Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers helps Ponca raise funds for - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers helps Ponca raise funds for new sports complex

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Three years ago Ponca began the process of building a $1.2 million sports and recreation complex for the high school.

Through alumni and community donations, the school has raised $1.1 million for the project.

Sunday night, with the help of Nebraska Heisman trophy winner Johnny Rodgers, they hoped to reach that goal.

Ponca residents and athletes packed into the Ponca State Park Visitor Center to listen as Johnny Rodgers shared stories of his playing days at Nebraska and how teamwork can do special things.

The complex features a new track, football field and several baseball fields, which teams are all ready competing on.

The 1972 Heisman Trophy winner says it's a privilege to come to a small community.

"Well there really is no place like Nebraska," Rodgers said.  "I think we come together because we understand teamwork.  You don't win Heismans by yourself or national championships by yourself. You don't build good sports community complexs by yourself.  It's always in conjunction with other people you make your greatest accomplishments."

"All the people that have gone to school here, they've given back," Ponca Head Coach Troy Evans added.  "People that live in Colorado, California and Florida, they give money because they know it's for Ponca and will help the community."

Through a live and silent auction, $130,000 dollars was raised, eclipsing the goal.

Sunday's funds with go towards maintenance of the facility.

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