The Neligh community added a new resident to its town this summer with the Nebraska Lawdawgs football team playing their home games at Warrior Field.
“Neligh has been super supportive,” said Lawdawg coach Jordan Taylor. “It started when we were supposed to host a preseason game and we hadn’t found a place. We were looking and Neligh said yes. The local guys said we should just play all of our games here and then something that started out as a joke, turned into reality. It has worked out really well and the guys love it.”
“It was unexpected to play in Neligh,” said Lawdawg linebacker and Neligh resident Logan Lawson. “We had so many people from this area and we decided to see if Neligh wanted to accept us to play here. The community has been great. We’ve had great community support from businesses and there are a ton of people in the stands. People are talking to us every week and telling us good luck and congratulations. It’s been great.”
The Lawdawgs disbanded after the 2013 season. After deciding to resurrect the program this year, several new players had to step up and join the squad.
“I came out and tried out for the team,” said Lawdawg linebacker Alex Orozco, a Neligh-Oakdale graduate. “When I saw Seth (Snodgrass) was on the team, I knew it must be a real thing. Seth helped me out and now I’m playing linebacker.”
Despite being its first season in five years, Nebraska has gotten off to a solid start with a 4-2 record. Last Saturday’s 39-0 victory over the Northern Iowa Knights was the Dawgs first shutout of the season and their third consecutive win.
Lawdawg players have to balance their busy personal lives, along with practices and working out, in order to be successful on the gridiron.
“We practice three days a week and normally half the team shows up because of work and everything,” said Lawdawg DB and running back Spencer Volden, a Clearwater-Orchard graduate. “It’s great for the guys that get in there because they can work and make us better as a team.”
Even for a gym owner and avid workout enthusiast, trying to play football again was a struggle to start.
“It was kind of a switch from what I was used to doing,” said Lawdawg linebacker Seth Snodgrass, a Neligh-Oakdale graduate and owner of 719 Fitness. “I was used to lifting heavy weight every single day. Now I transferred into explosive power. It has been fun and new to me for learn. It has helped out a tremendous amount. You can tell from day one when I first started, Logan (Lawson) drug me to the try-outs and I was out of shape and my hips were so tight. Now we do agilities twice-a-week and football practices have helped with how I play and perform.”
The Dawgs also like to give back to the community by offering more than just a form of entertainment.
“We like to always give back to the community when they support us,” Taylor said. “We want to give them more than a football game. We are hosting a goodwill camp for kids to come out for a few hours and practice the thing they love. Because they have been so supportive, that’s warranted us to want to put a camp together as a thank you.”
The Lawdawgs will be hosting a “Fun and Fundamentals” youth football camp July 23-27 from 9 a.m. to noon at Warrior Field. The camp is for students entering the second grade to eighth grade. The second through sixth graders practice from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., while the seventh and eighth graders practice 10:30 a.m. to noon.The cost for the camp is a goodwill donation to help support the Lawdawgs football program.
With a successful first season and continued support from the community, the future looks bright for the Lawdawgs and Neligh will get to come along for the ride.
“The best part about where we play is how supportive Neligh has been,” Taylor said. “It doesn’t matter how big your town is, what matters is how much people want you to be there and be supportive. The field is beautiful and it is well taken care of. It has been a good experience.”
A grand slam helped secure a win for the Clearwater/Elgin Peewees in the Quad County Baseball Tournament in Neligh on Tuesday night.
Leading 5-0, Corbin Kinney of C/E smacked an inside-the-park grand slam late in the third inning to give the team a comfortable 9-0 lead.
The Peewees were able to hold off a surge by Battle Creek #2 and picked up a 9-4 victory to advance in the tourney.
Clearwater/Elgin will play again on Friday at 8 p.m. against the winner of Tilden vs. Atkinson.
An offensive surge guided the Creighton Junior baseball team past Neligh, 11-1 in six innings, Monday night in the Legion District Championship game at Pierce.
"We had two huge innings for us to pull away," said Creighton coach Kyle Kibbie. "We shifted the momentum our way and there for a while, I thought they (Neligh) had the momentum. We were struggling, but that fourth inning really changed it for us."
"We did alright," said Neligh coach Dan Murray. "We hung in there until the fourth and fifth inning. We lost the fight a little bit. We had a couple of errors and you could see it took the sails out from underneath us. But overall, I'm super proud of these guys. A lot of these people didn't expect these guys to go more than two games in the tournament and we end up as runner-up in the district. I'm pleased with how they fought the whole tournament."
Creighton struck first with a run in the opening inning, but Neligh knotted the contest at one in its next at bat after Kaleb Pofahl scored on a passed ball.
Neligh had a golden opportunity to claim the lead. Neligh loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth, but a foul out and pop out ended the threat.
Creighton responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Alex Homan ripped a RBI single to center for the first run and Conor Hammer followed with a two-run single to left. Dade Davis then laced a shot to the rightfield fence and came all the way around to score on an inside-the-park home run.
"Those three hits in-a-row won us the game," Kibbie said. "It was huge for us. Our pitcher (Carson Lilly) was struggling before that for a little bit. After that, you could tell he went back out there a lot of calmer and more settled down. It affected the whole team, all the way through."
After Neligh went down in order in the fifth, Creighton tallied four more runs on a bases loaded walk, a Homan sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and a balk.
Creighton sealed the district title when Mitchell Mackeprang scored in the bottom of the sixth off a Neligh error.
Lilly recorded the win on the mound. In 6 2/3 innings, Lilly gave up one run on four hits and struck out six.
"We knew from day one he was going to be our ace on the mound," Kibbie said. "He was the one who was going to have to win us a lot of games. He didn't have his best stuff today, but he knows how to win baseball games. That's what it came down to, he trusted his defense, went out and got the next guy."
Hammer led Creighton with two hits, two runs batted in and two runs scored.
Beau Murray picked up the loss. In 3 2/3 innings, Murray allowed five runs on five hits and struck out five.
Murray, Pofahl, Hunter Charf and Dawson Kaup each singled for Neligh.
Creighton (18-5) advances to the state tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
"It's big for us," Kibbie said on having experience at the state tournament. "We're happy to go, but it's not our goal. Now our goal is to go and win it (a state title). Those kids know it and they're going to come in ready to go."
The sixth-seeded Neligh ends its season with an 8-6 record.
"We came out with the mentality that we were going to do it (win) every game," said coach Murray. "We did fine tonight until the one inning (the fourth). They really fought and they didn't give up. I'm super proud of the way we did that. One of the things we had to battle with these guys on all year long was keeping the fight every game. They did it for this tournament and I'm proud of them."
An offensive showcase led the Neligh Junior Legion baseball team to a 13-7 triumph over Hartington Monday in the district tournament at Pierce.
"What I liked about this game was the enthusiasm and fight we brought to this game," said Neligh coach Dan Murray. "It started in the beginning and it continued until the last inning. The fight was amazing and it was maybe the best I've seen all year."
Hartington got off to a hot start to open the game. Three-straight hits led to the first run of the contest and two more runs came around to give Hartington a 3-0 edge.
Neligh responded with five runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead. A bases-loaded hit batter, a wild pitch, an error and a fielder's choice pushed Neligh ahead 5-3.
"We talked after the first and told them that three runs is nothing to worry about and we've been here before," coach Murray said. "They took it from there and they went to the dugout and came out with the bats. They got after it all night long."
Hartington answered with a RBI single by Jacob Keiser in its next at bat to cut the deficit to one.
Neligh once again put a five spot on the board to take a commanding 10-4 advantage. Three errors, a balk and a Dawson Kaup single tallied the runs for Neligh in the second.
"We got behind and got down on ourselves last night (Neligh's 8-2 loss to Creighton) and that's what hurt us," said Neligh second baseman Brock Kester. "Tonight we were down, but we kept our head in it and we played through the whole game."
Following a scoreless third, the Neligh Juniors added two runs in the fifth and a run in the sixth. Hunter Charf's sacrifice fly scored Kaleb Pofahl from third, Beau Murray's groundout brought in Kaup and Murray's RBI single in the sixth completed the scoring for Neligh.
Hartington attempted to rally in the seventh by loading the bases with no outs. Hartington scored three runs, but the hole was too large as Neligh ended Hartington's season.
"Tonight's win was a good one just to get to a championship (game)," Kester said. "It was good to bounce back. We got Creighton tomorrow and it will be good to get back at them. We'll get them tomorrow."
Neligh took advantage of six Hartington errors in the contest. Kester went a perfect three-for-three with a run scored to lead Neligh. Beau Murray recorded three hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Conor Ramold, Brandon Evans, Charf and Hunter Reestman each scored twice and Kaup tallied two hits and two runs batted in.
"We did really good hitting today and hopefully we can bring that tomorrow," Kester said.
Charf picked up the win on the mound. In six innings of work, Charf allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four. Reestman and Andrew Jacobsen each saw time on the mound as well for the Juniors.
"I was really impressed with our defense and our pitching," coach Murray said. "The pitching has been lights out this whole tournament. Every game we have pitched to win."
Neligh (8-5) now has the task of beating Creighton twice Tuesday in order to win a district title. The first game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and if Neligh wins, game two is at 8 p.m.
"Creighton is tough, they've always been tough and they always play us tough," coach Murray said. "I expect these guys to show up, be ready, bring the fight to Creighton and we'll see what happens. It's going to be a good game."
After a successful regular season, the Neligh Senior Legion baseball team was named the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Elkhorn Valley Senior League Tournament. The O'Neill Irish claimed the second seed in the tourney.
Neligh (11-1) awaits the winner of the Osmond-Madison matchup and will play in Neligh for their first round game on Thursday at 8 p.m.
Hartington hosts Atkinson and Creighton welcomes Crofton, while Plainview and Stanton battle in O'Neill with the winner taking on O'Neill at 8 p.m.
All first round games are Thursday.
The semifinals are Friday, July 13, played at the higher seed, and the championship game will be held Sunday, July 15 at Creighton.
An offensive surge guided the Creighton Junior Legion baseball team to an 8-2 win over the Neligh Juniors Sunday in the Legion District Tournament at Pierce.
"It was a great game," said Creighton coach Kyle Kibbie. "We struggled early, but towards the third inning we started to come around and came up with some big hits when we needed to. Defensively, we had a great outing and we had some kids make some fantastics plays. We played really great baseball today."
"We started out really good and I was really excited about where we were heading," said Neligh mentor Dan Murray. "Then the third inning rolled around and the wheels fell off. We lost out fight and we showed it on the field. Creighton just out played us from that point forward."
Neligh plated the first two runs of the game to take an early lead.
A RBI single by Conor Ramold in the second and RBI double by Hunter Reestman in the third put Neligh ahead.
On the mound, Beau Murray cruised to start the contest, striking out six of the first nine batters he face.
With two outs in the third, Creighton's Alex Homan singled and came around on a Conner Hammer double for its first run.
Creighton took ahold of the game from there.
In the fourth, Sam VanMetre ripped a two-run double to center for Creighton's first lead. A triple by Homan scored VanMetre to give Creighton a 4-2 advantage.
An error and RBI single by Clay Curtis pushed Creighton's lead to four in the fifth and two more runs in sixth sealed a spot in Tuesday's district title game for Creighton.
"We need to get that first run," Kibbie said. "Once we got that first run and a couple of really solid hits, our team started to settle in. Our kids know what we can do when we all work together."
Mitchell Mackeprang collected the complete-game victory on the mound for Creighton. Mackeprang allowed two runs on five hits and struck out seven.
"This is best pitching performance he (Mackeprang) has had all year," Kibbie said. "He did a great job. We needed him to throw strikes and let them (Neligh) hit the ball. If they earn it, they earn it, but we knew we had a good defense behind. They have done a great job all year. Between Mitchell's pitching and great defense, we played great ball."
Homan led Creighton with two hits, two runs scored and a RBI. Curtis, VanMetre and Hammer each added RBI hits.
Reestman tallied two hits and a RBI for Neligh. Ramold recorded a RBI double, while Garett Belitz and Beau Murray each scored.
Kaleb Pofahl was the losing pitcher. In 3 1/3 innings of work, Pofahl gave up seven runs on six hits and struck out five. Beau Murray started the game and surrendered a run on two hits and struck out six in 2 2/3 innings.
Four errors at critical points in the game cost the Neligh Juniors.
"We pitched well enough to win the game, but we didn't back it up defensively or with the bats," said coach Murray.
Creighton (17-5) awaits the winner of the consolation finals and plays in the district title game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
"We have a day off tomorrow, but we're still going to practice," Kibbie said. "We'll go for a little bit and stay around baseball for now. Then Tuesday we will come back ready to play for a district championship."
Neligh (7-5) faces Hartington in the consolation finals Monday at 7 p.m.
"We talked after the game and this one is behind us," said coach Murray. "We have a tough game tomorrow now with Hartington to get back to the championship game, but we will be ready."
With a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, Ewing put the scare into Orchard in the second round of the Quad County Tournament in Neligh.
Orchard opened the game with two runs in the first by Cody Wickersham and Sam Cheatum. Jason Shaver added a third run in the fourth inning to put Orchard up 3-0.
With their at-bat, Ewing came out swinging as with an RBI triple to make it a 3-2 game. Cheatum left the mound due to his pitch count and Ryan Reifer closed out the game with a strikeout.
Orchard advances to the quarterfinals against Battle Creek at 6 p.m. on Thursday in Riverside Park. Ewing will play O'Neill at 6 p.m.on Tuesday.
Clearwater/Elgin dropped into the consolation bracket with a loss to Laurel in their second round game of the Quad County Pony Baseball Tournament in Neligh on Sunday afternoon.
Laurel won by 10 runs in five innings, 12-2, over Clearwater/Elgin. Both of CE's scores came late in the game on stolen bases. Colton Wright slid into home to put up the first score for Clearwater/Elgin in the top of the fourth, and Rafe Grebin dove under the tag to touch home plate in the fifth.
Clearwater/Elgin will play their next game against Albion at 8 p.m. Monday in a consolation matchup.
Neligh pulled off a huge upset, defeating top-seeded O'Neill, 6-1, in their second round game of the Quad County Pony Baseball Tournament in Neligh on Sunday afternoon.
The Neligh Pony team advances to play in the quarterfinal game at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night. They will play the winner of the Tilden vs Wynot game played tonight.
In a tight matchup, Neligh's strong pitching shutdown their opponent, and a big fifth inning gave the hometown team a comfortable lead.
Neligh's Aiden Kuester took the mound first, striking out 11 batters in the first five innings. Trinity Graham came in as the closer in the sixth and struck out two.
Tyson Rix scored in the first to put Neligh on the scoreboard early. O'Neill's lone run came in the second to knot it up, 1-1. Neligh's hitting came alive in the fifth with Talon Krebs, Jesse Green, Cameron Schindler and Kuester all crossing the plate. Krebs stole home on a head-first slide in the sixth for Neligh's final score of the game.
Clearwater/Elgin scored first, but third-seed Albion responded to take hold of the lead in their first at-bat. And neither team scored again.
Albion topped No. 6 Clearwater/Elgin 3-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Quad County Tournament in the peewee division. Albion will play the winner of Atkinson/Laurel on Thursday at 8 p.m. Clearwater/Elgin drops to the consolation bracket and will take on eighth-seed Battle Creek No. 2 at 8 p.m on Tuesday in the double-elimination tournament.
A stout defensive performance led the Nebraska Lawdawg football team to a 39-0 victory over the Northern Iowa Knights Saturday at Warrior Field.
"We are really happy," said Lawdawg coach Jordan Taylor. "This is the closest we've gotten to 60 minutes of football. The guys out there tonight earned this win."
A fourth-down conversion on each of the first two drives kept the Lawdawgs offense going and both drives resulted in scores.
Eli Schreier plowed through a few would-be tacklers for an 11-yard touchdown run.
Following a three-and-out by the Knights, Nebraska quarterback Tyler Habrock scrambled for a seven-yard score.
"It makes a huge difference when you go out there and sock it to them right away," Schreier said. "It really demoralizes the other team and it got us and the momentum going. It's what we try to do every week."
The Lawdawgs has several chances to extend their lead, but either the drive stalled or Nebraska turned the ball over.
The Lawdawg defense stood tall despite the offense’s struggles, holding the Northern Iowa offense to 69 total yards in the first half.
"One time we turned the ball over and I heard one of those guys (a Knight player) say that's a momentum changer," Taylor said. "Unfortunately for them, it was just three plays and out."
The Knights opened up the second half with a promising drive, but a fumble recovery by Logan Lawson ended the threat.
On the ensuing play, Schreier broke free for a 35-yard TD.
Northern Iowa responded with a 34-yard pass to get into Nebraska territory, but the Dawgs forced a turnover on downs.
Nebraska put the game away with a 14-play, 65 yard drive resulting in a four-yard Schreier touchdown.
Spencer Volden scored the final two TDs. The first on a four-yard run and the second on a 44-yard pick-six.
"It was good to get a shutout and the team played well," Schreier said. "It was good to finally play four quarters and dominate a team. We haven't dominated a team like that all season. We are looking forward to running the table and taking this momentum into the playoffs."
Schreier led the Dawgs with 185 yards rushing and three scores. Volden and Habrock each scored a rushing touchdown as well.
"The offensive line is definitely the MVP tonight," Schreier said. "They made me and the whole team look good. If we can do that every week, we'd be undefeated. It is what we strive for. We're a power team first and foremost. The team played well tonight, especially the offensive line."
The Nebraska defense was stout in the shutout. The Dawgs gave up 137 yards of total offense to Northern Iowa and forced two turnovers.
"We shut their running game and passing game down," Taylor said. "It was like a Lawdawg game of old. We used to hold guys under 50 yards rushing every night. We have been working hard on that (run defense) the past few weeks because we were getting pushed around and we're not used to that. We came through with the shutout, the first for this group."
Nebraska (4-2) looks to extend its win streak to four Saturday at the Northern Iowa Bulldogs at 7 p.m.
"If we travel heavy, come out and play, we have a chance to get it done," Taylor said.
The Neligh Juniors moved into the Area 1 District semifinal thanks to a crushing victory over Crofton on Saturday afternoon.
Named the bottom seed due to the limited number of teams they’ve faced this season, Neligh upset host and top seed Pierce on Friday night before manhandling No. 4 Crofton 19-1 in just five innings in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Against Crofton, Neligh jumped out to a 6-0 lead during their first at-bat. Neligh first four runners on base all were courtesy of walks, including Brock Kester who was the first to score via a walk. Kester, Hunter Charf, Hunter Reestman, Garett Belitz, Kaleb Pofahl and Conor Ramold all scored in the first inning.
The fourth inning was just as dominating with eight runs scored. Ramold started things off with a single and Dawson Kaup followed it up with a single to left field. Lead-off batter Beau Murray hit both home with a single. Kester then singled to left to score Murray. Belitz, Andrew Jacobsen, Pofahl and Ramold also hit singles. All scored in the inning. Kaup walked onto base and also scored.
Pofahl earned the win as the starter. Also taking a turn on the mound were Jacobsen, Charf and Belitz. The Neligh pitchers combined for seven strikeouts and four hits against Crofton.
The Juniors will play again in Pierce on Sunday at 7 p.m. as they take on the winner of No. 2 Hartington/No. 3 Creighton. The district tournament is double-elimination with the winner advancing to the Class C state tournament in Battle Creek on July 14-18.
Neligh 602 812 - 19
Crofton 010 000 - 1
WP: Kaleb Pofahl.
The Clearwater/Elgin baseball team defeated Creighton, 14-9, in an offensive shootout Saturday in the Quad County PeeWee Tournament.
After Clearwater/Elgin plated the first two runs of the contest, Creighton answered with five runs to take a 5-2 lead in the second.
Clearwater/Elgin responded with six runs in the bottom half of the frame to reclaim the lead.
After Nick Anderson struck out the side in top of the third, Clearwater/Elgin scored six runs to push its advantage to nine.
Creighton rallied with four runs in the fourth, but the deficit was too much as Clearwater/Elgin held on for the win.
Blake Hehn, Anderson, Colby Hupp and Keaton Thiele each tallied RBI hits for Clearwater/Elgin.
Creighton drops to the consolation bracket to face Neligh Monday at 6 p.m.
Clearwater/Elgin advances and takes on Albion Sunday at 6 p.m.
The Albion baseball team cruised to a 10-0 victory, in three innings, over Neligh Saturday in the PeeWee Tournament.
Albion recorded 10 runs on seven hits to advance to Sunday’s winners’ bracket game against the winner of Clearwater/Elgin and Creighton at 6 p.m.
Keegan Payne tallied Neligh’s lone hit with a double.
Neligh plays the loser of Clearwater/Elgin and Creighton Monday at 6 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
A solid start offensively lifted Tilden to a 10-3 victory over Creighton Saturday in the Pony League Tournament.
Tilden opened the contest with four runs in the first.
After Creighton cut the deficit to three, Tilden responded by scoring six of the next eight runs to put the game away.
Tilden advances to face the winner of Wynot and Atkinson Sunday at 8 p.m.
News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC