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2014 Men of Faith Basketball Tournament

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The Lincoln Lutheran Men of Faith basketball tournament was once again tremendously successful.  For the first time in several years, the tournament maxed out its quota of sixteen teams (8 in each of two age divisions).  The Christian fraternity among the approximately 130 players was quite positive and the game action was extremely competitive and exciting.  Several players who have played in tournament in the past commented that this year’s tournament may have been the most competitive in the event’s history.

The eight teams in the “Open Division” (30 & younger) were captained by:  Adam Troester, Brett Himmelberg, Derek Schulte, Eric Beckman, Aaron Hedlund, Nathan Bloch, Lucas Megrue, and Greg Nelson.  Nathan Bloch’s team won the championship with a thrilling 69-66 victory over the team from First Free Church (Lucas Megrue - Captain).  That victory coming after a even more thrilling 89-85 double-overtime semifinals win over Adam Troester’s squad.

In the “Classic Division” (31 & older), the team captains were:  Tom Bennett/Dustin Hoffman, Cory Bergt, Pat Hardesty, Mike Holle, Wade Houchin, David Ringler, Joel Rodencal, and Steve Wells.  After losing to Wade Houchin’s squad in round robin play, Mike Holle’s team earned redemption in the championship game to claim the Classic Division title.

OPEN DIVISION CHAMPION --  Nathan Bloch (Captain), Emil Bloch, Kurt Chvatal, Kyle Hedley, Alex Holley, Corey, John Levorson, Jason Thalken

OPEN DIVISION RUNNER-UP -- Lucas Megrue (Captain), Jesse Anderson, Mozart Dixon, Andrew Drevo, Steve Fielder, Josh Megrue, Brad Schindler, Ryan Swihart. 

CLASSIC DIVISION CHAMPION – *Mike Holle (Captain), Scott Ernstmeyer, Lee Fiddler, Jason Glines, Sam Loewe, *Kevin Loontjer, John Reilly, *Cory Rohren, Scott Schmidt.

CLASSIC DIVISION RUNNER-UP -- Wade Houchin (Captain), Brian Benson, Brian Daniel, Anthony Harms, Jake Mohs, Joel Scott, Randy Sukup, Travis Wischmeyer.

TOURNAMENT PROCEEDS:  Over $1,000 dollars from this year’s Men of Faith tournament will be used to fund Lincoln Lutheran’s new Community Outreach Program.  The following is a basic description of the program:

(1)  The mission of the new program is to "provide the organizational structure for students, parents and staff to show Christ's love by serving the needs of our Lincoln neighbors."
(2)  The Community Outreach Program will give students the opportunity to act upon God’s word:  1 John 3:17 - “But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”  Matthew 25:40 -  "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
(3)  Those students involved as team members in the Community Outreach Program each commit to serving a minimum of two Saturdays of a single month of the school year.  The students for a given month select a faith-based not-for-profit organization from the Lincoln community to serve.  These students are also responsible for organizing the service outing.                                  (4)  The Men of Faith Tournament contribution to the program will be used as “gift money” to the organizations being served.  In other words, the majority of the Men of Faith Tournament proceeds will ultimately end up in the hands of those faith-based non-profit entities.  Matthew 25:40 -  "…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Others teams in the tournament…


Tom Bennett & Dustin Hoffman (Captains) -- Aaron Farber, Chris Johnson, Ryan Koch, Doug Koebernick, David Michaelson, Keith Sielhan, Scott Stream.

Cory Bergt (Captain) -- Chad Cade, Jon Ernst, Jeff Fry, Jess Meekma, Chris Rathe, Chris Schaedel, *Craig Volzke, Kelly Waldo.

Path Hardesty (Captain) -- *David Bliemeister, John Dolson, Kent Eitzman, Chris Falter, Jason Graff, Tim Guenthe, Jeff Peterson, Kelly Sears, Vic Sydell. Final Four Team.

David Ringler (Captain) -- Jeff Deboer, Shawn Donovan, Mike Gibbons, Pete Kragel, *Kevin Orth, *Spencer Volzke.  Final Four Team.

Joel Rodencal (Captain) -- Brad Dougherty, Kevin Hanley, Justin Hinz, Kelly Hoffschneider, Steve Kennedy, Dave Swan, Troy Post.

Steve Wells (Captain) -- Scott Blahauveitz, Vince Bustamante, Drew Erks, Zach Hansen, Will Hayes, Bryce Kleen, Jerry Kyle, Brody Ockander, John Wells, Shawn Wilcox.


*Eric Beckman (Captain) -- *Isaiah Bockelman, Justin Damme, *Nick Dudycha, *Jayson Haessler, *Derek Groskurth, *Logan Wachal, *Connor Shelton, Adam Vogt.  Final Four Team.

*Aaron Hedlund (Captain) -- Andrew Browers, Alex Browers, Andrew Duensing, Joel Duensing, Ian Euler, Nick Milberger, Ryan Shrum.

*Brett Himmelberg (Captain) -- *Brendan Bonner, Matt Englehaupt, *Matt Himmelberg, Jake Micrometer, Jason Jisa.

Greg Nelson (Captain) -- _ Anderson, Tyler Bell, Eric Broullette, Jameson Rexillius, Brett Shamblin, Jared Stauffer.

*Derek Schulte (Captain) -- *Nicholas Deeter, *Tyler Metschke, *Zane Peterson,  *Dillon Schulte, *Michael Tewes.  Final Four Team.  

*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 positive fellowship displayed in the tournament.  Lyle would also like to thank the MANY others for their special contributions to the tournament: 

Volunteer Officials -- David Bliemeister, Matt Bliemeister, C.J. Cooper, Jason Glines, Luke Derowitsche, Lee Fiddler, Joel Stoltenow, Doug Wiemer, Scott Wilson, Kyle Wooster, & Paul Yates.

Scorer’s Table Directors - Keith Ernst and Brad Pracheil.  These two men are amazing…they were on site ALL DAY!

Yummy Pulled Pork Meal – Sharon Bliemeister

Meal Assistant -- Sheila Ziems

Miscellaneous -- A.D. Brent Johnson

Scorers Table Student Volunteeers: Luke Bartels, Elijah Frost, Noah  Frost, Alex Havlena, Hallie Hohbein, Caitlin Justus, Dylan Lilliethal, Hieu Nguyen, Ben Schmeling, Nick Schmeling, Mikaela Sorensen, Nathan Todd, Andrew Wendland, Bryce Wendland, & Scott Wineman. 

Extra Special Thanks to the Bliemeister family.  In addition to prepping and serving the great pulled port meal, they jumped in an helped in many other ways.  THANK YOU SO MUCH, BLIEMEISTERS (Tom, Sharon, David, & Matt).




Ambassador Program Launches Feb. 17th

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Current Lincoln Lutheran parents are invited to attend an important event Monday, February 17 @ 7:00 p.m.  Lincoln Lutheran is ready to launch a new Warrior Ambassador Program and you are invited to consider playing an important role in the recruitment of new Warriors to our campus.  Information about this new program will be shared with parents at the February 17 event. 

We will focus on the importance of sharing your Lincoln Lutheran Story with prospective families by way of natural relationships and word of mouth.  Once formalized, the Warrior Ambassador Program will be comprised of individuals and families who strongly value the Lincoln Lutheran ministry and would serve as effective promoters of the ministry.  Ambassadors would be asked to identify prospective families, engage with families while articulating the benefits of a Lincoln Lutheran education and refer families to the recruitment coordinator.

Warrior Ambassadors may support student recruitment in one or more of the following ways:

  • Refer families to the school for formal follow-up
  • Call prospective families to answer questions and determine their needs
  • Invite prospective families to attend Lincoln Lutheran events
  • Wear Lincoln Lutheran clothing to community events, sporting events, etc.
  • Consider hosting a Lincoln Lutheran promotion at your house or at a local restaurant
  • Utilize yard signs and/or other materials to promote Lincoln Lutheran within neighborhoods
  • Share information about summer programs offered through Lincoln Lutheran
  • Host an information table at your church.

One or both parents may choose to attend this very important evening.  Attendance at this meeting does not commit you to serve as a Warrior Ambassador, but will introduce you to our vision for the program.  Thank you for prayerfully considering how you might play an active role in our school’s commitment to the Great Commission as we seek to develop faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

If you are unable to join us on the 17th, but wish to learn more about the Warrior Ambassador Program, please send an email to our recruitment coordinator, Kristin Bennett at

Talking to Walls: Three Successful Speech Meets

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By Rebecca Onnen

Saturday mornings are great for sleeping in, getting up to a leisurely breakfast, and lounging around in your pajamas.  However, in a different world, some high school students are up before dawn so that they can board a bus at seven in the morning, dressed business-casual.  These students sing “The Circle of Life” to the sun to greet it on the horizon before starting a long day of talking.  These students are the members of the speech team.

For many Lincoln Lutheran students, the speech team is an obscure group who keeps to itself.  Sophomore Julia Pomerenke observed that many speechies are “the musical type, especially at our school.”  Junior Audrey Rich added “[They are]very involved in … speech…very dedicated.”  She also mentioned that speech “Seems kind of closed off from everything else.”   Due to the unconventional nature of speech, students who aren’t acquainted with it tend to remain unaware of it.

As the name implies, speech is an activity where the participants speak.  Seeing as that explanation is rather redundant and not at all helpful, a better explanation is in order.  In speech, students are given “opportunities express ourselves using our acting and speaking talents,” says junior Aine Lambrecht, a seasoned speech member, often called a “speechie”.  There are many diverse types of speeches, which means that one meet covers every topic from “my husband recently devolved into a salamander” to “I can’t rob a bank without being well-dressed” to serious, political, humorous, and dramatic speeches.  Some take memorization to every nuance and some, such as impromptu speaking, allow five minutes of preparation from the time the competitor draws his or her topic until the time the speech is given. 

A typical day at a speech meet is a rather unique experience in and of itself.  “Along the [gym] walls, you see people standing in front of walls and talking to them, no big deal.” notes junior Rachel Wheeler.  “They practice their speeches that way.” As the day progresses, “you go and you present your speech.  There are two rounds and in between them you have usually about an hour,” says junior Nathan Gebers.  During this time, “you either sleep, eat, or go nuts,” adds Rachel.  “Then, after that,” Nathan continues “there are finals where the top people from both rounds go into finals and then they compete in a battle of the death type thing.  Sometimes they use swords, usually they just use fists. After that they have awards ceremonies.” In the typical manner of a speechie, Nathan may be exaggerating just a little.  There are no battles to the death, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be extremely competitive.  Fortunately, outside of the rounds, speech kids are known for being friendly and sociable, meaning everyone gets along fairly well at speech.

Another stereotype of speechies that is certainly not unfounded is the idea that they are all insane.  When asked to describe the activity’s appeal, Nathan Gebers thought for a moment before answering “Speech is like slowly rubbing orange marmalade all over the wall.  It’s just kind of a fun thing you do.  …You know that it’s really fun and it’s totally okay to do.  It’s just really enjoyable.”  Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment in speech.  However, it is also an activity that builds important life skills. “Speech is good for preparing for college and in the workplace,” says speech junior Aine Lambrecht. 

It undeniably takes a certain personality to do speech, but that doesn’t make it a throw-away activity.  The 2013-2014 Lincoln Lutheran speech team has attended two meets so far this year, and hosted one, and sent someone to finals at each meet.  Junior Sammy Williams placed sixth in Extemporaneous speaking at Ashland-Greenwood on January 18th, and juniors Nathan Gebers and Rebecca Onnen placed eighth in Duet Acting at Lincoln Southwest on January 25th.  The Lincoln Lutheran Invitational meet was on February 1st and six out of the eight Lincoln Lutheran events that performed made it to finals.  In Duet Acting, juniors Rachel Wheeler and Zach Kunz placed 6th, and Nathan Gebers and Rebecca Onnen placed 5th; in Extemporaneous speaking, Sammy Williams placed 2nd and sophomore Hallie Hohbein made her speech debut and performed well; in Impromptu speaking, Sammy Williams placed 6th; in Oral Interpretation of Poetry, Aine Lambrecht placed 3rd and Rebecca Onnen placed 2nd.  Lincoln Lutheran is also hosting conference speech on March 1st.  If you would like to experience a meet, the speech team would love to have you visit. 

Class Baskets are Back!

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The day is fast approaching!! The 19th Annual Gala and Auction will be held March 29th at the Embassy Suites Downtown Lincoln. Doors open at 5 with dinner at 6:30. We are accepting donations and reservations now!

Last year at Lincoln Lutheran’s Gala and Auction, we brought back a fan favorite-the class sponsored baskets. Riding on the enthusiasm of last year, these baskets will again be featured at this year’s event on March 29th at The Embassy Suites Downtown Lincoln.

We have formed a committee made up of several parent representatives from each grade. These volunteers will be contacting each family and asking for support of these popular items at the Gala. You may receive a phone call, e-mail, letter or personal contact. Please prayerfully consider a tax deductible donation to the class basket/s that will represent your child’s class at Lincoln Lutheran.

The baskets are themed around our theme for the school year, "Loved", and each basket has an individual theme as well that you can see below. Thank you for your continued support of Lincoln Lutheran.

6th Grade Basket – Love Nature

  • Gift Certificates to Earl May, Ace Hardware, Campbell’s
  • Gardening items
  • Plants
  • Pots

7th Grade Basket – Love Your Home

  • Picture Frames
  • Decorations
  • Gift Cards for paint, home improvements

8th Grade Basket – Love Your Lord

  • Devotions
  • Bible
  • Books

9th Grade Basket – Love Your Spouse 

  • Couples Devotion
  • Night out gift certificates
  • Concert Tickets
  • Restaurant Gift Cards

10th Grade Basket – Love Your Kids

  • Books
  • Videos
  • Movie passes
  • Popcorn/Drinks

11th Grade Basket – Love Your Animal

  • Food/Water Bowls
  • Leashes
  • Pet Foods/Snacks
  • Boarding Certificates

12th Grade Basket – Love Your Music

  • Concert Tickets
  • iTunes Card
  • iPod

Celebrating Coach Ziems

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Join us in recognizing Coach Lyle Ziems!

After 19 seasons at the helm of the Lincoln Lutheran Football Program, Lyle Ziems is retiring from the Head Coach's position.  Everyone is invited to join LL in celebrating this ministry that has spanned nearly two decades.

An open house will be held Saturday, Dec. 21 from 4-6pm in the Lincoln Lutheran Media Center.  We encourage everyone to stop in to visit with Lyle, bring your memories of the Trojan/Warrior Football Program and enjoy some refreshments.  If you are unable to attend, please send a card for Coach Ziems to:  

Lincoln Lutheran High School
Attn:  Amy Jurgens
1100 North 56th Street
Lincoln, NE.  68504

If you have photos or a favorite story from football seasons past that you would like to share, please email them to We hope to see you Dec. 21 as we thank Coach Ziems for his service to the LL Football Program. Please share this information with Lincoln Lutheran alumni and parents of alumni!

Serving up Holiday Love

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Lincoln Lutheran will be arranging ways to “be the hands and feet of Christ” as it organizes service to our community.  Students may accomplish several things through these opportunities.  First, it accomplishes our calling to serve our neighbors, as commission by Christ (Act 20:35).  Second, it creates an appreciation for the many blessings in our lives.  Third, it “counts” as community service hours.  Please read about the three (3) upcoming events.

"In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

The first outing is November 25th (5:30-7:30) at the Center for People in Need.  Volunteers will be assisting in the preparing/serving a hot Thanksgiving meals to some of the 14,000 people in need expected to show up.  Interested students and parents should contact Mr. Stoltenow.  Transportation to and from Lincoln Lutheran is available and we have 10 spots to fill.

The next outing pairs us with the Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters.  On December 3rd (4:30-6:30) we will be helping set up for a holiday party for Boys and Girls members.  This outing involves a few hours of work on December 3rd as well as work prior to the date.  Not only do the Boys and Girls of the Club have a party, they will also spend time packing food bags for others.  What a great way to be involved  by serving those who are serving others!  Many young children in Lincoln count on meals from their public schools.  And, during the holidays, they go hungry.  To empower the Boys and Girls Club members to serve those children, we will collect as many as possible of the items below.  Our goal is 50 of each.

  • jars of peanut butter
  • jars of jelly
  • boxes of pancake mix
  • bottles of syrup

Interested students and parents should contact Mr. Stoltenow.  Transportation to and from Lincoln Lutheran is available and we have 12 spots to fill.

The final outing is titled “Gifts of Love” and takes place December 12th from 4-6 pm at City Impact.  City Impact is a faith-based community organization that will set up a Community Christmas store.  They need volunteers to organize, mark and even wrap gifts.  Those gifts, which will be sold at a reduced (80%) price, will allow impoverished families provide Christmas gifts for their children.  Interested students and parents should contact Mr. Stoltenow.  Transportation to and from Lincoln Lutheran is available and we have 8 spots to fill.


Estate Gift Will Impact Ministry

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Lincoln Lutheran was blessed with an undesignated gift from the estate of Ivadelle Repschlaeger in late June for just over $150,000.  This was an incredible blessing!  Per policy, any undesignated gift over $50,000 requires representatives from the Lutheran Education Foundation, the LLSA, an Association Pastor and the Lincoln Lutheran Executive Director to meet and determine how to best allocate the gift to positively impact ministry both now and for the future.

The committee decided to allocate the gift in the following areas: 

  • to the LEF to establish an operational endowment for the support of LLSA operations
  • to our teachers and staff as a thank you for their dedicated work within the ministry
  • to a cash reserve account
  • to our ministry wish list for improvement of facilities  (special consideration was given to ways we might impact student recruitment and improve the general appeal of our facilities)

  Areas that will be impacted include:

  • landscaping upgrades near the main student entrance
  • restroom upgrades
  • new middle school lockers
  • classroom whiteboards
  • conversion kits for six basketball backboards allowing height to adjust
  • a “lightly used” utility vehicle to assist in the set-up and hosting for home contests outdoors, landscaping and snow removal.

What a blessing to see a gift of legacy have an immediate impact on our students and a lasting imprint on the Lincoln Lutheran ministry.  All glory be to God!!

New Bleachers and Field Lines

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THIRTY-THREE Warrior faithful provided strategy, muscle, and machines Saturday morning, August 3.  Thanks to their combined efforts, new bleachers now stand next to the east game field AND the boundaries, yard lines, and hash marks of the game field and all the practice fields are now cut.  The total linear distance covered by all the field lines combined is approximately 9,400 feet (1.78 miles).  Each line was probably mowed at least four times.  This means those who cut the lines with their mowers, collectively covered about 37,600 ft (7.12 miles).  WOW!  Coach Johnson and Coach Ziems are both incredibly thankful for all the help…both feel exhausted at the thought of the two of them doing all that push mowing by themselves.  Impressive is the fact that all the work was completed in about 3 hours! 

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED…Canfield Brothers (Chase & Gage), Glines (Jason & Jacob), Greens (Jeff & Jacob), Kleins (Curtis, Julie, & Jaxson), Kohlmeiers (Jon & Adam), Kurt Brockhaus, LeGrandes (Kirt & Trevor), Leymasters (Kenny, Gpa Buss, & Josh), Lori Lane, Lynn Bartels, Martins (Keli, Harrison, Reid, & Molli), Rickords (Jeff & Ethan), Schaedels (Chris, Cole, & Noah), Schmelings (Brian and Nick), Scott Morris.

Warrior Wellness Makeover

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As a result of tremendous support of friends of Lincoln Lutheran, the Warrior Wellness Makeover planned for the space currently occupied by the weight room and old boys and girls locker rooms is moving forward.  With an estimated cost of $100,000, the project is nearly fully funded.  If you would like to financially support the project or know someone who would like to learn more about it, please contact Scott Ernstmeyer or Amy Jurgens.

The breakdown of costs for the project is listed below.  Construction will begin formally on May 20th with hopes of wrapping up by early July.  There will also be opportunities to volunteer with the project, so watch for future news and announcements.  This makeover will have an impact on all students at Lincoln Lutheran through their activity involvement and fitness courses.  General design and a 3-D rendering of the weight room equipment are attached to this news item for your convenience.

Remodeling and Construction - $65,000 - will result in:
♦    An Increase of Nearly 100% in Useable Square Footage
♦    New Glass Doors
♦    New Windows
♦    New Lighting
♦    Higher Ceiling
♦    New Flooring
♦    New Music Practice Room
♦    New Storage Space
♦    2 Drinking Fountains
♦    Remodeled Multi-Gender Restroom
♦    Redesigned Support Pillars to Maximize Space

New Equipment - $35,000 – will include:
♦    5 Multi-use Power Racks
♦    3 Functional Trainers
♦    8 New Benches
♦    2 Glute-Hamstring Developers
♦    3 New Cardio Machines (2 Bikes & 1 Elliptical)
♦    14 Kettlebells w/Storage Rack
♦    More than 3200 lbs. of New Free Weights
♦    More than 2600 lbs. of New Dumbbells w/Storage Racks
♦    11 New Weight Bars (Olympic, Combo, Curl, Shrug)



Many thanks to our lead donors:

Chris and Angie Schaedel
Dr. Doug and Denise Tewes
Corey and Jeanette Stull
Sandy Harvey
Todd and Connie Duncan
Bob and Karen Ravenscroft
Chad and Carla DeBusk
Collin and Angie Caneva
Ki and Darci Fanning
Rev. Bob and Wini Schaedel
Lyle and Ann Woerth
Roland and Hiroko Temme
Hohensee Charitable Foundation
City Laundry
Hampton Enterprises
US Bank
Union Bank
Westgate Bank
LLSA Booster Club
LLSA Men of Faith Basketball Tournament
LLSA Gym Advertising

Gala Celebration a Success

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Christ has risen! Hallelujah! What great joy we have to announce to everyone that our Savior lives and through him we have eternal life.  Thank you again for your generous support of Lincoln Lutheran to Illuminate life for our young people.  We are again humbled by your generous donations and support.

Every year we gather together for our Annual Gala and Auction to celebrate Lincoln Lutheran.  This year, Dan Heibel, Dr. Gary Hammack, and Roland & Hiroko Temme were all honored for the ways they used their God given talents and resources to Illuminate.

Our Warrior family is truly blessed by their gifts.

Praise Him for the gifts he has given to us through the 18th annual Gala:

  • 360 people in attendance
  • $2615 raised through the Giving Tree
  • Over $157,000 in gross profits
  • $20,610 in new scholarship money for Lincoln Lutheran students
  • Over $67,000 towards the Warrior Wellness Makeover Project

This event does not happen without the work of many volunteers. A special thanks goes out to everyone who helped to make the Gala and Auction a success.