Leading up to the Nebraska high school football season, NEPrepZone.com will be looking at the top teams in each class, based on last season’s final rankings. Eight Man-1 takes the stage this week, with a new post each day. Let us know in the comments how you think each team will finish, as well as the players you’ll be watching.
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NO. 5 HIGH PLAINS
Coach: Greg Wood, fifth season
Returning starters: RB/LB Cale Bolton (Sr.), RB/DB Cole Klingsporn (Jr.), RB/LB Logan Fleming (Sr.), WR/LB Logan Engel (Sr.), RB/LB Trey Engel (Jr.), OL/DL Ben Nunnenkamp (Sr.), OL/DL Wyatt Fleming (Sr.), WR/DB Tyler Martin (Sr.)
Player to watch: Fleming
Coach’s quote: “We’ve got a lot of skill players returning this year. How far we go depends on how fast the offensive line picks it up.”
NO. 6 ARAPAHOE
Coach: Dustin Sealey, third season
Player to watch: Caden Weverka. The dual-threat senior threw for 13 touchdowns and almost 800 yards, and added more than 1,300 yards rushing with 28 touchdowns last season.
NO. 7 ELM CREEK
Coach: Jayce Dueland, second season
Returning starters: FB/LB Jake Bartling (Sr.), WR/S Zach Johnson (Sr.), WR/S Nic Crowley (Jr.), LB Hayden Geis (Sr.), OL Christian Best (Jr.), P Devon Halliwell (Jr.)
Player to watch: Bartling
Coach’s quote: “I know we’re going to have a really tough district and we’re looking to compete each week. We have a lot good starters and hopefully push for the playoffs.”
NO. 8 CREIGHTON
Coach: Jeff Jensen, 13th season
Returning starters: RB/LB Jacob Morrill (Sr.), TE/LB Seth Wilmes (Sr.), OL/NT Lane Jacobsen (Sr.), QB/DB Justin Wilmes (Sr.), OL/DE Ian Fuchtman (Sr.), WR/DB Jake Ripp (Sr.), TE/DE Billie York (Sr.), QB/FS Colton Boetler (Jr.)
Player to watch: Morrill
Coach’s quote: “We’ll be led by sixteen seniors that should provide valuable depth on both sides of the ball.”
NO. 9 WEST POINT GACC
Coach: Dave Ridder
Key departure: Nate Hass. He ran for more than 1,400 yards in back-to-back season to pace the Bluejays.
NO. 10 BURWELL
Coach: Luke Gideon, 13th season
Key departure: Sage Gideon. The quarterback threw for more than 1,200 yards and completed passes to 10 different receivers last season.
– Jake Anderson