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Severe Thunderstorm

Hall County Nebraska as well as surrounding counties were hit with a long line of severe thunderstorms on a late Friday night well into Saturday morning. This image was taken from a parking garage across the street from the Hall County Courthouse as the storm came through. Because of the trees (which added to the composition of the image), I braced the camera against my left knee pointing it slightly upward trying not to obscure the top of the steeple, tripping the shutter when I saw a glow of light. After using this wide angle zoom lens for close to a year now my opinion is that it’s flawless. It’s tack sharp from corner to corner at all focal lengths and it renders colors beautifully.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera, 16-35mm f2.8 series III lens, 1/25th of a second, f4 at 3200 ISO.

Sheeting rain comes down as the skies open up with a bright flash of lightning above the Hall County Courthouse early Saturday morning in Grand Island, Neb.


2018 Hero Flight Welcome Home Ceremony

My colleague Garrett Griess and I worked together to create this video of a Hero Flight Welcome Home Ceremony for Vietnam Veterans at Central Nebraska Regional Airport. I shot several video clips and Garrett did a great job editing my video for The Grand Island Independent.


2018 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships

I photographed my third straight Nebraska State Track & Field Championships with sports reporter Marc Zavala in Omaha, Neb. Here are my top 20 favorite images.

Alixzandra Bloom clenches her fists in the air after winning the Class D girls 100-meter dash during the Nebraska State Track & Field Championships at Omaha Burke Stadium.

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Heartland Living, April 2018

Our newspaper did a condensed version of the spring edition of Heartland Living magazine. Once again our staff did a stellar job with producing and selling a premium product for our readers that’s an insert into an April Saturday newspaper. The two stories I took photos for were about a the Grand Island Modeler’s Club, in which, they fly drones at an airfield in Alda, Neb. And a lady who raises chickens on a farm in rural Hall County.


Dave Gee Invitation Track and Field Meet

Our newspaper covers several track and field meets leading up to the three-day championships in Omaha, Neb. in the month of May. Here are some of my favorite images from the annual Dave Gee Invitation Track and Field Meet held at Grand Island Northwest High School.

Fletcher Bydalek of Grand Island Northwest throws in the third flight of the boy’s shot put during the Dave Gee Invitation Track and Field Meet.

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2018 Nebraska Boys State Basketball Championships

Our sports reporters and myself covered 11 games over three days during this years’ tournament in Lincoln, Neb. The first day (Thursday) started out at various Lincoln area high schools and The Bob Devaney Sports Center. On Friday all of the games I covered were at the Devaney Sports Center and on Saturday all championship games are held at Pinnacle Bank Arena. We had three boys basketball teams that made it to their championship games on the final day, but unfortunately all three lost.

Hastings St. Cecilia junior Ashton Valentine clenches his fists in the air while running back to the team bench to celebrate a 39-36 victory over Yutan during a Class C2 semifinal Boys State Basketball Tournament game Friday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

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2018 Nebraska Girls State Basketball Championships

Our region had one team make it to the finals playing at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. Unfortunately the Ravenna Bluejays lost a very close basketball game. The Bluejays are one of hardest working basketball teams I’ve ever covered and they’re enjoyable to photograph. Here are some of my favorites from the championship game and over the course of the three-day tournament.

Superior sophomore Trisha Hayes and Ravenna junior Jordyn Fiddelke dive after the basketball during a Class C2 Nebraska State High School Championship game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday. Superior won 42-39.

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Nebraska Danger

I remember when I met world renowned photojournalist Bill Frakes at a Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo in 2007. Of all of his great images I told him the photo of the football helmet suspended in midair was one of my favorites he had taken. He response was “which one”? Not realizing he had more than one and for myself I didn’t have any, until now. In the first game of the 2018 IFL season Cedar Rapids running back Tyler Thomas lost his helmet on a tackle.

Cedar Rapids running back Tyler Thomas loses his helmet after getting jarred by Nebraska Danger defensive lineman Xzavie Jackson and defensive back Najee Bright during second quarter action at the Heartland Event Center Friday night.

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2018 Nebraska State Wrestling Championships

 

Met lots of new people and saw some familiar faces at this year’s state wrestling tournament in Omaha over three busy days. We had 127 city and area student athletes combined competing. Twenty-one wrestlers made the finals.

Collin Quandt of Grand Island Northwest runs out onto the Class B wrestling mat to face Jackson Nielsen of Blair in a 113-pound match during the Nebraska State High School Wrestling Championship finals in Omaha Saturday.

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Basketball Jones

Basketball is one of my favorite sports to photograph. I’ve photographed the NBA to college to high school hoops and even some youth games. And with March being a few weeks away with the start of the high school state championships, I thought I would share some of my favorites so far this season.

Riverside sophomore Tredyn Prososki takes a tumble over Heartland Lutheran’’s Daniel Warneke during second quarter action at Heartland High School.

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30 Favorites from 2017

Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018. It seems like year after years are flying by. As with any New Year I anticipate it with excitement and uncertainness. It’s a good time to reflect on where you’re at and how far you’ve come. Thus taking steps to achieve a new set of goals over the next year and beyond.

 

A super moon rises above the steeple on the Hall County Courthouse late Saturday afternoon.

A super moon rises above the steeple on the Hall County Courthouse late Saturday afternoon.

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Wreaths Across America Ceremony

A Wreaths Across America Ceremony took place at the Grand Island Veterans Home All Faiths Chapel. After the ceremony a tractor trailer containing wreaths is unloaded, in which those wreaths are placed at every veterans headstone at the Grand Island Veterans Cemetery.

Sgt. Mike Evans with the USAF uses both hands during a presentation of wreaths at a Wreaths across America ceremony at All Faiths Chapel inside the Grand Island Veterans Home.

Sgt. Mike Evans with the USAF uses both hands during a presentation of wreaths at a Wreaths across America ceremony at All Faiths Chapel inside the Grand Island Veterans Home.

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Flatwater Fracas Dual Wrestling Tournament

Flatwater Fracas is a two-day high school dual wrestling tournament held at the Heartland Event Center in Grand Island, Neb. It brings in wrestling teams across the state of Nebraska, but also out-of-state teams from Manhattan, Kan., Mead, Colo. and Cheyenne, Wyo. It’s the 10th annual tournament. The Kearney Wildcats won this year’s title beating No. 3 ranked Gretna 39-24 in the championship. Here are a dozen of my favorites:

Steven Berumen of Kearney grimaces while wrestling Lance Jarrett of Gretna during a 182-pound team championship match at the Flatwater Fracas Wrestling Tournament Saturday.

Steven Berumen of Kearney grimaces while wrestling Lance Jarrett of Gretna during a 182-pound team championship match at the Flatwater Fracas Wrestling Tournament.

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2017 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. 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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