Journalism students garner awards

Earlier in the year the Journalism students entered their published work into the Journalism Education Association contest and waited patiently to hear results. Six students received honorable mention and excellent in multiple categories.

Honorable mentions were won by juniors Destini Warnke in newspaper sports writing and photo illustration, and Evie Schwab in photo illustration, and seniors Shaye Stall in editorial writing and Mary Lawrence in graphic illustration, yearbook theme and copy writing.

Excellents were awarded to sophomore Joy Ondrak in sports/action photography, senior Mary Lawrence in news/feature photography and editorial cartooning, and seniors Shaye Stall, Mary Lawrence, and Kelsea Swartz for in-depth coverage.

To see the complete list of winners, click the following link:

http://www.omahamarian.org/nhspa/2017/jeaneb2017.htm

Lady Jeffs fall to 4th ranked D-2 Heartland

On Monday Jan. 30, the Lady Jeffs traveled to Wilber to take on the Wolverines in the first round of SNC tournament. The Jeffs won in a barn burner of a game 55-54. The leading scorers for the Jeffs were Jessa Eden ’19 scoring 18 points and close behind was Jaelle Johnson ’20 with 15 points.

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Macy Ohlde ’18 lunges to pass to Sydney Miller ’18 in the second round of Conference. Photo By Joy Ondrak

“I knew we could win at Wilber and I think we could’ve beat Heartland, but we tried our hardest,” Johnson said.
Heading into the Second round of conference play the Jeffs took on the Heartland huskies on Tuesday, Jan 31. The Jeffs had a nice first quarter scoring 14, but fell short in the next three to lose 40-46. The Jeffs go on the road again on Tuesday  Feb. 7 to take on the Seward Bluejays.

Boys Basketball competes in conference tournament

The Fairbury Boys Basketball team took part in the Southern Nebraska Conference basketball tournament this week. On Jan. 30 the Jeffs hosted Wilber/Clatonia in the first round of the tournament.

The Jeffs dominated the game from the beginning as they led by a score of 18-8 after the first quarter and won the game by a final score of 55-37. Tanner Novotny ’17 led the Jeffs in scoring as he finished with 19 points.

On Jan. 31 the Jeffs headed to Sutton to take on the Mustangs for the second round of the conference tournament. Sutton led by a score of 31-23 at the half. The Jeffs couldn’t overcome the deficit and lost by a final of 62-40.

The next action for the Jeffs is Tuesday, Feb. 7 as they travel to Seward to take on the Bluejays.

 

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School-wide improvement project commences

The Fairbury Public Schools School Board came to a consensus and chose five school improvement projects included in phase one of their six-year improvement plan.

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Blue print drawings illustrate the plans for the high school renovations, including updated locker rooms and an office remodel.

Phase one consists mostly of high school improvement projects, with the exception of renovation of the office and the addition of an elevator for handicap access at Central Elementary.

“We’re hoping really by the time the thaw happens in March or so that they’ll be ready to start doing some things in preparation for once school gets out,” Superintendent of Fairbury Public Schools Stephen Grizzle said. “But the bulk of the work won’t start until after we get out of school.”

Mr. Grizzle explains that high school construction will take priority and be started and completed before work on Central, due to the time and preparation required for work at Central.

“The high school is going to start right away, a lot of preliminary stuff at Central will start this summer,” Mr. Grizzle said. “But it sounds like that’s not going to be able to be done until the following year just because the elevator takes a lot of time and a lot of planning.”

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This layout highlights the plans for updating and expanding the high school office and a new entryway.

The first improvement on the high school the School Board is planning includes the renovation of the main entrance and walkway to the main entrance with the addition of a canopy.

The school board also has plans to expand the high school office, specifically to the west and south. This will create a larger conference room and a separate room for in-school suspension (ISS). The expansion will also allow a remodeling of the office.

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Blueprints for updated commons bathrooms depict the wheelchair-accessible stalls at the back of the bathroom and only two sinks.

Upon discovering three inches of water in the commons due to a flooded urinal early this semester, it became apparent that the main bathrooms at the high school were in desperate need of an upgrade, which is also one part of phase one.

Perhaps the most appealing to FHS students is the possibility of new showers in all of the locker rooms. However, this particular project will only be done permitting enough money in the budget after all of the other improvements. The currently decided budget is $2 million with intention of keeping construction costs under $1.8 million.

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Providing there is extra money in the planned budget, the locker rooms will be renovated as shown.

Mr. Grizzle explained that the board settled on the three phase, six year plan as opposed to a bond issue, which makes the most financial sense because the six year plan will keep interest costs low. But he clarifies that while the current plan is only three phases and six years, other situations may arise that call for additional work.

“Right now we’re looking at three phases but in all actuality as our needs keep coming up we could keep identifying projects that we want to do that could go on for another phase or two.” Mr. Grizzle explained.

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Jeffs get fourth at Plattsmouth Invite

On Saturday, Jan. 21 the Fairbury wrestlers headed to Plattsmouth to take part in the Plattsmouth Invite. The invite was a big one that had 14 teams and showcased some top teams from Class A and Class B.

Fairbury finished fourth in the team rankings and had eight medalists on the day. The Jeffs had five wrestlers claim runner up and both Damian Green ’17 and Jacob Johnson ’18 earned first place finishes.

Johnson earned his 100th career victory when he pinned Josh Francois from Bellevue East. He became just the eighth wrestler in Fairbury history to reach 100 career wins.

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Wrestlers defeat Central City in Dual

On Jan. 25 the Fairbury Jeff wrestling team hosted their first home event as they took on the Central City Bison in a dual. The Jeffs earned the victory as they won the dual by a final score of 53-28.

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Anthony Moyer ’17 points to the crowd following his 100th career victory. Moyer is the ninth wrestler in Fairbury history to reach 100 wins.

A highlight on the night occurred when Anthony Moyer’ 17 earned his 100th career victory and become just the ninth wrestler in Fairbury history to reach 100 wins. Moyer pinned Shad Quintanilla from Central City in the first period to reach this milestone.

The next action for the Jeffs Wrestling team is Friday Jan. 27 as they host their home invite.

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Green’s record breaking career

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Damian Green ’17 prepares his next move against his opponent from Seward. Photo by: R. Achtemeier

With back breaking work comes record breaking results. Not every year does a record get broken, but this year is a different story.

Recently Damian Green ’17 broke the high school record of 118 wins. The record was previously held by Joshua Moody ’13. The wrestlers traveled to Nebraska City Jan. 14 for a tournament. Green was sitting at 114 wins going into the tournament. He went 5-0 ending with a record breaking total of wins at 119.

“Damian is 100% self motivated. That’s why he’s had the success he’s had,” Head Wrestling coach Derek Garfield said.

With his determination Damian reached his 100th career win early on in the season, pushing him to break the record.

“When I got to 100 [wins] coach told me I was close [to the record] so I worked to surpass it…” Green said.

Not a lot of athletes can say they had a record breaking career in high school.

“I train everyday, weights in the morning… traveling across the country in the off season for tournaments.” Green said.

Mach upsets top ranked wrestler

On Jan. 10 the Fairbury Jeffs wrestling team traveled to Wilber to compete in the Blue River Riot. The Blue River Riot consisted of Fairbury, Seward, West-Point Beemer and Wilber/Clatonia.

Despite having only four teams present, the tournament hosted  big matches, featuring some of the state’s best wrestlers. The biggest match on the night for the Jeffs was Paul Mach ‘17 facing off against Riley Homolka of Wilber/Clatonia in the 285 pound weight class.

Homolka entered the match as the top ranked heavyweight in Class C. Mach earned the upset as he beat Homolka by a final score of 3-2.

Going into the match head Fairbury wrestling coach Derek Garfield saw the match as an opportunity.

“My first thought was that it was a huge opportunity to wrestle one of the best in the state…in the past Paul and Riley have gone 1-1,” coach Garfield said. “Two years ago Paul beat Riley and last year Riley was able to repay him.” Coach Garfield said.”

Being able to beat one of the best wrestlers boosted Mach’s confidence, who currently sits at 24-2 on the season.

“It makes me feel good,” Mach said. “It makes me feel confident in my abilities.”

Even after knocking off the top ranked wrestler in Class C, both Coach Garfield and Mach plan to continue improving as the season progresses.

“It means we are doing the right things in practice . . . we expect to get better everyday and we have to keep improving,” Coach Garfield said.

The win didn’t change Mach’s approach or the team’s as they head into the latter part of January with the goal of wresting their best in February.

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Paul Mach ’17 upset the top ranked wrestler in Class C at the 285 pound weight class. Mach is currently 24-2 on the season. 

“Just keep wrestling the way I wrestle and hopefully good things will happen,” Mach said.