Nebraska high school football is in full swing as of this week. After weeks of back and forth on who could play football and how it would be done, it’s finally here. Things will look a bit different but games will be played around the state. The full slate starts off on Thursday night with a bang when Omaha Westside and Creighton Prep square off in a rivalry game.
Creighton Prep coach Tim Johnk is happy for the opportunity to play a game after a bumpy spring and summer.
“It’s great to be able to just play,” Johnk told Hail Varsity. “If you look back to last spring and all the things that we lost in the spring time, in terms of just being with our guys and doing some football stuff, it’s definitely exciting. Then you get into summer and summer was kind of very hit and miss too with workouts. It’s just nice to get into some regular routine of practice and now getting into game weeks. It’s just really kind of been very healthy I think for everybody to be able to do that. So yeah, it’s been fun.”
The ability to play a game this week is huge for a number of reasons. A game against Westside, the school’s biggest rival, has also resonated with Johnk and his team.
“It’s a big rivalry game and they’ve got a tremendous team back,” Johnk said. “It’ll be a challenge for us tonight but I think our kids are excited to play and they should be. I think we’ve said every day at the end of practice to cherish this day because you never know what tomorrow brings. So, we’re going to cherish the opportunity to be able to play tonight.”
There are a number of players on the Creighton Prep team that have friends around town from Omaha Public Schools that aren’t getting to play. The OPS district opted to suspend sports through the fall quarter. The Junior Jays feel bad for those players and coaches who are in that unfortunate situation. That has put it into perspective for the players, who understand how big of an opportunity it is to play. While they continue to have fun, they also focus each day on getting better as a team.
“We’re going to be a veteran team in some places and we’re going to be extremely young in some places,” Johnk said. “I think just trying to find out who we are a little bit tonight to see what our strengths and weaknesses are. You’ll find out right away against a really good team like this. I think we have we have a good team. I think we have a really athletic team. We’re fairly inexperienced at spots.
“Quarterback ,we’re inexperienced and that’s tough to go into a big game like this with some inexperience at quarterback. I think there’s some places, especially on the defensive side the ball, the offensive line, tight end, [where] we are very solid.”
You’ll be able to catch Creighton Prep at Omaha Westside tonight at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be on television locally on Cox Channel 11 and livestreamed by Westside.
Prep v Westside. Kickoff is at 7pm at WHS. Be Loud, Be Proud, GO JAYS!
📺 – Thursday Night Lights on @CW15KXVO (Cox Channel 11)
— CP Varsity Sports (@CPVarsitySports) August 27, 2020
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.