Published Wednesday, July 11, 2012 AT 2:00 PM / Updated at 1:05 AM
Football Preview: No. 3 Humphrey St. Francis
World-Herald Sports Omaha World-Herald

Leading up to the Nebraska high school football season, will be looking at the top teams in each class, based on last year’s rankings. This week, Eight Man-2 will be in the spotlight with a new post each day. Let us know in the comments how you think each team will finish, as well as players you’ll be watching.

* * *

District 3

COACH: Eric Kessler, 9th season

LAST SEASON: Lost to Giltner in the second round of the playoffs, finishing the season 8-2

RETURNING STARTERS: Jake Werner, senior, TE/DE; Corbin Eisenmenger, senior, C; John Wieser, senior, TE/LB; Chad Haiar, senior, LB

KEY DEPARTURE: Blake Krings, QB/LB. The Flyers’ best athlete last year garnered all-state recognition and played in the Sertoma Classic all-star game and the Nebraska vs. Kansas Eight-Man All-Star Game this summer.

KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Wieser and Werner. The seniors will man the end spots on offense, where Werner holds the school record for receptions in a playoff game.

KEY NEWCOMERS: The Flyers expect contributions from last year’s JV performers, though they will mainly rely on nine seniors with varsity experience.

KEY POSITION CHANGE: Wieser. With Krings no longer manning the middle linebacker position, the versatile Wieser will move from nose guard to linebacker.

ON OFFENSE: Though much of the backfield will need to be replaced, St. Francis returns five experienced seniors on the offensive line. Nathan Classen and Sam Zach will compete for playing time at quarterback, while coach Kessler expects four or five players to compete for carries at fullback and running back.

ON DEFENSE: The Flyers expect strong play from their defensive line while one of the three linebacker positions must be filled. Wieser moves to middle linebacker and Haiar returns as an outside linebacker, helping combat the run and pass.

GAME TO WATCH: St. Francis faces across-the-street and district rival Humphrey High School on Oct. 12.

DISTRICT OPPONENTS: Bancroft-Rosalie, Humphrey, Lindsay Holy Family, Lyons-Decatur Northeast, Scribner-Snyder.

COACH’S QUOTE: “We have nine seniors that have experience, and that’s not always the case, so we hope to accomplish big things.”

Aug. 31, Osmond
Sept. 7, Spalding/Spalding Academy
Sept. 14, at Cedar Valley
Sept. 21, at Lindsay Holy Family
Sept. 28, Lyons-Decatur Northeast
Oct. 5, at Scribner-Snyder
Oct. 12, at Humphrey
Oct. 19, Bancroft-Rosalie

— Grant Egger

* * *

For more prep football previews, go to

About World-Herald Sports

The World-Herald sports desk. Contact the sports desk at 402-444-1201 or