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 A 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. Also, check out the football preview section in the Sunday World-Herald.
* * *
No. 2 LINCOLN SOUTHWEST
COACH: Mark King, 10th season
LAST SEASON: Southwest rolled to nine straight victories after dropping the regular season opener to eventual state champion Lincoln Southeast, but the Silver Hawks lost in the second round of the playoffs to Papillion-La Vista.
RETURNING STARTER: Josh Banderas, senior, RB/LB; Lucas Grossman, senior, OL/DL; Tyler Hoppes, senior, TE/DE; Easton Edmond, senior, WR/DB
KEY DEPARTURES: Tay Bender. The quarterback threw for over 2,000 yards last season and is now at Kansas State.
KEY NEWCOMERS: Linebacker Jordan Brown transferred from Lincoln Northeast, but the most head-turning transfer is Christian Lacouture. Lacouture is a three-star Nebraska recruit from College Station, Texas, that will add a huge presence to the defensive line.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Banderas, a four-star recruit, and Lacouture will provide security on defense before becoming Huskers next fall.
ON OFFENSE: Hoppes caught four balls last season, all of which were touchdowns, but the offense does not return much experience. Gunnar Peterson will be the starting quarterback. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound senior will look to lead the Silver Hawks to their tenth consecutive playoff appearance and first state title.
ON DEFENSE: The Southwest defense, especially with the addition of Lacouture, should be dominant. Banderas returns 125 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Brown had 41 tackles for Lincoln Northeast last season, while Southeast returns Hoppes’ seven sacks and Edmond’s 29 tackles from 2011. The defense will have to buckle down immediately as the offense gains experience.
GAME TO WATCH: Defending champion and district opponent Lincoln Southeast faces the Silver Hawks on Sept. 20.
DISTRICT OPPONENTS: Lincoln East, Lincoln Northeast, Lincoln Pius X, Lincoln Southeast, Norfolk
Aug. 24, at Lincoln North Star
Aug. 30, Grand Island
Sept. 7, at Kearney
Sept. 14, Omaha North
Sept. 20, Lincoln Southeast
Sept. 28, at Lincoln Northeast
Oct. 5, Norfolk
Oct. 12, at Lincoln Pius X
Oct. 19, Lincoln East
— Steven Elonich
* * *
For more prep football previews, go to NEPrepZone.com/preppreviews