1947 & 1948 State Championship Teams
Legendary Coach Jerry Lee's teams of 1947 and 1948 were two of the most dominant and prolific teams in Nebraska High School history. Each team won all 10 of their games, with the 1947 team steamrolling opponents by a a combined score of 338 to 34, and the 1948 team followed with a 418-60 score over their season. Both the 1947 and 1948 teams were inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
An All State selection for The Islanders in 1988, Mike Anderson is one in a long line of outstanding Islander linebackers. Mike was a standout in an outstanding Islander squad from 1987 and 1988. He was selected to play in the 1989 Nebraska Shrine Bowl.
Mike was offered a Nebraska football scholarship by legendary Coach Tom Osborne and went on to a stellar career with the University of Nebraska. After redshirting in 1989, Mike went on to earn varsity letters from 1990 through 1993, Mike started at linebacker for The Blackshirts for three seasons, breaking into the lineup in 1991, his sophomore year. He earned honorable mentions and All Big Eight accolades for two seasons.
A bruising fullback and linebacker for Coach Ken Fischer's 1978 Football State Championship team. Jim earned All State honors that season as linebacker and fullback both from The Omaha World Herald and Lincoln Journal Star. In addition, Jim was named the Class A Offensive Player of the Year by the Lincoln Journal Star. Jim was selected to the All Big Ten Conference and All City, his Junior and Senior years.
Jim was selected to play for the North Squad in 1979 Nebraska Shrine Bowl. Following his stellar career at Grand Island Senior High, Jim earn a football scholarship to The University of Nebraska. Jim also played for the Husker's baseball team, earning a letter 1983.
A 1963 graduate of Grand Island Senior High. Dick was a three year letterman in football and basketball for The Islanders. Dick also lettered in track and field and was an outstanding American Legion baseball player.
A Football standout, Dick earned first team All Big Ten Conference honors at center his Senior season. He was also named the All State center by The Omaha World Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, and The Associated Press. Dick was selected to play in the 1963 Nebraska Shrine Bowl.
After a standout playing career, Dick went on to a distinguished coaching career. Coaching Football and Track at Columbus, Nebraska High School for over 35 years. Dick was an outstanding Head Football coach for The DIscoverers for 28 seasons. Dick was selected as a Nebraska Shrine Bowl Assistant Coach in 1986. In 1989 He was chosen Head Football Coach for the Nebraska Shrine Bowl.
One of the greatest offensive linemen in Grand Island Senior High School's history. Kurt earned All State honors in 2000 and 2001.
Kurt was also one of the finest multisport athletes in GISH history. Kurt was a 4 time state medalist in Track. In 2002 Kurt won the All Class State Champion Gold Medal in shot put. He holds the school record in that event at 62'4'. In addition Kurt was a standout on the hardwood helping lead the Islanders to the 2002 State Basketball Championship. The Lincoln Journal Star named Kurt the State's Male Athlete of the Year in 2001-2002.
Kurt prowess on the gridiron helped him earn a football scholarship to The University of Nebraska, where he enjoyed an outstanding career. Kurt started as offensive center for The Huskers from 2004 through 2006, earning 2nd Team All Big 12 honors as well as numerous academic accolades including first team All Academic Big 12 honors and ESPN The Magazine's first team Academic All America honors. Kurt was also a two time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team.
An Islander All State offensive lineman for Coach Roy Mandery in 1931. Bob went on to star for the University of Nebraska from 1935 through 1937. Bob earned first team All Big Six honors in 1937 and was elected into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
A part of one of the most decorated football families in Grand Island Senior High's history, Bob was one of six Mehring brothers who were outstanding players for the Islanders.
An all-around athlete noted for his speed. Tom was a two way starter for the Islanders his Junior and Senior years. Tom led the Islanders in scoring, rushing, punt returns, pass receiving, and interceptions.
A four sport standout, Tom was selected All State in basketball in 1963. He set a single season scoring record of 334 points in the 1962/1963 season, and set a career scoring record of 717 points. In track, Tom dominated the Big Ten Conference and Class A sprints for three seasons. Tom won three gold medals at the State Track meet his Senior season, setting a state record in the 220 at 21.5 seconds. That time remains the Islander School record and was the state record until 1998.
Tom was named the Lincoln Journal Star's Athlete of the Year in 1963. He went on to a stellar track career with The Huskers, earning All American Honors in 1965.
An outstanding Islander offensive tackle, Don was team Co-captain and earned All Big 10 Conference honors in 1955. Do was also a member of the 1953 State Championship team. He was a two year starter for the Islanders in 1954 and 1955. Don's excellence on the line of scrimmage helped him earn a football scholarship to The University of Nebraska. Don earned Varsity letters at Nebraska in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He was the starting offensive guard in 1958 and 1959.
Don was inducted into The Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
One of Nebraska's finest High School Football Coaches during the late 1920's and throughout the 1930's, Roy Mandery let The Islander's gridders from 1928 through 1941. A standout players at The University of Nebraska from 1924 through 1926.
Coach Mandery compiled a record of 62-44-5 at the helm of The Islanders, including the undefeated and unscored upon State Champions of 1936. The Legendary 1936 squad is in The Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Mandery developed a pipeline to Nebraska that included Islander and Husker greats of Neal and Bob Mehring, Glenn Justice, Les McDonald, Bill Callihan, Ken Shindo, Bob and Royal Kahler, Hub Knickrehm, Clarence Herndon, Howard Kelly, Lawrence Ely, and Carl Samuelson.
One of the great contributors to Islander Football over the past 50 years,
Orv Qualsett served as a GISH teacher and assistant football and track coach for five years before being promoted to Head Football Coach. Orv led the Islander Football program from 1969 through 1971.
Orv’s 1970 squad earned a number five postseason ranking from the Omaha World Herald. Orv was also selected as an assistant coach in the 1972 Nebraska Shrine Bowl. An outstanding track coach, Orv coached some of the state's top hurdlers during his tenure. Orv coached a number of all time Islander greats, including Islander Football Hall of Famers, Randy Butts and George Kyros.
After leaving education for a career in banking, Orv's support for Islander Football and Islander Athletics never waned. Orv was the public address announcer for Islander Football games from the mid 1970's through 1998.
Always a servant leader, Orv was instrumental in helping form the Grand Island Public School Foundation and was a contributor to the Memorial Stadium turf project. Orv was also an FCA State Board Member and a part of the first FCA huddle at Grand Island Senior High School.