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Nebraska State Volleyball Tournament: Grand Island Central Catholic Nov. 9-11, 2017

The Grand Island Central Catholic Crusaders volleyball team played their hearts out winning their quarterfinal and semifinals matches only to lose to Wahoo in a Saturday afternoon championship match at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb. Here are some of my favorites over three days covering the Crusaders.

Grand Island Central Catholic volleyball players make a dogpile while celebrating their victory over Lincoln Lutheran at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Crusaders advance to play Wahoo in the Class C1 championship game.

Grand Island Central Catholic volleyball players make a dog pile while celebrating their victory over Lincoln Lutheran at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Crusaders advance to play Wahoo in the Class C1 championship game.

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Game Day: Northwestern vs. Nebraska Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Nebraska Cornhuskers football team fell to 4-5 on the season losing to Northwestern 31-24 in overtime. Both teams came into the game with 4-4 records. Some of my favorite shots were pregame and sideline photos.

Nebraska Cornhuskers football players warm up without their pads prior to playing Northwestern at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska Cornhuskers football players warm up without their pads prior to playing Northwestern at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

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Game Day: Heartland vs. Johnson-Brock Thursday, October 26, 2017

Heartland hosted Johnson-Brock in a round one Class B playoff football game during a chilly and windy afternoon in Henderson, Neb.

Johnson-Brock student Logan Edwards shares her blanket to shield her classmate Hailee Sandfort from the cold wind as she takes photos of an 8-man playoff football game against Heartland Thursday in Henderson.

Johnson-Brock student Logan Edwards shares her blanket to shield her classmate Hailee Sandfort from the cold wind as she takes photos of an 8-man playoff football game against Heartland Thursday in Henderson.

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1,000 Career Victories

Sharon Zavala reached a milestone coaching volleyball at Grand Island Central Catholic High School with her 1,000 career win during a volleyball invitational at GICC. Zavala started her coaching career in 1975 and throughout those years has nine Nebraska State Championship teams and eight runner-ups with only 192 losses.

Sharon Zavala asks her players to autograph a game ball as she celebrates her 1,000 career victory as head coach of the Grand Island Central Catholic Crusaders volleyball team Saturday. GICC beat Centura 25-17, 25-21 for the milestone victory for coach Zavala.

Sharon Zavala asks her players to autograph a game ball as she celebrates her 1,000 career victory as head coach of the Grand Island Central Catholic Crusaders volleyball team Saturday. GICC beat Centura 25-17, 25-21 for the milestone victory for coach Zavala.

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Heartland Living, October 2017

Our quarterly magazine Heartland Living was recently published. In this edition my first assignment was to illustrate popular Mexican food trucks in Grand Island (one which stays open to 3 A.M. on Friday and Saturdays). The other was about living in downtown Grand Island. I photographed Tom Ziller who renovated the former Grand Island Federation of Labor Temple into apartment homes now called Temple Lofts. In conjunction with this article is a six-story Tower 217 owned by Charles Anson and his son John, in which I photographed a fully furnished home. A special thank you to all who make this happen from Barrett Stinson, Lora Ruzicka and Don Smith to those in advertising, editorial and others in the front and back-end of production.

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Game Night: Ohio State vs. Nebraska Football Saturday, October 14, 2017

My home state Ohio State Buckeyes football team beat Nebraska 56-14 in Lincoln. My adolescent memories were from the then Buckeyes twice Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, legendary head coach Woody Hayes and my sixth-grade teacher Chris Brooks who graduated from The Ohio State University who had all kinds of stories to tell from his college experiences. Those were some of the good old days growing up in a small farming community in northwest Ohio. And the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds winning back-to-back World Series in 1975-76 was part of it. Coincidently my 1978 Buckeyes played Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in their first-ever meeting and lost to the Crimson Tide. My best childhood friend Jimmy never let me hear the end of it as his family were big Bama fans, originally from Alabama. I never went to a game at The Shoe in Columbus, Ohio, but having an opportunity to photograph the Buckeyes in Lincoln, Neb. brought back a flood of childhood memories. From neighborhood football games to collecting and trading bubble gum cards to watching the big rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan and so on.

Ohio State Buckeyes players and coaches sing the Carmen Ohio Alma Mater concluding a 56-14 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers as half the fans made a mass exodus from Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. (Independent/Andrew Carpenean)

Ohio State Buckeyes players and coaches sing the Carmen Ohio Alma Mater concluding a 56-14 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers as half the fans made a mass exodus from Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. For the first time in history the Huskers played two top ten teams in back-to-back home games.

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Friday Night Lights: Aurora vs. Northwest Football Friday, October 13, 2017

So often I photograph just the first half of a high school Friday night football game. Or if there are two games I’m assigned to photograph on the same night and same kickoff time it might be a first quarter here and a second quarter there. I’ve done some of my best work while on deadline, but all too often its a hurry up situation and you wish you could have stayed for the entire game. This was one of those games. Aurora took a 28-7 lead into halftime. Northwest came from behind to beat Aurora 35-34.

Grand Island Northwest senior wide receiver Riley Schliep signifies his own touchdown reception against Aurora in between two referees that concur at Viking Field.

Grand Island Northwest senior wide receiver Riley Schliep signifies his own touchdown reception against Aurora in between two referees that concur at Viking Field.

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Vietnam Hero Flight Welcome Home

Wednesday I had an opportunity to photograph my second Vietnam Hero Flight Welcome Home reception for 162 Vietnam Veterans and their escorts (primarily spouses). Here are a dozen of my favorite images.

Veterans walk by Patriot Guard Riders posting two lines of American flags during a Hero Flight Welcome Home Wednesday at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.

Veterans walk by Patriot Guard Riders posting two lines of American flags during a Hero Flight Welcome Home Wednesday at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.

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Game Night: Wisconsin vs. Nebraska Football Saturday, October 7, 2017

Nationally ranked No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers beat Nebraska 38-17 at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska tied the game 17-17 in the third quarter, but Wisconsin proved why they’re one of the top ten football teams in the nation. Here are a dozen of my favorites.

Nebraska junior quarterback Tanner Lee runs onto the field with his teammates to warm up against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska junior quarterback Tanner Lee runs onto the field with his teammates to warm up against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium.

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Game Day: Hastings College vs. Concordia Football Saturday, September 30, 2017

I didn’t have too bad of a take given I was only able to photograph the first half of the football game in Hastings, Neb. Such is life as a newspaper photographer. It’s not uncommon to have assignments before and after a sporting event. That being said I’ve probably had more occasions with other assignments on a game day than not.

Hastings College junior running back Tahj Willingham hurdles Concordia defensive back D-Mauria Martin during second quarter action Saturday in Hastings.

Hastings College junior running back Tahj Willingham hurdles Concordia defensive back D-Mauria Martin during second quarter action Saturday in Hastings. Photo taken with a Canon 1DX Mark II with a 200-400 f4 zoom lens with the 1.4x extender locked in.

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Game Day: Northern Illinois vs. Nebraska Football Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Northern Illinois Huskies beat Nebraska Cornhuskers 21-17 on an overcast day at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. The Huskers struggled with issues on both offense and defense. Here are 20 of my favorites.

Northern Illinois punt return man Jalen Embry runs back after his fumble resulting in a turnover as Nebraska special teams players Marquel Dismuke (19) and Tyrin Ferguson (43) are close by at Memorial Stadium Saturday.

Northern Illinois punt return man Jalen Embry runs back after his fumble resulting in a turnover as Nebraska special teams players Marquel Dismuke (19) and Tyrin Ferguson (43) are close by at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. Saturday.

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Game Night: Hastings College vs. St. Mary Volleyball Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The NAIA No. 1 ranked Hastings College Broncos swept the St. Mary Flames 25-22, 25-14, 25-16 at Lynn Ferrell Arena in Hastings, Neb. The Broncos have a perfect 10-0 season.

Hastings College senior middle hitter Andrea LaVene goes for a kill against St. Mary’s MacKeenzie Melton (1) during the second set at Lynn Farrell Arena Wednesday night.

Hastings College senior middle hitter Andrea LaVene goes for a kill against St. Mary’’s MacKeenzie Melton (1) during the second set at Lynn Farrell Arena Wednesday night.

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Create 308

Recently I worked on a business story about an arts academy in downtown Grand Island with our reporter Kelli Rollin. I photographed two dance classes including contemporary and jazz dance. I lit the room with two Canon 600 EX-RT speedlites positioned in the back of the dance classes and a wall-length mirror at the front of the class acted as fill light. So, I had the option of photographing into the mirror, which I enjoy photographing subjects off center in a mirror. It’s just a challenge at times to keep my reflection out of the image.

Hannah Fjeldhein does an attitude leap as other dance students watch in Jamie Jones Studio A contemporary dance class at Create 308 in downtown Grand Island.

Hannah Fjeldhein does an attitude leap as other dance students watch in Jamie Jones Studio A contemporary dance class at Create 308 in downtown Grand Island.

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2017 Nebraska State Fair

The only thing the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island fell short of was around 10,000 visitors to break a 20-year-old record for attendance numbers from when it was in Lincoln. That being said the number of state fair visitors keeps climbing now in it’s eighth year in central Nebraska. It seems like there’s something for everyone at the state fair. One of my favorite things to photograph in 2017 are nightlife scenes along the midway including a Giant Gondola Wheel.

4PP: People wait in line to take a ride on the Giant Gondola Wheel on the midway during the Nebraska State Fair.

People wait in line to take a ride on the Giant Gondola Wheel on the midway during the Nebraska State Fair. This image was taken with a 16-35mm f2.8 zoom lens mounted on a Canon 1DX camera with an exposure of two seconds at f22, 200 ISO.

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Totality

It was an extraordinary experience photographing a full solar eclipse as central Nebraska was one of 10 states in the centerline of totality. A group of four photographers consisting of three newspaper staffers and a freelancer all had specific assignments. Mine was in the small town of Dannebrog at Liberty Range. I met people not only from Nebraska, but from Minnesota, Texas and even Germany. There were activities associated with the eclipse that also plays into what Nebraska life is like. As perhaps a once in a lifetime experience it was quite a spectacle to observe.

Sunlight shimmers around the sphere of the moon during a two and a half minute totality of a solar eclipse at Liberty Range in Dannebrog, Neb.

Sunlight shimmers around the sphere of the moon during a two and a half minute totality of a solar eclipse at Liberty Range in Dannebrog, Neb. Photograph was taken with a Canon EOS 1DX Mark II camera body and a 300mm f2.8 lens with a 1.4x converter. Exposure was 1/1,000th of a second at f5.6 at 1600 ISO.

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Prairie Sludge Trudge

The first Saturday in August was the Prairie Sludge Trudge at Stuhr Museum. Runners make a trek faces various obstacles along the way including a 10′ high mountain of mud toward the end of the course.

Grand Island Rural firefighter Travis Nolan, right, uses a firehose to spray the mud off Kellie Lonnemann concluding Prairie Sludge Trudge Saturday at the Stuhr Museum.

Grand Island Rural firefighter Travis Nolan, right, uses a firehose to spray the mud off Kellie Lonnemann concluding Prairie Sludge Trudge Saturday at the Stuhr Museum.

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2017 Cheyenne Frontier Days

The rodeos are non-stop action at world’s largest outdoor rodeo & western celebration, Cheyenne Frontier Days. It’s been four years since I’ve been and it was like a welcome home by the many familiar faces I saw. It was my ninth time photographing the “Daddy of Em’ All”.

Tammy Fischer of Ledbetter, Texas is on the homestretch on her horse to run a 17.74 in barrel racing at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Fischer's time was close to the record of Kristie Peterson of 17.03 set in 1996. (Photo by Andrew Carpenean)

Tammy Fischer of Ledbetter, Texas is on the homestretch on her horse to run a 17.74 in barrel racing at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Kristie Peterson set the record with a time of 17.03 in 1996.

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Summer Orientation about Rivers (SOAR)

Mike Fritz, a biologist through the Natural Heritage Program with Nebraska Game and Parks, answers questions while showing pictures of various bat species and the value they provide for agriculture in controlling insect populations. Fritz gave an educational experience for third thru sixth-graders in the Prairie Plains Resource Institute Summer Orientation about Rivers outing under what he considers a great “bat tree” with a hollowed out middle section of a tree at Gjerloff Prairie.

Mike Fritz, a biologist through the Natural Heritage Program with Nebraska Game and Parks, answers questions while showing pictures of various bat species and the value they provide for agriculture in controlling insect populations. Fritz gave an educational experience for third thru sixth-graders in the Prairie Plains Resource Institute Summer Orientation about Rivers outing under what he considers a great “bat tree” with a hollowed out middle section of a tree at Gjerloff Prairie.

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1897 Fourth of July Celebration in Railroad Town

In the almost two years I’ve been working in Grand Island, Neb. I’ve covered many events at Stuhr Museum. The history and events presented are just the coolest. It was a field day of photo opportunities at the 1897 Fourth of July Celebration in Railroad Town. There is an upcoming once in a lifetime event taking place August 21, 2017 in which there will be a solar eclipse. The path of the sun lines up perfectly for a full eclipse in Grand Island and hotels and motels are booked solid during that time.

Nakia Wilkerson and Elizabeth Kuta dance arm-in-arm while the Railroad Town Silver Cornet Band plays during a 1897 Fourth of July Celebration in Railroad Town at Stuhr Museum.

Nakia Wilkerson and Elizabeth Kuta dance arm-in-arm while the Railroad Town Silver Cornet Band plays during a 1897 Fourth of July Celebration in Railroad Town at Stuhr Museum.

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2017 Summertime Favorites

Five Points Bank centerfielder Keyin Wentling charges up on a shallow pop up to make a sliding catch against Hastings Runza at Ryder Park.

Five Points Bank centerfielder Keyin Wentling charges up on a shallow pop up to make a sliding catch against Hastings Runza at Ryder Park.

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Senshu Academy

Ninth-graders from Senshu Academy in Tokyo, Japan took a tour of the 1897 Railroad Town at Stuhr Museum. It was enjoyable to watch these children take in American western culture.

Sho Aoyama, left, pumps water up from a water well as other ninth-graders watch as Senshu Academy students from Tokyo, Japan take a tour of the 1897 Railroad Town Wednesday at Stuhr Museum.

Sho Aoyama, left, pumps water up from a water well as other ninth-graders watch as Senshu Academy students from Tokyo, Japan take a tour of the 1897 Railroad Town Wednesday at Stuhr Museum.

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Tour de Nebraska

On an early weekday morning I had the opportunity to photograph the Tour de Nebraska as this year’s annual ride started in St. Paul, Neb. Here area dozen images.

Cyclists head out on Hwy. 281 to start their ride during the 2017 Tour de Nebraska Wednesday at the Howard County Fairgrounds.

Cyclists head out on Hwy. 281 to start their ride during the 2017 Tour de Nebraska Wednesday at the Howard County Fairgrounds.

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June Individual Outtakes

Things are heating up with the start of summer and many events taking place. Here are some of my favorite individual outtakes for the month of June 2017.

Lightning strikes above Agricultural Services Inc. in Doniphan Tuesday night as a string of severe thunderstorm storm cells moved throughout the region.

Lightning strikes above Agricultural Services Inc. in Doniphan Tuesday night as a string of severe thunderstorm storm cells moved throughout the region.

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Pump Boys and Dinettes

“It’s like a redneck Grease” Tyler Jacobs who plays Eddie, one of four pump boys in the Grand Island Little Theatre musical Pump Boys and Dinettes. The Pump Boys sell high octane on Hwy. 57 in Grand Ole Opry country and the Dinettes, Prudie and Rhetta Cupp run the Double Cupp Diner next door. The music with a live band is southern country songs based around every day life.

Prudie Cupp (Kelsey Helget) and Rhetta Cupp (Jana Thompson) swoon over L.M. (Michael Walters) as lifeguard Eddie (Tyler Jacobs) watches during a dress rehearsal of Pump Boys and Dinettes musical comedy put on by Grand Island Little Theatre at College Park Auditorium. The production includes a live band.

Prudie Cupp (Kelsey Helget) and Rhetta Cupp (Jana Thompson) swoon over L.M. (Michael Walters) as lifeguard Eddie (Tyler Jacobs) watches during a dress rehearsal of Pump Boys and Dinettes musical comedy put on by Grand Island Little Theatre at College Park Auditorium. The production includes a live band.

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