Positive energy has definitely been in evidence around the Nebraska City High School fall sports teams this year. And that's good. But to turn energy into results, a trademark win is needed.
Slaying the dragon will help that cause.The Nebraska City tennis team, which had not recorded a single or double match win against a top tier opponent, like Thursday visitor Gretna, for many years, changed the narrative by winning a combined five matches to take the dual decision, 5-4. Gretna came in featuring a state champ at the top of its card. The No. 1 Dragon played a role in a doubles division state championship a season ago. Singles matches went off first and the Nebraska City team found itself down 2-0 after losses at the No. 1 position and No. 2 position. Logan and Langston Hoover lost matches by scores of 8-3. Clay Stovall turned the tide toward Nebraska City at the No. 3 spot by rallying for a 9-7 victory after trailing most of the match. Keith Whitehead and Zac Albrecht posted dominating 8-4 wins. Adam Dia had a good effort at No. 6, but the Dragons evened the dual at 3-3 with an 8-5 decision. Turning to the doubles side, Gretna lined up their singles card into doubles combinations with 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 making up the card. Logan and Clay faced the top team for Gretna and fell 8-1. A thrilling match at No. 2 saw Adam and Langston shake off any hang over from singles losses to claim a thrilling 8-6 triumph. At No. 3 doubles, Zac and Keith turned in what Pioneer Coach Trent Turney called the performance of the night in an 8-2 decision that delivered dual glory to the purple and gold. Coach Turney said his team was not intimidated by the Dragons going into Thursday, despite the history of the series being against them. "I think the seniors wanted to go out and play hard and win it. That's kind of what we talked about all week," said Turney,. With the dual on the line in doubles action, Turney said he was happy to see Langston, a senior, provide leadership that could have been the difference in such a close match. What did Thursday's win mean to Nebraska City's overall season? It's a wait and see proposition. Turney said the Pioneers need to remember that this was just one dual. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. "We can't get a big head. We have to perform still," said Coach Turney. At the same time, the thrill of such a big victory can not be denied. Matter of fact, it hadn't even sunk in as of Thursday night. "It hasn't hit us yet. The kids were shocked," he said.