Four for Four

A journey through the past four years with the class of 2024
Four for Four

From face-covered freshman in a school under construction to confident seniors with strong skills of athleticism and leadership, the class of 2024 has developed and set standards at Elkhorn North.

In the year 2020, during a global pandemic, the class of 2024 entered the next step of their education as freshmen in a brand new high school without an auditorium or auxiliary gym.

“We could not get into the building until two days before school started and we had to wear hard hats,” counselor Martha Dowd said. “The auditorium was just a pile of dirt because they were focusing on completing the classrooms.”

During the inaugural year of Elkhorn North, students described the most difficult challenge of staying safe during the global pandemic: lunch.

“I had to eat lunch on the bleachers,” senior Samantha Stern said. “It was dusty and hard to eat.”

In order for students to stay healthy, many different safety measures were put in place: such as students were required to wear face masks, eat lunch apart from their friends with only two students per table, and limited interaction in the classroom.

These safety precautions left the class of 2024 feeling isolated during their freshmen years, but as the years continued and the threat of a pandemic lessened the class made new connections.

“My freshman year was really lonely because I couldn’t talk to my friends because we had restricted TA periods and lunch seating,” Stern said. “Now, classroom interactions are more fluid and I can talk to my friends and a variety of people in my classes without restrictions.”

In 2020, the halls were less crowded since the student body was composed of only three grades and no seniors. There were only 40 staff members and 645 students. Since then, Elkhorn North has grown, doubling in staff size from 40 to 85 staff members and increasing from a total of 645 students to 997 students.

Without a senior class at Elkhorn North in 2020, it left many freshmen to step up and fill positions of leadership especially on the courts and fields. During the 2020-21 season, the class of ‘24 made up 37% of the varsity roster of all sports teams. The girls totaled 42% of the varsity roster and the boys comprised 31%.

“That was a big lead to start carrying as a freshmen class,” athletic director Luke Ford said. “Coach Stanley had to call Brock Marlar’s father to ask if he would allow his freshman son to play on the offensive and defensive line in varsity games.”

Their early involvement on the varsity roster prepared them well for the future seasons. In the second year, 2021 to 2022, five teams won a NSAA Class B state championship title including: girls golf, basketball, track, and tennis, and boys baseball, which set a high athletic standard for future years.

Without the health and safety precautions of a global pandemic, the 2021-2022 school year was a more traditional experience. Students could attend school dances and sporting events without face masks, they could eat lunch with their friends, and interact in large group projects.

“I vividly remember going to girls state basketball,” senior Lilly Loghry said. “The student section was electric and packed. All the students were super into all the cheers.”

In the previous year, due to the global pandemic, students were restricted on attendance to different sporting events. But in 2021 to 2022, these restrictions were lifted, which left students with new freedoms and caused an animated student section. The whole school was excited to support their fellow classmates for not only football games, but volleyball and basketball games

“The student section was super intense and super into it,” senior Delaney Bott said. “Back in 2021, everyone showed up to all the games and everyone went all in with the themes.”

With a less restricted and typical school year under their belt, there were less dramatic changes going into the 2022-2023 year. With the class of 2024 were upperclassmen, they could now attend one major thrilling event: prom.

“Prom was one of my favorite parts of junior year,” senior Mallorie Black said. “I loved seeing everyone’s dresses and being at the school into unusual times of the night for post prom”

In their junior year, the class of 2024 continued to dominate in NSAA class B athletes. In total, the girls’ teams took home two state championships and two runner up trophies. The boys also won one state championship and two runner up trophies. Outside of athletics, the journalism staff earned a state runner up trophy. This dominance in Nebraska Class B athletics led Elkhorn North to win the NSAA 2023 Class B Cup.

“There are an odd number of division one athletes in the building,” Ford said. “The best players on each team are humble, causing the rest of the team to follow their lead, which has caused great success.”

In the year 2023-2024, the class of 2024 stepped into the position of the oldest students at Elkhorn North High School. Thus far in the 2023-24 school year, both girls and boys teams have taken home a total of two championship trophies, alongside two runner up trophies.

Not only are the students in the class of ‘24 athletically gifted, but they are also dedicated to their education. Inside the classroom, this class set a standard of respect and commitment.

“I see them being very serious,” Principal Dan Radicia said. “They’ve been really receptive about following directions and understanding some of the things that we have to do. The senior class has a leadership quality.”

In their senior year, a total of 71% of students are enrolled in Advanced Placement Class. The hard work and dedication of the grade is seen throughout as 31% of students have a 3.75 or higher grade point average and 44% of students have a 3.5 or higher grade point average.

The class of ‘24 experienced the development of Elkhorn North throughout the past four years. While they started as lost faced covered freshmen, they developed into confident seniors who have set a culture for respect and athletic achievement.

“It has been a good class,” Radicia said. “Now that we have prepared them well, it is time for them to write their own story.”

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