Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Aquinas vs. Scotus, 9/15/17

City Aquinas' Andy Lyons, center, scores a touchdown Friday against Scotus Central Catholic at Pawnee Park's Memorial Stadium.

Aquinas

Mascot: Monarchs

Class C-2, District 4

NSAA enrollment: 67

The coach

Ron Mimick

At present school: 29th year

Career record: 290-111

Season outlook

Aquinas drops to Class C-2 after two seasons in C-1, where the Monarchs held their own. As always, Aquinas will rely on a deep stable of running backs, led by Miles Eggleston and Andy Lyons. Fullback Travis Roh, who was injured most of last season, is expected to provide a boost. Like the offense, the Monarch defense must replace eight starters, but experience returns at each level, in Zach Chromy (defensive line), Eggleston (linebacker) and Nolan Hartman (defensive back).

Returning starters

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Zach Chromy, OT/DE, 6-0, 230, Sr.

Miles Eggleston, RB/LB, 6-1, 190, Sr.

Andy Lyons, RB/LB, 6-1, 160, Sr.

Nolan Hartman, QB/DB, 5-10, 150, Sr.

Tad Naiberk, OL/DL, 5-11, 195, Sr.

Konner Adamy, OL/DL, 6-1, 220, Jr.

Spotlight player

At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Zach Chromy brings a physical presence at both tackle and defensive end. He was all-conference and all-district last year.

Fast fact

Aquinas' eight state titles are one short of tying the state record. Only Creighton Prep, Howells, Lincoln Southeast and Norfolk Catholic have more titles.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 26

Last appearance: 2017

State titles: 8 (1980, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015)

The schedule

Aug. 24, Columbus Scotus, A

Aug. 31, Norfolk Catholic, A

Sept. 7, Hartington CC, H

Sept. 14, Ponca, H

Sept. 21, Centennial, A

Sept. 28, David City, A

Oct. 5, North Bend Central, H

Oct. 12, Twin River, H

Oct. 19, Shelby-Rising City, A

District games in bold


Centennial

Mascot: Broncos

Class C-2, District 4

NSAA enrollment: 55

The coach

Evan Klanecky

At present school: Ninth year

Career record: 51-27

Season outlook

The Broncos reached the state final before falling to Yutan, but have most of their pieces back. It starts with Wyatt Ehlers, who is among the top quarterbacks in the state. Jackson Hirschfeld is Ehlers' go-to receiving. The 6-foot senior caught 55 passes for 850 yards last year. Reece Freeman also returns after catching 47 passes for 650 yards and 10 touchdowns. Caleb Cast is among the most dominating defensive players in Class C-2. He had 115 tackles, including 10 sacks, last year. He's also a key part on the offensive line. Cast will team up with defensive tackle Kolten Bauers to form one of the top defensive lines in the state.

Returning starters

Offense: 7

Defense: 8

Wyatt Ehlers, QB/FS, 6-1, 185, Sr.

Kolten Bauers, OL/DL, 6-1, 230, Sr.

Quinn Butzke, OL/DL, 6-2, 250, Sr.

Caleb Cast, OL/DL, 6-3, 225, Sr.

Garrett Fehlhaefer, OL/DL, 6-4, 200, Sr.

Reece Foreman, WR/DB, 6-1, 145, Sr.

Jackson Hirschfeld, WR/DB, 6-0, 170, Sr.

Max Tomes, WR/LB, 6-0, 175, Sr.

Hayden Richters, FB/LB, 6-0, 185, Sr.

Spotlight player

Wyatt Ehlers passed for 2,568 yards and 28 touchdowns last year. Known for his high football IQ, the dual-threat quarterback only threw four interceptions last season.

Fast fact

Centennial's senior class is 27-6 heading into its final season.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 21

Last appearance: 2017

State titles: 0

The schedule

Aug. 24, Syracuse, A

Aug. 31, Malcolm, H

Sept. 7, Battle Creek, A

Sept. 14, Sutton, H

Sept. 21, Aquinas, H

Sept. 28, North Bend Central, A

Oct. 5, Shelby-Rising City, H

Oct. 11, David City, A

Oct. 19, Twin River, A

District games in bold


Columbus Scotus

Mascot: Scouts

Class C-2, District 4

NSAA enrollment: 66

The coach

Cortney Couch

At present school: 9th year

Career record: 36-38

Season outlook

With 15 starters returning, David City aims to make a run at a playoff berth in 2018. The Scouts picked up a little momentum toward the end of 2017, winning their final two games. Will Danielson brings a plethora of experience to the quarterback spot, Justin White was the team's leading rusher a year ago. The key will be up front. The Scouts must fill some holes on the offensive and defensive lines. Colby Hopkins brings experience to the offensive line.

Returning starters

Offense: 8

Defense: 7

Hunter Behrns, WR, 5-11, 160, Jr.

Will Danielson, QB/DB, 6-1, 180, Sr.

James Escamilla, DL, 5-11, 175, So.

Colby Hopkins, OL/DL, 6-2, 220, Sr.

Jake Ingwesen, DL, 5-8, 230, So.

Wayne Moore, OL, 5-11, 204, Jr.

Nick Ruth, WR, 6-1, 190, Sr.

Luis Salazar, WR, 5-11, 180, Sr.

Josh Seibert, LB, 6-2, 176, Jr.

Trent Theewen, OL, 6-2, 220, Sr.

Justin White, RB, 5-10, 160, Sr.

Spotlight player

Will Danielson will enter his fourth season as the Scouts' starting quarterback. He'll be asked to lead the team's wishbone attack again.

Fast fact

Two of the top contenders in Class C-2 -- Aquinas and Centennial -- are in David City's district.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 13

Last appearance: 2011

State titles: 0

The schedule

Aug. 24, Stanton, H

Aug. 31, Syracuse, H

Sept. 7, Conestoga, A

Sept. 14, Hartington CC, A

Sept. 21, Shelby-Rising City, H

Sept. 28, Aquinas, H

Oct. 5, Twin River, A

Oct. 11, Centennial, H

Oct. 19, North Bend Central, A

District games in bold


Freeman

Mascot: Falcons

Class C-2, District 1

NSAA enrollment: 48

The coach

Travis Andreasen

At present school: Fifth year

Career record: 21-8

Season outlook

Freeman nearly punched a ticket to state last year, but some key injuries played a part in cutting the season short of the playoffs. The Falcons must replace a strong group of graduates, but talent remains. The strength is up front. Lineman Austin Adams has played in every game since his freshman year. Adams' ability to take up blockers from his nose tackle position will open things up for the Falcon linebackers. Freeman must replace several skill-position guys, but Logan Anderson is expected to line up at running back, wideout and quarterback. Jackson Furstenau is expected to start at quarterback. Defensively, coach Travis Andreasen is hoping for more turnovers.

Returning starters

Offense: 6

Defense: 4

Tyler Adams, TE/LB, 6-3, 220, Sr.

Austin Adams, OL/DL, 6-1, 240, Sr.

Brady Bloom, OL/DL, 6-3, 270, Sr.

Luke Archer, OL/DL, 6-4, 200, Sr.

Logan Anderson, RB/DB, 5-10, 160, Sr.

Gabe Eisenbarth, WR/DB, 5-9, 140, Sr.

Garrett Lenners, RB/LB, 5-11, 165, Sr.

Spotlight player

Tyler Adams, a three-year letter winner, racked up 79 tackles at linebacker and packs a punch at tight end. He also picked off a pass and had two fumble recoveries last year. He handles punting and kicking duties, too.

Fast fact

Nine Falcons had at least two carries last year, including six underclassmen. Logan Anderson (564 yards) is the team's top returning rusher.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 8

Last appearance: 2014

State titles: 0

The schedule

Aug. 24, Yutan, A

Aug. 31, Hastings SC, H

Sept. 7, Sutton, A

Sept. 14, Sandy Creek, A

Sept. 21, Wilber-Clatonia, H

Sept. 28, Malcolm, A

Oct. 5, Johnson Co. Central, H

Oct. 12, Syracuse, A

Oct. 19, Conestoga, H

District games in bold


Johnson County Central

Mascot: Thunderbirds

Class C-2, District 1

NSAA enrollment: 66

The coach

Gabe Meints

At present school: 3rd year

Career record: 4-14

Season outlook

Johnson County Central made some strides in 2017, and with returning experience, the Thunderbirds will aim for more this fall. The key will be development up front and improving depth overall. JCC must replace three starters on the offensive line. The Thunderbirds will aim to open holes for running back Josh Bailey. Eli Waring returns at quarterback after throwing for 411 yards last year. Defensive lineman Simon Rother will be asked to lead the defense again after finishing with a team-high 80 tackles last year. Kole Kleespies brings experience and a play-making ability to the secondary. Junior Levi Dorsey had five interceptions in 2017.

Returning starters

Offense: 7

Defense: 7

Eli Waring, QB, 6-0, 145, Jr.

Kole Kleespies, WR/DB, 6-0, 165, Sr.

Uriel Cabrales, RB/DB, 5-10, 170, So.

Levi Dorsey, RB/DB, 5-8, 145, Jr.

Tucker Liberty, TE/LB, 6-2, 165, Jr.

Sam Buchanan, WR, 5-10, 155, Jr.

Aldo Reyes, OL/DL, 5-9, 210, Jr.

Josh Bailey, RB/LB, 5-10, 215, Sr.

Andruw Stafford, OL/DL, 5-11, 195, Jr.

Tanner Kerner, LB, 5-10, 150, Jr.

Simon Rother, OL/DL, 5-11, 210, Sr.

Spotlight player

Josh Bailey rushed for 1,106 yards (122 per game) last year. He'll be expected to carry the load again for the Thunderbirds.

Fast fact

The Thunderbirds' four wins last year were their most in a season since 2013.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 2

Last appearance: 2013

State titles: 0

The schedule

Aug. 24, North Bend Central, A

Aug. 31, Louisville, H

Sept. 7, Shelby-Rising City, A

Sept. 14, Yutan, A

Sept. 21, Conestoga, H

Sept. 28, Wilber-Clatonia, A

Oct. 5, Freeman, A

Oct. 12, Malcolm, H

Oct. 19, Syracuse, H

District games in bold


Malcolm

Mascot: Clippers

Class C-2, District 1

NSAA enrollment: 65

The coach

Scott Amen

At present school: 12th year

Career record: 57-58

Season outlook

With several skill-position players returning, there are good vibes surrounding the Malcolm program. "I am very excited about ... the summer and I know these kids are going to turn things around," coach Scott Amen said. "We have a good nucleus to build around." The Clippers must replace quarterback Beau Sackett, and sophomore Malcolm Saltzman is among the candidates to do so. Adam Stewart and Katon Thomas bring experience to the offensive backfield, and Rickey Nickel and Dylan Zoucha give Malcolm playmakers in the passing game. Cody Green and Haydn Deinert are expected to hold down the lines.

Returning starters

Offense: 7

Defense: 8

Adam Stewart, RB/LB, 5-9, 170, Sr.

Cody Green, OL/DL, 5-10, 210, Sr.

Grant Burbach, RB/LB, 5-10, 155, Sr.

Haydn Deinert, OL/DL, 5-9, 205, Sr.

Nathan Kuhn, TE/DL, 6-3, 210, Sr.

Rickey Nickel, WR/LB, 5-9, 180, Jr.

Dylan Zoucha, WR/S, 5-11, 170, Jr.

Wyatt Loga, WR/DB, 5-9, 150, Sr.

Jaydin Little, OL/DL, 6-2, 175, Jr.

Colby Sizemore, WR/DB, 5-10, 140, So.

Spotlight player

Dylan Zoucha emerged as one of the Clippers' top two-way players as a sophomore. Zoucha brings experience to wide receiver and safety.

Fast fact

Five of Malcolm's seven losses last season came against teams that finished a combined 37-8 in regular-season play. The Clippers played three teams (Centennial, Lincoln Lutheran and Yutan) that reached the state playoff semifinals.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 12

Last appearance: 2014

State titles: 0

The schedule

Aug. 24, Grand Island CC, H

Aug. 31, Centennial, A

Sept. 7, Yutan, H

Sept. 14, St. Paul, A

Sept. 21, Syracuse, A

Sept. 28, Freeman, H

Oct. 5, Conestoga, H

Oct. 12, Johnson Co. Central, A

Oct. 19, Wilber-Clatonia, A

District games in bold


Sutton

Mascot: Mustangs

Class C-2, District 5

NSAA enrollment: 53

The coach

Steve Ramer

At present school: 9th year

Career record: 138-67

Season outlook

Sutton gained steam last year, rolling to a 7-1 regular season, and the pieces are in place for another successful run. The offense is led by senior Brett Simonsen, who rushed for 1,018 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. James Griess and Jacob Rogers add depth to the backfield. Chandler Stone will need to be replaced at QB, but the speedy Jackson Perrian is a candidate to step in under center. The defense is likely to be the Mustangs' strength. Griess and Rogers provide experience at linebacker. The front four is very stout, led by 6-foot-4 senior Seth George, who had 39 tackles, including five sacks as a junior.

Returning starters

Offense: 7

Defense: 7

James Griess, LB/RB, 5-9, 175

Jacob Rogers, LB/RB, 6-1, 220

Brett Simonsen, RB/DB, 5-9, 185, Sr.

Seth George, TE/DL, 6-4, 200, Sr.

Jordan Davis, WR/LB, 6-2, 185, Sr.

Kinser Rafert, OL/DL, 6-0, 240, Sr.

Garrett Nuss, OL/DL, 6-6, 255, Sr.

Tyler Ohrman, OL/DL, 5-10, 250, Sr.

Spotlight player

James Griess was an all-state performer at linebacker last year, recording a team-high 94 tackles, including six sacks, and two interceptions.

Fast fact

Sutton averaged 262.3 rushing yards per game last year.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 19

Last appearance: 2017

State titles: 1 (1988)

The schedule

Aug. 24, North Platte SP, H

Aug. 31, Wilber-Clatonia, A

Sept. 7, Freeman, H

Sept. 14, Centennial, A

Sept. 21, Doniphan-Trumbull, H

Sept. 28, Kearney Catholic, A

Oct. 5, Sandy Creek, A

Oct. 12, Superior, H

Oct. 19, Hastings SC, A

District games in bold


Syracuse

Mascot: Rockets

Class C-2, District 1

NSAA enrollment: 69

The coach

Rick Nordhues

At present school: 21st year

Career record: 104-85

Season outlook

Syracuse will look for a bounce-back season after offensive struggles led to a two-win season in 2017. The youngest group of players coach Rick Nordhues has coached will have to step into prominent roles right away. Quarterback Burton Brandt and running back Mitchell Brinkman picked up valuable reps as freshmen last year, and Wil McCoy, a tight end, will enter his second season in the Syracuse program. Jackson Zastera, a 230-pound senior, is expected the anchor the offensive and defensive lines, and Brandon Cavanaugh showed he's capable of making an impact on both sides of the ball after rushing for 340 yards and recording 51 tackles last year.

Returning starters

Offense: 4

Defense: 4

Will McCoy, TE/LB, 6-2, 175, Sr.

Jackson Zastera, OL/DL, 6-2, 230, Sr.

Brandon Cavanaugh, RB/LB, 5-8, 180, Jr.

Burton Brandt, QB/DB, 5-9, 170, So.

Mitchell Brinkman, RB/DB, 5-8, 135, So.

Spotlight player

Burton Brandt got experience quarterback as a freshman last year and will start in 2018.

Fast fact

Syracuse, in 2017, missed the state playoffs for only the second time since 2002.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 14

Last appearance: 2016

State titles: 0

The schedule

Aug. 24, Centennial, H

Aug. 31, David City, A

Sept. 7, Falls City, H

Sept. 14, Oakland-Craig, A

Sept. 21, Malcolm, H

Sept. 28, Conestoga, A

Oct. 5, Wilber-Clatonia, A

Oct. 12, Freeman, H

Oct. 19, Johnson Co. Central, A

District games in bold


Wilber-Clatonia

Mascot: Wolverines

Class C-2, District 1

NSAA enrollment: 57

The coach

Lynn Jurgens

At present school: 10th year

Career record: 89-26

Season outlook

The core of the offensive skill group -- including quarterback Michael Pulliam, running back Coltin Rezabek and fullback Hunter Cerveny -- returns. Pulliam threw for 767 yards and six touchdowns, while Rezabek led the Wolverines in rushing (609 yards and eight touchdowns). There is some rebuilding to do, especially along the offensive and defensive lines. Rezabek will also be a key cog on defense after he produced 67 tackles, including nine for loss, from his linebacker spot last year. Some talented young players will need to fill those spots. Tad Moldenhauer is an big-play threat from the wide receiver position who thrives in the return game.

Returning starters

Offense: 3

Defense: 3

Coltin Rezabek, RB/LB, 6-0, 180, Sr.

Hunter Cerveny, FB/DE, 6-1, 220, Sr.

Michael Pulliam, QB/DB, 6-1, 185, Sr.

Tad Moldenhauer, WB/DB, 5-8, 155, Jr.

Spotlight player

Fullback Hunter Cerveny is a great athlete with good speed for his 220-pound frame. The Nebraska baseball recruit averaged 7.0 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns last year.

Fast fact

Wilber-Clatonia's stout defense created 21 turnovers last year, including 13 interceptions.

The trophy case

Playoff appearances: 15

Last appearance: 2017

State titles: 1 (2016)

The schedule

Aug. 24, Superior, A

Aug. 31, Sutton, H

Sept. 7, Archbishop Bergan, H

Sept. 14, Louisville, A

Sept. 21, Freeman, A

Sept. 28, Johnson Co. Central, H

Oct. 5, Syracuse, H

Oct. 12, Conestoga, A

Oct. 19, Malcolm, H

District games in bold

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments