East captures NSAA Cup championship

Lincoln East students enjoyed successful moments in all of their activities during the 2022-23 school year.
Their accomplishments helped them capture one of the most prestigious awards Nebraska high schools can receive.
Nebraska School Activities Association officials announced in August that East was the Class A winner in the all-school, girls and boys divisions of the NSAA Cup contest. The NSAA Cup honors schools for achieving excellence in their interscholastic activities programs.
Lincoln East Activities Director Zach Limbach said he was proud of everyone in the Spartans community for their hard work. Lincoln East won the Class A all-school and boys NSAA Cup titles for the second straight year.
“East High, home of the Spartans, is the pinnacle in opportunities realized through sports and activities: championships won, diplomas earned, leaders equipped and launched to impact the world after high school,” Limbach said. “Well over 75 percent of our student population takes part in athletics and activities.
“We have tremendous overall support from our booster club, parents, teachers, coaches and community stakeholders. We have established active student leadership groups that continue to encourage and support all of our programs. It’s good to be a Spartan!”

Lincoln Public Schools Director of Athletics and Activities J.J. Toczek said the award reflected the elite standards students have set for themselves. The Spartans claimed Class A state championships in four activities and qualified for multiple girls and boys state tournaments and meets.
“This is a huge honor for both Lincoln East and Lincoln Public Schools,” Toczek said. “It shows the time, dedication and effort that both our athletics and activities student participants and our coaches put in to make the programs successful at Lincoln East. This is an award that encompasses both sports and fine arts, so it really is a great honor.”

The Spartans finished the 2022-23 season with 850 points in Class A all-school standings. Omaha Westside (742.50 points), Lincoln Southwest (640), Gretna (592.50) and Millard North (555) rounded out the top five.
Limbach said Lincoln East students and coaches achieved NSAA Cup success because they have built a positive culture at school. He said that is true in academics, activities and community service.
“We have outstanding students, outstanding coaches and an outstanding culture,” Limbach said. “We remain enthusiastically positive about what we have accomplished in the past and what we plan to accomplish in the future.
“Winning the NSAA Cup the last two years in a row was a huge accomplishment that makes us all proud. But, winning it was merely a byproduct of doing things the right way and continuing to strive to continuously improve. We care about each other and support all of our programs.”

NSAA officials began the NSAA Cup program in 2006 to recognize high schools for having success in many activities. The organization divides the contest into girls, boys and all-school categories. Schools are divided into Classes A, B, C and D based on student enrollment.
Schools earn points in girls and boys divisions for gender-based activities. Coed schools share points from fine arts activities equally in each division. Schools combine points from girls and boys activities in the all-school division.
Schools receive five points for each NSAA-sponsored activity they participate in. They earn additional points for finishing in the top eight positions of a state championship event.
For example, schools that win a state volleyball title receive 50 points in both the girls and all-school divisions. Teams that finish second through eighth receive 45, 40, 35, 30, 25, 20 or 15 points.
Schools split NSAA Cup points evenly if they tie for a specific placement. Schools receive wrestling points based on their highest team finish at either the individual or dual state meets.
Lincoln East soared up the Class A charts by winning state championships in girls cross country, boys tennis, speech and baseball. The Spartans also collected points in volleyball, boys cross country, girls golf, softball, music, play production, individual wrestling, boys basketball, girls and boys swimming and diving, girls and boys track and field, girls tennis, boys golf, girls soccer and boys soccer.

Lincoln East finished first in the Class A girls division with 465 points. Omaha Westside (422.50), Millard North (392.50) and Lincoln Southwest (372.50) were in the next three spots.
The Spartans were first in the Class A boys division with 510 points. Omaha Creighton Prep (392.50), Gretna (390), Omaha Westside (385) and Lincoln Southwest (327.50) were second through fifth.
NSAA officials will make a public presentation of the award on Friday, Sept. 8. They will honor the school at the end of the first quarter of Lincoln East’s football game against Lincoln Southwest at Seacrest Field.
Toczek said Lincoln East’s success in the NSAA Cup was due to a strong participation rate in school activities. He encouraged all LPS students to become members of a team or organization this year.
“It shows that there is something for everyone at LPS to be involved in, both in athletics and activities,” Toczek said. “We encourage all students to get involved, because we know that students who participate in athletics and activities enjoy greater success academically and have a lot of health benefits, both physically and mentally. It’s better for the entire community when students are participating in things at school.”

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Published: September 1, 2023, Updated: September 9, 2023

Nebraska School Activities Association Marketing Manager Ashton Honnor smiles with Lincoln East students at an Aug. 21 event. Honnor presented the NSAA Cup trophy to the Spartans at the celebration. Lincoln East won titles in the Class A all-school, girls and boys divisions of the contest. NSAA officials will make a public presentation of the award on Friday, Sept. 8, at Seacrest Field. They will honor the school at the end of the first quarter of Lincoln East’s 7 p.m. football game against Lincoln Southwest.