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Mustangs end year with hard fought match against Clippers

Mustangs end year with hard fought match against Clippers

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Raymond Central volleyball

LINCOLN – The Raymond Central volleyball team ended their season at the C1-4 subdistrict tournament at Lincoln Lutheran High School on Oct. 25. After the Mustangs ended Malcolm’s season a year ago in subdistricts, it was the C-1 No. 8 Clippers who got the better of Raymond Central this time around 18-25, 24-26, 25-23, and 19-25.

The second and third sets were very close against Malcolm. In the first and the fourth, the Clippers gained too much momentum and got on big enough runs that made it hard for Raymond Central to come back and win.

“In our match against Malcolm, I was impressed with our aggressive effort on offense,” Raymond Central Head Coach Andrea Rockemann said. “We went into the match knowing that we were going to have to swing with purpose and to take any opportunity we had to take aggressive shots.  I thought our front row really did a nice job of swinging tough and using their block, as well as mixing up their shots by incorporating off-speed balls and tips at ideal times. I was also impressed with the energy our team sustained throughout the entire match. It was obvious that the girls were enjoying themselves on the court as they celebrated each point and bounced back quickly after mistakes.”

Leading the Mustangs in her last match with 14 kills was Emaree Harris, while Quincy Cotter had seven kills. Earning four kills was Madelyn Lubischer, Zoie Stachura had three, Makenna Gehle earned two, and Hannah Kile had one. At the service line, Gehle had two aces and both Lubischer and Kile picked up one.

In the block category, it was the sophomore Lubischer who paced Raymond Central with three blocks. Earning two blocks was Harris, while Stachura and Kile had one block.

Kile had a great match defensively, with 29 assists and 17 digs, and both Adelyn Heiss and Zoie Stachura picked up one assist. In the dig category, Kile had 17 in the match while Gehle and Haislet had 13 apiece, Heiss had 10, Leslie Boss finished with eight, Cotter had five and Stachura earned three.

In the serve receive game, Bos had 27 good returns and Gehle ended up with 24. Finishing with 12 good serve receives was Heiss, Haislet had 10 and Cotter had four.

Playing their last matches for Raymond Central were seniors Leyla Hilsabeck, Kile, Gehle, Harris, Haislet and Stachura. As a group, the seniors combined for 537 kills, 120 aces, 76 blocks, 855 digs and 646 assists.

“This group of seniors demonstrated great leadership throughout the off-season and into this fall,” Rockemann said. “Not only did they work extremely hard in the weight room, but they took the time in the summer to show up, train with purpose, and lead by example. They are an intense, passionate group of individuals who brought so much energy and personality to the gym. They consistently challenged our younger players to raise their game in order to create a competitive practice environment. It has been such a joy to see the growth that these seniors have made in their four years in the program. They are leaving big shoes to fill; however, I know we have underclassmen who are ready to continue to step up and keep the competitive culture alive for Raymond Central volleyball.”

On the year, the Mustangs finished with a record of 15-12 and 6-5 inside the Capitol Conference. Highlights from the season included finishing fourth in the Capitol Conference tournament and getting third place in their home invite.

Alex Eller is a reporter for the Wahoo Newspaper. Reach him via email at alex.eller@wahoonewspaper.com.

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WAVERLY – The Waverly Board of Education will hold a recall election in January after petitioners received the 88 signatures needed to force a vote to remove school board president Andy Grosshans from his position. 

The recall bid was filed by Rebecca Kellner-Ratzlaff following the board’s extension in July of a resolution that gives Waverly Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cory Worrell the authority to make decisions on the district’s COVID-19 response without waiting for a scheduled school board meeting or calling a special meeting. 

“In passing this resolution, Mr. Grosshans silences the representation he was elected to uphold by his constituents,” Kellner-Ratzlaff wrote in her request for petitions filed on Sept. 7.

Grosshans’ defense statement included with the petition read: “For 12+ years, I have worked hard to make well-informed decisions to provide the students of District 145 with a safe environment in which to receive an outstanding education. In these difficult times, I hope for continued understanding and patience as we use key resources and area experts to do what’s in the best interest of all students.” 

The resolution was developed and approved at the start of the pandemic in April 2020, and the school board voted on July 5 to extend the resolution for the duration of the 2021-22 school year. 

Grosshans said the school’s attorney, Justin Knight, estimated that 90% of Nebraska school districts adopted similar resolutions in the 2020-21 school year, and approximately 40% readopted the resolutions for the current school year. Knight told Grosshans that many school districts felt like the worst of the pandemic had passed and that they could “let their guard down” for 2021-22.

“We didn’t feel that things were over yet and that we could afford to do that,” Grosshans said. “We felt it was important that Dr. Worrell had the ability to make quick decisions. These things with COVID can happen very, very rapidly, and if we have to rely on calling a meeting where it’s days out, then sometimes we’re losing valuable time.” 

The risk of COVID-19 transmission in Lancaster County is still high, according to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department’s risk dial.

In August, Worrell exercised his authority granted by the resolution, choosing to follow a recommendation from the LLCHD that children under the age of 12 wear masks in school. Masks are currently required for all pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in District 145.

On Sept. 6, District 145 parents attended the school board’s regularly scheduled meeting to voice their concerns over the decision to require masks in school. One parent, Angie Stara, co-founded a Facebook group called “Unmask Our Dist. 145 Kids,” and wrote in an email to The Waverly News after the meeting explaining that the group’s goal was “to get the school board members to take back the power they gave to the superintendent, back in July, to make all COVID-related decisions solely by himself.”  

The next day, Kellner-Ratzlaff filed for the petition to recall Grosshans. She was part of the “Unmask Our Dist. 145 Kids” group and in August had been active in petitioning against the school board’s initial decision to require masks for the 2021-22 school year. Kellner-Ratzlaff could not be reached for comment. 

Grosshans said he understands why citizens are frustrated, but he said the district’s COVID-19 response has been geared toward ensuring students receive an in-person education.

“I’m like everybody, I don’t like wearing a mask any more than anybody else does,” Grosshans said. “But I have a responsibility to the students and staff of this district to do everything we can to keep people safe and healthy while also providing the best option for quality education.”

Grosshans was a write-in candidate for the Waverly school board Ward 4 seat in the 2020 election. He had previously served on the school board since 2008 but hadn’t planned to run for the seat in 2020. No other candidates filed to run by the March 2, 2020 deadline, and the pandemic made its first impact locally that month.

“I thought, well, I’ll go ahead and try to serve another term to help get through this really difficult time,” Grosshans said. “By that point, I had to run as a write-in candidate, and by its very nature, that’s going to attract a lot fewer votes.” 

He won the election with 101 votes out of 249 total. For a recall petition to be sufficient under state statute 32-1303 (1), it must receive signatures totaling at least 35% of the number of votes cast in the general election. Rounded up, 35% of 249 works out to 88. 

Now, the nearly 1,400 voters in Ward 4 will receive mail-in ballots that read: “Shall Andy Grosshans be removed from the office of the Board of Education of Lancaster County School District 55-145, a/k/a Waverly School District 145?” Voters will then check “Yes” or “No.” Ballots must be returned to the Lancaster County Election Commission by 5 p.m. on Jan. 11.

Sam Crisler is a reporter for The Waverly News. Reach him via email at sam.crisler@wahoonewspaper.com.

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