The school’s all-time leading scorer in boys basketball and a state championship team are among the 2018 inductees into the St. Patrick’s-Archbishop Bergan Athletic Hall of Fame.
Wes Eikmeier, who was a standout for the Knights from 2004-08, the 2008 Class D-1 state championship boys basketball team and contributor John Tharp will be inducted during ceremonies Friday night.
The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the St. Patrick’s Auditorium.
Eikmeier was a four-year starter for the Knights and holds numerous school records.
He has the single-game record for points (59), field goals made (19), 3-point field goals made (10) and free throw percentage (16-for-16).
He also has the single-season record for points (804), average points per game (31.1), field goals made (285), field goal attempts (525), 3-point field goals made (96) and 3-point field goal attempts (220).
He is the Knights’ career scoring leader with 2,195 points. He also has the career marks for scoring average (24.1), field goals made (747), field goal attempts (1,485), 3-point baskets made (251), 3-point field goal attempts (611), free throws made (450), free throw percentage (84.3), consecutive free throws made (45), assists (305) and steals (224).
Eikmeier led Bergan to state appearances in 2007 and 2008. He scored 43 points in a 56-43 win over Humphrey Saint Francis in the D-1 title game of 2008. That effort set a D-1 individual record for points in a state tournament game. He also holds the D-1 record for most points in the tournament with 107 set in 2008.
Eikmeier was a two-time Nebraska Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year and a two-time all-state honoree.
Eikmeier played one season at Iowa State before transferring to Colorado State. With the Rams, the guard started 88 games and had a career scoring average of 10.4 ppg.
He was an All-Mountain West Conference first-team pick in 2012 when he averaged 15.5 ppg. He helped the Rams to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013.
Chris Paulson coached the 2008 Bergan squad to a 27-0 record and the state title in 2008. He was assisted by Chris Rainforth, Matt Sleister, Tyler Swanson and the Rev. Eric Olsen.
Utilizing an up-tempo style, the Knights averaged 75 points per game while forcing an average of 23 turnovers per contest.
The Knights set a school record for wins, scoring average, 3-point field goals made (200), free throw percentage (73.5), assists (426) and steals (359).
Paulson earned his 100th career victory during a win over David City Aquinas early that season. The Knights beat three rated Class C-1 teams on their way to capturing their second straight Centennial Conference Tournament title.
Other players joined Eikmeier in earning postseason honors, including Brian Liekhus. The eventual Midland University guard was a second-team Class D-1 all-state pick and an all-conference selection. Jim Wilmes earned first-team all-conference honors.
Other players for the Knights included: Patrick Rasmussen, Jimmy Ahrens, Joey Spellerberg, Isaac Morrissey, Travis Brown, Tanner Werth, Nick Jensen, David Miles, Dereck White, Quinton Krumweide and Tom Wendt.
Tharp started working the gate at home games in 1967. Shortly after that, he was approached by Bo Bohacek and persuaded to start driving the bus for the school. He continued as a Bergan bus driver for the next 45 years.
John and his wife, Betty, had five children that graduated from Bergan, including Theresa (1971), Jean (1972), John Mike (1977), Dale (1980) and Karen (1982). Two grandchildren also graduated from Bergan.
After his time at Bergan had ended in 2002, Tharp continued driving a bus for Fremont High School until 2013. Betty died in 2014, but the couple was married for more than 61 years.