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West wins volleyball match, East wins football clash

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The West won the volleyball match and the East won the football game during Western Nebraska All-Star action in Scottsbluff on Saturday.

Recent Chadron High School graduates were among the standouts in both contests. Jacey Garrett was named the West’s Most Valuable Player, coming up with something like 23 digs while serving as the primary libero, and Tatum Bailey was a front row stalwart while being among the winners’ leading hitters and blockers.

The West won the first three sets—25-20, 25-18, 28-26—to raise its lead in the all-time series to 23-14. As usual, five sets were played with the East winning the last two, 25-19 and 15-9. All members of both teams saw about equal action.

Garrett is the third Chadron High grad to earn the MVP award. The others were Bethany Clark in 1997 and Chandler Hageman in 2016. This year’s MVP choices from the East were twins Kailyn and Kya Scott of Broken Bow.

Garrett also received another special honor. She was the recipient of the $1,500 scholarship provided by the Richard Slicker Family. The selection was made from among applications submitted by the volleyball all-stars on both sides of the net. The scholarship was based on academic, athletic and citizenship achievements.

Garrett, who set the state’s Class C-1 single season digs record with 751 last fall, said the all-star experience was special, with numerous fun-filled events such as a walk up Scotts Bluff Monument and bowling included. “We did lots of things together and became good friends,” Garrett said. “Quite a few of us are going to UNL, and it’s likely we’ll play on the same intramural volleyball team.”

The football game featured different styles of play, but was a dandy. The East won 31-24 to move ahead 26-17-1 in the series that dates back to 1978, when the final score was 0-0.

While the West lined up in the shotgun formation like most pro, college and high school teams nowadays and both rushing and throwing the ball, the East threw just two passes while running 55 plays from scrimmage.

However, one of the East’s passes was a big one. A short toss by alternate quarterback Nolan Wetovick of Cozad to Kade Mohr of North Platte early in the fourth period broke a 17-17 tie and put the East on the path to victory.

The West scored first when Perkins County’s Hayden Foster threw a reverse pass to Ogallala’s Cameron Bush to set up a touchdown run by Dunbar. Later is the opening half, the West used a similar ploy that saw wide receiver Tyler Garrett of Gering throw a 23-yard TD pass to Thomas Muldoon of Potter-Dix.

Those touchdowns allowed the West hold a 14-11 halftime lead, but the East rallied in the second half to outscore the West 20-10.

All four Cardinals were on offense and played well, observers said. Alcorn took most of the snaps at quarterback and completed seven of 10 passes for 121 yards. Dunbar was the West’s primary running back, carrying 25 times for 143 yards and the first quarter TD. Both Bickel and Hall played nearly the entire game in the offensive front and more than held their own.

Gering’s Garrett, a 5-9, 165-pound Chadron State College recruit, was another standout for the West. Besides throwing the “double pass” touchdown pass, he caught four tosses for 78 yards, ran for a two-point conversion and returned a kickoff past midfield.

But the East’s relentless running game wore down the West defense. The East ran for 325 yards, led by North Platte quarterback Caleb Tonkinson with 176 yards. In addition, Cooper Ray of Hi Line High of Elwood ran for 78 yards and two touchdowns and Jacob Westerly of Cozad rushed for 76 yards.

Ray was named the game’s offensive MVP. Lineman Keifer Anderson of Broken Bow received the defensive award.

Chris Cottrell of KNEB Radio contributed to this story.

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