Larry Vlasin, the late and great Nebraska high school sports legend, will be inducted into the NEMFCA Hall of Fame this Saturday at halftime of the Sertoma 8-Man All-Star Football Game at Adams Central, West of Hastings.
As we move forward with our greetings to the NEMFCA Hall of Fame, I am honored to introduce our seventh of 14 NEMFCA Class of 2022 Hall of Famers.
Our 7th salute goes to one of my true HEROES of a lifetime, the remarkable and unforgettable, Larry Vlasin.
Even as late as my early high school years at the GICC, there were some incredibly talented athletes in the western part of Nebraska who flew under the radar. Yes, the internet was a long way off in the early to mid-1960s, but there were still prep athletes who “flew under the radar” for the simple reason that they didn’t play for schools east of Kearney.
That certainly wasn’t the case with the incredible Larry Vlasin, who was a shining star for Madrid’s little school and known to many. My dad told me about Larry Vlasin when I was playing GICC, and since we played almost all of our home games on Saturdays (GI Senior High took Fridays for their home games), some buddies from football and yours really drove Vlasin’s way of seeing him play in person.
We were simply dazzled. Not only did Madrid play an unprecedented ‘huddle-free’ attack, but Larry was nothing short of phenomenal in every phase of the game. The guy was talented beyond his years and we were so excited when we got back to Grand Island, we beat our opponent the next night.
And to think that Larry Vlasin and I would cross paths at the GI Northwest years later, when I was the basketball AP announcer, was just magical. I was so lucky to meet the Legend.
It’s heartbreaking that Mr. Vlasin is no longer with us, but this Saturday will always be very special for his wonderful wife and family, and for an GICC kid who hunted West to watch him work his magic.
And now we proudly present the legendary NEMFCA Hall of Fame biography of Larry Vlasin;
LARRY VLASIN – MADRID HIGH SCHOOL
Larry was not only a superstar on the court, he was also an exceptional all-around athlete who also excelled in basketball, track and field, and baseball. However, it was his legendary exploits on the gridiron that landed him on the doorstep of the Eight-Man Football Hall of Fame.
Larry was a “breakthrough” quarterback for the Pirates while averaging 339 yards per game (setting a national record that stood for 45 years) and a “game-changing” defensive back who returned 7 interceptions for touchdowns ( a single state- season record that stands to this day).
In 1963 and 1964, he led Madrid’s non-huddle offense to consecutive undefeated seasons while earning 1st Team All-South Platte Valley Conference and 1st Team All-State honors from various state media. In 1965, Larry was selected to play in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl and later became the first eight-man player to be named “State High School Athlete of the Year”.
After graduating, he was drafted to play professional baseball for the Kansas City Athletics, and when he finally retired from competition, Larry devoted many years coaching football, basketball and of HS athletics in western Nebraska.
The NEMFCA is honored to induct him into the Hall of Fame Eight-Man Class of 2022.