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Governor Ricketts honors Westside state championship football team

December 13, 2022

After Westside’s victory over the Gretna Dragons at Memorial Stadium, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts returned to his alma mater at Westside High School to honor the state championship football team.

On Tuesday, Dec. 13 Governor Ricketts made an appearance in front of the entire football team and congratulated them on their victory over the Dragons.  Ricketts told his story of being at Westside High School, and how the Warrior football teams of 1981 and 1982 won back to back state championships. 

“I got a great education from here and had many opportunities to take classes like Russian History and Calculus,” Ricketts said. “We had great teachers and some of them are in the Westside Hall of Fame right now.” 

Ricketts graduated from Westside in 1982 and talked about his extracurricular activities. 

“I had the chance to be a part of the sub surfers, the scuba diving club, as well as the Wargaming club,” Ricketts said. 

Ricketts talked about how the culture in Nebraska is like the culture at Westside. 

“We’ll always know that the culture here in Nebraska is pretty phenomenal. It is something we take for granted when we grow up here,” Ricketts explained. “We take care of each other and collaborate and work together and that’s why I think we are successful as a state.”

Ricketts connected the culture in the state to how the Westside football team bonded together.

“We work together and collaborate and cooperate and it is just like how we are successful as a football team,” Ricketts said. 

When his speech was done he gave Westside head football coach Paul Limongi a “Challenge Coin”, which is a military tradition coin and dates back to World War I. 

Ricketts described the coin as a symbol of fellowship, before handing one to Limongi.

“The coin represents fellowship, friendship and that we are on the same side,” Ricketts said. 

Ricketts will be looking to continue to serve the Nebraska community and is looking forward to possibly working in Washington D.C. as a Senator for the state of Nebraska.

Lylah Wheeler

“Senator Sasse is resigning on January 8th and Governor-elect Jim Pillen will make that decision, but I put it out there that I want to continue to serve the community,” Ricketts said. 

To end the ceremony Ricketts and the entire team took a team photo, which you can find on Westside Wired’s twitter page. 


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