Logan View will be honoring one of its most prolific athletes in school history during a ceremony Thursday night prior to the Raiders' volleyball match against Douglas County West.
Jordan Larson, a former All-American at the University of Nebraska and a member of the United States Women's National Volleyball Team, will have her jersey retired in a program scheduled to start at about 6:30 p.m. Larson and Angie Svec, one of her former high school coaches, are scheduled to speak.
Fans will be able to purchase volleyball books (donated by the Lincoln Journal Star) and also posters that can be autographed by Larson. All book and poster proceeds go to the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" organization in Larson's mother's name, Kae Clough. She died last September after a courageous battle against breast cancer.
Larson helped the United States secure a gold medal Sunday at the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Ningbo, China, with a 26-24, 25-20, 25-23 win over Japan. The FIVB World Grand Prix is the premier annual international women's volleyball event. The U.S. finished the six-team, five-day round-robin final round with a 5-0 record.
Larson's success on the national stage doesn't surprise Svec.
"She always knew that she'd accomplish big things," she said. "She had big dreams when she was young. She believed for so long in what she could do."
Svec recalls Larson as a ninth-grader telling fellow classmates that she would be playing in the Olympics someday.
"Kids kind of looked at her like, ‘Yeah, whatever, I'm going to be playing in the NFL, too,'" Svec said. "She took some criticism for it, but she knew her dreams and she never took her eye off it. She told me once that her biggest fear was that she wouldn't get better. Her goal has been to improve and she's done that. She's improved her passing and serving and that's what has taken her to a new level."
Although Larson hasn't played in the Olympics yet, she appears to be on that path. She scored a team-high 15 points against Japan. According to the U.S. volleyball website, she also had a team-high 15 excellent service receptions on 50 errorless attempts.
Larson is teammates with names Nebraska volleyball fans probably would recognize, including Destiny Hooker from Texas, Alisha Glass and Megan Hodge of Penn State, and Logan Tom and Cynthia Barboza of Stanford.
"Even at 6-2 she is small at that level," Svec said. "She knows herself very well and understands the expectations. I think she is anchoring the team in the ball control category and her serving has improved."
Larson has honed her skills playing overseas. She played last winter for a team in Russia before returning in April to train with the U.S. national team. Svec said she is scheduled to return to Russia again this winter.
The Nebraska prep ranks continue to produce outstanding players, but Larson has a rare combination of talent and drive.
"The challenge for upcoming athletes is to take the talent that they have and have the mentality to go with it," Svec said. "Jordan has that and that is what has made her unique."
The Larson celebration isn't the only event planned for Logan View this week.
A "Gridiron Reunion" is set for Friday night prior to the Raiders' game against Oakland-Craig. Ex-players and coaches will be treated to a 5 p.m. tailgate along with admission to the game.
Former coaches who plan on attending, include: Larry Sheehan, Phil Gray, Tim Eifert, Ralph Nelson, Duane Carlson and Joe Foust. Lester Marreel, the former "voice of the Raiders" will also attend.
For more information, go to www.loganview.org.