The Superior Express -

L-N High School fall sports begin


August 27, 2020

There is no doubt that the 2020 Coronavirus, COVID-19, has changed a lot of society in these past five months. One of the biggest changes in America has been the impact on sports. From children playing small field baseball or softball to the professional level.

However, this week a sense of normal will return to most of Nebraska’s high schools. The fall sports season will begin in full force. A few schools had football games last week, but the bulk of the teams will begin this Friday.

That means for L-N, student athletes will enjoy the sports of football, volleyball and cross country. A brief rundown for the L-N Raiders is as follows:

Football: The Raiders will compete in Class D-2 again this season, but the schedule has changed a lot this season as you can see below. This year’s schedule includes several power teams that did well last season. Osceola as last year’s D-1 state champs when they were co-oping with High Plains. This season the two schools have split and we don’t know the outlook of either team. BDS is on the schedule and they are usually a top ten team. Kenesaw is expected to be rough again and then the rest of the schedule may (or may not) be quite a challenge. Looks to me to be an interesting year.

The team . . . Six freshmen will be replacing the four seniors that graduated from last year’s team. As such, the team has two more players, totaling 27 boys.

The four seniors were all starters last season and included three of the four ‘biggest’ players on the team. Three were also ‘All-District” first team members.

However, the 2020 team does seem to have a nice potential. Two ‘All-District’ players return in the persons of Blake Janda and Trevor Biltoft. It appears coach Blevins is changing positions of several players this season and the opportunity for improving last year’s 5-5 season looks good.

Seniors, Janda, Biltoft and Keith Miller will be part of the backbone for the offense. On defense, Keith Miller, Trevor Biltoft and Krayton Kucera were three of the top four tacklers last season and the hope is for their improvement and other players to step into positions that will make it difficult for any opponent to score.

The 27 . . . The opportunity for a good year is there. However, it is a long time for the end of the season to arrive . . . that is . . . if COVID-19 doesn’t change things.

Brian Blevin continues as head coach and the assistants being: Preston Hild, Jerad Niederklein, Ramsey Hunt and Kevin Wheeland.

The roster: (with weight)

Seniors: Trevor Biltoft, 155; Konnor Thompson, 260; Conner Cannaday, 150; Blake Janda, 180; Blake Wroughton, 225; Darren Kathman, 190; Cole Troudt, 150; Keith Miller, 170; Diego Wolfe, 170.

Juniors: Wyatt Brockman, 135; Jacob Swift, 140.

Sophomores: Chad Holcomb, 315; Devyn Zikmund, 115; Gabe Zikmund, 120; Wyatt Hajny, 145; Emilio Pano, 170; Toby Kotinek, 165; Tyson Kotinek, 175; Keaton Mazour, 245; Krayton Kucera, 170; Eric Wheeland, 160.

Freshmen: Rocky Miller, 250; Clay Williams, 130; Jacob Kathman, 185; Nolan Ostdiek, 150; Connor Janda, 150; Nathan Elledge, 200.

The schedule:

August 28: at High Plains (played at Clarks, Neb.)

September 4: Arapahoe, home

September 11: Diller-Odell, home

September 18: at Blue Hill

September 25: Kenesaw, home

October 2: at Giltner

October 9: at Osceola

October 15: BDS, home

Volleyball: The history of L-N volleyball has been an “up-and-down” story. Some years not a good as hoped for, some very good years.

The 2019 season was one of its best as they ended up third in Class D-2 with a record of 31-5 while playing one of the roughest schedules in recent history.

The 2020 team is going to have a different look as the five seniors from last year graduated. For the most part they were the major contributors last year.

However, the team was not left barren for this season.

The five seniors were replaced by five freshmen, but two other players did not return this season and the team has a total of 15 players this year, compared to 17 last season.

Four seniors and four juniors will pick up the bulk of the playing at least early in this season. Most of them earned varsity experience last year and were major contributors to the success of last season. Even with the loss of last year’s seniors the hope for another successful year is not without reach.

The season got off to an early start with the girls playing in the Kenesaw Jamboree, Tuesday, Aug. 25, with games against Loomis and Sandy Creek

Long time Raider coach, Michelle Harrington, will be missing from the bench this season. Jamie Lay is the head coach and Dina Hoelting will be returning to help the team this season.

The roster:

Seniors: Avery Mazour, Tori Miller, Emily Miller, McKenzie Ostdiek.

Juniors: Aleah Heikkinen, Emma Epley, Elsa Jorgensen, Kylie Beard.

Sophomores: Katelyn Mazour, Emily Troudt.

Freshmen: Sydney Biltoft, Jessica Sole, Bailey Ceder, Riley Funk, Claire Himmelberg.

The schedule: (All home games to be played at Nelson because of COVID-19.)

Aug. 25: at Kenesaw vs. Loomis and vs. Sandy Creek.

August 29: at Axtell.

Sept. 1: at Palmer

Sept. 3: Superior, home

Sept. 8: at Friend

Sept. 10: at Deshler

Sept. 12: at Friend: (Tourney)

Sept. 15: Kenesaw, Harvard, home triangular

Sept. 17: at Shelton

Sept 22: at Thayer Central triangular

Sept. 24: at Silver Lake

Sept. 29 - Oct. 1: tourney at St. Cecilia

Oct. 6: vs. Kenesaw, vs. Red Cloud at Kenesaw

Oct. 13: Blue Hill, home

Oct. 15: vs. High Plains; vs. BDS, home

Oct. 17 - 19: TVC: at Blue Hill

Oct. 22: at Franklin

Oct. 26 forward: Sub Districts, Sub State, State.

Cross Country: Five L-N students will be part of the South Central Red Raiders’ cross country team this season. The co-op team with Sandy Creek will have seniors: Ayden West, Jessica Himmelberg and Alex Miller and juniors: Theo Kathman and Logan Menke running for them.

We have heard reports that the expectations for the 2020 season are high and we would like to wish the team great success.

The schedule:

Sept. 3: at Superior

Sept. 10: at Fairbury

Sept. 17: Fillmore Central at Hidden Hills Country Club

Sept. 24: at Thayer Central at Hebron Country Club

Sept. 28: UNK Invitational at Kearney Country Club

Oct. 1: TVC at Hebron

Oct. 8: SNC at Fairbury

Oct. 15: District

Oct. 23: State at Kearney Country Club.


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