Football Chalkboard

Eleven players and three coaches are part of the Nebraska Eight-Man Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Induction ceremonies for the new class will be held at halftime of the 43rd annual Sertoma Eight-Man all-star game to be played at Hastings College on Saturday, June 20. Kickoff for the game will be at 6 p.m.

This will be the fourth class inducted into the eight-man football hall of fame, bringing to 63 the total number of inductees. Here is a review of the Class of 2020:

Larry Frost, Malcolm. An all-state running back in 1964 his 121 career touchdowns were a national eight-man record. He was later the only eight-man player to be named MVP of the Nebraska Shrine Bowl and was a three-year letterman for the Huskers, playing a key role for the 1969 Sun Bowl team.

Scott Shanle, St. Edward. Twice named to the all-state team after rushing for 2,082 yards and 44 TDs as a senior and 1,984 yards and 33 TDs as a junior. Shanle was named the eight-man all-star game MVP following his senior season and went on to become a starter for both the Huskers and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, having more than 100 tackles during the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl championship season.

Andrew Shanle, St. Edward. All-state as a quarterback his junior season and as a defensive back his senior season, Andrew was part of the 2002 eight-man all-star game roster and later started at safety for the Huskers, winning a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 2007.

Wade Edis, Mullen. Rushed for 5,169 yards during a career than spanned from 1987 to 1990, helping the Broncos to win the Class D-1 state title his senior season. An all-stater his senior season, Edis also played in the 1991 eight-man all-star game.

Josh Cobb, Wallace. Rushed for 1,685 yards and 25 TDs as a senior and 1,438 yards as a junior, making the all-state team as a senior. Cobb was a member of the Huskers national championship teams of 1994, 1995 and 1997.

Chris Darnell, Falls City Sacred Heart. All-state both his junior and senior seasons, as a punter and then quarterback, Darnell was a key player on four consecutive unbeaten Sacred Heart state championship teams from 1989 to 1992. He was named offensive MVP of the 1993 eight-man all-star game.

Paul Kucera, Lawrence. An all-state defensive lineman his senior season, Kucera was a defensive leader for Lawrence’s 1982 state title team and state runners-up in both 1980 and 1981. He also played in the 1983 eight-man all-star game.

Corey Anderson, Sandhills. Was named to the 1986 all-state team as a linebacker and also rushed for 1,157 yards; the previous season he helped the Panthers reach the Class D-1 state final for the only time in program history. At Chadron State College he became a four-year starter, was named all-American and is now a member of the CSC hall of fame.

Carl Ostrand, Ansley. Twice named Class D-1 all-state quarterback, Ostrand led the Warriors to the 1986 state title and to runner-up finishes in 1984 and 1987 before being named offensive MVP in the 1988 eight-man all-star game.  Ostrand also enjoyed a successful eight-man coaching career at Nebraska Christian and coached in the eight-man all-star game.

Gene Busboom, Adams. An all-state tight end for the 1977 Adams team, which won Class D-1, he also played on the 1975 eight-man championship team, the first in state playoff history, before being named to the 1978 eight-man all-star game roster.

Lance Lundberg, Wausa. A dominating nose guard he was named all-state in both 1987 and 1988 before becoming a starting offensive lineman for the Huskers, being named all-Big 12 in his senior season and later being drafted by the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

Kevin Mahlberg, Elwood. In a career that spanned from 1982 to 2014 Mahlberg won 210 games and led his program to the playoffs in 19 different seasons. He was also twice a member of the eight-man all-star game coaching staff (1988, 1993).

Jim Cole, Hayes Center. Won 211 career games, led the Cardinals to the playoffs 19 times, including the 2009 Class D-2 state final, and was a member of the eight-man all-star game coaching staff on two occasions (1994, 1999).

Andy Vrbka, Shelby/Diller/Clarks/High Plains Community. After a career as an eight-man high school football player he coaches his eight-man teams to 117 wins and was also twice named to the eight-man all-star game coaching staff (1996, 2003). He is also honored for his longtime contributions as a NEMFCA officer and as the organization’s Sertoma liaison.

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