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Arapahoe's John Strand Named To Chadron State College Hall of Fame Class


 
 
CHADRON, Neb. -- Wrestlers will be leading the way during Chadron State College's Athletic Hall of Fame inductions this fall.  Five of the nine former Eagles are going into the Hall of Fame as wrestlers.  They'll be joined by two football all-stars and two standouts on women's track and field teams. 

The inductions will take place the evening of Saturday, October 5, following the Eagles' home football game vs. Adams State. 

All five of the wrestlers became All-Americans by placing at NCAA National Tournaments at least once. Current Chadron State Head Wrestling Coach Brett Hunter was a national champion in both 2007 and 2009.  A native of Rushville, where he won two state titles, Hunter had a 133-32 collegiate record after winning at least 30 matches each year at CSC.          

Another of the wrestling honorees, Josh Majerus, also had a distinguished career.  He remains Chadron State's only three-time All-American during the NCAA-era, after placing second, first and fourth at national tournaments his final three seasons. 

A graduate of Boone Central High School at Albion, Neb., where he is now the head wrestling coach, Majerus had a 117-42 career record at CSC, second only to Hunter in victories.  Both Hunter and Majerus were inducted into the National Wrestling Coaches Association's Division II Hall of Fame in 2020.

The other wrestlers going into the CSC Hall of Fame are Mark Pfeifer of Garden Valley, Calif., Devlon Webb of Omaha and Matt Weingart of Alliance. All five were coached by Dr. Scott Ritzen.

Pfeifer wrestled two years at Sacramento Community College before transferring to Chadron State.  He qualified for the NCAA II National Tournament both years he was at CSC, where he had a 63-21 record and placed fifth at 149 pounds as a senior in 2006-07.

Webb came to Chadron State after going 36-0 while winning the Class B 112-pound state championship as a senior for the Boys Town Cowboys in 2004.  A 125-pounder in college, Webb never had to cut weight while becoming one of just 10 Eagles to qualify for nationals all four years (Hunter is another.} 

Webb won at least 20 matches his final three seasons and placed fifth at nationals as a junior in 2007-08 to gain his All-American status.  He finished with an 87-65 career record. He sells life and health insurance in the Houston area.

Things never came easily for Weingart, but he persisted.  As a CSC senior in 2007-08, he lost his opening match at the national tournament to J.D. Naig of Nebraska-Omaha, who went on to win his third consecutive national championship that year.  Following his loss, Weingart responded by winning his next three matches, one of them in overtime, and placed sixth at 174 pounds.

Weingart is a pharmacist at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff.  His wife, the former Jamie Mills, also from Alliance, played volleyball at Chadron State.

The Eagles' wrestlers finished the 2006-07 National Tournament with four All-Americans and scored an all-time high 58 points, putting them sixth in the team standings. Both Majerus and Weingart were named to the NCAA II All-Academic Second-Team and Chadron State was third in the national academic team standings. 

The football players selected for the Eagles' Hall of Fame are Paul Schweger, a graduate of Longmont High School in Colorado, and John Strand of Imperial.  The women being honored after excelling in track and field are Stacy Langemeier Girard of Alliance and Mary Wells of Albion.
Schweger and Strand were among the leaders of the Eagles' 2006 and 2007 teams, both of which were 12-1 overall and 8-0 while winning RMAC championships.

Schweger was a four-year starter at safety, where he made 182 solo tackles and 107 more that were assisted, intercepted eight passes, broke up 19 others and forced five fumbles. He was first-team all-RMAC as both a junior and a senior and was first-team on the Omaha World-Herald's NCAA Division II All-Nebraska three times. 

As a senior, Schweger was chosen both CSC's Outstanding Defensive and Special Teams Player. Eagles' Defensive Coordinator Todd Auer said, "There's nobody I'd rather have at his position."

Schweger is in the insurance business in Windsor, Colo.

At 6-foot-8, 280 pounds, Strand was an imposing offensive lineman who helped CSC classmate Danny Woodhead became college football's all-time leading rusher.

As a senior when Strand played left tackle, the Eagles averaged 438.5 yards and 37.5 points, he was named first-team All-RMAC and All-Nebraska as well as First-Team Southwest Region.  Daktronics also named him Second-Team All-American.   His brother, Matt, was an all-star quarterback for the Eagles and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

John teaches mathematics and is the boys' basketball coach at Arapahoe High School in southwest Nebraska.

Stacy Langemeier was the Class B state champion in the 800 meters as a senior at Alliance High School in 2005. Despite having her seasons cut short several times by injuries, when she graduated as Stacy Girard in 2009, she possessed six middle distance and distance records.

She still owns three of those records and remains the only CSC student-athlete, male or female, to place in a national distance race.  That occurred in 2008, when she was fifth in the 1500 in 4:33.51 at the National Meet at Walnut, Calif., for one of her school records.  

As a senior in 2009, Girard had exceptional times that qualified her for both the indoor and outdoor national meets, but a foot stress fracture prevented her from competing at either of them. 

However, in 2013, four years after Girard had graduated Summa Cum Laude at CSC, she ran her first two cross country races. By then, she was doing graduate work and had one semester of athletic eligibility remaining. During her second race, she was 14th among 153 contestants at the South Central Regional Championships to earn All-Region honors. 

Stacy, her husband, John, and their three children reside in Chadron.

Mary Wells won both the Class B shot put and discus at the Nebraska State Meet as a senior at Boone Central High in 2004, and had a stellar throwing career for the Eagles the next four years. She placed 18 times and earned 74 points at RMAC Meets. Six times she was a top-three medal winner in the shot put or discus at conference meets.

Early in her freshman season, Wells set the CSC record in the discus and as a junior reached 154-3 to become the first CSC women to eclipse 150 feet in the event. As a senior in 2008, she won the shot put and the discus both five times.  Now a resident of San Antonio, Texas, she became an All-American in the discus as a junior and an All-American in the shot put indoors as a senior.

Mary's older sister, Jacqueline Wells Hobbs, one of CSC's all-time great throwers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022.  Two younger brothers, Thomas and Ryan, played football for the Eagles.  

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