Leading up to the Nebraska high school football season, NEPrepZone.com will be looking at the top teams in each class, based on last year’s rankings. This week, Eight Man-1 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.
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No. 2 ELGIN/POPE JOHN
COACH: Carlie Wells, 12th season
LAST SEASON: The Wolfpack breezed through the state tournament, outscoring opponents a combined 208-65, including a dominating 44-14 performance over West Point GACC in the championship game, finishing with a 13-0 record.
RETURNING STARTERS: Blake Anderson, senior, FB/LB; Ross Schindler, senior, QB/S; Lee Bartak, senior, OL/DL; Kyle Heithoff, sophomore, OL/LB; Andrew Heithoff, senior, TE/LB; Nick Heithoff, senior, TE/DB
KEY RETURNING STARTER: Anderson. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound running back scored 24 touchdowns last season and averaged over five yards per carry.
KEY DEPARTURE: Nash Schindler. He ran for 162 yards and a touchdown as well as grabbing a pair of receptions for another score in the state championship game last season.
KEY NEWCOMERS: Austin Heying, senior, RB/LB; Levi Kerkman, senior, RB/LB; Alex Grosserode, senior, OL/DL; Beau Heithoff, senior, OL/DL; Zach Polk, senior, TE/DE; Michael Braband, senior, OL/DL; Trent Hoefer, senior, TE/DE; Shane Beckman, senior, OL/DL
GAME TO WATCH: Oct. 5, at Bloomfield
DISTRICT OPPONENTS: Creighton, Niobrara-Verdigre, Bloomfield, Plainview, Neligh-Oakdale
Aug. 24, at Randolph
Sept. 7, Chambers/Wheeler Central
Sept. 14, at Nebraska Christian
Sept. 21, Creighton
Sept 28, at Niobrara-Verdigre
Oct. 5, at Bloomfield
Oct. 13, Plainview
Oct. 19, Neligh-Oakdale
— Steven Elonich
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For more prep football previews, go to NEPrepZone.com/preppreviews