Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska High School Football 2021 Season Preview Notebook: Checking in on the Omaha Metro

August 12, 2021

The high school football season is getting up and running around the state. Teams are having their first week of practice in preparation for the 2021 season. Players and coaches are hoping for a return to business as usual after the 2020 season. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with a few teams in the Omaha Metro.

>> There will be a lot of eyes on Gretna quarterback Zane Flores this fall. Flores led his team to a 6-2 record and was a second-team All-Metro selection as a sophomore in 2020. Flores completed 69.4% of his passes for 1,926 yards last season. He threw 18 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions over eight games. The 2023 prospect was busy this summer attending camps once the dead period was lifted.

“I went to a lot of camps in June,” Flores said. “I went to Iowa State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Kansas State. But I’d say the ones that showed the most interest was probably in Northwestern and Kansas State.

“The coaching staffs are what made me feel that way. They all had a lot of energy and they seemed interested in me. Those two schools’ coaching staffs just made it feel like a family there.”

Gretna lost a few key players. Yet, their quarterback has confidence in his team during the upcoming season.

“We’ll have guys that will fill in nicely in their spots and I think we’ll be able to make a run,” Flores said.

>> Elkhorn South made a deep run in the state playoffs making it all the way to the Class A championship game. They lost that game to Omaha Westside but are hoping to make another deep run this season. The team has talked this summer about staying focused and keeping the goal in mind to finish the job. Coach Guy Rosenberg says the phrase of the summer is maximize everything.

“I want them maximizing every opportunity,” Rosenberg said. “We’re talking about ‘Hey you have to maximize install camp, maximize summer lifting, maximize conditioning camp.’ You have to keep stacking those one after the other. You can’t afford to give away any opportunity.”

It’s going to be tough for Elkhorn South to replace the veteran linemen they lost from last year’s team. That includes current Husker Teddy Prochazka. Up front is where it all starts for the Storm. Rosenberg believes they have some younger athletic linemen that will be ready to step into those starting roles.

>> Millard South is going to be a team to watch in the 2021 football season. The team is going into the season with a young, talented group coming off an 8-2 season in 2020. The summer went well for the team according to coach Andy Means. Things were a lot closer to normal making things more manageable in the weight room.

This season the team has to make a big change at quarterback. TJ Urban graduated and now 2022 Kansas State commit Gage Stenger will take over the job. The team has been run dominant in the past to fit Urban’s skill set. Things will open up this fall.

“Gage is very mobile,” Means said. “He can throw on the run. He’s going to be very dangerous for teams because of his ability to throw. He can throw from different arm angles, too. If he’s being chased, he can throw sidearm and whatever he needs to do.”

Stenger will also star at strong safety for the Patriots. He’ll play that hybrid role for the defense which is where Kansas State projects him in their system. Means feels like the expectation for his program is to make the playoffs. There is a lot of work ahead. He feels like his team will get better as the season gets on to be some trouble for teams in the playoffs.

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