HASTINGS – Two coaches, fourteen players and one contributor have been named to the 2019 Eight-Man Football Hall of Fame. They will be inducted during ceremonies this Saturday, June 15 at the Tom Osborne Family Sports Complex in Hastings, Nebraska.
The Hall of Fame is presented by the Nebraska Eight-Man Football Coaches Association and sponsored by Pinnacle Bank of Nebraska. Induction ceremonies will be held at halftime of the 42nd annual Sertoma Eight-Man All-Star Game played at Hastings College. Kickoff for the game will be 6 p.m. this Saturday, June 15.
Over the next several days the York News-Times will feature each of the inductees with a short write-up on each leading up to the June 15 induction.
Past installments of this series included contributor Bob Jensen; players Clint and Cory Eikemeier of Dodge, Neb.; Billy Legate of Clearwater; Casey Beran of Sargent; Andrew Zeisler of Butte High School; Eric Ryan of Overton; coach Gordon Pilmore of Dodge; player/coach Glen Snodgrass of North Loup Scotia/Overton; coach Doug Goltz of Falls City Sacred Heart; players Jeff and Joel Makovicka of East Butler High School; players Steve Kriewald of North Loup-Scotia High School; Paul Kosch of Humphrey St. Francis and Sertoma Club Member Larry Zabloudil.
Here are the final three:
Matt Ickes, Orchard High School (player)
Matt was a standout football player for the powerful Orchard teams of the mid-1990s. From 1993 to 1996, he became one of the all-time great players in school history while also taking the Orioles to a Class D-1 state runner-up finish in 1995. After leading his team in rushing during his junior and senior seasons, Matt was honored as the D-1 Offensive Player of the Year and was also named first team all-conference and first team all-state on two occasions. He set school rushing records along the way, including career yards (4,500) and touchdowns (90). He was selected to the 1997 Eight-Man all-star game and was also chosen to play in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl that same year. After high school, Matt walked on at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he played for five years and was a part of the dominant 1997 national championship Cornhusker team. The NEMFCA is honored to welcome him into the Eight-Man Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
John Howell, Mullen High School (player)
From 1992 to 1995, John was an outstanding athlete for hall of fame coach Mike Brown. He played quarterback, was a ball-hawking safety and also a state champion wrestler during his time as a Bronco. In his prep career, John led his team to the playoffs four times, including the 1995 state semifinals. He was a first team all-conference selection three times and a first team all-state honoree on two occasions. He was then selected to play in both the 1996 Eight-Man all-star game and the Western Nebraska all-star game. John later walked on at Colorado State University, where he started as a defensive back for three seasons. As a senior, he led the Rams in tackles and was honored as a two-time All-Mountain West first-team selection. He finished his college career with 233 tackles, nine sacks and three interceptions, and also led CSU to a victory in the Mountain West Conference Championship. John was then drafted by Tampa Bay and played six NFL seasons. He was a key contributor on special teams and defense in helping the Buccaneers win Super Bowl XXXVII (37) and the 2002 world championship. The NEMFCA is honored to welcome him into the Eight-Man Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Steve Simon, Falls City Sacred Heart (player)
Steve was a standout running back and linebacker for hall of fame coach Doug Goltz in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was a key player in leading the Irish to the first 25 consecutive wins of their state record 87-game streak. He played on back-to-back undefeated D-2 state championship teams in 1989 and 1990 that are recognized for building the foundation of the Sacred Heart Football Dynasty. During his time in high school, Steve was honored on multiple occasions and was named first team all-conference four times, and first team all-state on three occasions. He finished his highly decorated prep career with a school record 4,616 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns. Steve was also a successful multi-sport athlete that played a part in four state basketball championships and two state track titles for the Irish. He was also selected to play in the 1991 Eight-Man all-star game. He went on to finish his athletic career by playing basketball at Northwest Missouri State University. The NEMFCA is honored to welcome him into the Eight-Man Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019.