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girls team

Team members and coaches from the 2004-2005 Lincoln Northeast girls basketball team in attendance at the Hall of Fame induction banquet last weekend were: (front, from left), Charity Iromuanya, Amy Chapman Rust, Brooke Bartek, Chelsea Hahn and Ellie Stutzman. Back row, from left: coach Richard Bollen, Tammy Gerlach, Samantha Ellis Harris, Marci Kassebaum Mueller, Jamie Essink Norris, Andrea Thorne, Chelsea Quiring, Emma deLeon, Dominique Kelly and head coach Rich Olson.

HAVELOCK – It was the perfect setting to celebrate a perfect season.

Ten members of Lincoln Northeast High School’s undefeated state championship girls basketball team from 2004-2005 gathered at Havelock Social Hall last weekend to celebrate a very special season from 13 years ago.

A high school that opened in 1941 and is known for its boys basketball program notched a 24-0 girls basketball record that season and won the school’s first girls state basketball title. Lincoln Northeast took down Bellevue East, 52-45, in the state finals to cap that record-setting season after beating the same team in the district finals.

Last weekend, history was revisited when 10 members and two coaches from the squad represented the 30th state championship team to be inducted into the Lincoln Northeast Athletic Hall of Fame.

Rich Olson, who came to Lincoln Northeast prior to that historic season after a lengthy coaching stint and three state titles at Millard South, was among those on hand at the induction banquet. Olson was a member of coach Ed Johnson’s state championship team at Northeast in 1967.

“We’re a group that cares for each other no matter what,” Olson remarked after the Northeast girls’ state-title win in 2005.

Thirteen years later, that was obvious Saturday night. Team members, now in their early 30’s, hugged and reflected on the unprecedented feat.

For additional photos from the Hall of Fame induction banquet, please see Page 3.

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