A Look at Nebraska High School Football Conferences 55 Years Ago.

I though it may be interesting to take a peak at the Nebraska Prep Football Conference landscape in 1965. I was a junior in high school at the time, a starting halfback on a 7-3 GICC football team. We were in two conferences that year, the Louplatte and the Nebraska Catholic Conference.

GICC was Class B at the time and really did not belong in the Louplatte for football. If I recall they booted us out after 1965.

Here is a look at the final conference football standings in ‘65 and it goes without saying things have changed a bunch in 55 years. And, actually I’m setting myself up here for a series of articles about the BIG 10 CONFERENCE, which was a splendid outstate Class A conference.

The BIG 10 conference, especially in football, was a huge thing in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and all the way until the NSAA initiated high school playoffs in 1975. I will be featuring a BIG 10 Conference Playoff game wrap up from every season beginning with 1945.

These BIG 10 articles will premier next week. Anyway, a trip back in time to 1965, right here.

*THE 11-MAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCES;*

The METRO CONFERENCE* (formed in 1964)

Bellevue--------------------------Omaha Ryan

Boys Town------------------------Omaha South

Omaha Benson------------------Omaha Technical

Omaha Beveridge (Burke)----Omaha Westside

Omaha Central……………………Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln

Omaha Creighton Prep--------Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson

Omaha North

(Omaha Rummel (now Roncalli) joined in 1966)

*BIG 10 Conference*

East Division--West Division

Grand Island---Scottsbluff

Fremont---------North Platte

Hastings---------Kearney

Columbus-------McCook

Norfolk-----------Alliance

*CENTRAL TEN*

York--------Crete

Seward----Central City

Schuyler---Fullerton

Albion------David City

Ord---------Aurora

*SOUTHWEST*

Cozad-------Broken Bow

Minden-----Ogallala

Holdrege---Gothenburg

Lexington

*WESTERN NEBRASKA*

Alliance---Ogallala

Gering-----Chadron

Sidney

*GOLDENROD*

Palmer--------Polk

Clarks----------Silver Creek

Stromsburg---St. Edward

Osceola--------Genoa

*TWIN RIVERS*

Beatrice--------Nebraska City

Crete------------Fairbury

Plattsmouth---Falls City

*AK-SAR-BEN*

North Division South Division

Ralston-----------Syracuse

Blair---------------Plattsmouth

Ashland----------Nebraska City

Wahoo-----------Falls City

Millard-----------Auburn

Papillion

*EASTERN NEBRASKA*

Gretna-------Weeping Water

Platteview---Louisville

Waverly------Arlington

Elkhorn……..Bennington

Fremont Bergan

*SOUTHERN NEBRASKA*

East Division---West Division

Wymore--------Hebron

Wilber-----------Sutton

Tecumseh------Superior

Pawnee City---Harvard

Humboldt------Deshler

*CORNHUSKER*

Scribner---Tekamah

Oakland---North Bend

Hooper----Lyons

*LOUPLATTE*

GICC------------St. Paul

Loup City------Ravenna

Burwell--------Gibbon

Wood River---Shelton

*NEBRASKA CATHOLIC Conference*

David City Aquinas---GICC

Columbus Scotus-----Hastings St. Cecilia

*FRENCHMAN VALLEY*

Grant-------Benkleman

Imperial---Wauneta

Curtis

*LOGAN VALLEY*

Homer-----Rosalie

Decatur----Winnebago

Bancroft---Newcastle

Beemer----Walthill

*SOUTHEAST BORDER*

Humboldt---Falls City Sacred Heart

Tecumseh---Pawnee City

Wymore

*MID-STATE Conference*

Howells----Newman Grove

Leigh-------Humphrey St. Francis

Clarkson---Dodge

*NORTH PLATTE VALLEY Conference*

Bayard--------Minatare

Bridgeport---Mitchell

Morrill--------Oshkosh

*PANHANDLE C*

Bayard----------Crawford

Rushville-------Alliance St. Agnes

Hay Springs---Sidney St. Pats

Minatare------Hemingford

*HUSKER Conference*

Wisner--------Scribner

West Point---Stanton

Wayne--------Pender

Wakefield----Neligh

Madison------Lyons

Laurel---------Bloomfield

*THREE RIVERS Conference*

Stuart---------Ewing

Springview---Lynch

Spencer-------Butte

Atkinson

*ATLAS Conference*

Ceresco-------Seward Concordia

East Butler---Utica

Norris---------Pilger

*CORNTASSEL Conference*

Tilden------Creighton

Verdigre---Osmond

Wausa

*LEWIS and CLARK*

Hartington---Hartington Cedar Catholic

Ponca---------Norfolk Burns

Allen----------Emerson-Hubbard

Winside------Coleridge

Randolph

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**THE 8-MAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCES**

There may also have been some additional teams in these conferences listed below but it’s as close to being accurate as I could get. There may also have been a few conferences I omitted.

*CROSSROADS* (How different did the this baby look in 1965?)

Waco--------Beaver Crossing

Gresham----York St. Joseph

Bradshaw---McCool Junction

Hampton

*CLOVERLEAF Conference*

Alexandria---Nebraska City Lourdes

Dorchester---Plymouth

Milligan-------Tobias

Nehawka

*FRENCHMAN VALLEY (8-Man Division)*

Culbertson---Stratton

Haigler--------Trenton

Madrid--------Palisade

*CENTRAL NEBRASKA*

Boelus--------Phillips

Doniphan----Trumbull

Giltner--------Cairo

Marquette---Hordville

*MUSTANG Conference*

Alvo-Eagle---Nehawka

Elmwood----Murdock

Garland------Palmyra

Malcolm-----Weston

*WESTERN 10*

Harrison-----Kilgore

Long Pine---Mitchell Sunflower

Cody----------Oehlrichs, S.D.

Merriman---Chadron Assumption

Melbeta-----and a mystery 10th school?

*SOUTH PLATTE VALLEY ASSN. {SPVA} Conference)

Elsie-------Arthur

Paxton----Sutherland

Madrid---Big Springs

Brule------Lewellen

Wallace---Venango

*NEMAHA VALLEY Conference

Brock--------Talmage

Elk Creek----Table Rock

Peru Prep---Nebraska City Lourdes

Cook

*MID-VALLEY*

Indianola---Red Willow (McCook)

Bartley------Beaver Valley (Lebanon Valley)

Holbrook

*HOMESTEADER*

East Division---West Division

Barneston------Odell

Lewiston--------Beatrice St. Joseph

Adams…………..DeWitt

Sterling----------Diller

Holmesville

Filley

*FORT KEARNY*

Overton---Pleasanton

Axtell------Wilcox

Sumner----Loomis

Amherst---Elm Creek

*EAST CENTRAL NEBRASKA*

South Division--North Division

Cedar Bluffs-----Snyder

Prague-----------Waterloo

Yutan-------------Fort Calhoun

Mead-------------Craig

Weston

*SOUTHWEST BORDER*

East Division--West Division

Beaver Valley---Wilsonville

Indianola---------Farnam

Bartley------------Eustis

Red Willow------Holbrook

*SOUTHERN FRONTIER*

West Division---East Division

Culbertson------Holbrook

Trenton----------Bartley

Palisade----------Indianola

Hayes Center---Red Willow (McCook)

Stratton----------Beaver Valley (Lebanon)

*THUNDERBIRD*

Creston-------Shelby

Monroe-------Platte Center

Rising City----Humphrey

*CEDAR VALLEY*

Cedar Rapids---Spalding Academy

Wolbach--------Elgin St. Boniface

Greeley Sacred Heart

*REPUBLICAN VALLEY*

West Division--East Division

Bertrand--------Franklin

Elwood----------Blue Hill

Cambridge------Red Cloud

Beaver City-----Alma

Arapahoe-------Nelson

Oxford

Lexington St. Ann

*WHEATLAND*

Elsie-------Wallace

Brule------Lewellen

Madrid---Venango

There may also be some schools that jump out at you when scouring these conferences. Falls City Sacred Heart, for instance, was still playing 11-Man football back in my day and not winning very many games. There were still parochial schools in existence like Beatrice St. Joseph, Greeley Sacred Heart, Sidney St. Pats, Lexington St. Ann, Chadron Assumption, York St. Joseph and Elgin St. Boniface.

Fullerton was an 11-Man team football competing in the rugged Central Ten and a Class B school at one time. The Curtis Ag school still had a high school and football program back then too, and West Kearney, a Boys Town type facility, also fielded sports teams.

The one school that always intrigued me when I was still in high school was Mitchell Sunflower. Who were they? Were they a parochial school? Why the Sunflower tag?

There were few, if any consolidated school around back then, but Sunflower Consolidated High School was one such institution. Located four miles east and a mile and a half north of Mitchell, the high school was part of what was known as District 68 in Scotts Bluff county.

The Purple and Gold Mitchell Sunflower Eagles last graduating class was in 1976.

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Up next….A history of the BIG 10 Conference football championship games.

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