Einspahr inducted into Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame
It mattered little that Glenwood Einspahr didn’t have track shoes, or a track to practice, at Hildreth High School in Nebraska.
Einspahr still excelled at both the local and state level not only in track but also in basketball for the Greyhounds.
As the Class of 1950, Einspahr was recently inducted into the 2020 Class of the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame for helping his team to four state basketball tournaments and single-handedly tying for the state track championship for Hildreth. He also set several state records along the way.
Blaine Einspahr, one of five children, spoke on behalf of his father at the induction ceremony in Lincoln, Nebraska on April 18. Einspahr said his dad would be the first to tell you he is just a little slower now. “My dad, Glenwood, was truly a very special athlete for his era,” Einspahr said. “He played basketball and ran track at Hildreth High School for the Greyhounds from 1946-1950.”
Of course it was at Hildreth, Einspahr said, that his dad obtained greatness while playing basketball and helping his team achieve an incredible win-loss record of 93-8. He said two of those losses were in the state semifinals of state championship play. Hildreth also made four trips to the state basketball tournament, where Glenwood helped his team to a 27-0 undefeated state championship season in 1949. He also set a single game state tournament play scoring record by netting 34 points in quarterfinal play of a state play tournament that same season.
Those numbers alone were good enough to earn Glenwood all-state status during both the 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons under head coach Joe Sukovaty, who was also inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 2001 as one of the winningest coaches in Nebraska High School history.
Einspahr still ranks in the history books for scoring 135 points in state play and is listed as one of the all-time state tournament leading scorers. He scored 34 points in a quarterfinal game in the state tournament, which was a new record in 1949-50, and had a career-high 38 points in a single game.
Einspahr also excelled in track at Hildreth, where he would practice by himself at the city baseball field or in the streets. “My dad’s senior year, he approached his basketball coach and said he wanted to run track for his final year,” Blaine Einspahr said. “Coach said what do you need and dad said some track shoes, so he got his track shoes and off he went.”
With the help of Joe Crist, the shop teacher who drove Einspahr to and from the track meet, Glenwood was able to participate in three meets in his high school career.
In his first meet at the Kearney Invitational, Einspahr entered in four events and tied for first in the 100 yard dash, placed first in the 220 yard dash, second in the broad jump and fifth in the high jump. Then, in regionals at Hastings, Einspahr qualified in three events and placed second in the 100 yard dash, first in the 220 yard dash while setting a new state record for time, and first in the broad jump. At the state meet in Lincoln, which was his final track meet, Einspahr placed first in the 100 yard dash, first in the 220 yard dash, and first in the broad jump. Einspahr said the three first-place finishes, which was good enough for 24 points, tied Taylor High School as Class D State Champions in track and field for the 1950 season. He said Taylor had seven to nine participants in the state meet.
Blaine Einspahr said his dad’s uniform was a pair of blue gym shorts and a white t-shirt.
Although Einspahr would be the first to tell you that track and basketball were his first love, he also competed on the University of Nebraska football team for one year from 1950-51 even though Hildreth didn’t have a football team at the time.
Einspahr, who is now 90, also served his country for three years in the Air Force after playing football one season for the Cornhuskers. After the Air Force, Einspahr competed in basketball for one season at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and then went to work at a boys training school in Kearney after graduation with a degree in education. Einspahr later moved to Boonville, where he was assistant superintendent of the training school in Boonville for 17 years and superintendent for two years before transferring to Missouri Hills Boys Reform School in St. Louis, where he spent three years. Einspahr later transferred to Poplar Bluff, where he retired from the state, and moved back to Boonville.
He was married to Eloise Einspahr for 68 years and served on the Boonville City Council for 12 years.