Martha Christo was more than an average fan in the stands.
Now 90, the Fremont woman has faithfully attended her family members’ football games throughout the years.
But her recent appearance at a great-grandson’s championship game — coached by his dad — was priceless to family members.
Last Tuesday, Omaha Gross Catholic High School won the State Class B Championship 14-7 against Norris High School. It was a great win for Cougar starting quarterback Zach Johnk and his father, Tim, the coach.
The outcome also seemed to be a bit of history repeating itself.
Twenty-six years earlier, Tim Johnk was on the Schuyler High School team that took the State Class B Championship Title in 1986. He went on to become a fullback for the Huskers and Christo even went to the 1990 Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix to watch him play.
“She didn’t miss very many games when I was playing in high school and college,” Tim said.
With such things in mind, it didn’t surprise Johnk when his grandmother went to the state championship game.
Christo’s daughter, Joann, and son-in-law, Gary Schlapfer, took her to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln for the event.
“She walked five blocks to the stadium, up 23 rows to her seat and sat through four hours of football game and ceremonies,” Gary Schlapfer said.
And after Omaha Gross won, Christo was at the fence to hug her grandson.
“It was just magic,” Schlapfer said.
Johnk cherishes the moment.
“That’s pretty special,” the former Logan View High School coach said. “There aren’t many coaches that have an opportunity to have their 90-year-old grandmother at a state championship game.”
They shared a few words.
“I told her that I appreciated her coming and she said, ‘I wouldn’t miss it for the world,’” Johnk said.
For Zach, a senior, the event marked his last high school game.
“To have her there to watch her great-grandson, that’s pretty cool,” Tim Johnk said. “There are a lot of generations there.”