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Men of Faith Tournament Results

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The Lincoln Lutheran Men of Faith Basketball Tournament was once again a tremendous success.  13 teams and over 100 men participated in this: the 17th annual tournament.  The Christian fraternity was positive and the action was once again very exciting!

In the Open Division (30 & younger), 8 teams competed.  This division included a strong alumni representation.  Squads in this division included:  Alumni 2000-2004 (Brendan Bonner-Captain), Alumni 2002-2006 (Adam Troester-Captain), Alumni 2003-2007 (Brett Himmelberg-Captain), Alumni 2008-2010 (Derek Schulte-Captain), Alumni 2010-2012 (Eric Beckman-Captain), Concordia (Aaron Hedlund-Captain), Lincoln Lutheran Coaches (Mike Holle-Captain), and a team of existing Lincoln Lutheran Warriors PLUS Mr. Niederklein.  The Beckman, Hedlund, Holle and Troester teams reached the final four.  In a rematch of last year’s championship game, Aaron Hedlund’s Concordia team defeated the LL Coaches to claim bragging rights as tournament champs for the second year in a row.

  • Classic Division Champions -- Faith:  Jim Austin, David Bliemeister, Kent Eitzmann, Chris Fatter, Jason Gaffe, Tim Guenthe, Pat Hardesty (Captain), Jeff Peterson, Kelley Sears, and Vic Seydell.
  • Classic Division Runner-up -- Trinity:  Jeff DeBoer, Shawn Donovan, Ron Gottula, Dean Heiden, Kevin Lanka, Kevin Orth, David Ringler (Captain), and Rick Schwartz.  
  • Open Division Champions – Concordia: *Keegan Bloomfield, Aaron Hedlund (Captain), *Andrew Bowers, *Alex Bowers, *Ian Fuller, *Nick *Milberger, and *Ryan Schrum.
  • Open Division Runner-up – Alumni 2010-2012:  Eric Beckman (Captain), Isaiah Bockelman, Nick Dudycha, Jayson Haessler, Matt Justus, Zach Justus, Connor Shelton, Logan Wachal.

The champion and runner-up teams in each division are invited to designate $200 and $50 respectively to a charity of their choice.  All four teams donated their winnings to the Warrior Wellness Project (weight room remodel).  Thank you, gentlemen!!

Tournament Highlight:  4th grader Steven Bennett (Son of Tom and Kristin Bennett) led the pre-game prayer before the Sunday classic division semi-final game!

Others teams in the tournament…

  • Christ-1 -- Vincente Bustamonte, Lars Gallagher, Will Hayes, Jerry Kile, Mark McDonald, Brody Ockander, Steve Wells (Captain).​
  • Christ-2 -- Jeff Frohberg, Shawn Goodrich, Steven Kennedy, Bryce Kleen, Byron Peterson, Troy Post, Joel Rodencal (Captain), Dave Swan.​
  • Redeemer/Holy SaviourJesse Bachman, Tom Bennett, Dustin Hoffman (Captain), Ryan Holiday, Ryan Koch, Dave Michaelson, Keith Seilhans, and Scott Stream.


  • Alumni 2000-2004 -- David Bliemeister, Brendan Bonner (Captain), *Ryan Edwards, Erik Poulsen, Cory Rohren, *Matthew Wagnitz, Zach Willet.
  • Alumni 2002-2006 -- *Tim Culwell, *Reed Phinisey, David Schwartz, Ben Troester, Jon Ziegler.  
  • Alumni 2003-2007 -- *Nate Bloch, Brett Himmelberg (Captain), Matt Himmelberg, *Alex Holley, *John Lavorson, Grant Maul, Andy Wittman, Kyle Ziegler.
  • Alumni 2008-2010  -- Alex Deeter, *Dylan Hajek, Tyler Metschke, Zane Peterson, Micah Pomerenke, Derek Schulte, Michael Tewes.
  • Lincoln Lutheran Coaches -- Brett Dangler, Adam Flanagan, Kraig Flanagan, Seth Flanagan, Lee Fiddler, Jason Glines, Derek Groskurth, Mike Holle (Captain), Joel Weyand, and Kyle Wooster.
  • 2013-2016 -- Ethan Bruggeman, Harrison Martin, *Alex Niederklein (LL M.S. Teacher), Marshall Oetting, Micah Oetting, Andrew Polk, Riley Smith (Captain), Garett Wachal, Josh Wendland.

*Denotes non-Lincoln Lutheran Alumnus

THANK YOU’S….There are SO MANY people who volunteer time and talents to make this tournament successful.  Tournament director Lyle Ziems would like to sincerely thank all the players for their support of Lincoln Lutheran through participation in this tournament AND for overall witness of Christ in their play.  Lyle would also like to thank the MANY others for their special contributions to the tournament:  

  • Volunteer Officials -- David Bliemeister, Tom Bliemeister, Brian Bruggeman, Luke Derowitsche, Keith Ernst, Scott Ernstmeyer, Lee Fiddler, Michelle Metzger, Joel Stoltenow
  • Scorer’s Table Coordinators - Keith Ernst and Brad Pracheil
  • Assistant Scorer’s Table CoordinatorsSheila Ziems
  • Yummy Pulled Pork Meal Preparation and ServiceSharon Bliemeister
  • Meal Assistant -- Sheila Ziems
  • Floor Prep -- David Backus
  • Miscellaneous -- Brent Johnson (LL Athletic Director)
  • Scorers Table Student Volunteeers: Dylan Brockhaus, Ashlee Ernst, Caleb Gahan, Alex Havlena, Mikayla Higgins, Chase Latham, Max McCoy, Minh C. Nguyen, Jacob Rappa, Nolan Schad, Nick Schmeling, Riley Smith, Jacob Staab, Nathan Todd, Rachel Ziems, Rebecca Ziems.  

NOTE:  Chase Latham & Riley Smith worked the ENTIRE day Saturday!!!

Additional Note:  David Bliemeister helped with food prep the day before the tournament, either played or officiated 11 of the 24 Saturday games, and, then, played in two more games on Sunday.  That’s a full day’s labor, David!  Thank you for your tireless(?) contributions to the tournament!  

Chess Tournament 2013

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When you picture a chess tournament, you probably think of a quiet room where everything is still except for the movement of the occasional chess piece. That was not an accurate picture of our 7th grade chess tournament. Our chess tournament was an exciting, noisy and funny culminating event for Lincoln Lutheran's annual 7th grade chess day.

"The tournament, the move, everything was really, really fun, and I had an awesome day." --Shania Kond

On March 24th, while the 8th graders were in Kansas City, Mr. Sommerer with help from Mr. Neidermeier, Mrs. Stahr and Mrs. Jank took the 7th graders through a series of activities that lead up to our 12th annual chess tournament.

After a devotion and some warm-up activities the 7th graders watched the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. It's a great movie that really captures the 7th graders attention. It piques their interest in chess, but doesn't require any actual knowledge about how to play chess. It's one of Mr. Sommerer's favorite movies. He highly recommends it.

After the movie Mr. Sommerer introduced the 7th graders to the chess pieces (it looks like a complicated game, but there are only 6 different pieces). They play little games with the individual pieces to become familiar with how each piece moves before playing a full games. The 7th grade guys always point out that the king is the most important piece. The gals counter with, "yeah, but the queen is the most powerful."

"I loved Chess Day because it is one of my favorite board games . My favorite part was the movie." --Jackson Latova

Learning chess also requires some one-on-one instruction. The teachers couldn't do this alone; luckily every year just about half of the 7th graders already know how to play, so when we divide up into pairs. It is always one person who knows how to play and one who doesn't know --or maybe just isn't that comfortable with the game. The experienced students know that their job isn't to win the game; it's to make sure that their partner can win in the tournament.

"I thought it was fun; more fun than I expected." --Ella Wallace

After lunch we hold a chess tournament. A normal tournament with brackets would mean that some students would only play 2 games, so instead we do a sort of round robin tournament. But we don't do a real round robin tournament because then you would have to wait around for your next opponent to finish. Instead we divide into two levels: everyone who knew how to play before our chess day in one group and everyone who just learned how to play in another. The 7th graders can play anyone in their group. When they finish a game they report who won and who lost. Then we enter that information into a computer program and they go find someone else from their group to play. At the end of the tournament the computer program looks at who beat who and determines the final ranking (the program is modeled after college football standings). Everyone got to play at least 4 games and one person played 9 games.

This year in the group that already knew how to play chess our tournament leaders were:

  1. James Lavicky
  2. ​Devin Sorensen
  3. Gage Rabbe
  4. Chase DeBusk
  5. Jaxson Klein
  6. Brent Goodro-Sincebauch
  7. Noah Atterbury
  8. Makenna Pickering
  9. Nicholas Schaedel
  10. Jacob Wendland

Among our new chess players our tournament leaders were:

  1. Logan Holle
  2. Sam Rathe
  3. Evan Rich
  4. Calvin Caneva
  5. ​Haleigh Hoefs
  6. Carley Knapp
  7. Elora Maxwell
  8. Hayley Steinbauer
  9. Rebecca Ziems
  10. Elizabeth Moore

Why learn chess? Chess is not only fun to play but has many educational benefits as well. Chess helps to develop pattern visualization, patience, memory, abstract reasoning, originality and creativity, awareness of the consequences of actions, concentration and focus. Not only that, studies show that students who learn how to play chess perform better in math (which makes sense) and in English (go figure).

"It was fun to play against even competition instead of my sister or brother." --Thomas Otte

All of the students at Lincoln Lutheran who attended in 7th grade have learned how to play chess. If you haven’t had a chance yet, it might be fun to ask your son or daughter to play a game of chess. If you don’t know how to play (or if you’ve forgotten) you could ask them to teach you. And don’t feel bad if they beat you. Some of them beat Mr. Sommerer too. If you don't have a chess set, we do a group order from a chess wholesaler each year for the nice quality sets that the 7th graders used in their tournaments. By ordering as a group we get prices that are less than half what you can get in other places. All of the 7th graders have order forms; see Mr. Sommerer if you would like one.

"I liked the tournament because it was really fun, and no one could beat me." --Noah Atterbury

HS Science Fair Results

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Eighteen senior high biology students participated in this year’s LL Science Fair. There were a lot of hours of work on display. All student participants are to be applauded for the extra time and energy they invested to pursue experimental research! To God be the glory!

Caleb Ziems won 1st place, a trophy, Caleb received a $100 SCRIP voucher for his experiment titled: Cornfield Mystery: Investigation of Annual Crop Failure in a Portion of a Holt County Dry Land Cornfield. In his experiment, Caleb investigated whether the crop failure on a “problem” plot has a biotic cause or a chemical cause and also whether a variety of plant species are equally sensitive to whatever the problem turned out to be. Asked what he learned through this years science fair, Caleb said, "I have learned that, to get worthwhile results, much work and effort must be invested. Some things simply take time and scientific research is one of them."

Kacey Kohlhoff placed 2nd with her experiment to determine how age effects memory titled Total Recall. "I did a lot of work but that was good because I felt like I learned a lot about memory, and I was really ready to present to the judges.", said Kacey. She went on to talk about the fact that the insights that she gained about memory would help her when she studies in other classes. Kacey received a trophy, $75 SCRIP voucher and she is very proud of the time and work that she put into science fair this year.

Uriah Soenksen recieved the 3rd place trophy along with a $50 SCRIP vouched for his experiment to determine whether supermarket hamburger label percentages actually reflect the amount of lean meat present in the product. Uriah's titled his experiment, Where's the Beef?  When asked about his project, he said, "Science fair consumed quite a bit of time and was a lot of hard work, but when it was all over I felt good about finishing it. I felt a sense of accomplishment. I thought it was pretty cool how my project could be applied to real life situations. For example, now my mom can be more informed when she buys ground beef."

Mia Wright placed 4th for her experiment titled Bacteria in Chicken where she tried to determine which type of raw chicken (frozen, air chilled or fresh) had the most bacterial contamination. Mia said that she was really surprised at how well her project did and that science fair has increased her confidence when it comes to speaking in front of others. Mis received a $25 SCRIP voucher along with a trophy.

Rounding out the winners, Corbyn Trumbley & Nolan Schad tied for 5th place recieving a trophy and a $10 SCRIP voucher for their efforts. Others who participated in the fair were: Nalom Deng, Sarah Gahan, Alysia Hohbein, Jon Kisker, Milana Langewisch, Danielle Moerer, Nick Schmeling, Paige Steinbauer, and Kyle Williams.

These students will now have the opportunity to compete in the Southeast Nebraska Junior Academy of Science Regional Fair hosted by UNL at the East Campus Union on Saturday, March 2.

A huge Warrior thank you to the twelve wonderful people who served as expert judges for our fair: Merv Dehning, Sean Anderson, Roy Bartels, Shanna Engel, David Franzen, Trinity Exchange Teacher From Korea Gabriella, John Lindquist, Kyle McClellan, Sydney Paige, Anne Streich, and Randy Wehling.

1st Place (trophy & $100 SCRIP voucher): Caleb Ziems
2nd Place (trophy & $75 SCRIP voucher): Kacey Kohlhoff
3rd Place (trophy & $50 SCRIP voucher): Uriah Soenksen
4th Place (trophy & $25 SCRIP voucher): Mia Wright
5th & 6th Place ($10 SCRIP vouchers): Corbyn Trumbley & Nolan Schad

Dance Takes State

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On Saturday, February 16th, the Blue Angels Dance Team competed at the Nebraska Cheer and Dance State Competition in Grand Island. The Angels performed two routines, a Pom routine and a High Kick routine. The routines are scored on many varying elements by a panel of professional dance judges who evaluate them on a 100 point scale. There were 13 teams in the Pom division and 8 in the High Kick category.  The kick routine was choreographed by former Blue Angels members, Jenna Karlin and Jami Watts.  The pom routine was choreographed by Cayla Berry.  

The girls brought home state championships in both Pom and High Kick.

This is the sixth year the state Cheer and Dance Championships have been held and the Blue Angels have brought home trophies every year, including first place finishes the last four years. The Angels got their first double championship last year, also in Pom and High Kick. This year, the Blue Angels’ High Kick routine came in first place by a whopping 6.3 points! Not only did the Blue Angels win class C; their scores in both pom and high kick would have placed them first in Class B and Runner-up in Class A! 

The Blue Angels Dance Team holds their annual dance show at Lincoln Lutheran on Monday, March 4th, at 7:00 pm. Come support the girls and see the senior boys dance in Blue Ice!

Team members include Lexie Volk, Marissa Hein, Taylor Brockhaus, Mickalea Oneth, Sidnee Lebsock, Darcy Steffens, Brittany Sincebaugh, Brianna Hellbusch, Sarah Gahan, Haley Wineman, Makenna Drewel, Rachel Wheeler.

Middle School Science Fair Results

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By Rachel Meinke

It’s that time of the year again: science fair time! The small gym is full of card tables displaying all different types of projects that Lincoln Lutheran middle school students have been working hard on for the last few months. The science fair judging took place on Saturday February 9th while the displays remained open to the public through February 12th. Many projects earned the point totals necessary to move on to regional competition. The three top projects at Lincoln Lutheran received rewards and recognition.

Taking home first place was Alice Wentz with her project entitled, “Fowl Play”. Using chicken wings, she tested different environments to see which would affect the weight of the chicken wing the most after decomposition. Between concrete, exposure to air, soil, and a plastic bag, Alice found that the exposed chicken wing’s weight changed the most.

In second place was Trevor Holland with his project called, “What a Drag!”. He experimented to see whether swimmers would have faster times when wearing jammers as compared to swim trunks. Trevor found that swimmers had lower times when wearing jammers because they created less drag in the water.

In third place was Lydia Asplin with her project entitled, “Sweet Dilemma”. She compared different brands of cookie sheets to see which would produce the best cookies.  Using taste testers, Lydia found that Doughmakers™ brand of cookie sheets produced the best cookies.

Overall the middle school science fair was a huge success with many students experiencing and applying the scientific method for the first time. With each project entrants also had to create a report and a display. Great job middle schoolers and congratulations on the successes stemming from all of your hard work!

Operation Sandy-Stash

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The week before Thanksgiving, Mr. Wieting and Mr. Krall challenged the Lincoln Lutheran middle school students to provide help for the families that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. As part of the challenge, Mr. Krall and Mr. Wieting would grow mustaches if the students raised $500 and $750 respectively. If they somehow managed to raise $2000, the rest of the male faculty would also grow mustaches. Operation Sandy-Stash was born.

The Lincoln Lutheran community responded with enthusiasm, and in a little over a week blew past all goals. With donations of cash, gift cards and other items, and help from Lincoln Rent-A-Van and U-Haul with donations of vehicles to use for the trip East, over $17,000 was raised. Mr. Wieting stated, “There were a lot of generous donations made. I think this was different than donating to someplace like the Red Cross because they knew the affiliation and they got to see pictures and see exactly what they were working for.” The three main types of items that were donated were clothes, toiletry items and nonperishable food. The 6th grade students then went about the task of carefully documenting all of the donations and their value before helping to load them into the van and trailer.

God moves through people’s hearts in many different ways. For Mr. Bob Krall and Mr. Sean Wieting, they believed their calling was to go to the Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River, New Jersey over Thanksgiving Break. This church sacrificed their time, money and volunteers to serve those who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. According to Mr. Wieting, he felt in his heart that this is what the Spirit needed him to do. 

It took the Sandy-Stash crew a total of 26 hours to get there due to some unplanned dense fog. They were then put onto different teams and went out and helped families in need. As far as the impact this had on Mr. Wieting's life, he said “The biggest thing for me was the experience that it has on young people.  I have the desire to get young people to go places and see how well we have it. It puts people into perspective.”  The Lincoln Lutheran family thanks all who contributed to this project, and ultimately, who helped to share the love of Christ with those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Want to know more? The Journal Star wrote a nice article on the whole operation.

All-State Music Students

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Each year, approximately 3000 of the best high school musicians in the state audition for the Nebraska All-State Band, Chorus, Jazz Band and Orchestra which are sponsored by the Nebraska Music Educators Association.  Selection as a member of one of these groups is one of the highest musical honors attainable in Nebraska. 

Four Lincoln Lutheran students will be among the 440 students selected to be a part of the 2012 All-State Chorus:  Aine Lambrecht - Soprano 2, Clara Rich - Alto 2, Tanner Bohlender - Tenor 1 and Zach Kunz - Tenor 2.

Two Lincoln Lutheran students will be among the 130 students selected to be a part of the 2012 All-State Orchestra:  Hannah Bell - Clarinet and Emmiline Moll - Violin.

Both the Choir and Orchestra will rehearse Nov. 14 - Nov. 16 with a final public concert on Friday, Nov. 16 at the Lied Center.

Congressman Fortenberry visits Lincoln Lutheran

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On October 18th, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry visited with Lincoln Lutheran seniors and government students. In town hall format, Congressman Fortenberry reminded students that the simple phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" is the foundation of American government and thought, and the enduring political and philosophical legacy of the United States.

For over an hour afterward, students were able to ask questions of the Congressman and asked such questions as:

  • "Is it difficult for politicians to tell the truth?"
  • "What inspired you to get involved in politics?"
  • "What is your plan to reduce the national debt?"
  • "Is your family supportive of your career?"

Before leaving, Congressman Fortenberry told students that he enjoys the opportunity to work with young people to encourage them to engage in the political process through voting and contacting elected officials. It is, he said, their voice and their vote that influences the process occurring in Washington, D.C.

The visit was made possible by the efforts of senior government student Casey Blum who contacted the Congressman and arranged the visit. Remember, election day is November 6th. Please vote!

Annual Development Report

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Dear Alumni, Donors, and Friends,

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this;
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
—Psalm 37:5-6

This past school year was filled with celebrations. Many people gathered at our 50th Anniversary Celebration and Worship to acknowledge the sacrifices our Founding Fathers made and their foresight to dream of a place like Lincoln Lutheran.

We also celebrated the retirement of four teachers who had over 100 years of combined teaching experience —Don Duitsman, John Roeber, Donna Willet, and Susan Carlson. Over my five years at Lincoln Lutheran, I have gotten to know all of these outstanding people and have seen first hand the impact they have on the lives of our students. They will be missed!

Our Development Office also had reason for celebration. Our 17th Annual Gala & Auction was blessed again with over 420 people attending, our special project raised $43,560 to purchase iPads for the teaching staff, and our gym advertising initiative continues to grow and provide revenue for the Activities Department.

If you watch KOLN you may see our new commercial that will continue to air throughout the year. This ad is part of our overall marketing plan to reach the Lincoln community. Every event and celebration happens only with God’s blessing and direction. As I put together this annual report, it provided me time to reflect on what has happened over the school year and made me further realize the importance of our ministry here.

Thank you again for your continued support of Lincoln Lutheran. We would not be here without you. Ambassador in Christ,

Amy K. Jurgens Development Director

Lincoln Lutheran plans for the future

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LLSA Site-Study Committee Engages in an RFI Process

Last spring the Lincoln Lutheran Board of Directors authorized the creation of a study committee in response to a critical target from the Association’s strategic plan. The critical target focused on Facilities states, “Lincoln Lutheran provides a multi-functional facility, designed and maintained to promote and enhance the delivery of excellent education and extra-curricular programs.” Our current 17+ acre campus is certainly a blessing and God has used it to do great ministry for more than 50 years. However, our space has some very real limitations. Adding bricks and mortar to our current campus will further limit space for programs and parking.

To begin planning for the future, the Board has begun to ask the question, “How can Lincoln Lutheran ensure it has competitive facilities which will respond to future needs for Lutheran Secondary Education in Lincoln?” The committee has chosen to engage the area development community in an RFI (Request For Information) process so they will have the information necessary to create a summary report for the Board. This is a similar prioritizing and planning process utilized by the Lincoln Public Schools and the City of Lincoln. The goal of this process is to determine what opportunities exist to be creative in ministry moving forward, be it on our current campus or on a new site. Please understand that no decisions have been made to move our campus. The committee and Board are simply in a discovery phase. Thank you for continued prayers and support.

Members of the Site-Study Committee include:

  • Scott Ernstmeyer, EdS Executive Director – LLSA/LEF
  • Bob Caldwell President and CEO – Hampton Enterprises
  • Doug Holle, P.E. Manager, Roadway Design – The Schemmer Associates
  • Dr. Doug Tewes Physician – Lincoln Orthopaedic Center
  • Cory Bergt (Board Member) Senior Relationship Manager – Wells Fargo
  • Tom Schulte (Board Member) Vice President of Operations – B &R Stores, Inc.
  • David Ringler, P.E. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, Inc.
  • Chris Blomenberg (Board Member) Attorney – McHenry Haszard Law