Concordia High School (1894-1972) will celebrate four of its championship athletic teams this weekend. During the late 1950's and early 1960's, the CHS Raiders had remarkable success in interscholastic athletics. Their achievements will receive honorary mention during the Concordia University's Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, Oct. 8.
"You could say God really stacked the deck for us," said Gordon Bredow, a player on all four of the honored teams. Bredow was originally from Seward and is now a retired high school athletic director living in St. Peters, Mo. "For a small school of around 150 kids our players were huge, quick and flat out good."
Although Bredow's role in the 1957 football squad was limited, starting a few games as an end, he was a starter for the basketball team and for both of the baseball squads. He remembers the excitement of those playoff games.
"Playing [baseball] on the University of Nebraska field with the big stadium in the background was amazing," said Bredow. "The championship basketball game was played in the coliseum filled with 6,000 fans. The game was beamed to the local TV audiences in Nebraska and eastern Kansas. The players reminded each other, 'Smile, you're on TV,' every time we stepped to the free throw line.
The 1957 Raiders football team recorded an undefeated season of 8-0. This team, many of whom had experienced the transition from 8-man to 11-man football, perfected a "hitching call" system of both pass and run variations, ultimately resulting in a no huddle offense. According to "Ember Hues and Champions," a book by CHS coach Warren Wilbert, Seward resident Dave Kroger, in addition to running the ball for the Raiders, was a triple-threat special teams player that year: he led the state in punting, passed from the quick kick position, and led the state in field goals kicked. In the final game of the season CHS and David City St. Mary met as the two highest ranked teams in Class C, with the Raiders topping the Knights 32-13. Co-captains John Boll and Mel Bremer were named to the all-state team.
The 1959 CHS baseball team, coached by Robert Baden, went 7-3 and ended an outstanding year with a 16-0 victory over Osmond in the first round of the state finals and then defeated Papillion 4-1 in an extra inning in the final state championship game. Junior Monte Frohm pitched all eight innings of the championship game.
The 1960 the Raiders ruled the hard court. Coached by Baden and led by all-stater Bredow, one of eight seniors on the team, the CHS basketball team went 21-4 and won the Nebraska Class C State Championship. The championship game against Niobrara, 55-36, put the seal on a stellar season of victories at districts and regionals as the Raiders advanced to the state tourney.
The 1960 CHS baseball team, coached by Baden, went 12-2 and took the state championship for a second time in two years behind the pitching arms of Monte Frohm and Roger Hartner. The Raiders recorded only two losses for the season to the Class A Lincoln Southwest and Class B Central City State championship teams. In the final Concordia celebrated an 8-0 victory over rival Papillion.