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What the Longhorns mean to Burwell

Up north in Garfield County you will find the small town of Burwell, home of the Nebraska Big Rodeo and one of the best high school football programs in the state.
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 11:04 PM CDT
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BURWELL, Neb. (KSNB) - Up north, right off Nebraska State Highway 11, you will find the small town of Burwell, home of the Nebraska Big Rodeo and one of the best prep football teams in the state.

“We’re basically up here right in the middle of Nebraska,” Burwell football coach Luke Gideon said. “You know here we got who we got.”

It has worked well for Coach Gideon the last 20 years working with what he has. Since 2015, the Longhorns have been to four state championships, winning it all in 2016.

“To consistently get up there, I don’t think there is anything tougher than that,” Gideon said.

The cameras are not on Burwell throughout the season but when the Longhorns take Bob Price Field, it might as well be a prime time game.

“It’s just an excitement in the air,” Burwell resident Jay Galvan said. “Yeah, there is expectations that we win but there is also the excitement of watching them play.”

With so much success and a legacy to live up too, the players do not take putting on the purple helmet lightly.

“It means everything. I think just from going to school here, living here, the community is such a blessing and they always give back to the football team,” Burwell senior Mason Plock said.

“It means everything, especially if you grow up around here. You know that the Longhorns are really good,” Burwell senior Barak Birch said. “Its always great to put that purple on and it means something special to be a Longhorn.”

The Longhorns’ success is not anything like “Jordan’s Secret Stuff,” it is a bit more intangible than that.

“You don’t have to be the great athlete. You don’t have to be the so called high school stud to make a difference on our team,” Gideon said. “We’ve had a lot of guys that have stepped in there that most people would consider an average high school football player that have really played at another level. That’s been the key to us having a lot of success.”

Burwell residents do not care if the team does not have any big time college recruits because they know every time the Longhorns take the field, they will see a good game and be proud of the little old town right off Highway 11.

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