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 B 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. 5 BLAIR
COACH: Darren Harsin, ninth season
LAST SEASON: The Bears finished 8-3 after losing in the second round of the playoffs.
RETURNING STARTERS: Colin Mertlik, senior, QB/LB; Will Schany, junior, FB/LB; Drew Krueger, senior, TE/DE; Trevor Vskrna, senior, DT/DE; Gage Ryan, senior, RB/CB; Josh Thielen, junior, OG.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Mertlik. Starting since he was a sophomore, the D-1 prospect has already been offered by South Dakota, and he has garnered interest from San Diego State, Kansas State, Iowa State and Ohio.
KEY NEWCOMERS: The Bears will look for receiver Dylan Rogers, who was injured all of last season, to give them a down-field threat to compliment their running game.
ON OFFENSE: With a pro-I offense, the Bears will look to keep the offense balanced. Mertlik, the school record holder for the 300-meter hurdles, will use his athleticism to help carry the load.
ON DEFENSE: Mertlik and Schany will be keys for the defense to thrive. Both have started since they were sophomores.
GAME TO WATCH: Blair closes the season against district-rival Bennington.
DISTRICT OPPONENTS: Bennington, South Sioux City, Schuyler
COACH’S QUOTE: “We will be starting a lot of inexperienced players, so early-season will be a growing experience. However, I think we have the talent to a be very competitive team by mid-season.”
Aug. 24, Plattsmouth
Aug. 31, at Gretna
Sept. 7, Ralston
Sept. 14, at Beattrice
Sept. 21, at Norris
Sept. 28, Roncalli
Oct. 5, Schuyler
Oct. 12, at South Sioux City
Oct. 19, Bennington
— Connor Schuessler/strong>
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For more prep football previews, go to NEPrepZone.com/preppreviews