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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Jonathan Willis

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer

Jon is a senior and this is his second year on the Catalyst staff. He loves sports and spends most of his time watching and studying them closely. He commentates a lot of varsity sports, and is looking to continue commentating after high school. Jon hosts a podcast, is an analyst on a weekly fall football show, and founded the “Millard Media Team”.

All content by Jonathan Willis

Best Play by Play

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
May 21, 2021
Senior Cade Owens fired up after their second round matchup against Millard South. They won this game 4-3 off of an RBI single by junior Drew Borner in the top of the seventh.

Wildcats fall one game short

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
May 21, 2021
Junior Sadie Millard running in the 4x100 event. The Wildcats took home first place in this event with a time of 49.16 seconds. “Honestly winning metros was such a ‘team’ moment,” Millard said. “We all contributed so much and every point mattered. It was so cool and unbelievable being able to share that victory with my whole team.”

Running to victory

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
May 10, 2021
Junior Drew Borner celebrates in a game against Gretna in the Metro Tournament. Millard West would win this game 6-1 to advance to play Millard South in the second round. “Most of us hadn’t really played varsity baseball so we had no idea what to expect,” Borner said. “I think we handled it very well. We went through lots of ups and downs, but played our best ball in the games that mattered the most.”

Looking ahead to the postseason

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
May 6, 2021
Senior Kyan Lodice sizing up a pitch as it is on the way to the catcher’s glove. Lodice had the go ahead hit to the second basemen that led to the Wildcats winning the game. “Now that we are at the end of the season, I am very excited to see where this team is going to go,” Lodice said. “We are playing very solid baseball right now, and I believe there is good potential in this team to make a run in the state tournament.”

Wildcats get revenge

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
April 30, 2021

Sports Corner 04.30.21

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
April 29, 2021

Cahoy and the Wildcats shut down the Mustangs

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
April 23, 2021
Senior Kael Dumont pitching in the 5-2 victory against Millard South in the second round of the Metro Tournament. He pitched all seven innings, only allowing the Patriots to score a total of two runs. “It felt like we were finally clicking as a team,” Dumont said. “The week before we went 0-4, so coming out and beating them on Tuesday and then again on Thursday really helped us gel together.”

Successful weekend for the Wildcats

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
April 21, 2021
Junior Jaxson Cahoy pitching early in the game against Millard South. He finished the day only allowing one hit and 11 strikeouts. “After the four losses, our mentality switched as soon as the week started,” Cahoy said. “I think it meant a lot to the seniors, considering it’s their last year and for the other guys with Millard South being our rival made them want to win just as bad as everyone else.”

Wildcats bounce back

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
April 15, 2021
Senior Hunter Sallis puts on the Gonzaga gear for the announcement of his commitment. Sallis averaged 22.2 points per game and won the state championship in his senior year. “I was very glad to hear Hunter is going to Gonzaga because of the high success of their program and also because of getting to know their coaches well,” Millard North head coach Tim Cannon said. “Hunter has meant a lot to me because he is a very good person besides a great player and he has meant a lot to her program as he has helped raise the level of where we are.”

Sallis makes his decision

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
April 1, 2021
Senior Tyler Merkel swinging big at a pitch in the home opener. He finished the day with a total of six RBIs and three doubles. “Our momentum from winning the first game carried over into the second one and I think that just overwhelmed the Northeast guys,” Merkel said. “We have a lot of trust in each one of our teammates to get the job done.”

Dominating day on the diamond

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
March 24, 2021
Senior Dominic Humm looking ahead to Millard North in the semifinal round. Humm finished with 12 points on 50% shooting. “We knew during this past summer that we could be a team that could make a run at State,” Humm said. “The energy was different from the year before. Everyone on this team is a hard working individual. Throughout the year we were just focused on taking one game at a time to get our goal of getting to State.”

Wildcats go crazy at State

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
March 17, 2021
Millard West celebrates after their 55-54 win over Westside. They play Lincoln Pius X in the state tournament on March 9. “It felt like I was on cloud nine for the night,” junior Chase Hultman said. “Celebrating with all of the guys and our friends in the student section was a lot of fun and knowing that we would get a chance to play in Lincoln is really cool, but we still have to approach it as any other game so that we can keep playing in Lincoln instead of being one and done.”

On to State

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
March 8, 2021
Senior Corbin Hawkins pitching in a doubleheader against Grand Island on March 28, 2019. Millard West won both games by a combined 11-3 score. “The team morale is higher than ever,” Hawkins said. “We have some young guys and obviously some transfers who are eager to make an impact early. Most of these guys have not played in a spring game in over a year, so naturally everyone is antsy to get this season rolling.”

Defend the title

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
March 5, 2021
Sophomore Lucy Schonlau being guarded by senior Laney Schipper in the Westside vs Millard West game. Schipper and Schonlau combined for 31 points in this game. “We all just played the best we could and never gave up till the end,” sophomore Effie Golliday. “I just hope we can take that momentum to the rest of our season.”

Lady Cats upset the Warriors

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
February 23, 2021
Sophomore Lucy Schonlau being guarded by senior Laney Schipper in the Westside vs Millard West game. Schipper and Schonlau combined for 31 points in this game. “We all just played the best we could and never gave up till the end,” sophomore Effie Golliday. “I just hope we can take that momentum to the rest of our season.”

Lady Cats upset the Warriors

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
February 12, 2021
Senior Aiden Schollmeyer sizing up senior Shay Bailey from Blair. Schollmeyer won the match with a quick pin in the first period. “I think weve had a good season but we could have worked harder and pushed each other more in order to secure our spots at state,” Schollmeyer said. “Ive just been practicing harder and teaching the younger guys new moves and pushing them as much as I can so my legacy at west will be with the next generation.”

Bears outduel the Wildcats

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
February 5, 2021
Senior James Conway going up for a tough shot in the paint against Papillion La Vista South. Conway finished the night with 10 points and nine rebounds. “We were able to play at our pace for the majority of the game,” Conway said. “We kept the lead by staying cool and relaxed.”

Wildcats overpower the Titans

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
January 27, 2021

Sports Corner 01.15.21

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
January 14, 2021
Senior Dustin Hatch driving past sophomore Brock Murtaugh of Millard South in the opening round of the metro tournament. Hatch had 14 total rebounds and 10 total points throughout the tournament. “As long as we play to our true potential and continue to improve every practice, I know we can be a playoff team,” Hatch said. “My goal going into the season was to play in Lincoln, and I believe we have a shot at performing well in the state tournament. If things go right and we play perfect, winning a championship is a possibility.”

Thunderbirds too much for the Wildcats

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
January 13, 2021
Senior Reese Peterson of Millard West being guarded by senior Aryannah Harrison of Marian. The game was a very defensive match with a lot of fouls and turnovers. “We knew going into the game that Marian had two really good players who have found many different ways to score so we had to keep them under control,” Peterson said. “Our game plan was to kind of make the rest of the team beat us.”

Lady Cats lose home opener

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
December 17, 2020
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle and former Millard West football player Harrison Phillips celebrating after a nice play. He has recorded a total of 40 tackles in his first three seasons with the Bills. “You got 90 guys out there competing for only 53 spots,” Phillips said. “Starting in May each year, guys are going really hard and competing to try and earn those spots.”

Horrible Harry wreaking havoc in the NFL

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
December 8, 2020
Senior Laney Schipper fighting for the ball in a game against Omaha Bryan. This is Schippers third year on varsity and she is the most experienced player on the team.“Laney knows what it takes to compete at this level,” head coach Marc Kruger said. “We are looking for her to be a consistent scorer and defender.”

New faces

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
December 1, 2020

Sports Corner 11.13.20

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
November 12, 2020
Millard West volleyball players waving to the crowd after their thrilling five set victory over Lincoln Pius. There were 500 tickets allowed for each team in the state tournament. “It really just added fuel to our fire,” junior Maddie Mactaggart said. “It was super exciting to hear the crowd go crazy when we scored a point and really helped keep the momentum going.”

Ready, set, state

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
November 11, 2020
Millard West players celebrating after a home run hit by junior Bella Bacon. She had over five home runs this year. “I feel like we did a good job of staying positive and together even through our schedule was very tough,” senior Hannah Roberts said. “We could have done better, but we had good chemistry and effort all season.”

Ups and downs

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
October 27, 2020
Millard West volleyball members celebrating during a match against Millard South. The Wildcats won this match in a sweep over the Patriots. “We’ve had some ups and downs this year but we are all very close and have a really great culture throughout the team,” senior Bridget Smith said. “We always find a way to push through a tough match and we learn from each game.”

Finish the job

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
October 13, 2020
Sophomore quarterback Brady Brau evades defenders on a run. Friday night was his first start on varsity, and he threw for 25 yards while rushing for 63 yards. “I loved watching Brady Brau step up at the quarterback position,” senior linebacker Will Ekborg said. “He kept his cool the entire game and really looked like he knew what he was doing out there.”

Spartans devastate the Wildcats

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
October 6, 2020
Junior Nathan Pederson avoids defenders to get his second rushing touchdown of the night. He would end up having 136 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. “I’m excited to see what our team can do,” sophomore tight end Brandt Pickrell said. “I know Thursday wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but we have a very talented team and I’m excited to see what we will do the rest of the season.”

Football season kicks off with a bang

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
September 2, 2020

Wildcat vs Storm Football Highlights

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
September 1, 2020
Former Millard West baseball player and current Nebraska freshman Max Anderson and senior Corbin Hawkins celebrate a home run hit by Anderson in a 6-3 win against Westside in the second round of the metro tournament. Millard West won this game, but ended up losing round 2 of the Metro tournament. “My favorite game was when we beat Westside at the end of the year,” head baseball coach Steve Frey said. “They were the most talented team we played this past summer and it was well pitched by Jaxson Cahoy and we played our most complete game of the summer.”

A different summer

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
August 27, 2020
The Millard West defense waits anxiously for the snap against Elkhorn South in last year’s second round matchup against the Storm. The Wildcats beat the Storm in this game 35-21. “I was really proud of how far we got as a team last year,” senior running back Zach Coleman said. “I wouldn’t trade last season for anything else.”

Wildcats look to weather the Storm

Jonathan Willis, Striv Executive Producer
August 27, 2020
Junior Hunter Sallis and senior Latrell Wrightsell combined for 72 points in Centrals win at Millard North

The game of the year

Jonathan Willis, Striv Commentator
February 23, 2020
Senior Henry Polsley gets the ball and dribbles past the Westside Warriors.

Wildcats fall to the Warriors

Jonathan Willis, Striv Commentator
February 7, 2020
Zach Coleman runs the ball during Thursdays game against Bryan. The Wildcats outscored Bryan 74-6

Wildcats dominate on Homecoming night

Jonathan Willis, Striv Commentator
October 1, 2019
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