Neligh-Oakdale student’s project captures hearts of the community & Nebraska football

Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 7:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - A fourth grader in Nebraska’s school project has won over the hearts of his community, and even the Nebraska Cornhusker football team.

Like many other Nebraskans, fourth grader Benson Metschke loves Cornhusker football. He has great memories of going to games at Memorial Stadium with his father, the former band director at Neligh-Oakdale.

“One time, we were sitting, like, right behind one of the goalposts, and the other team kicked the ball into it, and it looked like it was coming right for us,” said Benson.

However, Benson’s father tragically passed away following surgery in December 2018.

Today, Benson is a student in his mother, Darcy’s, 4th grade class at Neligh-Oakdale.

An important tradition for 4th graders at Neligh-Oakdale is Nebraska Heritage Day. Students create a project that represents the state, and their family.

Together, Benson and Darcy came up with an idea that checked both boxes: a model of Memorial Stadium to represent both Benson’s love of the team, and the memories he has with his dad.

The stadium, made mainly of foam, features red beads in the stands for spectators and an image of Neligh-Oakdale grad and former Husker, Tyler Legate, on the jumbotron. After reaching out to Legate, news of Benson’s stadium made its way to Nebraska football Scott Frost, who gifted Benson with a signed Nebraska football.

“He carried that football around with him everywhere he went for several days,” said Darcy.

The stadium proved to be more than just a great project. it also turned out to be a family bonding experience.

“We just really had a lot of great memories together working on the project, and it brought up memories with his dad,” said Darcy. “And so, I’m just really excited that this all came together and he has something that he can be proud of and look back on and have memories of both us working on it together for a special time for us, as well as memories with his dad.”

The decision to put Tyler Legate on the jumbotron couldn’t have worked out better. Along with being a Neligh-Oakdale and Nebraska football alum, he was also the trombone player in Benson’s father’s school band.

Copyright 2022 KTIV. All rights reserved.