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Cameron Jurgens and Noah Vedral each could probably be considered elite at the high school level in two sports, and really, really good at a third.

So maybe that’s part of the reason why they each compete in three sports, when some other elite athletes are only in one or two. They also just really like doing three sports.

Jurgens, a Beatrice junior and Nebraska football recruit, and Vedral, a Bishop Neumann senior who recently began his next chapter as a Central Florida football player, are the Lincoln Journal Star boys co-athletes of the year.

Neither Jurgens nor Vedral ever really considered not doing three sports in high school, even as they saw their stock rise as potential college football players and the different ways that can pull a player’s time commitments.

Vedral proudly says he earned an award for being a letterwinnner in three sports for all four years.

“At my school, I think it’s a culture thing,” said Vedral, who was born in Texas but moved to Wahoo when he was 2 years old. “My school really does encourage our athletes to be in multiple sports, and that’s probably why. All my friends, we all grew up knowing we were going to play football, basketball and track. We all knew we were going to do all three sports.

“That’s the way things were here, and I feel fortunate enough that my friends were multi-sports athletes with me, which made it easy for me to go out for sports when that’s where your friends were anyway, and they weren’t off doing their own thing. I was always with them.”

Part of the appeal to do all three sports for Jurgens is the chance to compete all year.

“I’m a very competitive person, and all the sports bring that out in me,” Jurgens said. “I just love hanging out with my friends and teammates. I have a lot of friends in football, basketball and track, and I just enjoy doing those sports with them.”

Jurgens will be a senior in the fall. Each year a few Nebraska football recruits graduate from high school early to get a jump-start on college and to take part in spring football. Jurgens does not plan to be one of them. He says he’ll still be doing basketball and track next year.

“I don’t want to graduate early,” Jurgens said. “You have four years of high school for a reason, and I want to make the most of those memories with my teammates. I don’t want to skip out on anything.”

For this school year, Vedral earned first-team Super-State honors in football, second-team Super-State honors and Class C-1 all-state honors in basketball, and at the state track meet he was the sixth-best in the 300 hurdles for all classes.

He played on three state championship basketball teams, including this season.

In football, Vedral helped the Cavaliers to a state runner-up finish by passing for 2,000 yards and rushing for 800 yards.

As a senior, he competed on the final day of the season in all three sports.

“I told my mom I was grateful that I got to know when my last practices were going to be,” Vedral said. “For a lot of seniors, that’s sometimes the biggest blessing is knowing when the end is coming, and it not being a surprise or a disappointment.”

Vedral thinks he could have had the opportunity to play NCAA Division I basketball had he made that a priority. But football was the sport he loved the most. He reported to Central Florida, where he’ll be a quarterback, to begin workouts last week, a few days after playing in the Shrine Bowl.

Jurgens earned first-team Super-State honors in football, honorable mention all-state honors in basketball and continued to dominate the state in the shot put and discus.

He ranks seventh all-time in the shot put (63 feet, 3 inches) and eighth all-time in the discus (196-8). Jurgens said he has the option to do track in college, but right now is not planning to do so.

There was some disappointment this year though, as a broken finger ended his football season early and kept him out for the start of the basketball season.

For his senior year, Jurgens hopes he can stay healthy and help Beatrice make it to the state championship game in football. And he wants his opponents to be ready for the game to be over while playing against him.

“I want people to say, ‘Wow, he’s probably the most physical kid I’ve played against,’” Jurgens said.

Jurgens and Vedral have followed each other’s careers, and practiced with each other while each was in the Bison-Nebraska basketball program a few years ago.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.


Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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