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Vote: Who should be SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week (3/18/2024)?

Here are the candidates for SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week for March 11-17

Here are the candidates for SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week for March 11-17. Read through the nominees and cast your vote. Voting will conclude Sunday at 11:59 p.m. If you would like to make a nomination in a future week, email

Editor’s Note: Our Athlete of the Week feature and corresponding poll is intended to be fun, and we do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. However, we do not allow votes that are generated by script, macro or other automated means. Athletes who receive votes generated by script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified. 

Broxton Barrientos – Grand Island Baseball

Barrientos has 11 plate appearances through the first three games of the season and has already produced eight runs batted in. The Islander junior started off with a bang, going 2 for 4 with a triple and three RBIs in a March 14 win over Lincoln High. He was 3 for 4 the next night against Millard North and pushed three more runs across.

Dylan Crumley – Columbus Boys Track and Field

Crumley went to Omaha last year and competed in the Class A 100 and long jump at Burke Stadium. It was the second year in a row he made state after qualifying in the long jump as a sophomore. This year he’s looking for state hardware to close his varsity career and started that journey with a pair of gold medals on Saturday in Seward. Crumley won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.00 seconds and had the best mark on the long jump at 22 feet, 8.5 inches.

Jose Cruz Jr. – Schuyler Boys Soccer

Cruz scored 36 goals in his junior year and has notched 12 hat tricks in the past two seasons. He started off his final varsity year with the same momentum, putting four past the keeper in a win over Aurora on March 14. Cruz followed that up with two more in a win over Roncalli Catholic on Saturday. His six goals are tops in Nebraska through the first half-week of the season.

Lou Hodoly – Omaha South Baseball

Hodoly was dominant from the mound in relief during an appearance against Omaha Northwest. The South junior faced 14 hitters and struck out 10 of them. He hit one and allowed one hit, giving him an opponent’s average of just .077. Hodoly needed just 56 pitches in 14 at-bats to strike out 10, an average of just four pitches per hitter.

Louis Ingram – Plattsmouth Baseball

Whether it was with his eye, his bat or the rest of his body, Ingram was effective in every way possible in Plattsmouth’s season opener. The Blue Devil junior reached base five times, twice on base hits, twice on walks and once on a hit-by-pitch. Through those five plate appearances, he hit a home run, drove in five and scored four of his own.

Easton Leahy – Gretna East Baseball

There were stars all over the lineup in the program’s inaugural game, but it was Leahy who rose above the rest with a five-RBI performance. The Gretna East junior was 3 for 4 with those five RBIs and was part of a 30-0 win over Benson. He also walked twice and scored three runs.

Gage Mintken – Hay Springs Boys Track and Field

Mintken went to the state meet in the long jump and triple jump last year, winning a fifth-place medal in the long jump. The Hay Springs senior started a new year at Chadron on Saturday and is already nearly approaching those state marks from last May. Mintken won both events and nearly landed at 20 feet in the long jump. At 19-9.5, he was just six inches behind his state long jump mark. His triple jump mark of 38-6.5 was a little more than seven inches behind his state performance.

Garrett O’Hare – Kearney Catholic Boys Track and Field

O’Hare was a double qualifier for the state meet last season in both the shot put and discus. He finished just inside medal position in the shot put, landing his best throw at 51 feet, 5 inches. He opened his senior year by throwing 52-3 and winning Saturday’s UNK Class B/C Invitational. O’Hare was also already past his best state discus throw from last season, landing his best toss at 146-5 and winning another gold.

Jose Velez – Madison Boys Soccer

Velez had four goals as a freshman and four as a sophomore. He’s one game into his junior year and he’s already equaled his totals from those two seasons. Velez was a perfect 4 for 4 shooting and led Madison to a 12-2 win over Norfolk Lutheran.

Diego Zapata – Millard West Boys Soccer

Zapata was all over the field in Millard West’s opening game of the season. The Wildcat sophomore scored twice and set up a teammate for another goal during a 5-1 win over Papillion-La Vista. Zapata scored 11 points last season but his performance against Papio was the first time he scored a goal and notched an assist in the same game.

Brynn Baily – Southern Valley Girls Track and Field

Baily has been taking another step each season of her career. She’s just another step or two away from finishing a season in Omaha. Saturday in the Trojan Relays in Cambridge, Baily was the class of the field in shot put and discus, winning both events for the first time at the same meet. Baily edged out the runner-up in the shot put by 3 and 1/2 inches then dominated in the discus with a top toss nearly 20 feet beyond second place.

Alonna Depalma – Waverly Girls Track and Field

Depalma’s speed was a huge factor for the Waverly girls last season. She anchored a 1600 relay that never lost, a 400 relay that won a state title, she won herself a state gold in the 400 and took bronze in the 100. Waverly was third as a team in large part due to Depalma. She picked up right where she left off at Doane on Saturday, winning the 60-meter dash and anchoring the 1600 relay to yet another gold.

Tasha Eisenhauer – Norfolk Girls Soccer

Eisenhauer stepped in between the pipes in a less-than-ideal situation and did more than make the best of it. The Norfolk senior shut out Fremont for the next 70 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. In those 90 minutes, Eisenhauer made 14 saves and put the Panthers in position to earn a 2-1 victory. Her 14 saves were one of the top three save totals in the first weekend in all of Nebraska.

Abbi Gibbs – Omaha Concordia Girls Soccer

Gibbs didn’t wait to make her mark for the Concordia soccer program. As a freshman, she scored a goal in her first-ever varsity match. By the end of the season, she had racked up 19 goals and seven assists. Gibbs fired out of the gates again in the first match of her sophomore year, scoring six goals in a win over Lincoln Lutheran/Raymond Central. She added another one two days later and is almost halfway to last year’s total.

Chloe Hemmer – Fremont Girls Track and Field

Hemmer was off and running at the first meet of the year Saturday in Seward. The Fremont senior won both the 800 and the 3200, doubling her win total from a year ago. Hemmer was around the top spot in nearly every race last season, the most significant of which was ninth at state in the two-mile. At Seward to start the season, she ran about 12 seconds faster than that performance from last May.

Mallory Minturn – Bennington Girls Soccer

Minturn is dangerous all over the field, whether she has the ball or not. As a junior, she scored nine times and handed out just as many assists. Minturn has yet to score a goal in 2024 – the season is young – but she’s still got her touch as a passer. The Bennington had two assists in a win over Scotus and another helper in a win over Mercy.

Kara Muller – Bellevue West Girls Track and Field

Muller heads into her senior year having already achieved been to state in six events and collected two medals. Those two pieces of hardware came last May when her distance career produced sixth place in the two-mile and eight in the mile. Despite that finish, she won just two distance races all of last year. She achieved that feat in one meet on Saturday at St. Mary’s when she won the 1600 and the 3200.

Alyssa Onnen – Kearney Catholic Girls Track and Field

Onnen is one of the better track and field athletes you might not have heard of because she resides out in the middle of the state. As a freshman, she went to Omaha and earned four state medals – winning the pole vault while taking silver in the triple jump and long jump and fifth as the third leg of the 400 relay. She’s back at it again with perhaps even more in store. Onnen competed in two events on Saturday at the UNK Class B/C Invite and won them both – the 60-meter dash and the pole vault.

Ellie Reynolds – York Girls Soccer

Just three games in and Reynolds is on pace to score more than 30 goals. The York junior had a performance for the ages in the season opener when she scored five and added an assist for 11 points in a win over Kearney Catholic. Two days later she played twice, was held off the scoresheet against Platteview but was dynamic again with four goals against Nebraska City.

Gabb Wagenfuhr – Elkhorn South Girls Soccer

Wagenfuhr was pretty good last year. She produced 10 points that included three games with goals and a two-goal, two-assist game late in the year. It’s been just two games into 2024 and she’s already surpassed all of that. The Storm sophomore scored a hat trick to start the season in a March 14 win over Burke. She nearly doubled that two days later when she had five goals and added an assist in a victory over Omaha South.

--Nathan Charles | @SBLiveNeb