Each year, students at Leigh Community Schools show their patriotism and support for veterans by participating in the VFW's Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy contests.
Students in Mrs. Brabec's sixth-grade class and Mrs. Fischer's eighth-grade class participated in the Patriots' Pen contest, which was open to students in grades 6-8. Students had to write a 300-400 word essay entitled "My Pledge to Veterans."
Students in Mrs. Fischer's sophomore English class participated in the Voice of Democracy speaking contest, in which students had to write and deliver a 3-5 minute speech on the topic "Why is the Veteran Important?"
First, second, and third place winners were announced for each contest, with the first place winner receiving $50 in prize money, second place receiving $35, and third place receiving $25.
Post Commander Mike Benesch was present at the Leigh Veteran's Day program on November 11 to present the Leigh winners their awards.
For the Patriots' Pen contest, Vylet Hollatz placed 1st, Trenton Olson placed 2nd, and Avery Kuester finished 3rd. Vylet read her winning essay at the Veteran's Day program.
For the Voice of Democracy contest, Delanie Erwin placed 1st, Izabel Hollatz received 2nd, and Baylee Settje finished 3rd.
All six winning essays move on to the district competition.
Congratulations to the winners and all students involved in the competition for showing their pride in their country and veterans!
Patriot's Pen Winners (L to R): Post Commander Mike Benesch, Vylet Hollatz, Trenton Olson, Avery Kuester
Voice of Democracy Winners (L to R): Post Commander Mike Benesch, Delanie Erwin, Baylee Settje, Izabel Hollatz
The annual Leigh Veteran’s Day program, presented by the American Legion, Sucha Post #302, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion, was held on Friday, November 11, 2022, in the Leigh High School gym at 10 am.
To begin the program, a welcome was given by Mr. Don Tyser. Then, everyone stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Jr. High Band, under the direction of Liz Kowalski, performed the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Next, the program featured four local keynote speakers—Ken Eisenmann, Cecil Fields, Darwin Franzen, and Cornelius Schroeder—who all explained what being a veteran means to them.
The elementary students then sang a variety of songs, including “Heroes,” “This Land is Your Land,” “Everyday Heroes,” “Service Medley,” and “One Small Voice,”
This was followed by a tribute to veterans from Janet Eisenmann from the Legion Auxiliary.
Next, the winners of the Patriots’ Pen essay contest and Voice of Democracy speech contest were recognized by Mr. Mike Benesch, and the first-place winners—eighth-grader Vylet Hollatz for Patriots Pen, and sophomore Delanie Erwin for Voice of Democracy—read their winning essays.
The Senior High Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Cindy Settje, then sang “Stars and Stripes” and Mr. Don Tyser gave the closing address.
Following the program, the Leigh FCCLA chapter served veterans, Legion members, and Legion Auxiliary members and their families homemade pie and coffee.
It was a great local tribute to all those who served our country! Thank you all veterans for your service!
The Patriot volleyball team headed to Lincoln on Thursday, November 3, with high hopes and big expectations as they took on the Fremont Archbishop Bergan Knights in the Class C2 Nebraska State Volleyball Tournament.
“Making it to state for a third straight year is simply amazing!” Head Coach Becky Schneider said. “It speaks volumes about our program, our culture, and the time and dedication these girls put in! We liked our draw with Bergan first round, especially since we had played them prior. Going in, we knew we had a chance because we were definitely not the same team as we were the first time. We had a great three days of practice and focused on what we needed to do, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t our time.”
The Patriots’ hopes were dashed when the #2 Knights proved too much to handle for the #7 Patriots, as the Patriots lost in three straight sets.
After defeating the Centura Centurions in the sub-state game, the Patriots entered the state tourney with a 26-6 record. The Knights came into the matchup 31-4.
The Knights stunned the Pats in the first set 13-25, shutting down the Patriot attackers.
In the second set, the Patriots hung with the Knights the whole time, but lost the back-and-forth battle 24-26.
The third set was much of the same, with the Patriots playing hard but just not being able to get over the hump. Bergan’s blockers continued to frustrate the Patriot attackers, and they just couldn’t find a groove, losing 22-25.
This year’s lone senior leader, Korbee Wendt had this to say about the game:
“Unfortunately, the state tournament didn't go as planned or how we wanted it to go. We are a young team this year, and there were a lot of nerves going into the match that probably played a role in the outcome of the game. Although the game didn't go as we had wanted it to, it was such a great experience being able to be one of the eight teams in class C2 to go down to state.
“Overall it was a great season from start to finish,” Wendt continued. “Even though we started out the season on kind of a slow note, we picked it up and we peaked at the perfect time. We accomplished so many things together as a team this year, such as winning a few tournaments, being conference champs, and making it to state for the third year in a row. This team will be a hard one to leave because we just all got along, worked so well together, and just worked so hard every day to accomplish the goals we had set. It was a very fun season, and I can't wait to watch to see what these girls will do next year!”
In the final game of her career, Wendt had 7 kills, 5 digs, and 1 block. Junior Chloe Hanel had 14 kills, 11 digs, and 3 blocks. Izzy Hollatz had 27 assists, 2 blocks, and 12 digs. Brynn Settje recorded 13 digs, Gracie Eisenmann posted 12 digs, and Ava Kasik added 11.
Bergan was a solid team, and we definitely battled with them and made some good runs; however, we also made uncharacteristic errors and just couldn’t recover from them,” Coach Schneider said. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t make more noise at state, but we could not be prouder of these girls and all that they accomplished this season. We had a phenomenal season and made history once again!”
Clarkson-Leigh vs. Archbishop Bergan Stats:
Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Final
Clarkson-Leigh 13 24 22 0
Archbishop Bergan 25 26 25 3
(kills, aces, blocks, digs, assists)
Izzy Hollatz: 1, 1, 2, 12, 27; Chloe Hanel: 14, 0, 3, 11, 0; Cadence Indra: 0, 2, 0, 8, 0; Brynn Settje: 1, 1, 1, 13, 0; Tanyn Larson: 2, 0, 1, 2, 0; Gracie Eisenmann: 2, 1, 1, 12, 3; Baylee Settje: 5, 0, 0, 4, 0; Ava Kasik: 0, 0, 0, 11, 0; Korbee Wendt: 7, 0, 1, 5, 1
Round 3 of the Class D-1 football playoffs is done and over with, and the Patriots were victorious once again.
It was a cold night and muddy field on Friday, November 4, but the Patriots came to play in the adverse weather conditions, and their efforts proved well worth it. With a final score of 46-18, the Patriots decisively ended the Indians’ season.
The first quarter started off strong for the Patriots, as they scored once towards the end of the quarter. We scored once again to start off the second quarter before the Indians battled back to score 12 points, but were denied both times on the two-point conversion attempts.
The Patriots didn’t let up in the second half, as they stopped the Indians again and again until finally a well thrown ball into the corner of the end zone gave Weeping Water one more touchdown.
After building a 28-18 lead after three quarters, the Patriots didn’t let up in the fourth quarter, putting two more touchdowns on the board to bury the Indians’ season for good!
Senior Kyle Kasik said, “I thought we did a good job preparing for Weeping Waters tricky offense in practice. Overall in the game we started off slow, but after halftime we made a couple adjustments and executed well enough to get to the semifinals.”
Kasik led the team to victory on both sides of the ball, with 204 rushing yards, five touchdowns, and 8 tackles. Senior Drew Beeson added 37 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, and 6 tackles. Junior Dylan Higby added 19 rushing yards and 8 tackles.
Head coach Jim Clarkson said, “The team played very well, it was a great effort in all phases. It was a great night for our program!”
There are now only 4 teams left in the D-1 playoffs, and the Patriots take on the Stanton Mustangs in the next round!
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
CL 8 8 12 16 46
WW 0 12 6 0 18
Individual Stats (rushing yards, receiving yards, passing yards, touchdowns, tackles)
Mason Whitmore—0, 11, 0, 0, 5; Kyle Kasik—204, 0, 0, 5, 8; Ryan Brichacek—24, 0, 11, 0, 0; Drew Beeson—37, 0, 0, 1, 6; Dalton Zulkoski—0, 0, 0, 0, 2; Dylan Higby- 19, 0, 0, 0, 7; Jacob Koehn—0, 0, 0, 0, 1; Jackson Koehn—0, 0, 0, 0, 4; Kyle Holmberg- 0, 0, 0, 0
The following projects were completed in Mr. Bazata's Industrial Technology classes during the first semester.
Picture 1 - Students in Ag Tech were to design a car powered by 2 mouse traps. Using different levers and structures, they attempted to see whose car traveled the greatest distance.
Picture 2 - Jack and Albert with the finished product of a refurbished glider bench.
Picture 3 - Students in Ag Construction were to make a fall project utilizing old scrap and pallet wood.
Picture 4 - Jordan Noonan made a nice fall sign out of scrap wood.
Picture 5 - Xander Ross built a small desk/table.
Picture 6 - Dalton Z designed and built a luxurious birdhouse that makes any other ordinary birdhouse look boring.
The Clarkson-Leigh VB team put up a good fight in their final two games of the season against Howells Dodge on October 3rd and Humphrey St. Francis on October 10th.
In the match against Howells-Dodge, the A team lost for the very first time all season, after having beaten the Jaguars previously in the season.
“It was a fun match to play in against Howells-Dodge,” eighth-grader Ella Higby said. “We didn’t play our best, but we took our mistakes and learned from them.”
JH Coach KC Hegemann said, “Unfortunately the HD game didn't go as we had hoped, but hopefully the girls learned from it from a mental standpoint. We had opportunities to win, we just didn't execute.”
Despite losing to Howells-Dodge, they did end the season with a win for all levels against St. Francis.
“We didn’t probably play our best game against St. Francis, but it was still nice to come through with a win to end a great season,” eighth-grader Daphne Jedlicka said.
“The B group played very well and beat the Flyers easily,” Coach Seth Cash said. “The A team had some self-inflicted wounds, but they fought back and won in three sets.
Coach Hegemann said the season was a learning opportunity for all players.
“The St. Francis game was a good test to our offense, as they picked up a lot of balls on defense,” Hegemann said. “We were able to get a few more girls in the game, which was great, as everyone worked hard all season. Overall, we found a way to win together, and it was a great end to a great season.”
The future is bright for Patriot volleyball. All three teams finished with just one loss apiece all year! The A team final record was 10-1, the B team was 8-1, and the C team was 5-1-1.
The junior high football teams played two very good games Monday, October 10th to finish out their season. One team played in Leigh against Humphrey Lindsay Holy Family. The other team played in Norfolk against Lutheran High Northeast.
The game in Leigh ended 0-26 against Humphrey/LHF. Against LHNE, the score was 52-0 with the Patriots finishing with a commanding victory over the Eagles.
Michael Wemhoff said, who played in the LHNE game, said, “We were very physical. We came out swinging from the start and we ended up with a really fun win.”
Coach Jarrod Bazata said, “The game on Monday in Leigh did not go as we had hoped. We lost 0-26. It was good to get some of those younger kids a lot of playing time. Some of them really stepped up and showed some real potential for next year and the years to come in high school. Some of them still need a lot of work for next year but I am already excited to see what this group can bring for next year.
Coach Bazata was pleased with the team’s performance this season.
“As far as the season goes, I think we saw and did some really good things. Leaders were developed and players were formed. I feel there are some 8th graders that are ready for the next level of their playing and ready to go. There were tons of improvements throughout the year. This was a great group of kids to work with.”
The team’s final record was 4-2! Good job, Patriots!
After practicing for this event for a few weeks, the Leigh FFA Chapter went to participate at the Land Judging FFA event held in Tilden on October 12.
Every FFA member was involved, and they tried their best to compete. There were four different sections in the field and FFA members had to determine under which category each section fell.
An impressive 580 total FFA members contributed to this event in windy and cold weather. All students compete as individuals, then they take the top 4 kids from each school to determine team placings. The top 4 are placed in team 1, then the next four from each school are Team 2 and so on
The top 4 FFA members from Leigh were Mason Whitmore, who finished 33rd, James Grotelueschen, 65th, Brianne Kuhr, 67th, and Jordan Noonan, 77th.
This Top 4 group finished 13th overall, with a team from Wisner-Pilger finishing first overall.
FFA advisor Alyssa Went said, “We saw some new soil profiles and different terrain than what we are used to. I am proud of how the kids did in a huge district contest!”
“It was a great way to start FFA activities, and everybody represented the chapter well,” stated Brianne Kuhr, a sophomore at Leigh High school. “Having one of our teams place well was exciting to see. Overall, it was a very enjoyable day for all the high school FFA members.”