Tag Archive | cornhuskers

Father Knows Best

It’s no small thing to be a collegiate athlete.  It takes hard work, focus, and to a certain extent, some degree of innate physical ability and talent.  One of my favorite quotes from my Superstar Co-Anchor Rob McCartney: ‘You can’t coach tall!’

(Side note.. Rob is a HUGE basketball fan and actually tried out for the Nebraska Cornhuskers as a walk-on ‘back in the day’.  Additional side note.. I missed the part of his story where he said he didn’t make the team and for awhile, just told people Rob played basketball for Nebraska.  Small mistake.)

A La Vista dad recognized early on in two of his children that his boys were gifted.  He knows what athleticism looks like.. because he saw it in his own reflection in the locker room at Memorial Stadium.

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Curtis Cotton, now a father and Papillion Police officer, is also a proud member of the Class of 1991 with the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.

“I get that a lot,” Cotton said, when I asked him recently about being recognized as a Husker.  “‘I remember you!’ That’s the first thing they say as soon as I tell them, ‘hi, I’m Officer Cotton.'”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH KETV’S THROWBACK THURSDAY HUSKER FEATURE ON #9 CURTIS COTTON!

1991 huskers

It’s hard to see in this blurry image, but when Nebraska played Oklahoma in 1991, it was downright MISERABLE.  Fans throughout the stadium wore ponchos and rain gear, rain pooled all over the turf and every players’ breath was visible in the cold, fall air.  Still, THIS, was Cotton’s favorite game as a Husker.

“[It was] my senior year when we won a share of the Big Eight title,” said Cotton.  “It was at home against Oklahoma.  It was so cold and wet that day, but I don’t remember it after we sealed that win.  It was a great time.”

Check out this video of the game thanks to ArenaTeam on YouTube.  Players lifted Coach Tom Osborne onto their shoulders and carried him into the sea of fans rushing the field.  ABC broadcasters kept the final score graphic up over a shot of Husker fans climbing and shaking the goal posts, trying to bring it down.

1991 huskers FINAL

What a cool thing to watch, even via a grainy YouTube video.  Kick up the volume, and it’s enough to give any Husker fan chills.

While those days are no doubt special to Cotton, his adrenaline rushes these days stem from a different vantage point.

“I think I get more nervous when I’m about to watch my kids perform,” said Cotton.  “I get the butterflies in my stomach, my heart rate rises!”

Kenzo Cotton and KJ Cotton have both become something of high school legends in the Papillion-La Vista area.  Kenzo became an 8-time state track and field champion, claiming the 200M title all four years he competed.

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He chose the University of Arkansas, and just months ago, earned a national championship as part of the 4X100M relay team.  Kenzo’s ultimate goal is to make the US Olympic team.  (Click here to follow Kenzo Cotton’s athletic career on Twitter!)

Click here to watch Andy Kendeigh’s story with Kenzo and Curtis Cotton in May 2012!

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Photo courtesy JPC Photography

Kurtis ‘KJ’ Cotton is now a junior at Papillion-La Vista High School, also competing in track and field and playing on the varsity football team.  #9 (yes, wearing his dad’s number), has already made several highlight reels for the Monarchs this season with his speed and athleticism.  No word yet where he’s looking at for college, or if he intends to play college football like his dad.

Click here to watch KJ Cotton’s touchdown run during Papio-LV’s FIRST game of the season!

Kenzo told us back in 2012 he wanted to be just like his dad.  Curtis shared his parenting advice with us back then.

“I told him to try to stay humble,” he told KETV’s Andy Kendeigh.  “Big dreams, that is what being young is all about.  I remember those times when I dreamt the same way.  Hopefully they can come true for him.”

Three years later, Curtis Cotton is not only thinking of the sons following in his footsteps, but of today’s Huskers in the midst of a 2-3 season.

“Keep fighting,” Cotton said.  “[They] are going through a system change.  They’re all trying to perform for their new coaches, if they are new coaches.  They’re all trying to show they are worthy of being on the field.  It’s difficult to watch when you know that they’re struggling and they’re giving the best that they can give out there on the field, but at the same time, you want to see them keep fighting through it.  Man up, fight through it, get through it and don’t give up.”

Advice for anyone facing challenges, on or off the field.  I guess what they say is true; father does know best.

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WEEK FIVE.. CLASS OF 1970 JERRY MURTAUGH!

NEXT WEEK.. CLASS OF 2003 DR. JUDD DAVIES!

She Don’t Coast

Complete disclosure: I’m a former Miss Omaha.  I’m a current volunteer with the Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County pageant, hoping to recruit outstanding young ladies to compete every year.  As much as I’d like to be at every local pageant across the state, Miss Omaha is often the only one (other than Miss Nebraska) I can attend.

I was front row for this moment..

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..when Miss Nebraska newcomer, Megan Gould, was crowned Miss Omaha 2015, along with Miss Douglas County 2015 Alyssa Howell.

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MISS OMAHA 2015 MEGAN GOULD

(Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography)

“Literally, this was a dream come true,” Megan told me recently.  “I had watched pageants for as long as I could remember and finally getting to be a local titleholder for the MISS AMERICA system was an absolute blessing.  Little did I know at the time just how much of a blessing it would truly be.”

Megan, an Alliance, Nebraska native and University of Nebraska Lincoln student is now spending more time in the eastern part of the state she likely ever has before.  She includes Children’s Miracle Network, Leap-For-A-Cure, Pediatric Cancer Action Network and others among the charities she’s worked with since that crowning moment last fall.

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“I have booked myself for more appearances I can count and put in a large number of hours in preparation for Miss Omaha,” said Megan.  “I have done appearances ranging from hosting events at bowling alleys to reading to children to Children’s Miracle Network fundraisers to platform presentations.  Each appearance is as exciting as the next.”

That platform is Megan’s mission to promote constructive use of social media, or as she calls it, ‘T.H.I.N.K. Before You Post.’

“I see posts on social media sites that have no need being broadcast for the world to see,” explained Megan.  “The problem is many social media users do not understand the effects their posts can have on their lives.  T.H.I.N.K. is a list of five questions I hope all social media users will ask themselves before making a post on social media: T-is it true? H-is it helpful? I-is it intelligent? N-is it necessary? And K-is it kind?”

Megan notes she’s been traveling across the state to talk about her platform, and the ramifications of poorly using social media.  In addition, Megan updates a blog with tips about responsible social media use. (Click here to check out Megan’s blog: My Journey As Miss Omaha 2015.)

“During presentations I emphasize how social media users can use social media to their advantage to market themselves,” said Megan, a Business Marketing major at UNL.  In addition to her studies, Megan is also active with her sorority, the Kappa chapter of Chi Omega, and she’s a Nebraska Cornhusker Cheerleader.

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“I can be seen on the sidelines of Memorial Stadium in front of 92,000 of the greatest fans of college football, or courtside in the Bob Devaney Sports Center or Pinnacle Bank Arena cheering for volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball,” said Megan.  “[We] participate in a collective 200+ hours of community service visiting various schools, nursing homes, grand openings and charity events throughout the Lincoln area and all of Husker Nation.”

So why add to that already busy schedule by adding Miss America to the to-do list?

“One reason is the tremendous amount of scholarship opportunities provided as the Miss America Organization is the #1 scholarship provider of young women in the world,” said Megan.  “Another reason is that I love performing and being a titleholder with the Miss America Organization provides me with unlimited opportunities to perform and share my love of dance with others.  Additionally, I am given the chance to be very involved with various charities and causes dear to my heart.”

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 Omaha’s motto is ‘We Don’t Coast’.  Here’s a young lady who, like thousands of other college students, could be partying every weekend, napping between classes and simply kicking back for four years.  Megan Gould is a cheerleader for life, spreading positive energy and inspiring people around her.  SHE don’t coast, and she couldn’t be more proud to represent this city.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity not only to be a representative and ambassador for the Omaha area but also to get to promote the Miss America Organization,” said Megan.  “[To] make appearances throughout the state and have the opportunity to compete for my dream job, Miss Nebraska, this coming June.”

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(Photo courtesy Steph’s Studio)

Follow Miss Omaha 2015 Megan Gould

on Twitteron Instagramand via Megan’s blog: My Journey As Miss Omaha 2015.

To contact Megan about appearances and events, and for more information on the Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County Scholarship Pageant, click here to visit the organization on Facebook, visit the Miss Omaha/Miss Douglas County Pageant website, and follow on Twitter.

For information on becoming a future contestant, contact Executive Director Marianne Grubaugh at 402-330-8033 or by email at missomahapageant@yahoo.com.

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The Miss Nebraska Pageant will take place June 3-6, 2015 in North Platte.  Click here to visit the organization’s website, to visit the pageant on Facebook, to follow the pageant on Twitter, and to follow the pageant on Instagram.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Panhandle 2015 Jessica Littlejohn

NEXT.. Miss Kearney Crane Festival 2015 Allison Tietjen

To read more about the Miss Nebraska Class of 2014, click on the ‘There She Is’ link at the top of the page.