Friday, September 26, 2014

Archdiocese High School Teacher Of The Year.

Mount Michael's John Gathje was a recipient of the "Omaha Archdiocese Secondary Educator Of The Year" award. The award ceremony for this year's award winners was held at the La Vista Conference Center. The honorees "embody service, dedication and professionalism" as part of the prize was a check for $5,000.  Congratulations John Gathje
David Peters (Head of School), John Gathje, Archbishop George Lucas, Patrick Slattery (Archdiocese Superintendent)
From the banquet's program:

Mount Michael Benedictine High School English teacher John Gathje is able to connect with his students and make vocabulary, literature and even grammar memorable by bringing the material to life through humor and creativity.  He has introduced students to the Coordinating Conjunction Chant, the Great Wall of Grammar and G-Elves.  he takes subjects that can often be intimidating for freshmen and makes them fun and accessible.

Since coming to Mount Michael in 1991, John has taught freshman English for 20 years, junior level English for 18 years, senior level English for five years as well as creative writing.  He has been chairman of the English department since 2009 and served as assistant freshman dean from 1991-1994.

John has been head cross country coach since 1991. During his tenure, he has coached five state championship, two runner-up and 20 state qualifying teams.  From 1993-2010 he was head track and field coach and is currently the team's assistant coach.

"I have never had a teacher so full of passion and energy," Lukas Buehler, a former student said.  "Mr. Gathje's excitement about English was contagious, and his impeccable sense of humor made 15 year-old boys eager to go to English. Any student of Mr. Gathje will remember the meaning of words like 'panacea' and 'loquacious' until the day they die thanks to the hilarious examples he gives." Lukas is now a member of the cross country and track and field teams at Saint John's University, John's Alma mater. Lukas said he was encouraged by his former coach to pursue the sport in college despite being hesitant to do so.

Former student Thomas Feichtinger echoes Lukas' sentiments. "John teaches everyone around him how to live with kindness, leadership and most importantly, humor."

John holds a bachelor's degree in English from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., a master's in curriculum and instruction from Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., and has completed additional course work at Augsburg College, the University of Minnesota, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  In 1998 he received the Wal-Mart Teacher of the year award.

John and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Jacob and Benjamin. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, yard work, gardening and home brewing.

Previous Mount Michael Award winners are:

1999-2000 Brian Osborne Administrator of the Year
2002-2003 David Peters Administrator of the Year

2002-2003 Rev. Michael Liebl, OSB Secondary Teacher of the Year
2004-2005 Patricia Dowd Secondary Teacher of the Year
2009-2010 Rev. John Hagemann, OSB Secondary Teacher of the Year

Many Mount Michael families, alumni, teachers past and present attended the awards ceremony in support of John Gathje
More Photos from the Awards Ceremony

Knights fall to Orangmen

September 26, 2014
By Jim Steier

Beatrice raced to a 28-0 advantage in the first quarter and cruised to a 54-0 shutout of visiting Mount Michael on Friday night.

The 9th-ranked Orangemen football team needed only seven plays after the opening kickoff to score its first touchdown and establish its dominance early. “Beatrice is just a very good squad,” Mount Michael Coach Jon Borer said. “We just couldn’t find a way to get to the ball carrier all night.”

Beatrice controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Orangemen rushed for 502 yards on 50 carries to keep the Knights on their heels all evening. “The Beatrice linemen were a lot faster than any of the teams we have faced all season,” Mount Michael senior lineman Ryan Anderson said. “They didn’t just rely on their size and weight. They were extremely athletic.”

Mount Michael was led defensively by safety Alex Miklas with eight tackles.  Mick Steier and Nathan Carpenter contributed five each, while Eric Sullivan, Jeff Petry, Caiden Groff, Jake Mumby and Mat Mumby added four stops apiece.

“The last two weeks, we have struggled tackling,” Steier said. “And our overall execution on offense and defense was not good enough for us to compete against a quality team like Beatrice.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the Knights finished with 103 yards rushing and 138 through the air. Quarterback Jake Batenhorst went 12-for-24 for 104 yards and Nathan Carpenter was 2-for-4 for 34 yards.

Chris Riddle, Steier and Jake Mumby led the Knights’ receiving corps with 3 receptions each. Ryan Riddle helped out by hauling in two passes for 34 yards. On the ground, Mount Michael was led by Mat Mumby, who ran for 70 yards on nine carries.  Mat’s older brother, Jake, pitched in 32 yards on 11 attempts.

“We just need to get back to work and focus on improving,” Borer said. “I was very proud of our kids for not quitting, especially our younger players. We had some young guys get some playing time this week and they made some great plays.”

Mount Michael fell to 3-2 with the loss, while Beatrice improved to 3-2. The Knights will attempt to bounce back next week when they host undefeated Elkhorn South on Friday night.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

College Alum Named Chicago Archbishop

Mount Michael is proud to find among its alumni ranks the new Archbishop of Chicago, The Very Reverend Blase Cupich who is a college alum of St. Johns Seminary the predecessor of Mount Michael Benedictine.
Archbishop Blase Cupich
Photo from Chicago Tribune
Read more about Archbishop Cupich: Chicago Tribune - Omaha World Herald 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Large Crowd & Fine Weather Make Festival a Grand Success

This year's Fall Festival had the largest crowd in recent history as for the first time in nearly a decade the weather was absolutely perfect.  Thank you to everyone that helped make the festival such a great success.
More Photos: Set 1 - Clean-upSet 3  - Set 4 -  Set 5

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Knights Initiate New Home Field with Victory over Nebraska City

Harrison Hohman | Writer for The Mount - previously published in the Douglas County Post-Gazette

   A new chapter for Mount Michael football began Friday Night, as the Knights christened the new Nate LaFave Memorial Field with a 42-14 victory over Nebraska City. The new stadium, which came as a result of tireless fundraising by the Mount Michael athletic department, is named for the junior who died last year in a car crash. The field’s bleachers, lights and scoreboard were installed only weeks before. “All in all, I was really impressed with how it came together without a hitch. It’s a really exciting time for Mount Michael,” said parent and alumnus David Hohman (83’).

   Following pre-game festivities, the Knights got off to a quick start with a kick return to the Pioneers’ 38 yard line by Senior wide receiver Ashton Legenza. The Mount Michael offense failed to take advantage of the field position and ended up losing the ball on downs. However, two possessions later, Junior running back Alex Miklas scored the first touchdown on the new field with a three yard run to give the knights an early a 7-0 lead. Nebraska City responded with a 52 yard drive of their own, eventually scoring on a four yard run by running back Noah Kasbohm that tied the game shortly before halftime.

   The Knights admitted that nervousness may have played a part in their slow start. “We got our priorities straight at half and figured out how to deal with the adversity. The team just had trouble executing in the first half,” Senior Jacob Mumby said.

   During the break, members of the LaFave family were brought to midfield for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the field’s first game. As Ave Maria resonated through the new speakers, a group of LaFave’s classmates also paid tribute to the deceased teenager with an honorary balloon-release.

   If there were any lingering nerves in the third quarter, they didn’t show as the Knights scored 28 points in an eight minute stretch. Three of those four touchdowns came from senior half-back Jacob Mumby, on runs of 17 and 52 yards, and a reception for 67. “Our offensive line played really well tonight and that helped a lot,” Mumby said. “Coach Borer’s game plan also set us up really well.”

   In the fourth quarter, the teams exchanged touchdowns, as Chris Riddle scored for the Knights on a 16 year reception from Batenhorst, while Logan Riege put points on the board for the Pioneers with a strong 21 yard run. Mount Michael managed to wind down the clock with a series of lengthy drives, and the game ended at 42 - 14. “It was the most surreal experience of my life and I am honored to have played in the first game at Nate LaFave Field.” senior cornerback Eric Sullivan said.

   Senior Quarterback Jake Batenhorst put in another great performance for the Knights, finishing with 131 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mumby led the Mount Michael receiving corps with 3 catches for 81 yards, while Chris Riddle and Ashton Legenza got two catches apiece.

   On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Garrett Rabbe led the Knights with 13 tackles. Cornerback Eric Sullivan caught an interception, while Riddle managed to both force and recover a fumble.

   This is the first time in nearly a decade that Mount Michael has started a season with three straight wins. Following consecutive one-win seasons, the Knights are now looking towards postseason play. “I think we can make it to state,” Senior Mick Steier said. “We just have to stay humble and keep playing well.”

   The Knights will be at home again next Friday against Ralston. The Rams are 1-2 after earning a 14-10 victory over Lincoln Pius X.

Video Highlights:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Five Knights Recognized as National Merit Finalists/Semi-Finalists


             Jon Collins                                                     Harrison Hohman
Congratulations to Mount Michael’s two National Merit Semi-finalists. Jon Collins and Harrison Hohman.

Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. High school seniors.

Semifinalists now continue on to compete for National Merit scholarships. Finalist status and scholarship winners are announced in the spring.

Additionally Congratulations to Mount Michael's three Commended National Merit Scholars . David Choi, Zach Frevert and Alex Hotovy!

David Choi                                                  Zach Frevert                                          Alex Hotovy

Previous Year's Honorees

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bonfire Kick's Off Homecoming Week

This year's homecoming week is bound to be special as several notable traditions will begin.  The biggest event is the Knights' first ever home football game played on campus.

Festivities this week include theme dress days all week.

Monday: Jersey/favorite team day
Tuesday: Twin day
Wednesday: Class Color Day: freshmen white, sophomores grey, juniors red, seniors black
Thursday: Patriot Day: Red, White, & Blue
Friday: Knight's Jersey Day / Blackout

First Knight Nominees
Marcus Cronin
Harrison Hohman
Logan Kalkowski

Go Knights

Homecoming Game Day Schedule: September 12th

  • Booster Club Tail Gate 5:15 pm
  • Pre-Game Event 7:15 pm
  • Homecoming Game with Half-Time Dedication
  • Post-Game Alumni 5th Quarter in the Armory

The Mount Improves to 2-0

September 5, 2014
By Jim Steier

SPRINGFIELD - With heavy hearts due to Wednesday’s death of teammate Dylan Johnson, Mount Michael’s football team improved to 2-0 on Friday night with a decisive 35-17 victory over Platteview in Springfield.

“We are a family at Mount Michael and this was a tough week for us,” senior Mick Steier said. “The loss of Dylan brought us even closer together and unified us. Dylan was with us tonight.”

In his third season leading the Knights, Head Coach Jon Borer is excited about the start to the season.  “We told the guys that we needed to play good team defense and execute on offense,” Borer said. “We were sharp tonight and it was a great team victory.”

A swarming defense and big plays propelled Mount Michael to the lopsided win.

The defense shut down the Platteview running game, which featured a healthy dose of motion, jet sweeps and misdirection. “The difference in the game is that our defense dominated,” Steier said. The Knights even added a defensive score in the fourth quarter when senior Chris Riddle jumped an out route at the Platteview 41-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. It was Riddle’s second interception of the season.

Garrett Raabe and Eric Sullivan led the Knights with nine tackles each, while Jake Mumby added eight and Riddle six. Steier and Andy Ernst each chipped in with five stops. Platteview finished with 251 yards rushing, but 143 of that came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.

The nine times that Platteview faced third down during the game, Mount Michael never allowed the Trojans to make a first down.

Offensively, Knights running back Jake Mumby ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns and Ashton Legenza also scored twice, including a 98-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. “This was a tough week for us with the loss of Dylan,” Jake Mumby said. “When we lost here last year, we weren’t ready to play. This year, we were focused.”

In addition to senior Jake Mumby’s rushing totals, his sophomore brother, Matt Mumby, ran for 50 yards and Jake Batenhorst scampered for 44 yards from his quarterback position.

Through the air, the Knights were led by Steier, who had six catches for 60 yards.  Riddle had five grabs for 43 yards and Legenza hauled in two passes for 96 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Batenhorst had his second strong showing of the season, going 14-for-22 for 197 yards.

The Knights piled up 445 yards of total offense.

“Our offensive line played very well tonight,” Borer said. “Our seniors are the anchors: Chase Goddard, Ryan Anderson and Andy Ernst. Patrick Halpin improved a lot from week one to week two and Drew Goddard stepped up for the injured Sam Clements. On defense, Raabe seemed to be all over the place.”

Mount Michael built a 21-3 halftime lead by scoring on a 45-yard touchdown run by Jake Mumby and Legenza’s kickoff return and an 80-yard touchdown reception.  The Knights extended the lead to 35-3 before Platteview added two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes.

The Trojans fell to 0-2 with the loss.

Mount Michael now begins preparation for an historic occasion as it will host its first home football game in school history on Friday night versus Nebraska City. A successful fund drive to install bleachers, lights and a press box was conducted and will enable the school to now host games on its campus. 

Nebraska City will enter the game with a 1-1 record, having defeated Auburn and fallen to Omaha Roncalli in its first two contests of the year.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dylan Johnson '16 RIP

Dylan Johnson

Wake: Friday, Sept. 5th at 7 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church in Elkhorn.

Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m.
The funeral Mass will be on Saturday, Sept. 6th at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s in Elkhorn.

Interment Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Knights Down Roncalli

August 29, 2014
By Jim Steier

Mount Michael kicked off its football season with a gritty 23-10 victory over Omaha Roncalli on the Crimson Pride’s rain-soaked field Friday night.

The Knights, who used a 13-0 advantage in the fourth quarter to pull away, were led offensively by senior Chris Riddle.  The 160-pounder hauled in eight passes, including two touchdowns, while amassing 220 receiving yards.

With Mount Michael clinging to a 16-10 lead in the final minute and Roncalli driving, the Crimson Pride faced a third-and-10 on the Mount Michael 16-yard line with 1:12 remaining in regulation.  Mount Michael’s Ashton Legenza sealed the win by intercepting Roncalli quarterback Noah Oswald near the goal line and racing 97 yards for a touchdown.

“I was just at the right place at the right time,” Legenza said.  “I looked up and the ball was coming right to me.  After I caught it, coach told me to go out of bounds, but I didn’t want to stop and so I just kept running.”

Mount Michael coach Jon Borer laughed while agreeing with Legenza’s description of the play.  “After Ashton made the interception, I wanted him to go down so we could just run out the clock,” Borer chuckled.  “But he used his athleticism and outraced everyone down the sideline to the end zone.”

Riddle’s eight catches included touchdown grabs of 88 and six yards.  The only thing that slowed him down the entire evening was a recurring bout with leg cramps that forced him from the game on multiple occasions.  Riddle also returned a punt for a touchdown in the second quarter, but the score was nullified due to a blocking in the back penalty.

“I told the boys that we were going to face adversity during the game,” Borer said.  “In the first half, we had some breaks go against us and we made some mistakes.  But I am so proud of these guys because they fought through that adversity, pushed forward and found a way to pull out the win.”

Jake Mumby led the Mount Michael ground attack with 63 yards on 14 carries.  Alex Miklas added 21 yards on seven runs.

Mount Michael senior quarterback Jake Batenhorst went 11 for 25 passing, including the two touchdown strikes to Riddle.  Batenhorst finished with 279 yards through the air.

Batenhorst, who took over the starting duties at quarterback midway through his sophomore year, was the difference as Mount Michael mounted the go-ahead, 12-play scoring drive in the fourth quarter.  With the score knotted at 10-10, Mount Michael began the drive on its own 25-yard line with 7:20 remaining.  On four consecutive series, Batenhorst came up big for the Knights.  He hit Riddle with a 15-yard pass to the Mount Michael 40-yard line, scrambled 43 yards to the Roncalli 15, converted a fourth-and-1 situation with a quarterback sneak and then hit Riddle for a six-yard touchdown pass on a slant pattern with 3:13 left in the game.

“We worked hard in preparation for this game,” Batenhorst said.  “It is a great way to start the season and we are really pumped.  It was wet out there and challenging, but my offensive line gave me time to make my throws and our receivers just battled all night.”

Despite the key offensive plays, Mount Michael’s resilient defense allowed the Knights to overcome their early mistakes.  Roncalli totaled 377 yards of offense, but Mount Michael got tough when it mattered most, allowing the Crimson Pride to convert only three of 13 third down plays.  Miklas led the team with 12 tackles, while Ryan Anderson added nine and Garrett Raabe and Mumby each pitched in eight.  Chase Goddard and Mick Steier were also key defensive players with seven and six stops, respectively.

Reilley Jackson and Drew Goddard, a pair of sophomores, earned their first significant varsity playing time and played strong games on the defensive line to slow down the Roncalli running game.  In addition to his impressive offensive performance, Riddle had an interception and two tackles for the Knights.

According to Borer, the conditioning of his team was the difference in the fourth quarter.  “We are in great shape as a team,” he said, “and it really showed in the fourth quarter as we pulled away.  Chase Goddard and so many of our linemen play both ways.  They just found a way to get it done tonight.”

The win marks the second season in a row that Mount Michael has started its year with a victory.  That has Borer excited about the rest of the season and the trajectory of the program that he is building.  “We are moving in an extremely positive direction as a program,” Borer stated. “I could tell that this was going to be a great year just by the way the seniors carried themselves this summer.  They are locked in and ready to go.  Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, I know that I have a focused team with strong senior leaders.”

Mount Michael will aim for a 2-0 start when the Knights travel to Platteview on Friday night.  Platteview is 0-1 after dropping its opening game 20-2 to Bennington.