Times Gone By

The 1970 Arlington High School baseball team was its school's last to reach the state tournament until 2016. Team members were, from row from left, Rich Meier, Gary Denison, Terry Connick, Marvin Meier, Ron Martens, Dave Maas and coach Deloss Smith. Second row: Johnny Timm, Lenny Luebker, Dick Christo, Will Sheets, Hal Heybrock, Steve Sorensen, Danny Schiessler, Nick Hoier, Danny Stork, George Marshall and Chris Klotz. Back row: Warren Scheer, Bill Brown, Les Oerman, Terry Buhl, Ray Burgess, Tim Brown, Stu Thomsen, Landal Stork, Denver Johnson, Alan Harter, Bruce Buchardt, Dean Brummett, Danny Lauritsen and Tom Plugge.

Editor's Note: “A Look at Times Gone By” is an in-depth look at weekly Times Gone By entries compiled since 2015. These articles represent the history of Washington County sports.

Spring high school baseball has come and gone over the years in Arlington.

Summers had been busy, but in 2010, the Eagles made it back into the NSAA field of spring teams after a couple of decades away. In 2016, they returned to the state tournament for the first time in 46 years after winning titles in 1940, 1941, 1962 and 1963.

The 2016 Class B tournament opener against Blair at Werner Park was Arlington's first state game since the 1970 squad played Grand Island Central Catholic. The 1970 Eagles were only able to reach that contest after their school's baseball program was reinstated in 1969 on a two-year trail run.

“It has been pointed out that baseball will be tried only if it does not interfere with the track sport,” the Arlington Citizen reported at the time.

Coach Deloss Smith's team practiced late in the afternoon that spring so boys could also go to track practice.

“Track scheduling will come first with baseball to be filled in on open dates,” the Citizen read.

But, in the end, it was the baseball team that grabbed headlines that season. The Eagles started 14-0, reaching the state tournament with a 4-1 win against Omaha Gross. The track team, in turn, didn't have any state qualifiers.

Once at state, however, coach Smith's baseball team fell to Central Catholic, 3-1. The loss remained Arlington's most recent state game for more than four decades.

Terry Buhl led the 1970 squad with a .564 batting average. He was 22-for-39 at the plate, while, Bruce Buchardt (.455) and Rich Meier (.410) also hit over .400.

Ray Burgess, meanwhile, was the Eagles' pitching standout. He finished 8-1, recording a no-hitter against Gross during the regular season. Buhl was 6-0 on the mound as he and Burgess combined for 182 strikeouts.

The team had seven seniors in total. They were Tim Brown, Buhl, Dave Maas, Ron Martens, Marve Meier, Landal Stork and Stu Thomsen.

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