1 – Exeter-Milligan head girls basketball coach Jackson Krejci recently announced that he would be leaving the district after 17 years. He has also coached junior high basketball, high school football and junior high track. Krejci has taken a position at the new Standing Bear High School in Lincoln to be closer to his family.
2 – Exeter-Milligan three sport athletes pictured front row from the left: Kierra Papik, Lily Jeffries, Savana Krupicka, Draven Payne, Tyler Due, Jozie Kanode and Jayden Capek. Back row from the left: Andrew Vavra, Jonah Geiger, Marcus Krupicka, Aidan Vavra, Carter Milton, Brett Kallhoff, Mikey Bartu, Kiley Oldehoeft, and Olivea Swanson.
4 – Former Exeter/Exeter-Milligan head track coach Lonnie Shafer was the guest speaker at the final Exeter-Milligan athletic banquet.
5 – Receiving special recognition at the Exeter-Milligan athletic banquet pictured front row from the left: Kiley Oldehoeft, Savana Krupicka, Emma Meyer, Jozie Kanode and Jasmine Turrubiates. Back row from the left are: Brett Kallhoff, Marcus Krupicka and Troy Kallhoff.
The Exeter gym was the site of the final Exeter-Milligan Athletic Banquet on Monday night. Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield opened the evening noting that “Twenty-one years ago two schools chartered a new path. . .if you look around this gym I think it went pretty well. They created not just a family but a culture. A culture that said it wasn’t enough to go to state, you needed to win.”
The evening, sponsored by the Exeter-Milligan Booster Club, started with a catered Windsor Loin meal. During the meal a slideshow of highlights throughout the years played. State championship teams were featured and all of the state trophies were displayed on the stage for the evening.
Each of the coaches had the opportunity to share about the season and introduce their players. FC/EM-F Softball Coach Aaron Lauby started and noted how his Timberpantdogs (their combination of the mascots, Timberwolves, Fillmore Central Panthers and Friend Bulldogs) are a “good barometer of how good it can be for all of our students.”
Brandi Perez spoke about the cheer squad and introduced both this year’s cheerleaders and next fall’s squad which includes Malorie Staskal, Lily Jeffries, Kaydence Haase, Alivia Luzum, Selah Petersen, Sydney Engert and Cheyenne Krupicka.
Head Bobcat Football coach Kory Kahlandt talked of the continued cooperation with Friend and quipped that “our true success won’t be known for 10 or 20 years until these young men become husbands and fathers.”
Girls golf coach Matt Nichols and head volleyball coach Madalynn Fousek also shared about their teams success during the season.
Brian Murphy spoke about the junior high football team and introduced the Exeter-Milligan players before Athletic Director Darcy White gave an update on junior high girls volleyball and track with Sara Pella taking the podium to talk about junior high girls basketball.
Jackson Krejci talked about the highlights of the junior high basketball and track seasons. He has coached and taught at Exeter-Milligan for the last 17 years and also was a graduate of the district. After introducing his players and the highlights of their seasons he noted that he had taken a position in Lincoln to be able to spend more time with his young family. The audience gave him a standing ovation as he left the podium.
High school boys basketball coach Travis Kotas gave a brief presentation on the season and introduced the players. He noted that he was on the first Exeter-Milligan boys basketball team as a senior 20 years ago and coached the last Exeter-Milligan team.
Boys golf coach Matt Nicholas commented on the current season standings and the meets they have remaining before high school track coach Brian Murphy announced the Walt Barkmeier track awards for the 2021-2022 season. Recipients of the awards were Savana Krupicka and Tyler Due.
Murphy thanked the booster club and many others for the assistance with the track team and reviewed how the team is progressing this season. He also introduced the guest speaker for the evening, former Exeter/Exeter-Milligan track coach Lonnie Shafer.
Shafer recalled many fond memories of his 32 years coaching track at Exeter-Milligan (he coached an additional nine years before coming to Exeter). He regaled the crowd with stories of track escapades, many of which included the parents of current Exeter-Milligan students.
He quoted the Exeter history book which gave the information on the consolidation that took place between Exeter and Milligan and commented that he hoped the transition with Exeter-Milligan and Friend followed the trend started over twenty years ago.
Coach Shafer also reiterated his track coach speech –which used the first letter of the words track coach and explained what that should mean. A teacher leader, a recruiter, adaptable, a communicator and knowledgeable. For coach he noted that they should be able to celebrate, be optimistic and apply the golden role, have ability and be charitable and kind while also being humble and modest.
Many would agree that this summed up the characteristics Shafer displayed when he coached them.
Sheffield thanked Shafer and then recognized the three sport athletes which included freshman Jonah Geiger, Brett Kallhoff and Kylie Oldehoeft. Sophomores identified were Mikey Bartu, Jayden Capek, Lily Jeffries, Carter Milton, Kierra Papik and Aidan Vavra. Juniors noted were Tyler Due, Savana Krupicka, Draven Payne and Andrew Vavra and the three seniors who participated in sports all three seasons were Jozie Kanode, Marcus Krupicka and Olivea Swanson.
Special medals were the final part of the evening. Emma Meyer was presented the Leonard Kassik softball player of the year. Jozie Kanode earned the Bill Fitzgerald volleyball trophy.
The outstanding football player of the year was given to Marcus Krupicka and he also was named the Gary Ruhl male basketball player of the year. Jasmine Turrubiates received the Gary Ruhl female basketball player of the year. The Bill Fitzgerald rookies of the year award were given to Kiley Oldehoeft and Brett Kallhoff.
Female team player of the year was Jozie Kanode and Troy Kallhoff was the male team player of the year. Savanah Krupicka received the female athlete of the year and her brother Marcus Krupicka was presented the male athlete of the year.