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Lincoln High vs. Lincoln Southwest, 10/13/17

Lincoln High quarterback Cedric Case (10) and running back Frazzie Wynn will both return for the Links next season. 

Lincoln High football coach Mark Macke said his goal during the upcoming high school scheduling cycle was to strengthen the Links' schedule to better prepare them for the postseason, a necessity after going 8-1 in the 2017 regular season before being upset in the first round of the Class A playoffs by Millard South.

It looks like he succeeded.

According to the 2018 and 2019 football schedules released by the Nebraska School Activities Association on Tuesday, the Links have picked up nondistrict games with perennial powers Bellevue West and Creighton Prep. Lincoln High, which features first-team Super-State junior quarterback Cedric Case, opens on the road this coming fall at Bellevue West, one of the youngest teams in the state last season. West returns a pair of sophomore all-staters in wide receiver Zavier Betts (who has a Nebraska scholarship offer) and running back Jevyon Ducker. The Links also have Grand Island and Lincoln Pius X outside of district play, with defending state runner-up Kearney as one of the district opponents.

It was enough to make senior Super-State wide receiver Zion Perry (a Central Missouri signee) tweet "2019 class has a schedule to die for. I'm about to reclassify."

Another Lincoln team with a tough opener this fall is Southeast, which is at Omaha Burke. The Bulldogs, who will likely be the Class A preseason favorite, have two of the top college recruits nationally in the class of 2019 in Super-State linebacker Nick Henrich and Super-State tight end Chris Hickman, and they bring back all-state junior running back James Burks as well. Henrich and Hickman both have been offered by Nebraska. The Knights are the only Lincoln team Burke will face the next two regular seasons.

Some other games worth noting in the upcoming schedules:

* Defending Class A champion Omaha North has one of the toughest slates in the state, with games against Creighton Prep, Millard West, Omaha Burke and Bellevue West.

* Defending Class B state champion York and last year's runner-up Omaha Skutt will be playing each other in Week 4 the next two years.

* 2017 Class C-1 champion Norfolk Catholic moved to Class C-2 and will be taking on another C-1 power that dropped down — Aquinas — in Week 2. Aquinas almost upset Norfolk Catholic in the C-1 quarterfinals last fall. Centennial, last season's C-2 state runner-up, will play Aquinas in Week 5. Centennial brings back three all-staters in quarterback Wyatt Ehlers, lineman Caleb Cast and wide receiver/defensive back Jackson Hirschfeld.

Here are the Lincoln football schedules for the next two seasons:

Lincoln East

2018: Week 1, Lincoln Pius X; W2, Lincoln Northeast; W3, at Lincoln Southwest; W4, at Lincoln Southeast; W5, Bellevue East; W6, at Lincoln North Star; W7, Omaha Bryan; W8, Millard West; W9, at Grand Island.

2019: W1, at Lincoln Pius X; W2, at Lincoln Northeast; W3, Lincoln Southwest; W4, Lincoln Southeast; W5, at Bellevue East; W6, Lincoln North Star; W7, at Omaha Bryan; W8, at Millard West; W9, Grand Island.

Lincoln High

2018: Week 1 at Bellevue West; W2, Grand Island; W3, at Creighton Prep; W4, at Lincoln Pius X; W5, Omaha Central; W6, North Platte; W7, at Omaha Benson; W8, Kearney; W9, at Lincoln Southwest.

2019: W1, Bellevue West; W2, at Grand Island; W3, Creighton Prep; W4, Lincoln Pius X; W5, at Omaha Central; W6, at North Platte; W7, Omaha Benson; W8, at Kearney; W9, Lincoln Southwest.

Lincoln North Star

2018: Week 1, Lincoln Southwest; W2, at Kearney; W3, Elkhorn South; W4, Omaha South; W5, at Grand Island; W6, Lincoln East; W7, at North Platte; W8, Omaha Bryan; W9, at Millard West.

2019: W1, at Lincoln Southwest; W2, Kearney; W3, at Elkhorn South; W4, at Omaha South; W5, Grand Island; W6, at Lincoln East; W7, North Platte; W8, at Omaha Bryan; W9, Millard West.

Lincoln Northeast

2018: Week 1, Fremont; W2, at Lincoln East; W3, Omaha Bryan; W4, at Norfolk; W5, Papillion-La Vista South; W6, at Omaha South; W7, at Omaha North; W8, Bellevue East; W9, at Lincoln Southeast.

2019: W1, at Fremont; W2, Lincoln East; W3, at Omaha Bryan; W4, Norfolk; W5, at Papillion-La Vista South; W6, Omaha South; W7, Omaha North; W8, at Bellevue East; W9, Lincoln Southeast.

Lincoln Pius X

2018: Week 1, at Lincoln East; W2, Millard South; W3, at Gretna; W4, Lincoln High; W5, at Bellevue West; W6, Omaha Central; W7, at Lincoln Southeast; W8, at Norfolk; W9, Omaha South.

2019: W1, Lincoln East; W2, at Millard South; W3, Gretna; W4, at Lincoln High; W5, Bellevue West; W6, at Omaha Central; W7, Lincoln Southeast; W8, Norfolk; W9, at Omaha South.

Lincoln Southeast

2018: Week 1, at Omaha Burke; W2, Lincoln Southwest; W3, at Omaha Westside; W4, Lincoln East; W5, at Omaha North; W6, Bellevue East; W7, Lincoln Pius X; W8, at Papillion-La Vista South; W9, Lincoln Northeast.

2019: W1, Omaha Burke; W2, at Lincoln Southwest; W3, Omaha Westside; W4, at Lincoln East; W5, Omaha North; W6, at Bellevue East; W7, at Lincoln Pius X; W8, Papillion-La Vista South; W9, at Lincoln Northeast.

Lincoln Southwest

2018: Week 1, at Lincoln North Star; W2, at Lincoln Southeast; W3, Lincoln East; W4, Elkhorn; W5, at North Platte; W6, at Omaha Benson; W7, Kearney; W8, at Grand Island; W9, Lincoln High.

2019: W1, Lincoln North Star; W2, Lincoln Southeast; W3, at Lincoln East; W4, at Elkhorn; W5, North Platte; W6, Omaha Benson; W7, at Kearney; W8, Grand Island; W9, at Lincoln High.

Lincoln Christian

2018: Week 1, at Platteview; W2, Omaha Concordia; W3, at Kearney Catholic; W4, Bishop Neumann; W5, at Falls City; W6, Lincoln Lutheran; W7, Ashland-Greenwood; W8, at Auburn; W9, Nebraska City.

2019: W1, Platteview; W2, at Omaha Concordia; W3, Kearney Catholic; W4, at Bishop Neumann; W5, Falls City; W6, at Lincoln Lutheran; W7, at Ashland-Greenwood; W8, Auburn; W9, at Nebraska City.

Lincoln Lutheran

2018: Week 1, at Omaha Concordia; W2, Bishop Neumann; W3, Adams Central; W4, at Milford; W5, Nebraska City; W6, at Lincoln Christian; W7, at Auburn; W8, Falls City; W9, at Ashland-Greenwood.

2019: W1, Omaha Concordia; W2, at Bishop Neumann; W3, at Adams Central; W4, Milford; W5, at Nebraska City; W6, Lincoln Christian; W7, Auburn; W8, at Falls City; W9, Ashland-Greenwood.

Parkview Christian

2018: Week 1, at Mead; W2, Omaha Christian; W4, at Clarkson/Leigh; W5, Johnson-Brock; W6, at Falls City SH; W7, Meridian; W8, Diller-Odell; W9, at Pawnee City.

2019: W1, Mead; W2, at Omaha Christian; W4, Clarkson/Leigh; W5, at Johnson-Brock; W6, Falls City SH; W7, at Meridian; W8, at Diller-Odell; W9, Pawnee City.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or rpowell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @ronpowell_ljs.

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Sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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