing, that doesn’t take anything away from the impressive seasons these players have put together.
There were so many area athletes among the statistical leaders that I actually don’t even have enough room to talk about the teams among the leaders. There are some incredibly high-scoring teams in the area and some top rebounding teams, but you’ll just have to guess who that is.
Now, for some of the more impressive statistics I found.
St. Edward’s Jonah Micek is one of the top 10 scorers per game, ranking sixth with 22.9 points per game. Not to be outdone, Riverside freshman phenom Tredyn Prososki ranks seventh in the state with 82 made field goals this year. 49 of those 82 shots have come from behind the 3-point line, best in the entire state. Fellow Charger Riley Swerczek has also been a sharpshooter this year, ranking fourth with 36 made threes.
On the girls side, Chambers/Wheeler Central star Jacie Laetsch ranks sixth with 19.9 points per game while Bloomfield’s Sarah Castaneda has scored an incredible 20.6 points per game, good for fourth in the state. Castaneda has hit 92 total shots this year, good for second in the entire state.
Castaneda is more than just a scorer, however. She also does a lot of work for the Bees under the rim, pulling in 116 rebounds. That number is the fifth best among all girls.
In my opinion, the biggest key to a strong team is a guy that can dish out the assists at a high rate. Riverside has just that in Noah Valasek. He ranks second in the state with an incredible 6.8 assists per game. On the girls side, Elgin Public/Pope John’s Baylee Wemhoff has been excellent on the dish, averaging 4.8 assists per game to rank eighth.
Remember Castaneda? Well it has already been noted how good she is at both scoring and rebounding. So it should come as no surprise that she ranks third in the state with six double-doubles on the year.
The only thing cooler than a double-double? A triple-double. Niobrara/Verdigre’s Riley Bickerstaff is one of just three boys in the entire state to record one this year. He did so December 19 against Wausa when he scored 13, pulled in 11 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.
Now the leaders are in a very competitive position. The top 10 changes on a nearly daily basis. Therefore, it is important to note that there is a bevy of athletes just outside of the top 10, such as Neligh-Oakdale’s Tyson Belitz and Grant White - in nearly every category. Santee’s Stevie Peters is just barely outside of the top scorers in the state, CWC’s Regan Dierks just barely missed today’s cut in rebounds per game and Elkhorn Valley’s Brayden Effle is just outside of the top players in total rebounds.
Now, for all you wrestling fans, don’t forget how incredible the wrestlers have been this year. More on that at a later time.
Sports Editor at Antelope County News/The Orchard News, Logan is from Kearney and has a diverse sports background, including several seasons playing semi-pro football. All columns here are the opinion of the writer only and do not represent the views of the Antelope County News or Pitzer Digital.