During its 23rd annual In-State Tour in Omaha and Lincoln, HuskerOnline had 24 coaches and 129 players from across Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa fill out anonymous questionnaires.
The questions varied from the players’ favorite Nebraska Husker football moment to their early impressions of Matt Rhule and his new staff to the best high school player they’ve faced. The coaches answered questions about their thoughts on Nebraska’s new coaching staff, how/if they can recruit better and their impressions of the previous Husker staff.
In this installment, we go over who the coaches say are the best players they’ve faced, the best-coached teams and if they would prefer for the NSAA to rework the championship schedule to a weekend.
Who was the best high school player you faced this year?
The coaches listed a wide variety of players as the best high school player they have faced. This shows the variety of coaches in the surveys as they are from different classes and areas and the talent in the state.
Of the 22 coaches that answered the question, four players received two votes and the others had one mention. The four players with two votes are Gretna QB Zane Flores, Lincoln East ATH Malachi Coleman, Omaha Gross Catholic RB Jake Garcia and Creighton Prep O-lineman Sam Sledge.
Here is a list of the other 16 players:
Gage Stenger, Millard South
Wyatt Archer, Skutt Catholic
Kade Pieper, Norfolk Catholic
Jack Allen, Aurora High School
Seth Erickson, York High School
Lance Rucker, Millard South
Aidan Hedstrom, St. Mary’s
Aidan Hall, Harlan (Iowa) Community
Maverick Noonan, Elkhorn South
Isaiah McMorris, Bellevue West
Anthony Rezac, Omaha Westside
Ben Brahmer, Pierce High School
Sebastien Boyle, Scottsbluff High School
Te’Shaun Porter, Omaha North
Trey Bird, Bennington High School
Who was the most well-coached team?
Two teams received more than one vote for the most well-coached team. Elkhorn South and Kearney both earned two votes. Guy Rosenberg (Elkhorn South) and Brandon Cool (Kearney) are the head coaches of the teams.
Ten other teams were mentioned and six surveys did not list a school.
The other 10 teams were: Grand Island, Bennington, McCook, Ainsworth, Gretna, Cedar Rapids, Lincoln Southeast, North Platte, Elkhorn High School and Omaha Westside.
The coaches in the state also reflect the quality of coaches across Nebraska and in every class.
Would you like to see the NSAA rework the championship schedule to play on a weekend instead of a Monday-Tuesday night?
Next, the coaches answered if they would like the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) to rework the state championship schedule to play on the weekend instead of on Monday-Tuesday nights.
The majority of the coaches, 13 of the 24, voted that yes, they would like to see the schedule change. Many listed that it would be easier for fans and families to travel to the championship which is at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Eight coaches said they don’t want the schedule to change. Two didn’t answer the question and one coach didn’t have an opinion. Of the coaches that said they like the Monday-Tuesday night setup, a few said it gives their teams a couple more days to prepare.
Here are some of the coaches’ responses:
“Yes, it would be easier for fans and families to get to.”
“Yes, I think it would be better for fans to be on the weekend.”
“No, keep it on a weeknight so not in competition with NCAA and NFL.”
“No, due to new heat rules, they should delay the start of the season one week to stay out of the highest heat of summer.”
“I like the extra 3-4 days for preparation and getting kids refreshed and healed up.”
“No opinion. The weekend may be beneficial for fans but it is nice to have the extra days to prepare.”
“State championships are limited due to Big Ten rules. It’s better played in Memorial Stadium.”