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. Class A 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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CLASS A NO. 1 MILLARD NORTH

District A-2

Coach: Fred Petito, 30th season

Last season: 13-0, won the state championship

RETURNING STARTERS

OC Brandon Vandervorst (Sr.), OG Pete Bruening (Sr.), WR Jake Humber (Sr.), SS Clay Fisher (Sr.), FS Auram Tynes (Sr.), LB Grant DeVeers (Sr.), LB John Curran (Sr.).

KEY DEPARTURE

Isaac Aakre: The quarterback was named the Gatorade Nebraska player of the year and the captain of the All-Nebraska team while setting the Class A career rushing record with 5,231 yards. He led all classes in rushing last year with 2,295 yards and won two state titles at Millard North. “There were a number of good players, but obviously people point to him the most,” Petito said.

KEY RETURNING PLAYER

Fisher: The all-stater safety from a year ago will replace Aakre at quarterback. “He’s smart and he can move,” Petito said. Fisher comes from a line of football stars — Father, Troy, played corner and safety for the Huskers from 1981 to ’84; brother Sean was a Husker linebacker from 2008 to ’12; and brother Cole is currently a linebacker at Iowa.

ON OFFENSE

Fisher should be a capable replacement to Aakre, and returning three offensive line starters is the base to any solid rushing team. Petito’s offense never changes much — lots of running with a few play-action passes sprinkled in. It’s rare to find a school as consistently powerful as Millard North, and the team has the makings to be successful again this season.

ON DEFENSE

The middle of the Mustangs defense will be strong with Tynes as a three-year starter. “He stands out to you,” Petito said.

GAME TO WATCH

Omaha North, Oct. 25: The rematch of the state championship game will wait until the last week of the season. Both teams love to run the ball, so expect a power-packed game with old-school football.

DISTRICT OPPONENTS

Bellevue West, Omaha Burke, Omaha North, Papillion-La Vista

COACH’S QUOTE

“We have a chance to play beyond the ninth game. We’re just getting prepared fundamentally and we’re looking forward to the season.”

SCHEDULE

Aug. 29, at Millard South

Sept. 6, Millard West

Sept. 13, Omaha Creighton Prep

Sept. 20, at Kearney

Sept. 27, Omaha Burke

Oct. 4, at Papillion-La Vista

Oct. 11, Bellevue West

Oct. 17, Omaha Westside

Oct. 25, at Omaha North

– Jake Anderson

To see previous entries from this series, go to NEPrepZone.com/prep-previews.

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