Bob Jensen of the Huskerland Prep Report talked to KTIC Evening Announcer Jeff Axtell about High School Football in the area. Read Jensen’s thoughts on most of KTIC’s area teams below.
The Howells-Dodge Football Team is coming off an 11-1 season in which the Jaguars made the Class D-1 State Semifinals. Bob Jensen of the Huskerland Prep Report says watch out for Lane and Kade Hegemann as well as Dylan Horejsi. “Kade Hegemann is one of those kids, he’s just a perfect example of a great 8-man football player. He’s not going to wow you with his size or anything like that, but the kid is just a bulldog, and he’s going to find a way to be in on every tackle or so it would seem. Lane is going to be a real good piece of the line and I mean that. 220, 225. Dylan Horejsi is the running back that I think a lot of people know about because he’s been a headliner for a couple of years now. And one thing about it, in the Howells-Dodge offense, they’re going to want to run the ball a lot. And you can do a whole lot worse than handing the ball to him. The kid ran for like 1600 yards last year.”
Jensen projects the Jaguars to win 6 or 7 regular season games and make the playoffs.
Clarkson/Leigh is coming off a 3-6 season last year, losing to Howells-Dodge in the 1st round of the playoffs. Jensen expects the Patriots to do well this year. “Well they’re going to be better. And that’s just it. They have some experience coming back. And the thing is is that it’s a program that’s done its fair share of winning, and last year…had to maybe take a step back to take a step forward. But again playoffs the team always manages to find a way to be in the playoff conversation, and I would suspect again that to be the case.”
The Patriots host the Jaguars in the first game of the season next Friday.
West Point-Beemer is coming off a season in which they went 9-2 and made the State Quarterfinals before losing to Pierce. Jensen gives Blake Anderson high praise. “And I’ve been beating the drum for that kid for two years now. I think he’s an exceptional talent. There are a handful of kids that could be used the way Blake is. And that is playing so many different positions, and being exceptional at all of them. But at West Point-Beemer they actually do use the kid like that. And he’s an All-Stater in my book. He was last year. And again I think he’s one of the very best players in Class C-1.”
Jensen looks for the Cadets to win somewhere around 6 games this season and compete for another playoff spot.
Guardian Angels Central Catholic put together another undefeated regular season last year before they were upset by Pender in the first round of the playoffs. Jensen says the loss to the Pendragons really impacted the Bluejay program. “That upset to Pender that kind of rocked the program a little bit. When you’re used to winning and you’ve been a state champion and what not, you don’t expect to lose a game like that. And I suspect that’s truly you talk about fueling the fire and what not I am sure that’s in the back of those kids’s head, and trying to maybe make good if you will.”
The Bluejays are led by senior running back Jared Minnick, junior lineman Casey Doernemann, and Jadyn Smeal.
Jensen thinks it could be a rebuilding year for Pender and feels Wisner-Pilger could win 4 games and make the playoffs in Class D-1.
BRLD returns 9 starters on both offense and defense this year. Jensen says the Wolverines will be tough up front. “BRLD has got some tremendous size in the line. Kids like Dustin Burgett and Seth Totten, big people. And they’ve got a playmaker at Quarterback in Will Gatzemeyer. They won 4 games last year. And I’m going to be honest with you…on one hand I can maybe count teams that I’ve heard more about than BRLD. From opposing coaches, people who expect the team to break through. And I do…I think the Wolverines are a Top 10 Team.”
Jensen expects BRLD to make the playoffs.
Oakland-Craig is coming off an 8-2 season in which they lost in the first round of the playoffs to eventual state champion Yutan. Jensen expects the Knights to be really good once again. “Winners win on a consistent basis, and at Oakland-Craig they’ve mastered that over the years. They do have to replace their quarterback, but have a lot of starters coming back. I think it’s something like 7 on offense and 8 on defense. And again these kids have been around winning, I mean that’s what they know how to do, they know how to win.”
Jensen says Oakland-Craig has a bunch of good players, and feels one or two could become great.
Logan View and Scribner-Snyder have merged to make Logan View/Scribner-Snyder. Jensen feels the Raiders have the potential to be good. “Logan View’s going to be good. He’s produced a lot of good football teams in his young career. Brady Hull is an exceptional football player. Again, I think he’s All-State caliber. I think he’ll be in that conversation before it’s all over. I just wonder about the depth, but at the same time they have a lot of starters coming back. They’ve got 8 or 9 on both sides of the ball. I expect the merged program to be just fine, that part’s going to work out. How they can deal with especially their strong district schedule will tell the tale.”
The Raiders open up the season at Fremont Bergan next Friday.
Stanton had an un Stanton like year last year, going 2-7. Jensen expects the Mustangs to bounce back this season. “The good news is this is a team that is going to have a lot of experience, I’m almost positive they’ve got like 9 starters back on both sides of the ball. And they’re still young in spots. They’ve got a couple of young kids that are going to be exceptional football players. Sutton Pohlman is the kid that immediately comes to mind. I think he’s just going to be a Sophomore. He’s going to play running back for them. But where they’re going to get a bump is in the line. They’ve got some quality linemen coming back.”
The Mustangs return Nathan Arens up front. Arens missed all of 2017 due to injury.
Jensen feels Emerson-Hubbard is in as wide open a district as there is in D-2.
Jensen publishes an annual High School Football Prep Preview Magazine, and also offers a subscription to huskerlandpreps.rivals.com. The number to call to get a magazine or subscribe to Rivals is 800-323-3929.