Boone Central graduate Jessie Sullivan is tireless and relentless.
That becomes quickly evident when you consider his year-round sports and academic schedule, and the excellence he has achieved.
Sullivan’s efforts were rewarded Sunday when the Grand Island Independent named him its 2018 Boys Athlete of the Year.
Just reading Sullivan’s list of accomplishments in his senior season is exhausting. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound standout was awarded All-State status in football after helping Boone Central/Newman Grove reach the Class C1 state championship game. He then was a pivotal figure on the Cardinal basketball team that qualified for the state tournament by defeating three ranked teams in district play, and was again selected All-State. He closed out the school year and his high school career by placing second in the Class B discus behind University of Nebraska football recruit Cameron Jurgens of Beatrice.
Sullivan also excelled in the classroom, where he earned Academic All-State honors for the Fall, Winter and Spring activity periods. He’s not idle during the summer either, currently competing in American Legion baseball.
Riverside High School football and basketball coach Joe Imus received well-deserved recognition this past week when the Grand Island Independent honored Imus as its 2018 Boys Coach of the Year.
While the award was for the excellence of Riverside’s performance during this past school year, it also shines a light on the accumulation of accomplishments by the Charger programs since the school was founded.
The 2018 Six-Man football championship was Riverside’s fourth straight, while the Chargers’ Class D2 runner-up finish in basketball followed three straight seasons of placing third or fourth in the state tournament. All came under the tutelage of Imus.
Imus, a sports standout and graduate of Boone Central High School, remembers where Riverside began as a new school four years ago.
“Combining two groups of kids and trying to get everybody on the same expectations, initially it seemed like something pretty difficult to do, but the kids meshed so well. I think they made the transition pretty easy,” Imus told The Independent about combining athletes from Cedar Rapids and Spalding High School.
Imus guided the Chargers to a six-man title victory over Spalding Academy, where he had previously coached, in Riverside’s initial football season, and the successes has only continued in the seasons and years since.
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