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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  • 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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