KEARNEY, NE - Kearney High School is one of the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame state winners of the 2022-23 NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards.  KHS is the only Class A school in Nebraska to win this award.  The award goes to the top academic football teams from each level of play within each state.

“Our Bearcat Varsity Football team has been recognized for their academic achievement along with their success on the football field. This highly academic group includes 23 All-Academic Heartland Conference Football selections, 3 Regent Scholarship recipients, 45 KHS Honor Roll recipients, and 27 AP/Honor class enrollees. Our KHS Football players take pride in their commitment to excellence in the classroom. Our program is extremely proud of this accomplishment,” Coach Brandon Cool said.

To be eligible for the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award, a team must have the following:

  • A minimum cumulative team GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Superior academic application and performance.
  • Successful football season.

The KHS Varsity Football team had a record of 7-3 this school year and a cumulative grade point average of 3.62.

“To have won this prestigious award two years in a row is quite outstanding.  Not only do our coaches and players do the right thing on the football field, they do the right things in the classroom as well.  This shows the commitment of our students and will serve them well in their post-High School endeavors.  We are extremely honored to earn this award, and it says a great deal about our student-athletes here at KHS,” said Jeff Ganz, KHS principal.

The winners from each division of play were selected by the state's high school coaches association. 

 “The Kearney High School Bearcats - The Class A State winners of the National Football Foundation National High School Academic Excellence Awards and one of 60 finalists for the NFF Hatchell Cup… That has a pretty good ring to it if you ask me,” stated Ryan Hogue, KHS Assistant Principal and KPS Activities Director.  “Coach Cool, his staff, and all of his players deserve a huge shoutout for their commitment on the field and, more importantly, in the classroom. Kearney High School competes at the highest level year in and year out on the gridiron and in the academic arena. The academic opportunities KHS offers our students are second to none. Congratulations again to our players, coaches, and teachers for setting the bar high at KHS.”

State winners in Nebraska include:

A – Kearney High School

B – Elkhorn Mount Michael Benedictine High School

C1 – Minden High School

C2 – Malcolm High School

D1 – Hemingford High School

D2 – Elgin High School-Pope John Central Catholic High School (Coop)

D6 – Hampton High School