Kicker Tristan Alvano reflects on the field after the state championship.  Alvano kicked a last second field goal to seal the win.
Kicker Tristan Alvano reflects on the field after the state championship. Alvano kicked a last second field goal to seal the win.
Ross Jernstrom

Westside athletics has historic season with three state titles and four runner-up trophies

The 2022-23 athletic season was a very historic year for many sports teams at Westside High School. The Warriors won three state titles and four state runner-up trophies. 

The football team started off the year with a state title, after a dramatic 43-41 finish against the Gretna Dragons. Kicker Tristan Alvano made a 45-yard field goal as time expired to give the school their fifth state football title in school history. 

Quarterback Anthony Rezac had quite a night at Memorial Stadium, where he passed for 337 yards and rushed for 83 yards to help lead the Warriors in the championship game. 

“It means everything, this is worth all the hours in the off season, morning workouts in the summer, us working hard, and it paid off,” Rezac said. 

This game relied on every play as Gretna and Westside battled back and forth until the very end. Gretna leading Westside 41-40 in the final minutes, Westside was going to have to battle back to secure this win. It came down to the wire with senior kicker Tristan Alvano. The Husker recruit was already good on all four of his kicks, but the final seconds is what mattered most. 

“As a kid you dream about game winning seniors and to have one in the state championship, in this game nothing beats that,” Alvano said. 

In the same fall season the Westside volleyball team was in Lincoln for the state tournament, where they finished as the state runner-up. The Warriors made their first appearance in the championship match since 1985. 

Westside head coach Korrine Bowers was very happy and expressed that it meant a lot for the entire team and for the community. 

“For these girls, for Westside, it meant a whole lot to the Westside community, to the program.” Bowers said. “To these girls, it’s the future. What does the future hold for Westside? If I’m a junior, sophomore, or freshman, I’m thinking that I don’t wanna be in this place again next year. I don’t wanna lose in this match again next year. What do I need to do in the offseason to prepare? I look at Papio South and the talent they have, they’ve built this culture and been in this position before. This is our first time here. We need to build and continue to build. This is our first time and this is my fifth year. We’re making our way. This year is another stepping stone for that. For young kids, they need to look at these girls as role models. For these girls, they’re probably not happy, they need to take it easy, do some reflecting, and think about the season.”

Also in the fall, the girls cross country team took home the state runner-up trophy.

After winning the Metro and District titles, head coach Theresa Gosnell was thrilled with the team’s best finish in school history.

“I’m really excited for all the girls,” Gosnell said. “They put in the work and got it done.” 

The performances by each runner made history for Westside. The Warriors had three runners in the top ten, which had never been done before this year’s meet. Stella Miner came in second place. Claire White placed fifth as a freshman and third as a sophomore. This year White did not expect to finish among the top runners.

 “I was shocked to place third,” White said. “It really wasn’t something I was looking to get, so getting third two years in a row feels great.”

As the fall sports seasons winded down and the winter season began the girls wrestling team made Westside history with their state runner-up finish at state. 

The team was led by Regan Rosseter and sisters Macy and Zoey Barber. Rosseter pinned her opponent Kehlanee Bengston of Aurora to win the match at 130 pounds. The Westside junior spoke about what her third gold medal meant to her after so much hard work throughout the season.

“I am speechless, I just don’t know how I am feeling to be honest,” Rosseter said. “It’s something I dreamed of doing ever since I was a little girl.”

Macy elaborated about the bond that the two sisters have formed after years of wrestling together.

“My bond with my sister has always been good,” Macy said “Ever since she started wrestling she was the happiest person I’ve met and I wanted to join and do it with her.”

The boys swim team was led by Nate Germonprez, who took state titles in the 100 and 200 freestyle. The Texas recruit ended his high school career with four state records. Germonprez also broke the school record in all eight individual events. 

The Westside girls swim team tied with Omaha Marian for the state championship. The Warriors were led by Kate Stevens, who won the gold medal in the 50 freestyle. Piper Hagen also took home the gold medal in the 200 individual medley. 

As the winter turned to spring,  the Westside girls track and field team was working extremely hard all season and ended up as the state runner-up. A runner and jumper that really stood out was senior Lademi Davies. 

Davies finished her season with four individual gold medals. Davies won the triple jump with a leap of 38 feet and 6.25 inches. She also won the long jump with a distance of 19 feet and 9.75 inches. Not to forget she also won the 100 meters with a time of 11.71, and the 200 meters with a time of 24.37. Davies expresses what she felt to bring home 4 gold medals. 

“It feels amazing,” Davies said. “It feels like the accumulation of the past four years of just working and Mr. Preister and coach Steve know what they are doing and can help me get to the place where I want to be.”

Westside’s Jaylen Lloyd was a double gold medal winner. The Husker recruit took first place in the long jump and triple jump. Lloyd ended his high school career with six Class A titles.

The final state championship of the year for the Warriors was when the boys golf team took home the Class A title and beat their rival Creighton Prep at the Norfolk Country Club. 

The four-under par finish this year is the best by any team since 2014. State champion Porter Topp reflects on what it means to the champions. 

“It means so much to not only be the individual champion but the team championship means so much more to me because of the family we’ve created this year,” Topp said. 

Topp becomes only the third state winner in Westside history. The UNO recruit  joins the 1971 winner Joe Sloan and the 1959 winner Bob Saffer. The team championship marks the fifth Class A championship title for the Warriors and the first since 1989. 

“It feels amazing to know that I was a part of the greatest team we have ever had,” Topp said.  “And to be able to play with Benge, Trevor and Whittle just makes it all so much better.” 

To end the year the Westside had nine individual state champions, which included athletes from many different sports.  Porter Topp from golf,  Grace Greenwald from girls tennis,  Lademi Davies and Jaylen Lloyd from the boys and girls track team, Kate Stevens and Piper Hagen from girls swimming, Nate Germonprez from boys swimming, Mikey Meyers from boys wrestling and Regan Rosseter from girls wrestling. 

After a very historic season at Westside, the Warriors will have three new state titles with four state runner-up trophies to add to the trophy case. 

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