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School: Lincoln Pius X High School Student: Abbey Hugo 2017-12-19¢  School: Lincoln Pius X...

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  • School: Lincoln Pius X High School

    Student: Abbey Hugo

  • Nebraska Prep Volleyball creator, Berk Brown is getting ready for Nebraska’s upcoming club volleyball sea- son.

    After just finishing the high school volleyball season Brown has created an All-State with three teams and honorable mentions with schools of all sizes from all over the State.

    “High school and club are a lot different in that during club there’s a tournament only every couple weeks and high school is a much shorter sea- son,” Brown said.

    Brown originally cre- ated his website Nebraska Prep Volleyball in August of 2013 because his two daughters play, but also in hopes that Nebraska volleyball and Nebraska volley- ball players would get the expo- sure they deserve.

    “I guess that’s my mis- sion,” Brown said, “Nebraska has a lot of great volleyball players and they aren’t getting the recognition they deserve because a lot of times they’re overshadowed by football.”

    Brown, who started journalism his senior year of

    high school and graduated from Midland University with a degree in journalism, has also made a Facebook page, and Twitter and Instagram accounts for Nebraska Prep.

    Those interested in reading and catching up in everything high school volley- ball related can purchase a year- ly subscription for $29.99 or a monthly subscription for $2.99.

    “What makes us dif- ferent is we do video highlights and podcasts,” Brown said, “We also feature and promote players with interviews so people get to know them, I don’t think people see many websites like that.”

    Neb. Preps is always trying to find new ways to pro- mote women athletes and vol- leyball so there are few things they’ve added to the website.

    “We are working towards streaming video of live matches,” Brown said, “I’d also like to plan a showcase tour- nament with Nebraska teams versus some of the best in the nation.”

    With Brown’s full time job being Nebraska Prep Volleyball, along with recruit- ing help for volleyball athletes, he spends most of his time at high schools or club volleyball matches.

    In order to record accurate rankings, Brown talks to as many coaches as he can across Nebraska. His rankings are based on what he’s seen during games, player’s versatil- ity and what he’s learned from the coaches he’s talked to.

    “I really try and focus on teams from all across Nebraska, not just the Lincoln and Omaha teams,” Brown said.

    Brown’s favorite part about his job is get- ting to know the players who he believes are the best student ath- letes and kids in Nebraska.

    “It’s the hard work and determination that the girls learn through volleyball and the growth in their volleyball skills that make them better peo- ple,” Brown said, “That’s why I love my job.”

    Brown believes vol- leyball should get the same publicity as all other sports, like football and basketball. He also believes volleyball should get the same amount of coverage as boys sports.

    “Unfortunately vol- leyball doesn’t quite get the respect it deserves,” Brown said, “Girls sports and athletics have improved so much over the last few and according to the cover- age, girls still fall short.”

    Behold the benchwarmer. Some were born to be ballers, all-

    stars of the elite athletic class. They get all the glory and fan appreciation. And then there are those who just get…the bench.

    These kids work their tails off to watch their teammates do the competing. For some, this job is loathed and detested, and the only thing the bencher wants to do is get off that bench.

    But for others, the bench is not a seat of shame. In fact, they learn how to make the best of the realization that fame and glory are not in their grasp.

    These kids are the ones who hold the team together. Their positivity, humor, and carefree attitude pull the team through the tough times when everyone would rather hang their heads.

    There are plenty of perks to sit- ting on the bench. The XChange inter- viewed multiple athletes who are familiar with this status, but kept their names

    anonymous in order to protect their identi- ties.

    “We get to wear long sleeves!” one former football benchwarmer said.

    The starters aren’t allowed to wear long sleeves because they might fumble the ball. Thus, the benchwarmers have successfully avoided all opportunity to catch pneumonia.

    “The squishy chairs are the best part of sitting bench,” one volleyball bencher said. “If they are hard metal chairs it’s a bad day.”

    Some benchers really see the humor in their situation.

    “We inspire the starters…and give them comic relief,” one football player said.

    It is said that the slow runners make the fast ones look better. This is very true for many of the benchwarmers. If it weren’t for them, the starters would just be seen as average, and that’s prob- ably not a perspective they are used to.

    “I think that the benchwarmers are honestly the backbone of the team,”

    another football benchwarmer said. “Otherwise there’d be no one to laugh at.” Benchwarmers have a special job on the team, too. If they don’t do it right, chances are the whole game is lost.

    “Water bottles have to be spread out along the bench and not clumped at the end, or else everyone gets mad at you,” another volleyball player said.

    The volleyball benchers must also make sure that the sweat towels are always in reach of the starters when they see their own rare bench time.

    They also have their own cheer- ing rituals for each type of point scored. If the other team’s mistake was the cause for a point, one only rises half way off the bench.

    When Pi-Hi scores their own momentous point, however, the bench rises all the way and hands go flying in the air.

    When the team scores an espe- cially magnificent point, there’s an invis- ible line on the floor that all the benchers subconsciously know to jump towards.

    Insanely loud cheering is also a require- ment for this type of point.

    Sadly, there are also disadvan- tages to a being a benchwarmer.

    The non-starters on the foot- ball team aren’t allowed to drink from the green Gatorade water bottles during games.

    “Yeah, if we want water, we have to lick the dew drops off the grass. Or the starters’ cleats,” one benchwarmer joked.

    At the football pre-game meals, the starters always eat first, leaving the non-starters to fend for themselves with the leftovers.

    “Actually, we’re not even allowed to eat. Ever,” one benchwarmer said. “One time I tried to sneak a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my closet and Brock Wordekemper came in and slapped it out of my hand.”

    That was a joke. So here’s to the kids who love their sport enough to bleed and sweat and cry for the sake of the starters. No one knows sacrifice like the benchwarmers do.

    6 December 12, 2014Sports Humor from the bench: benchwarmers tell all

    Alli Davis Staff Writer

    Kaitlin VanLoon Editor-In-Chief

    Nebraska Prep Volleyball exposes high school stars

    GRAPHIC BY KAITLIN VANLOON

    Nolan-DeWispelare Rectangle

    Nolan-DeWispelare Line

    Nolan-DeWispelare Line

  • Last year the Pius girls won the Nebraska School Activities Association U.S. Cellular Cup. This award is given to all the girls participating in sports or other organizations for the 2013-2014 school year.

    This award will be received at halftime of the Class B state football championship on November 25 at Memorial Stadium. Tim Aylward, the athletic director of Pius, and a student athlete will receive the award on behalf of the teams. Each year the NSAA gives this award to the school who accu- mulated the most points. The points are based on how the team does at state. The top eight places in state receive points ranging from fifty for first to fifteen for eighth.

    The girls scored 312.5 points in total last year which was the highest in the Class B division.

    The organizations included are basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis, play production, music, speech and journalism among oth- ers. All of these teams contributed to the points earned and helped win

    the championship for the girls. Over the years, the NSAA has presented

    this award to the Pius girls four times. They won this award in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014. All of these were in Class B except 2013, which was in Class A. In 2013, the boys and girls also won the combined championship. “I think we won because we all work real- ly hard and we have great coaches who motivate us and push us hard,” sophomore tri-sport athlete Ellie Jilek said.

    SportsNovember 14, 2014 7

    PH O

    TO S BY ER

    IN D

    O LPH

    Erin Dolph Staff Writer

    Kaitlin VanLoon Edito-In-Chief

    Pius X rewarded by NSAA for excellence in activities

    NSAA U.S. Cellular Cup trophies from 2007, 2009 and 2013.

    The girls basketball team begins there season on November 17 this fall. There are a few returning starters from last season’s breakout year and team, but there is usually one person who comes out of nowhere to have their name known. Senior Alex Hewitt is gearing up for the season to try to get on the varsity team and help them win a title this year. “I am going to try to push my teammates and work hard this season,” Hewitt said. There ar

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