Archive for August, 2008

Remembering the giants that played Nebraska High School Football

Posted on August 26, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

Never Forget!

                                                     

mhn-football-logo   As the beginning of another football season approaches, Hit News honors, pays tribute and says thanks to all the former great high school warriors that helped to establish the standards of excellence and enhanced the rich tradition of high school football in the State of Nebraska. 

    We often let slip through our conscience minds the memories and history of the great football players that were produced in the classrooms, gyms and fields of Nebraska high schools. Fortunately, the accolades, awards and accomplishment of many of these outstanding players are captured forever in the record books and on displays in the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. 

Nebraska High School Sports Hall Of Fame  

    The Nebraska High School Hall Of Fame was originally established in 1993 to recognize and to preserve the accomplishment of Nebraska high school athletes, coaches, officials, contributors, and teams. There are currently over 240 inductees and all inductees are required to go through a nomination process that will not commence until after the waiting period for their category has been reached, for example, 

An athlete or team must wait 15 years after their graduation to be considered for nomination into the Hall. And a coach must have coached for at least 20 years in  Nebraska school system and be retired or at least 60 years of age to be considered. There are similar requirements for the other categories of inductees.

Football Players in the Nebraska HS Sports Hall Of Fame

    The following is a listing of some of the more recognizable names of the state’s outstanding high school football players that have been inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall Of Fame: 

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Gayle Sayers

Niles Kinnick

Niles Kinnick

    

On the left is Nebraska High School Sports Hall Of Fame Inductees Nile Kinnick, 1939 Heisman Trophy winner and on the right Gayle Sayers, All-Pro running back and NFL Hall Of Fame Inductee.   Click on name to read bio
Johnny Rodgers, Omaha Tech Ray Novak, Omaha Tech
Tom Rathman, Grand Island Barney Cotton, Omaha Burke
Nile Kinnick, Omaha Benson Dave Rimington, Omaha South
Tom Osborne, Hastings Dean Steinkuhler, Sterling
Marlin Briscoe, Omaha South Monte Kiffin, Lexington
Tom Novak, Omaha South Gayle Sayers, Omaha Central
Bobby Reynolds, Grand Island Jay Novacek, Gothenburg

 

The above list only represents a few of the greats that graced the Nebraska gridirons. And remember—there are many more to follow. You can check out all the inductees and read their bios by visiting the official web site of  Nebraska High School Sports Hall Of Fame.

  
More Nebraska Glory

    Nebraska high schools are truly steep in the tradition of producing some of the finest football players in the country: 

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From left to right: Johnny Rodgers, Omaha Tech HS, 1972 Heisman Trophy winner; Eric Crouch, Millard North HS, 2001 Heisman Trophy winner, Walter Camp Award (’01) and Davey O’ Brien Award (’01); Danny Woodhead, North Platte HS, 2x Harlon Hill Trophy winner (’06, ’07) and the NCAA all divisions all-time college career rushing leader with 7,871 yards.

  

 outland

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Above: Dave Rimington, Omaha South HS, is flanked by the two Outland Trophies that he won in  ’81 and ’82 and to the right is the Rotary Lombardi Award he won in ’82. Dave Rimington still remains to be the only man to ever win the Outland Trophy twice. Befittingly, in honor of  a pilayer so dominate at his position, there is now a national award named after Dave Rimington. The Rimington Trophy is awarded annually to the nation’s top center. Bottom center is a photo of the Rimington Trophy.                            
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Above: Ahman Green, Omaha Central HS 2x All-Pro (’01, ’03) 4x Pro Bowl Selection (’01-’04), and one of only two players in NFL history to have 2 touchdown runs of more than 90 yards.

   

    So high school ballers, before you strap on your helmets to take the field, pause for a second to reflect on the past of those that have gone before you,  and be proudful that you are carrying on the storied tradition of Nebraska high school football.

     “Hopefully, you will honor the past glory by giving it all that you have in the present.”

 Nebraska High School Football truly represents “The heart and soul of the game.”

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Lincoln Northeast vs Creighton Prep: One of the most intriguing opening night games

Posted on August 25, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

This is third in a series of the five most intriguing Class A opening night games of the 2008 football season.

 

Lincoln Northeast vs Creighton Prep  

    This game is an interesting feast for the eyes for several reasons: First, it will give us our first look at what we believe—at this moment—is the top team in the state—Creighton Prep. In addition, we will also get to see some of the  state’s top linemen battle it out.

   The Lincoln  Rockets’ Nebraska Cornhusker commit, Cole Pensick, and the Junior Jays’ Jon Lechner, Scott Criss and Jeff Uher will be bumping heads throughout the night.  And I am sure that there will also be a few  college scouts on hand to get a close up look at these talented linemen.

 Creighton Prep

Creighton Junior Jays

Creighton Junior Jays

    We already know that Prep has perhaps the best offensive and defensive linemen units in the state.  Even more promising, the Junior Jays also have one of the state’s top QBs in SR Alex Hook (6-2, 175). Hook returns from off-season knee surgery, from which by all reports he seems to have recovered quite nicely. Hook will be accompanied in the backfield by junior Nick Mizaur (a promising back that was hurt much of last season, who still managed to have a couple of big games including a huge playoff performance against Millard West) and senior Brad Heldt.  But if the running game is not clicking, will Hook have capable receivers on the wings to catch his throws?

    On defense, they will certainly miss last year’s core of outstanding LB’s featuring the McDermott brothers and Matt Manniniger. However, they will have one of the toughest defensive lines in the state with SR Scott Criss, and JR Jeff Uher leading the way. And Heldt will also provide some all-state type coverage in the defensive backfield.

    This is a solid group of players with one of the best coaching staffs in the state. If they can develop the right team chemistry and Lady Luck looks their way, they will have all the ingredients needed to make it to the finals and perhaps win their first title since 2004.

 

  Lincoln Northeast

Lincoln Norteast Rockets

Lincoln Norteast Rockets

    At the start of the season, the Rocket’s claim to fame will be DT Cole Pensick, a 6-2, 250lb Nebraska commit. Pensick is also one of two returning starters on the O-line where he plays guard and was a Nebraska Super Team All-State performer. He followed up that performance by winning the Lincoln Metro Heavyweight Wrestling Title and by winning All-Class Gold in the shot put at the 2008 State Track Meet. Needless to say, Pensick is a competitor.

    The Rockets will be breaking in a new QB, but they should have some solid returning contributers at the RB spot with senior SR Cody Pfeiffer and SR Porter Groves, an outstanding track athlete that barely missed winning All-Class Gold in the long jump at the 2008 state meet. Groves will also provide assistance on defense as one of its returning starting DBs.

   It has been reported that  Pensick will be playing LB this year, whether or not this is true we’ll soon find out.  But if that’s true,  Pensick is a pretty huge HS LB and it’s a big change form his recruited position as a DT,  where he played at last season.

    There is not much more we can say about the Rockets because they will be filling in a lot of holes. If they can find a few studs they may end up having a decent season. If not, It will be a long road back home to Lincoln and they will look ahead to a season that may seem just as long. 

Conclusion

    Miracles and strange things do happen—that’s why they play the game. But regardless of the outcome it is worth the price of admission to see Pensick and the Rockets bang it out against the best offensive and defensive units in the state.

Below, vote on who will win this game:

[poll id=”8″]

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Burke’s offense impressive at annual Black and Gold Scrimmage

Posted on August 24, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Burke Sophomore QB Jimmie Forsythe Is One to Watch in ’08

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

Omaha Burke Bulldogs

Omaha Burke Bulldogs

   Jimmie Forsythe is a name that Nebraska high school football fans may get used to seeing and hearing a lot of over the next three years:

    The 5-10 170 lb rugged and fleet-footed sophomore QB put on quite an awe-inspiring aerial show during Burke’s annual Black and Gold scrimmage, held Friday night at Burke Stadium.

    Forsythe’s accurate, high velocity pinpoint throws were hitting targets from all over the field. And It didn’t matter whether the youngster was throwing in a set position after a three-step-drop or if he was on a sprint-out running to his left or to his right—his passes were on the money! 

    The Burke offense looks to flourish this season running their Pistol Offense, installed under the direction of their new offensive coordinator and LB coach, Dan Jackson, a former all-state Burke LB (class of 2003), who went on to play at South Dakota State

    Successful head coaches appear to find the right assistants and place them in the best positions to improve the team. And Head Coach Paul Limongi seems to have made a wise choice by promoting Jackson to the OC position. Moreover, based on comments from players about Jackson’s dedication and commitment and supported by what he has thus far delivered via his seemingly well-oiled, productive and entertaining Pistol Offense:

“Burke’s young Offensive Coordinator, Daniel Jackson, has a bright future ahead of him in the coaching profession.” 

    Despite Jackson’s obvious coaching abilities, he would probably be the first to tell you that his current fortune is the result of having so much talent to work with. Well, Burke is overflowing at the offensive skill positions. However, someone has to take that talent and organize it, develop it, motivate it and put it in the right spots, while at the same time keeping everyone happy. And thus far,  Jackson seems to be up to the task.

    In addition to Forsythe, the following is a list of some of the most prominent offensive skill players that Jackson will have to manage this season:

Burke has a few more talented skill players (besides the players listed below) that will surely emerge as the season progresses.

Burke’s

Most Prominent Skill Players

Jack Marousek

(6-0, 190 SR)

RB, Slot Legit sub 11 100 meter (2008 Class A 200 meter bronze) had a couple great runs and catches for TDs.

Stephon Washington

(5-8, 165 JR)

RB, WR, Slot Legit sub 11 100 meter (2008 All- Class Gold 300meter hurdles) Reggie Bush type all purpose back displays great vision and burst. He dazzled on several runs busting one for an 80 yd TD.

Kelvin Johnson

(6-0 , 200 SR)

RB Legit sub 11 100 meter. A big bruising back who is gone if he hits daylight. Had several nice runs rushed for over 800 yards in ’07.

Chris Lucido

(6-0, 175 JR)

RB, WR, Slot Strong tough runner with speed and good hands. Also a very good QB, but his versatility demands his use as an all purpose back. 

Lavant Moore

(6-2, 170 JR)

WR Good speed, great hands, seems to catch the ball effortlessly. He had a couple of TD catches with one for about 70 yds. Moore is poised to have a good year.

Donte Beasley

(5-11, 185 JR)

RB, FB Though runner with good speed, and good vision-scat back type. This kid would be starter on many teams. He was a solid contributer as a sophomore last season.

Matt Bisckei

(6’2 230 SR)

TE Good hands, speed and runs nice routes. He did not play last season due to injury. But he will be a threat for the under coverage stuff.

  
    Protecting Forsythe and providing holes for the likes of Marousek,  Johnson, Washington and company is a pretty solid above average O-line that at this stage of the preseason is just a few hairs short from being classified as “good.” 

    The line will featue some pretty good size, depth and lots of experience with DeMarcus Saulsberry (6-0, 280 SR); Martel Saulsberry ( 6-0, 300lb SR); Marcus Bolte (6-0, 285 SR); Eric Cummings (6-2, 260 SR); Tremont Parker (6-0, 250 SR); Joel Dizona (5-10, 210 SR) and Karebo Adams (6-1-260 SR)

    The 2008 Burke Bulldogs will field an explosive offensive system—the Pistol— with quick strike capabilities enabling the unit to score through the air or on the ground from anywhere on the field by using a variety of different athletes.   

     Thanks to the entire Burke coaching staff for putting on a very efficient and enjoyable  Black and Gold Scrimmage.

     I must admit that after attending the two previous Black and Golds, I was unprepared to see the the level of precession and organization at this year’s scrimmage. In addition,  I was in awe of the proficiency of Burke’s offensive units. 

    The upgrade in Burke’s program is so apparent that this year’s second stringers seemed  more proficient and talented than the previous two years’ first team offenses.

     That’s good coaching. And a sign of a program making strides.

     Your continued success will only make Nebraska High School football better.

Related Links: Three Omaha Burke football players make Max Preps Preseason  Nebraska All-State Team:
Eric Cummings DL; Jack Saxton LB; Jake Marousek DB. To see All-State Team click here.

Burke Sophomore QB Jimmy Forsythe Is One to Watch in ’08

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

Omaha Burke Bulldogs

Omaha Burke Bulldogs

   Jimmy Forsythe is a name that Nebraska high school football fans may get used to seeing and hearing a lot of over the next three years:

    The 5-10 170 lb rugged and fleet-footed sophomore QB put on quite an awe-inspiring aerial show during Burke’s annual Black and Gold scrimmage, held Friday night at Burke Stadium.

    Forsythe’s accurate, high velocity pinpoint throws were hitting targets from all over the field. And It didn’t matter whether the youngster was throwing in a set position after a three-step-drop or if he was on a sprint-out running to his left or to his right—his passes were on the money! 

    The Burke offense looks to flourish this season running their Pistol Offense, installed under the direction of their new offensive coordinator and LB coach, Dan Jackson, a former all-state Burke LB (class of 2003), who went on to play at South Dakota State

    Successful head coaches appear to find the right assistants and place them in the best positions to improve the team. And Head Coach Paul Limongi seems to have made a wise choice by promoting Jackson to the OC position. Moreover, based on comments from players about Jackson’s dedication and commitment and supported by what he has thus far delivered via his seemingly well-oiled, productive and entertaining Pistol Offense:

“Burke’s young Offensive Coordinator, Daniel Jackson, has a bright future ahead of him in the coaching profession.” 

    Despite Jackson’s obvious coaching abilities, he would probably be the first to tell you that his current fortune is the result of having so much talent to work with. Well, Burke is overflowing at the offensive skill positions. However, someone has to take that talent and organize it, develop it, motivate it and put it in the right spots, while at the same time keeping everyone happy. And thus far,  Jackson seems to be up to the task.

    In addition to Forsythe, the following is a list of some of the most prominent offensive skill players that Jackson will have to manage this season:

Burke has a few more talented skill players (besides the players listed below) that will surely emerge as the season progresses.

Burke’s

Most Prominent Skill Players

Jack Marousek

(6-0, 190 SR)

RB, Slot Legit sub 11 100 meter (2008 Class A 200 meter bronze) had a couple great runs and catches for TDs.

Stephon Washington

(5-8, 165 JR)

RB, WR, Slot Legit sub 11 100 meter (2008 All- Class Gold 300meter hurdles) Reggie Bush type all purpose back displays great vision and burst. He dazzled on several runs busting one for an 80 yd TD.

Kelvin Johnson

(6-0 , 200 SR)

RB Legit sub 11 100 meter. A big bruising back who is gone if he hits daylight. Had several nice runs rushed for over 800 yards in ’07.

Chris Lucido

(6-0, 175 JR)

RB, WR, Slot Strong tough runner with speed and good hands. Also a very good QB, but his versatility demands his use as an all purpose back. 

Lavante Moore

(6-2, 170 JR)

WR Good speed, great hands, seems to catch the ball effortlessly. He had a couple of TD catches with one for about 70 yds. Moore is poised to have a good year.

Donte Beasely

(5-11, 185 JR)

RB, FB Though runner with good speed, and good vision-scat back type. This kid would be starter on many teams. He was a solid contributer as a sophomore last season.

Matt Bisckei

(6’2 230 SR)

TE Good hands, speed and runs nice routes. He did not play last season due to injury. But he will be a threat for the under coverage stuff.

  
    Protecting Forsythe and providing holes for the likes of Marousek,  Johnson, Washington and company is a pretty solid above average O-line that at this stage of the preseason is just a few hairs short from being classified as “good.” 

    The line will featue some pretty good size, depth and lots of experience with DeMarcus Saulsberry (6-0, 280 SR); Martel Saulsberry ( 6-0, 300lb SR); Marcus Bolte (6-0, 285 SR); Eric Cummings (6-2, 260 SR); Tremont Parker (6-0, 250 SR); Joel Dizona (5-10, 210 SR) and Karebo Adams (6-1-260 SR)

    The 2008 Burke Bulldogs will field an explosive offensive system—the Pistol— with quick strike capabilities enabling the unit to score through the air or on the ground from anywhere on the field by using a variety of different athletes.   

     Thanks to the entire Burke coaching staff for putting on a very efficient and enjoyable  Black and Gold Scrimmage.

     I must admit that after attending the two previous Black and Golds, I was unprepared to see the the level of precession and organization at this year’s scrimmage. In addition,  I was in awe of the proficiency of Burke’s offensive units. 

    The upgrade in Burke’s program is so apparent that this year’s second stringers seemed  more proficient and talented than the previous two years’ first team offenses.

     That’s good coaching. And a sign of a program making strides.

     Your continued success will only make Nebraska High School football better.

Related Links: Three Omaha Burke football players make Max Preps Preseason  Nebraska All-State Team:
Eric Cummings DL; Jack Saxton LB; Jake Marousek DB. To see All-State Team click here.

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Omaha World-Herald Super Six

Posted on August 24, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Also: Max Preps Nebraska Preseason All-State Team

 

Below is the annual Omaha World-Herald Super Six football players and their “Others to watch this season” mentions.

In addition, a link is also provided for Max Preps’ Nebraska Preseason All-State Team.

 

Omaha World-Herald Super Six

Jon Lechner, OL

(6-6, 315)

Omaha Creighton Prep

Cole Pensick OG/DT

(6-2, 260)

Lincoln Northeast

Tyrone Sellers DE/TE

(6-3, 220)

McCook

Brandon Wegher RB, SE, KK

(5-11, 206)

Sioux City Heelan

C.J. Zimmerer, FB, LB

(6-1, 215)

Omaha Gross

Vondrae Tostenson WR, LB

(6-5, 225)

Millard South

 

Others To Watch This Season

Offensive lineman James Davis, Omaha North
Quarterbacks: Nick Failla, Millard North; Ron Kellogg, Omaha Westside; Daryle Hawkins,Omaha Central
Wide Receivers Ty Kildow, Millard South; Justin Coleman, Beatrice
Linebackers Marcus Hall-Oliver, Omaha Central; Justin Small, Hastings St Cecilia
Defensive lineman Eric Cummings, Omaha Burke
Defensive Back Eric Koehlmoos, Pierce

 

 

Related Links

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Omaha North vs. Omaha Central: One of Hit News’ most intriguing opening night Class A games

Posted on August 22, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com 

This is fourth in a series of the five most intriguing Class A opening night games of the 2008 football season.  

Omaha North vs Omaha Central

    This annual crosstown rivalry between two of the top Omaha Public School football programs seems to get better with each passing year. And this year’s contest will be even more captivating as Central enters the contest looking to defend its hard earned 2007 Class A Sate Title—the first state football title by an OPS school since 1984, which was also won by the Central Eagles.     Jay Ball and Larry Martin are two of the better coaches in the state. And that’s a good thing Because, through graduation, both teams have lost some outstanding contributors from last season. Consequently, Ball and Martin and their staffs will have to burn a lot of midnight oil and spend a considerable amount of extra time on the field developing, molding, and motivating their troops in order for either one of their teams to have a chance to play in the last game of the 2008 season.     Fortunately for both teams—graduation did not leave the cupboards completely bare.

 

Omaha North Vikings

Omaha North Vikings

  Omaha North

Omaha North has the talent to beat any team on its schedule.  Leading the pack of Viking performers  will be a strong offensive line anchored by 2009 D-1 prospect James Davis (6-3, 310). Running behind Davis and company, the Vikings may have the best one-two punch backfield in Class A: Two-time state heavyweight wrestling champion Ron Coleman (5-10, 220, JR ) at FB, and slated at RB is Bryant Giles (5-10, 185, SR), who was the team’s second leading rusher last season.

If Bryant Giles, a speedy and tough back with good vision and cutback ability, manages to stay healthy and performs up to his potential, he could be a sleeper D-1 prospect for the class of 2009.”

    On defense, the vikings will miss two-time All-State nose guard Nick Phillips; however, Davis’ contribution on the D-line should help solidify things there. Coleman will also add strength at the LB spot, which may be his ultimate position at the next level. Two year starter Kendall Anderson (5-8 ,165, JR ) will provide speed and experience in the defensive backfield. 

 

Omaha Central Eagles

Omaha Central Eagles

 Omaha Central 

     The defending State Champions—despite the loss of Chris Griffin, Shaun and Shane Prater, and Ronnell Grixby—still  have the potential to repeat.  However, the lion’s share of their chances to successfully defend  their crown will depend on whether or not senior Daryle Hawkins (6-4, 175) can develop into a dominate dual threat QB.  

    Hawkins has the natural speed, quickness and athleticism to be very good.  But does Hawkins have the football IQ, toughness and leadership qualities that are necesssary to rise to the top of the pack? The Eagles desperately need Hawkins to develop into be a top producer if they are to repeat last year’s feat.

   Helping to take the load off of Hawkins, the Eagles return FB Jabari Tillman (5-9, 230, SR) , who is a pretty good blocking back and a bulldozing runner that is quite a load to handle. The Eagles also expect to have a solid O-line with seniors OL Julius Sanders (6-1, 240) and TE Marcus Hall-Oliver ( 6-1, 210) providing leadership and experienced quality play.  Hall-Oliver’s speed and experience should also supply an additional capable target for Hawkins’ air show.

     On defense, Hall-Oliver, a tough,quick and feisty defender, will lead the way as one of the state’s top DE’s, while he looks to improve upon his team leading six sacks from last year.  Behind Hall Oliver, It’s most likely that Hawkins will spend some time at DB or SF, where his speed and athleticism could be dangerous for opposing teams looking to throw on the Eagles.  Assisting Hawkins in the defensive backfield will be senior DB Julian Jones ( 5-8, 165),  a speedster and tough-nose player that will be looking to make a name for himself.  Jones may also develop into a strong contributer at the RB spot for the Eagles.

Conclusion

    The Omaha Central vs. Omaha North game is an annual pilgrimage and the highlight of the regular season for many fans. If past contest are any indication, this will certainly be a hard-hitting, big-play-making thrill ride. Where the atmosphere will be even more electric than usual as the result of Eagles being the reigning State Champions and the Vikings looking to take their crown.

    The winner will be closer to obtaining their season objectives and the loser will have to lick their wounds and regroup. And believe me, neither one of these teams has intentions of having to do any licking except the licking they give to the other on the football field.

    This game will be a tasty treat for fans: Ron “Big Blow” Coleman traking down the fast and elusive Daryle “The Hawk” Hawkins, while Marcus Hall-Oliver looks to overtake “Big J.D.” (James Davis) and Bryant Giles attempts to put on an electrifying breakout performance.

Below, vote on who will win this annual slugfest. 
[poll id=”9″]

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Lincoln East vs Millard South: A great opening night matchup

Posted on August 22, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com 
 

This is the final game in the series of ‘The Five Most Intriguing Class A Opening Night Games of the 2008 Football Season. 

 

Lincoln East vs. Millard South

    My goodness does time fly! In less than one week, high school football teams across the state will be strapping on their helmets and flying onto the filed to do battle in their season openers. And every indication points to the Lincoln East vs. Millard South game as being a thriller in the making.

   

    The Lincoln East  vs. Millard South game will feature two Hit News Top Ten teams: Millard South (2) returns from a very solid 2007 season, which saw them post a 7-4 record before losing their second round playoff game, while Lincoln East (9) enters the contest following an impressive 8-2 2007 campaign. Both teams have all the firepower necessary to make a run at this year’s Class A title—and both teams have strong intents on laying claim to a state title.

  

Lincoln East Spartans

Lincoln East Spartans

Lincoln East

    Head Coach John Gingery’s Spartans have posted an enviable two consecutive 8 win seasons. However last year’s post season   ended quite abruptly in a nail biting 10-14 first round playoff loss to Creighton Prep. The previous 2006 season saw the Spartans lose 6-14 to Millard South in the second round of the playoffs. The agonizing 2006 playoff loss to the Mustangs—I’m sure—will be on the Spartans’ minds as they prepare for this year’s season opener.

 

        Leading the charge for the Spartans will be two of the best and—tallest—receivers in the state Drew Sankey (6-5) and Tyson Clark (6-4), who is the son of former Husker All-American DB Brett Clark. Providing the hookup to the two giants  is last season’s back-up QB Scott Sunderman The Spartans are deep in receivers but they will need to find and to develop some O-linemen, since Josh Aldridge will be their only retuning starter.

   

    Sankey and Clark will also be counted on to shore up a defense that faces some rebuilding woes of its own. But any program capable producing two back to back eight win season certainly must have good quality coaching and a stable of solid athletes that are funneling through the system.. Therefore, despite the developing that must take place Lincoln East is still a very potent team that is capable of beating anyone at anytime.

 

Millard South Patriots

Millard South Patriots

Millard South

    The Millard South Patriots enters the season as the number one rated Class A team by several traditional statewide media polls. Even more impressive. Rivals preseason poll has the Patriots rated as the 20th best high school team in the Heartland Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas.) It’s suffice to say,

“The Patriots have some of lofty expectation to fulfill”. Unfortunately, sometimes the pressure of attempting to meet such high expectations can have a negative impact on a team that may not be prepared for the challenge .

    We will soon find out if Head Coach Andy Means’ staff and players are able to perform week in and week out at a high enough level to maintain their rankings throughout the season.. They certainly have the quality coaching (Means and staff are brilliant at exploiting defenses) and enough talented athletes to accomplish the mission. Unfortunately, the Patriots will play much of the season without the services of D-1 ATH prospect Ty Kildow.

 

     Ty Kildow with his 4.39 40 time is arguably the state’s fastest high school football player and he has proven to be one of Nebraska’s best athletes by garnering first team all-state honors in both football and baseball. However, his loss should be tempered by the return of Vondrea Tostenson.

 

    Tostenson is considered to be the state’s number one high school football prospect, but a knee condition and eventual surgery sidelined Tostenson for practically the entire ’07 season. Tostenson’s knee, according to reports, is still a ways off from being fully recovered. Nonetheless, this news shouldn’t have defenders jumping for joy just yet. Because Tostenson possesses the kind of talent that if he is healthy enough to get on the field—even at 80% —he will still be a very dangerous player. And you can take that to the bank!

 

    No one is cheering louder for the quick return and full recovery of Kildow and Tostenson than Junior QB Bronson Marsh. The poised signal-caller is coming off a monster school record breaking sophomore campaign that saw him throw for over 2400 yards and 15 TDs. Marsh is looking to improve upon those freakish numbers this year. And look who he has besides Tostenson and Kildow to help him get his wish: all-state caliber seniors FB/LB Drew Neville and RB/DB Jordan Hale. My friends that’s a lot of athletic firepower!

 

    The reasons why Hit News did not rank the Patriots at our preseason number one spot is (1) their lack of overall O-line and D-line strength and (2) A defense prone to giving up yardage. These areas will have to undergo significant improvement if the Patriots want this year’s state title.

Will they prove me wrong as the season progresses?

 

Conclusion

    Millard South’s # 20 regional ranking and numerous # 1 instate media rankings are pretty high expectations for a team with questionable strength at the line of scrimmage and a tendency to give up a lot of yardage on defense and with one key player out for most of the season and another who is questionable. On the other hand, it is puzzling to see so many polls discount the Spartans in their top ten rankings.

 

    This game will be played in Lincoln; so how well the patriots travel comes into play. On the flip side, the Spartans will be  playing on their home turf and hungrily looking to knock off the preseason #1 team. This game should be competitive enough that the winner should be decided by what team executes the better game plan.

Below, vote on who will win this game:

[poll id=”10″]

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Top 12 Nebraska HS football players competing for first D-1 offer

Posted on August 20, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com               

     Hit News presents an update to its preseason recruiting breakdown of Class of 2009 Top 10 List of Recruited Nebraska High School Football Players Who Have Not Received D-1 offers.  Changes and/or omissions to the previous rankings as they appear in our new Top 12 Nebraskans Competing for D-1 Offers list are the result of players receiving offers or early season performances or injuries.

At this point in the recruiting cycle, Nebraska Class of 2009 high school football players, still looking to receive D-1 offers, will need to prove their worth on the field. 

Note: The vast majority of D-1 schools only hold back a few of their allotted offers at this stage in the recruiting year. These offers will be awarded to those high school seniors that demonstrate marked improvement over last season as well as proving their potential to play at the next level.

    The most important thing to keep in mind during this phase of the recruiting cycle is that  colleges will select players based on the positional needs of the programIt won’t be based on how or where you are rankedIn other words: You may be the top rated player in your state and you play QB.  But if a school has no need for QBs– you will get no offer from that school! However, they will offer a LB in your state ranked much lower than you because that is a position they need filled.

Each year–on average–approximately 12 D-1 football scholarships are awarded to high school players from the state of Nebraska, based on historical data. Thus far, seven Class of 2009 Nebraskans have received D-1 offers. 

    If  the Nebraska 2009 HS class is average, there should be about four or five more players that may receive D-1 offers (click here to see list of ’09 players already holding offers.) Of course, on the other hand, if this is a below average year–there may be no more D-1 offers on the way.

   We will just have to sit back and wait to know for sure where this class will end up. However, I must say that I definitely see more than just a few players from the lists below that can be effective at the D-1 level.

 Remember fellas “There is still plenty of time left to play your way into an offer or two!”

The recruiting Breakdown  will be updated two more times this season: (1) Midseason after the sixth game and (2) after the end of the regular season.

Top 12 Nebraskans Competing for D-1 Offers

1. Jordan Hale, ATH
(5-11, 175) Millard South

*Great opening night game rushing the football along with two more highly productive games on both sides of the ball. 
Hale can run, catch, and play defense. This versatile player is hard to pigeonhole. However, he lacks the ideal burst and separation to be an effective D-1 WR. Most likely he will end up playing safety at the next level.   

2. Eric Cummings, DT
(6-2, 260) Burke

*Solid start to season having recorded 2 sacks and several tackles for loss.  
Strong, good explosive burst off the line, quick feet and hands. Good run stopping skills. Lacks ideal size for position. Needs to work on moving quicker to the spot on pass rush and mixing up his pass moves. He could be an effective player at D-1 level 

3. Corey Serrano, ATH
(6-1, 205) North Platte

*Solid performances to start the season.
This talented, versatile and athletic player has the ability to play on both sides of the ball. He is a solid RB and can play QB. But at the D-1 level he may find himself playing WR or SF. He will need to improve his strength, bulk, and speed.

4. Tyler Seals, QB
(6-1, 185) Bellevue West

*He continues to light up the heavens with his aerial attack–numbers after just three games are impressive. 
The best throwing QB in the state. Unfortunately, he plays the hardest position to advance to D-1 level. Lacks superior arm strength but has nice accuracy and touch. Will need to improve arm strength and mobility in the pocket. 

5. Greg Hardin, WR
(5-11, 165) Bellevue West

*After three games, he is coming up big again this year in receptions. 
The top receiver in the state, has very good hands and has good burst to allow separation from defender— can improve route running skills. Lacks the ideal physicality and raw speed for a D-1 WR, but is fast enough and can work hard enough in weight room to be a good WR at the D-1 level 

6. Brent Webb, SF
(6-2, 190) Bellevue West

*Reports are that he has picked up where he left off last season–deadly on both sides of the ball.
He is a hard running back and will smack you as a defensive back, which is where he is most likely to play safety at the next level. Lacks ideal top speed at the position but is athletic enough and has speed enough to compensate. He will need to get stronger in the weight room to compete at the next level.   

7. Dakota McCormack, LB
(6-3, 220) Westside

*Thus far he has proven why he has legitimate D-1 potential–three games and three good performances at LB spot.
He has good size and speed, and can gets to the ball with bad intentions. Needs to work harder in weight room to add strength and a little more bulk to frame. Has ideal size and speed to play at next level. 

8. Willie Metoyer, RB
(5-9, 195) Westside 

*Moving up the rankings with a bullet, he has shown good early season form and ability. 
A hard runner with just enough size and speed to play at D-1 level–a slasher with cutback ability. He will need to develop more strength in the weight room to be effective at the next level.    

9. Ron Kellogg III, QB
(6-2, 200) Westside

*He has shown much improvement over last season.
He is much improved over last season and is starting to draw serious attention. Won MVP honors at Nebraska QB camp. Had decent JR year but nothing to write home about. He seems to be developing his throwing skills and with his mobility in the pocket he could end up being one of the few non-option NE QBs to ever receive a D-I scholarship.   

10. Jake Marousek, ATH
(6-2, 190) Burke

*Another player moving quickly up the rankings. Great start to the season as he is among the the state’s scoring leaders.
He is an ATH with desireable size and very good speed and burst (in ’08 he placed third in State Class A 200 meter and had one of last season’s fastest recorded 100 meter times at 10.74.)  He is also a hard runner who may develop into an effective all purpose back or receiver and/or special teams returner at the next level.

11. Alex Hook, QB
(6-2, 180) Creighton Prep

*A player that is playing his way into garnering serious attention from several D-1 schools.
A smart kid with outstanding leadership qualities combined with good speed and a nice arm makes him a strong candidate for a spread type offense at the next level.

12. Ty Kildow, WR
(5-8 ,165) Millard South

*He still has not returned from off season knee surgery.
The most explosive player in the state and perhaps one of its best athletes. The JR year First Team All-State football and baseball player has 4.39 speed and good hands. He would be ranked higher if not for his recent injury and the fact that he also lacks the minimum ideal height for a D-1 WR. But a school willing to take a chance may end up with a very special player that may also be an effective punt and kickoff returner.

Just Missed

Bryant Giles, Josh Kage, Daryle Hawkins, Scott Criss,
Michael Burrus, Nick Failla

 

Top Mention list

At least one or possibly several players listed below will be offered a
D-1 Scholarship.
 

Scott Criss, DT (6-5, 260) Creighton PrepBrad Heldt, SF (6-0, 175); Creighton Prep; Nick Failla, QB/ATH (5-10, 175) Millard North; Justin Small, LB (6-2, 230) St Cecillia; Matt Sterup, OL (6-6, 270) St Celcelia; Marcus Hall-Oliver, DE (6-1, 205) Central; Jack Saxton, LB (6-0, 190) Burke; Kelvin Johnson, RB (6-1, 200) Burke; Zach Christo, OG (6-1, 290) Millard South; Alex Stopak, OT ( 6-4, 275) Millard South; Drew Neville, LB {6-0, 210) Millard South; Bryant Giles, RB (5-10, 180) Omaha North; Michael Burrus, RB/ATH (5-7, 175) Papillion-La Vista S.; Bud Kauzlarich, DT (6-0,  275) Papillion -La Vista S.; Josh Kage, OT (6-4, 260) Papillion; Justin Coleman, WR (6-0, 175) Beatrice; Garret Bruhn, LB (6-2, 215) Beatrice; Kyle Bertelsen, LB (6-2, 218) Douglas Co West; Trevor Florendo, SF (6-0, 186) Crete; Robert Barry, QB (6-8, 220) Battle Creek; Kohlman Adema-Schulte, RB (5-9, 180) Millard West; Tyler Niederklein, ATH (6-2, 190) Millard West.

Related Links: Check out ESPN’s latest Nebraska class of 2009 recruiting evaluations, scores, ratings and rankings by clicking here.

 

Nebraksans Holding D-1 Offers

The top six players listed below received “early offers”
before start of 2008 football season. 

1. Tyrone Sellers, DE
    (
6-3, 215)
McCook

Wyoming, Kansas (Commit), Kansas State, Iowa

Currently, Sellers is physically undersized, however, he possesses the playing ability and speed to be an effective rush end at the D-l level. With the added size that he will surely gain through a D-1 strength program, he may even develop into an effective run stopper and an every down DE.

2. Cole Pensick, DT
    (6-2, 250)
    Lincoln  NE

Nebraska (commit)

During his JR year, he was a First Team Nebraska Super- State OL, and he won the Nebraska All Class Gold in the shot put. Strong and athletic with decent speed. He will need to add bulk to his frame to compete with the big boys at the next level.

3. Jon Lechner, OT
    (6-5, 310)
    Creighton
Prep

 Wyoming, Iowa State, Ohio, Buffalo.

Possesses D-1 size and agility to play guard or tackle, but he will need to hit the weight room hard and dedicate himself to consistently performing at his highest level to be a successful D-1 player.

4. Eric Koehlmoos, SF
    (6-1, 190)
Pierce

Wyoming

A HS QB and DB, this gifted athlete has colleges looking at him on both sides of the ball. With his speed and hard-hitting style, he most likely will be more effective as a safety at the next level.

5. Vondrea Tostenson,
   WR (6-4, 215)  
   Millard South

Iowa

A good freshman basketball season followed by a very good sophomore football campaign put this prized sized WR on the map. However, an early JR year football knee injury has kept him sidelined since. May lack the speed and burst to be an impact WR  at the D-1 level but could be a nice possession WR. He also has the frame to add bulk for a move to TE.

6. C .J. Zimmerer, FB
  
 (6-0, 213)
Omaha Gross Catholic

Nebraska (Commit)

On film, this is a tough looking FB and LB.  He will need to improve speed and add size to be effective at the next level.

2008 In Season Offers

7.  James Davis, OG
(6-3, 310) Omaha North

*Offer from Ohio University on 9/5/08

Very good pass blocking skills, strong, good feet and quick hands. Lacks ideal height at position for many D-1 colleges. Needs to work on run blocking skills. But has ability to be an effective D-1 O-lineman.

 

 

 

 

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Westside vs Elkhorn: One of the most intriguing opening night games

Posted on August 18, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

BY Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com 

This is second in a series of the five most intriguing Class A opening night games of the 2008 football season.

Westside vs Elkhorn

    On the surface, this may not be among the most glamorous match ups of opening night, but as you dig down a little deeper most would have to admit that this contest is certainly full of intrigue.

    Elkhorn, a perennial Class B powerhouse, finally takes the giant leap up to Class A. And their first foray finds them pitted against Westside, a Class A football program that traditionally ranks among the top in the state.

    Overall team speed, size and depth are what separates Class A teams from Class B teams. This match up between the Warriors and Antlers will clearly highlight those disparities as Westside clearly has the edge in the abundance of bigger faster athletes. However, the advantage goes to the Antlers in the coaching and tradition departments.

    Elkhorn has made the Class B Finals seven times since 1987 and have won four state titles during that period. Head Coach Mark Wortman boast a 260 W – 48 L career coaching record and has taken the Antlers to 13 consecutive playoff appearances. This is a coaching staff that knows how to prepare to win games and its players will be full of tradition and pride as they step into the Big Show for the first time.

    Oh yea, this game will be played on Elkhorn’s home field.  So you better believe that this recently annexed town’s fans will be fired up for this one.

    That is why this is one of the Five Most Intriguing Opening Night Games of the Season

 Proud Elk

Elkhorn

    Last season, the Antlers finished 10-1 before losing in the playoffs to eventual Class B champions Crete. On offense they return a couple of solid starting TEs in Jake long (6-4, 220) and Spencer Long (6-3,230), but their interior O-line will be a little light in the pants compared to most teams in Class A. This could pose some problems for their new QB Jordan Poehling (JR) and returning Junior RB Trevor Roach (6-1, 195), who averaged nearly 9 yards per carry last season.

    The Antlers had the Top offense in Class B last years (409 yards per game).

    On defense they look to be solid with both Longs filling in at linebacker and Jeff Oatman at DE. Unfortunately, it looks like a number of their players will be starting on both sides of the ball, which usually indicates a lack of depth.
 

Omaha Westside Warriors

Omaha Westside Warriors

Westside

    Westside comes off a lack luster 6-4 season that saw it struggle at the QB and O-line positions, However, this year promises to showcase a markedly better performances from both areas, as senior QB Ron Kellogg Jr, (6-1, 205) and his linemen have an added year of experience, growth and maturity.

    Kellogg will be protected up front by the likes of C Justin Wiles (6-0, 270); big 6-3, 290, OT, Luis DeAlba; 6-1, 275, OT, Mike Scherer and OG Nick Brau (6-0, 250)—all returning starters.

    Senior Willie Meytoyer (5-9, 190), who has had ample amount of playing experience over the past two seasons will have the task of replacing Collins Okafor at the running back spot. The speedy and powerful Metoyer looks to be every bit as good if not better than Okafor. (maybe not as fast but more elusive.)

    The Warrior defense will be anchored by D-1 LB prospect Dakota McCormack (6-2, 220). And also look for Metoyer to occupy one of the other LB spots. Defense has always been a strong point for Westside teams. This year, look for the tradition to continue. 

 Conclusion

    This will be an emotional game for both teams: Elkhorn will be trying to prove that they belong in Class A and Westside will be determined to prohibiting a humbling defeat by the hands of an upstart. The Antlers will have to overcome a lot of size and speed deferential to pull this one off. But don’t put it past Elkhorn’s coaching staff and player pride to pull off the upset.

Below, vote on who will win this game: 

[poll id=”7″]

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Top opening night football games in Class A: Millard North vs Millard West

Posted on August 15, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

 

    On Friday, August 29th, the battle for Class A football supremacy will begin. So with just a little over a month to go before the fireworks start, each week Hit News will take a look at one of the five most intriguing Class A match-ups that will be played on the first Friday night of the season:

Millard North vs. Millard West

    Whew! We only have to look to last season to imagine the atmosphere, energy and excitement that will surround this season opening crosstown rivalry between two of the top football programs in the state. And how can we ever forget last year’s two epic battles between these two powerhouses: The Wildcats won the regular season meeting 28-14 but during  the post season they lost a  31-28  OT semi-final playoff game to the Mustangs.

    Revenge and bragging rights are on the line again in this likely barn burner!

 

Millard North Mustangs

Millard North

    The Mustangs come off a very good 2007 season that ended with a disappointing loss to Omaha Central in a thrilling Class A Championship game. Unfortunately, the “Stangs” have lost many of last year’s key players through graduation. Nevertheless, they do return 2007 Class A leading rusher and the state’s No. 1 game breaker QB Nick Failla (5-10, 175).

    The questions are: (a) How will Failla perform after his knee operation, and (b) will his O-line provide the holes that he and his backs will need to make their offense effective against some of the state’s better defenses?

    Speaking of backs, JR Dion Jones (5-11, 185) a nephew of Husker great Keith “Touchdown” Jones is projected to be the starting RB. The word is that he has great speed. The question we will soon find out is whether or not he is a good back.

    The Mustang defense will be anchored by CB Blake Brisson (5-7, 160), who led the team with six picks last season. Also look out for big Lincoln Hansen, a 6-5, 260lb JR, who will line up on both the defensive and offensive lines. 

 

Millard West Wildcats

Millard West Wildcats

  Millard West

    The Millard West Wildcats have a fairly solid defensive tradition so they should provide an early gage to determine Millard North’s 2008 offensive prowess—even more so due to their familiarity with their crosstown rival’s tendencies. Moreover, the Wildcats return eight defensive starters led by SF Jordon Boston (5-11, 175) and a solid core of returning linebackers. But that’s the good news.

    The Wildcat offense will miss two of its most productive players: All-State QB Jesse VerVelde and All-State WR Jake Dwral. In addition, they will only return two starters on the O-line. Millard West will have to rely on a new QB (still undetermined) and the state’s fastest sprinter RB Kohlman Adema-Schulte (5-9, 185) to help them produce points this year.

 This past track season, Adema-Schulte won both the 100 and 200 meter All-Class Gold, but greatness on the track doesn’t always translate to success on the football field. However, if this powerfully built and extremely fast young man has a little help up front and he steps it up on the field like he did on the track —my goodness, look out!”

Conclusion

    This game is a fan’s delight. A crosstown rivalry between two of the state’s premiere high school football programs featuring some of the best athletes in the state. Regardless of the fact that both teams will be a little light in experienced players at several positions, we all know that coaches Fred Petito and Kirk Peterson and their staffs will have the Mustangs and Wildcats primed and ready to hit the field.

Below, vote on who you think will win this match up

 [poll id=”6″]

 

Millard North Mustangs

 

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ESPN evaluation updates: North Platte’s Corey Serrano grades well

Posted on August 7, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

New ESPN evaluations of Nebraska High School Football Players: Thus far, North Platte’s Corey Serrano has the second highest grade among evaluated Nebraska players. See his and other player grades here.

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  • my Hit News.com

    Nebraska High Schoolhoops7Top 25 Prospects '08/'09

    By Action Force

    crystallogout17

    Sponsor: Hit Highlights Inc.

    1. Jarell Crayton, 6-7, SR, C, Bellevue East

    2. Gregg Smith, 6-6, SR, SF/PF/SG, Ralston

    3. Elliot Elliason, 6-11, JR, C, Chadron

    4. Dwight Smith, 6-3, JR , PG/SG, Ralston

    5. Tyler Evans, 6-2, JR, SG/PG, Waverly

    6. Mike Gessell, 6-0, FR, PG, South Sioux City

    7.. John Karhoff, 6-8, SR, PF/C, Creighton Prep.

    8. Vondrae Tostenson, 6-5, SR, PF, Millard South

    9. Matt Hagerbaumen, 6-7, SR, SF, Lincoln Southeast

    10. Stevelle Burns, 6-0, SR, PG, Benson

    11. Deverell Biggs, 6-1, JR, SG/PF, Omaha Central

    12. Caleb Steffensmeir, 5-11, JR, PG, Creighton Prep

    13. Jordan Tyrance, 6-4, SF/PF, JR, Lincoln Southwest

    14. Trevor Meinke, 6-0, JR, PG, Beatrice

    15. Scottie Davis, 6-5, JR, SF/PF, Omaha Burke

    16. Derrius Vick, 6-0, SO, PG, Lincoln Southeast

    17. Ted Lampkin, 5-11, SO, PG, Omaha Central

    18. Jerad Warner, 6-6, JR, PF/C Omaha Gross

    19. Dol Kutey, 6-6, SR, C, Lincoln Northeast

    20. Ben Imig, 6-0, JR, SG/PG, Bryan

    21. Galen Gullie, 5-7, SR, PG, Bryan

    22 Pete Uhing, 6-5, SR, PF/C, Lincoln High

    23 Adonis Hill, 5-10, SO, PG, Omaha Burke

    24. Mike Dentlinger, 6-6, JR, PF/C, Millard North

    25. DK Augustine, 6-4, SO, C, Omaha Bryan

  • Action Force’s Top Ten

    top-ten-logo4

    Nebraska High School

    Basketball Teams

    (Week ending 02-15-09)

    Team ,(Record) Last wk rank

    1.

    Lincoln SW (18-2) 1

    2.

    Creighton Prep (15-4) 3

    3.

    Lincoln East(13-5) 4

    4.

    Lincoln High (11-6) 5

    5.

    Omaha Central (13-3) 3

    6.

    Lincoln Southeast(14-5) 7

    7.

    Lincoln Northeast(12-5) 103

    8.

    Omaha Bryan (15-6) 8

    9.

    Chadron (19-0) NR

    10.

    Norfolk (13-5) NR Contenders: Bellevue East, Omaha Burke, Omaha Benson, Bellevue West

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