Class of 2022/23 Athletic Hall of Fame
The Northwest High School Athletic Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its third class for the 2022-23 school year. The Northwest Hall of Fame committee was formed in the summer of 2020 with the goal of developing a permanent hall of fame to recognize past Northwest teams, students and coaches who displayed excellence during their time at Northwest. Additionally, the committee will recognize community members who had a lasting impact on Northwest athletics.
“We are pleased to present another great class of athletes, coaches and teams from Northwest High School,” committee president Kevin Fries said. “These inductees not only made a lasting impact at Northwest, but outside of our halls as well. We are excited to welcome them to our hall of fame.”
The 2022-23 class includes five athletes, one coach, a state championship team, a contributor and an alumnus who had great success after Northwest. Inductees will be recognized at various Northwest athletic events throughout the school year. On Tuesday, September 27th the first set of inductees will be recognized. They include former Viking volleyball coach Diane Rouzee, athletes Lyndi (Rouzee) Rohr, Jenna (Rouzee) Jones and Dean Bowling, special contributor Norm Nott and the 1987 state championship boys cross country team.
Other new inductees that will be recognized later this school year include athletes Chad Sheffield and McKenzie Brown and alumni honoree Kathy Mettenbrink.
Members being recognized on the 27th prior to the volleyball game with Adams Central include:
Diane Rouzee: The volleyball coach at Northwest High School for 34 years, Rouzee built a program that was built on hard work and attention to detail. In her tenure, the Vikings never had a losing season while winning 20 Central Conference titles and advancing to the state championship match 10 times winning state titles in 1994, 2003 and 2012. Her teams qualified for the state tournament an amazing 25 times, including tying a state record of 17 straight seasons when she retired in 2018; a streak the program has continued to a state record 20 in the last three seasons. Rouzee was named the national volleyball coach of the year in 2018 and inducted to the national high school hall of fame in 2022. A business teacher at Northwest for most of her career, Rouzee compiled a record of 768-183, the 8th most wins in state history.
Lyndi (Rouzee) Rohr (2006): A 2006 Northwest graduate, Lyndi (Rouzee) Rohr may still be considered the most accomplished setter ever to play at Northwest High School. During her high school career, the Vikings won a state championship in 2003 and made three more state tournament appearances while boasting an overall record of 113-18. A unanimous all-conference selection as a junior and senior, Rouzee was also named to the Grand lsland Independent Super Squad as a junior and senior and was a Class B second-team All-State selection as a senior by both state newspapers. Rohr still holds the Northwest career records for set assists in a season (974) and a career (1,660). A standout at Hastings College after high school, Rohr was a three-time team captain for the Broncos, a two-time all-conference performer and was an All-American her senior season.
Jenna (Rouzee) Jones (2009): A 2009 Northwest graduate, Jenna (Rouzee) Jones was an 11-sport letter winner at Northwest, but starred on the volleyball court, leading the Vikings to four state tournament appearances including two state runner-up finishes and a 62-7 record over her junior and senior seasons. Still the school record holder for ace serves in a season (74) and a career (157), Jones peppered all-state and all-area lists as a junior and senior. She was selected to the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star state all-tournament teams both seasons as well as the Grand Island Independent All-Heartland Team. During her senior season, she was a first-team Class B All-State selection and a third-team All-Class selection by both state newspapers. A standout at Nebraska-Kearney where she was a three year captain, Jones earned All-Conference honors three times and was an All-American her senior year. Jones is now the head women’s volleyball coach at Doane University in Crete.
Dean Bowling (1988): One of the most decorated distance runners in Northwest history, Dean Bowling was a member of the 1987 state championship cross country team and finished fourth individually that season. In his senior year of 1988, he was in the individual state champion as the Vikings finished second as a team, losing a tiebreaker to Elkhorn. He took his talents to the track in the spring of his senior year, leading the Vikings to the 1989 state title when he won the 800- meter run in 1:56.45 and the 1,600 meters in 4:26.44. He was also the anchor leg on the Vikings state championship 3,200-meter relay team that set a Class B state record of 7:55.8 which stood for nearly 20 years and it still the Northwest school record.
Norm Nott (special contributor): Coach Norm Nott began his Northwest career in the 1979-1980 school year and retired from his math and coaching positions in 2005. He served as the head junior high track coach during that time as was an assistant cross country coach from 1992-2004. Coach Nott started hundreds of young students in track and field at Northwest, with most of them going on to be great athletes. He worked with over 25 athletes that went on to earn Class B State Championship medals, including 10 that won All-Class Gold Medals. While working with Coach Zavala, the NW cross country teams finished in the top 5 at state 12 times, winning the Class B girls state title in 2003. A fixture of Northwest running for over 40 years, Nott could be seen driving buses, timing meets, clerking the start and finishes of several meets and setting up and cleaning facilities when it was all done.
TEAM – 1987 Boys Cross Country: After finishing as state runners-up for three straight seasons at the NSAA state cross country meet, the Northwest boys finally broke through in 1987. Led by a second-place finish from senior Derek Bryer and a fourth-place finish from junior Dean Bowling, the Vikings outscored Elkhorn Mt. Michael 47-69 for the state championship. The Vikings were also district and Central Conference champions in 1987. Many of these runners were key members of teams that finished either first or second at the state championship each season from 1984-1988. Members of the state championship team include Sean Arent, Lanny Boltz, Dean Bowling, Derek Bryer, Scott Bunner, Bob Dean, Vic Grobe, Jason Knapp, Chad Knuth, Matt Ross, Kurt Stoppkotte, Tom Weber and Mike Witt.
The details of the second induction and biographies for the remainder of the class will be made later with inductees set to be honored at the Saturday, January 7th Viking basketball game against York.
The Northwest Hall of Fame has been made possible by 11 founding members that have committed to the ongoing success of the project. Those businesses and families include Equitable Bank, Family Eyecare Center, Five Points Bank, Grand Island Physical Therapy, Grand Island Surgery Center, Holiday Bus, Home Federal Bank, Mike and Melissa Jakubowski, Pinnacle Bank, Mike and Michelle Schuster and Tom Dinsdale Chevrolet Cadillac GMC.