It’s opening night here at KNEB for the 2018 high school football season!
We’ve got three games here at the station. Time to preview those games and then also pass along the schedule for the rest of the area.
#4 Scottsbluff at North Platte
This one will be on 101.7 The Trail and kneb.com as the Scottsbluff Bearcats open up on the road against a Class A opponent. It’s the first meeting between the two schools since 2003.
Scottsbluff is coming off a 9-2 season a year ago that ended with a second round playoff loss to eventual state champion, York. Scottsbluff returns a ton of talent this season.
Senior running back Chris Busby ran for over 1,500 yards a season ago with 19 touchdowns. Jasiya DeOllos is back for his junior year after packing the mail for over 600 yards and four touchdowns.
One spot where Head Coach Joe Benson is breaking in a new starter is quarterback, where junior Sabastian Harsh takes over for Noah Bruner.
Harsh is 6’3 and 220 lbs, should be fun watching him run downhill on defensive backs this season.
Also back is Mr. Do-It-All, Keegan Reifschneider. He can catch it, run it if need be, return it, tackle it, and pick it off. Reifschneider figures to be a force in all three phases of the game.
Garrett Nelson. You’ve heard of him right? The Husker commit is the absolute team leader and he’ll be a starter at fullback and along the defensive line. He’s up for the HS Butkas Award, which goes to the top high school linebacker in the nation.
Jordan Hort joins Nelson along that defensive line as the Cats figure to have all-state caliber players at every level of the defense this season.
North Platte has a brand new head coach this season. Todd Rice takes over for Bernie Madison and Rice has installed the old Fisher DeBerry Air Force flexbone offense. The Bulldogs will pound the running game tonight which could mean it’s going to be quick game at Bauer Field.
North Platte was just 2-7 a season ago.
Here’s Coach Benson’s keys to a win tonight.
Again, 101.7 The Trail for pregame starting at 5:30 tonight.
Gering at Grand Island Northwest
Josh Hiatt gets his head coaching career underway tonight as the Gering Bulldogs hit the road to play the Grand Island Northwest Vikings.
Hiatt replaces Todd Ekart, who left to take the head coaching job at Beatrice. Hiatt arrives from North Platte High School where he was the defensive coordinator for the last 8 seasons. As Gering play by play man, Jeff Kelley, mentioned earlier this week, the mascot and colors are still the same but it’s new challenge for Hiatt.
The Gering scrimmage last Friday was exactly that. Game-like setup so Hiatt could get a good read on what he was working with heading into game one.
The Bulldogs, coming off a two win season ago, will go with junior Kolten Ebbers at quarterback.
As for the defensive side of the football some of the emerging leaders appear to be linebacker Justin Scott, defensive end Zach Wilson, and safety Anthony Walker.
Northwest is off a solid playoff season that included a first round win in the postseason.
Kevin Stein returns one of the top quarterbacks in the state, three year starter Carter Terry. Adam Cooper is a returning starter and big ground gainer at running back.
Coverage for tonight on KNEB AM 960, 100.3 FM, and kneb.com starting at 5:30. We’ll have Tyler Cavalli of the Rural Radio Network on the call as we send Jeff Kelley to Alliance to cover the York/Alliance matchup for Tyler and our York station.
Sidney at Bridgeport
Sidney isn’t getting many headlines heading into the season as they move from Class B down to C-1. That could be a mistake, and really a perfect spot for Chris Koozer and the Red Raiders.
Quarterback Arik Doty is a seasoned veteran as is running back Cade Lewis.
Maybe most important for Sidney is the return of a handful of offensive and defensive lineman (led by Zach Pettit). Being big in the trenches could play well for the Red Raiders as they make the move down to C-1.
Although not ranked in the Omaha World Herald Poll to start the year don’t be surprised to see Sidney making plenty of noise this season. The only opponent that returns from last year’s schedule is Scottsbluff.
Bridgeport Head Coach Jerod Dean knows tonight is a tough opener for his Bulldogs.
Chuck Schwartz will have tonight’s broadcast available on KNEB.tv, ALLO 15, and Mobius 1500 starting at 6:45 with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
Elsewhere on the opening night schedule:
Sioux County at Minatare…This is a big six-man game to start the season. Some of the big names involved here will be Warriors star Tommy Watson at running back and anywhere else Barry Swisher needs him. Also look out for Ephroen Lovato, who rushed for over 1,100 yards last season.
#1 York at Alliance…The defending Class B champs are loaded for bear for another run this season. York returns Garrett Snodgrass. The Husker commit is a dual threat on offense at quarterback and he played some tight end last season as well. For Alliance Trevor Dubray takes over at quarterback and he’ll have a solid wideout to get the ball to in Mason Hiemstra.
Other games tonight include Hemingford at Mullen, Chadron at Gordon-Rushville, Valentine home to take on Mitchell, Morrill gets Maxwell at home, Kimball (now 8-man) plays at Garden County, Bayard (now 8-man) plays at home against the new co-op of Leyton/Banner County, Hay Springs is at Potter-Dix, while Crawford (now 6-man) ventures to South Dakota to play Edgemont.
Stay up to date on all scores tonight by downloading the KNEB Sports App for your smartphone or tablet. You can click scores in the app and ScoreStream will provide real time scores from around the region.