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, Class C-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.
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No. 2 CROFTON
COACH: Tony Hoffman, ninth season
LAST SEASON: The Warriors lost to Kearney Catholic in the state quarterfinals 17-14 to finish the season 10-1.
RETURNING STARTERS: Alex Jansen, junior, QB/S; Austin Woockman, junior, RB/CB; Evan Woockman, junior, RB/CB; Eric Kleinschmit, TE/LB; Jake Guenther, junior, OL/DE; Travis Allvin, senior, OL/DL; Dakota Miller, senior, OL/DE; Justin Jansen, senior, RB/CB; Derek VanHeek, senior, FB/LB; Brady Steffen, senior, C/DL; Brock Mueller, sophomore, K
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Austin Woockman, Evan Woockman, Kleinschmit and Justin Jansen. With all-state running back Tom Peitz graduated, Crofton will look to these runners to fill in the Warriors’ wing-T offense. Jansen has one game with over 100 yards and will be expected to get plenty of carries.
KEY DEPARTURE: Peitz. Though the Warriors have an experienced stable of backs returning, it will be difficult to replace a guy who ran for a state-record 464 yards in one game. Peitz also led all Nebraska high schoolers with 2,138 yards last season.
KEY NEWCOMERS: Crofton is shuffling younger players into the offensive this offseason and receives a transfer from Bloomfield in tight end Max David.
KEY POSITION CHANGES: The Warriors are moving Guenther from tackle to guard where he can use his agility more effectively.
ON OFFENSE: Crofton uses a wing-T offense that specializes in grinding down opponents. Essentially, the double wing alignment gives the defense an option look. Quarterback Alex Jansen returns to lead the Warriors many weapons.
ON DEFENSE: Kleinschmit heads into his junior season as one of Crofton’s most athletic defenders. The linebacker can cover sideline-to-sideline and looks to lead a very physical front seven. Evan and Austin Woockman also return to support an experienced secondary.
GAME TO WATCH: The Warriors face a Battle Creek squad that dropped down from Class C-1 this season on Oct. 12.
DISTRICT OPPONENTS: Battle Creek, Hartington Cedar Catholic, Norfolk Lutheran, West Holt.
COACH’S QUOTE: “We want our kids to play to their ability, whether 4-4 or 8-0, if they give all their effort, we’ll be happy.”
Aug. 31, at Wisner-Pilger
Sept. 7, Ponca
Sept. 14, Stanton
Sept. 21, at Hartington Cedar Catholic
Sept. 28, at Homer
Oct. 5, Norfolk Lutheran
Oct. 12, at Battle Creek
Oct. 18, West Holt
— Grant Egger
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For more prep football previews, go to NEPrepZone.com/preppreviews