When face masks and social distancing were the hallmarks of the season for most, high school football players in 2020 faced a daily challenge of playing well while staying well in a sport where social distance is only good if you are a receiver. But by the holiday season, the top talent had risen to the top of the stack, and All-Nebraska honors were under the tree for an elite group who received invitations from us to meet at the Durham Museum in Omaha to memorialize the moment in holiday cards.
Keagan Johnson, Cole Payton and the rest of the 100th All-Nebraska team made it through a season unlike the previous 99.
The only certainty during the pandemic was uncertainty.
It started with the wipeout of spring sports. Then there was the delay getting into the weight room and even throwing the football around in the summer. Practices began, then the games. But there was an ever-present cloud of doubt. Would your team have a game this week?
“We went through a lot of ups and downs, and it wasn’t like anything I ever experienced before," Bellevue West’s Johnson said. “Not knowing if you were going to play each week was tough, but I’m ultimately grateful that we got the opportunity to play.
“In the end, I learned that you can’t take the game for granted, and that’s something I will always remember.”
With one final adjustment, moving the finals from Memorial Stadium to home sites, the state completed a season that some thought couldn’t happen.
"I’m very thankful to even have gotten an opportunity to play football this year. I will never forget all the special memories I made as a Westside football player and I’m so glad we went out on top," Payton said.
Cole Payton, left, had a record-setting Westside career while quarterbacking the Warriors to their first state title since 1982. Bellevue West's Keagan Johnson averaged 133 yards a game receiving in a seven-game season.
Payton quarterbacked Westside to its first state title and undefeated season since 1982. He joins Johnson as the All-Nebraska honorary captains. In equal measure they were team leaders and explosive players.
Payton ran and threw for 1,000 yards while smashing Westside’s career total offense records. Johnson averaged 133 yards a game receiving in a seven-game season.
If the season could have been improved, it would have included a Warrior-Thunderbird game.
Attempts were unsuccessful in the regular season once the Omaha Public Schools’ fall-sports shutdown created schedule openings. Nor was there the expected finals rematch — Bellevue West beat Westside 35-0 in 2019. Kearney pulled off an all-time upset when it beat Bellevue West 41-40 in overtime in the quarterfinal.
“Obviously, Keegan’s just a spectacular football player and he's going to do great at Iowa," Payton said. “Yeah, I think everyone kind of wanted that rematch. But it didn't happen and that's that.”
On the All-Nebraska offense are James Carnie of Norris, Drew Christo of Elkhorn and Johnson as receivers; Teddy Prochazka and Isaac Zatechka of Elkhorn South, Gage Griffith of Aurora, Cade Haberman of Westside and Trevor Brown of Waverly as linemen; Payton, T.J. Urban of Millard South and Les Richardson of Bellevue West in the backfield; and Trent Brehm of Papillion-La Vista South as kicker.
On defense are Will Hubert of Papillion-La Vista and Daylon Keolavone of Grand Island as linemen; Jack McDonnell of Bellevue West, Tate Hinrichs of Millard South, Ben Radicia of Westside and James Conway of Millard West at linebacker; Avante Dickerson and Koby Bretz of Westside, Alex Bullock of Omaha Creighton Prep, Tyler LeClair of Bennington and Tommy Wroblewski of St. Paul as defensive backs; and Elkhorn's Gannon Gragert as an athlete/punter.
Brown, Haberman, Prochazka, Payton, McDonnell and Dickerson are two-time selections. Next year, Brown could be the first lineman to be a three-time All-Nebraska first-teamer.
As for their college choices, Carnie, Prochazka and Bretz signed with Nebraska earlier this month. Johnson signed with Iowa, Urban with Air Force, Haberman with Northern Illinois, Wroblewski with Wyoming, Payton with North Dakota State and Conway with Fordham. Bullock is walking on at NU. Christo is a Husker baseball signee.
Dickerson has been a longtime pledge to Minnesota, but has yet to sign with the Gophers.
Also noteworthy about the team:
» Westside’s six selections are the most for any school. Bellevue West had three. Elkhorn South, Elkhorn and Millard South had two apiece.
» Class B had six players chosen after only two last year. There is one from C-1 (Wroblewski).
Selections based on nominations by coaches and observations by The World-Herald staff. All coaches were sent nomination forms by email. Greetings from the 2020 All-Nebraska football first team
Greetings from the 2020 All-Nebraska football first team
Bellevue West WR, 6-1, 185, Sr.
Iowa signee, in a seven-game season, averaged 133 yards a game receiving and accounted for 17 touchdowns.
Reflecting on 2020: I would describe last season as a roller coaster of emotions. We went through a lot of ups and downs, and it wasn’t like anything I ever experienced before. Not knowing if you were going to play each week was tough, but I’m ultimately grateful that we got the opportunity to play. In the end I learned that you can’t take the game for granted, and that’s something I will always remember.
Coach Mike Huffman: Keagan is one of, if not the most, electric skill players we have had the privilege of working with at Bellevue West. Compile that ability with his enjoyment of the physical aspects of football and we have the makings of a special player. He has the ability to run right past a defender with his speed, make him miss with his quickness, or if necessary run them over. Keagan factored into every aspect of our offense in 2020. He was our No. 1 threat as a receiver, was used frequently as a runner in short yardage and goal-line, and even was throwing passes as the season evolved. I will never forget his leadership in the waning moments of the quarterfinal loss to Kearney. His words to the group and his desire to put his team on his back were something you just don’t see every year in high school. We came up just short but Keagan did everything humanly possible to put us in position to make a comeback and push the game to overtime.
Elkhorn High WR, 6-4, 230, Sr.
Became the Antlers’ single-season leader in receiving yards with 715 on 36 catches. Also was a dominant linebacker.
Reflecting on 2020: Football has impacted my life tremendously ever since I was a little kid. Being able to play our season, even amongst all the madness this year, was something I'll forever be grateful for. I'll never forget my teammates, coaches, the community of Elkhorn, and all of the incredible memories I've made playing this truly amazing game.
Coach Mark Wortman: Drew Christo is a presence on and off the field; his 4.2 GPA makes him No. 1 in the senior class. Like all great athletes Drew would rise to the occasion when it was needed. In the semifinals against Hastings he caught nine passes for 152 yards. Drew's greatest asset is his leadership and the ability to remain calm in stressful times. These skills will serve him well while pitching for NU.
Norris TE, 6-5, 225, Sr.
Husker signee made 38 catches for 594 yards and 11 touchdowns while dominant on defense.
Reflecting on 2020: I really needed and wanted this season. Every play, every game felt more important when it could’ve been my last. I guess maybe I should always play like it’s my last chance to play the sport I love. Thankful for the chance to compete with my boys one more year and leave all of my hard work on the field.
Coach Ty Twarling: James has grown over the past two years to allow him to reach his goals of playing, not only at the highest level but the school he has watched and dreamt about since he was a youngster. This has only been made possible by his commitment to becoming more physical in how he blocks, gets off blocks, and playing at a high level on defense. James’ talents and gifts of height, speed, and pure athleticism he has always been able to use to his advantage, however, that did not stop him from finding ways to make himself a better athlete, football player, and most importantly knowing how much of a role model he was for his teammates and future players at Norris. James played an important part in this program's success and we are thankful that he committed and sacrificed so much for it and his teammates.
Elkhorn South OL, 6-9, 300, Sr.
Husker signee was a three-year on offense and two-year starter on defense.
Reflecting on 2020: Playing during the pandemic really gave me a new appreciation for the game. Throughout the whole season we didn’t know what to expect, games could have been canceled at any moment. So our mindset was to treat every game and practice like it could be your last and I think that’s what kept us going and helped it motivate us to get the state championship.
Coach Guy Rosenberg: Teddy is a rare combination of size, athleticism, aggressiveness, power, and technical precision. He’s been an amazing player for us the last three seasons on both sides of the ball. He plays with swagger and finishes every play.
Elkhorn South OL, 6-4, 270, Sr.
Like Prochazka, he was a dominating offensive-line starter for three years with the Storm.
Reflecting on 2020: It meant everything to me and my team to be able to play football this year. Obviously it was a very different season with COVID restrictions, but everyone was so focused on keeping us stay healthy so we could keep playing. I am so thankful we were able to play a full season and achieve our team goal of making it to the Class A state championship game.
Coach Guy Rosenberg: Isaac has been a cornerstone on our offensive line for the last three seasons. He’s precise with his snaps and his high football IQ got us great fits every time in the run game and pass pro. He’s strong at the point of attack and can pull and redirect.
Omaha Westside OL, 6-3, 280, Sr.
Northern Illinois signee started 47 games on the Warriors’ line.
Reflecting on 2020: Playing in 2020 has been difficult. There has never been a season like it, and not likely to happen again. We did everything right and had no COVID scares and we sacrificed to play. Couldn't be more proud of my teammates. I love this team and this school. 2020 State Champs!
Coach Brett Froendt: Cade's a throwback. Tough, high grit, high motor, and a great leader. He started and finished every varsity game we had in four years (47). A three-sport, 12-letter guy, Cade will go down as one of Westside's best interior lineman ever. He was the heart and soul of this Westside program.
Waverly OL, 6-2, 265, Jr.
Now a two-time All-Nebraska pick, he’s destined to be a FBS recruit.
Reflecting on 2020: We were all so grateful to be able to have a season this year. We didn't know when we were going to be told our season was cut short so we played each game like it would be our last game and gave it everything we had. This will be a football season that I won't forget and am grateful to everyone that made it happen.
Coach Reed Manstedt: Trevor anchored both our offensive and defensive line. Offenses consistently ran away from Trevor as a defensive tackle and when we needed a yard offensively we ran behind Trevor. Trevor has the rare ability to just take over a game on either side of the ball from his offensive/defensive line position.
Omaha Westside QB, 6-3, 215, Sr.
Leader of the state champions broke school records with 7,382 yards and 102 touchdowns rushing and passing.
Reflecting on 2020: I’m very thankful to even have gotten an opportunity to play football this year. I will never forget all the special memories I made as a Westside Football player and I’m so glad we went out on top.
Coach Brett Froendt: Cole's talents are only surpassed by his work ethic and humility. He would give the Dalai Lama a run for his money in a popularity contest. 31-5 as a 3 yr. starter and became a force defensively his senior year. His leadership, character, and elite mindset will allow him to thrive at the next level.
Bellevue West RB, 6-1, 215, Jr.
First-year starter topped Class A rushers by averaging 177 yards a game with 16 total touchdowns.
Reflecting on 2020: The 2020 football season was very challenging due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and not knowing if we were going to have a football season or not. I worked very hard in the off season to get better and was hoping I would have the opportunity to share my talents. I missed having a full season, the roar and support of a full crowd and student section. Nevertheless it was good to be able to still play even with the shortened season, playing my favorite sport with my football family.
Coach Mike Huffman: Our coaching staff had high expectations for Les coming into the 2020 season. Les not only met those expectations he exceeded them putting together an amazing Corona shortened season. It is not very often you get a young man with Les’ size that can move as fast and efficiently as he can. He has the ability to get to the corner and outrun defenders to the end zone which is unusual for a back of his size. In between the tackles he combines his size and excellent vision to set up blocks, make subtle moves, and run heavy. There were numerous occasions where a defense would win the point of attack battle and Les was still able to give a slight move and a heavy forward lean to get positive yards. As the season progressed, he became a great weapon as a receiver releasing from the backfield to create further horizontal stretch on defenses. As he continues to hit the weight room and develop his speed the sky's the limit for his collegiate football future.
Millard South, 6-1, 190, Sr.
Air Force signee was a three-year starter. His senior-year total offense: 2,132 yards, 24 touchdowns.
Reflecting on 2020: This year playing football was definitely a season to remember. COVID really affected how we went about our business. The part that made us so good was that fact that we all bought in. We wore masks, we social distanced and, most of all, we only hung out with other players on the football team to help stop the spread of COVID. But, what I loved most about this team was that we always bought in and no matter how intense practice became, we were still brothers.
Coach Andy Means: TJ is one of the best all-round football players I have ever coached. He has great athletic ability but also understands the game to maximize his ability. He is extremely coachable, showed great leadership ability and was someone who was not afraid to have the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
Papillion-La Vista South K, 5-8, 175, Sr.
Topped Class A with nine field goals, including a 52-yarder and three more longer than 40.
Reflecting on 2020: My senior football season was nothing like I would have ever imagined it to be. Not knowing if you are going to get the opportunity to play each week is hard. This year, I never knew what to expect. In my first three years of high school, I anticipated senior season to live up to all of the hype. Playing in front of thousands of people and just being the best possible year of football. Even though the year didn't live up to my expectations, I was still grateful to get the opportunity to play the sport I love and to be able to go out and compete. I tried to make the most out of everything and control what I could control. That's all you can do. Coach Tim Clemenger: One of our kids that is semi-overlooked is our MVP. Trent was a three-year starter for us, team captain, and carries a 3.93 GPA. He is also a three-sport varsity athlete. He starts at second base on our baseball team and contributes as a point guard on our varsity basketball team. He sincerely maximizes every cell in his body day in and day out.
Trent was also a very consistent rugby-style punter for us. He averaged 35 yards a punt and nine of those punts were downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line (second most in Class A).
I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that he was the quarterback of our defense as our free safety. He made all of the calls and got us in the best position possible. Because of his intelligence, experience, and instincts, Trent was a coach on the field. He recorded 63 tackles, seven tackles for loss, five pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He is a great, humble, hard-working kid who we will miss dearly after graduation.
Papillion-La Vista DL, 6-3, 230, Jr.
Class A leader with 42 tackles for loss, including 20 sacks. Also started at tight end.
Reflecting on 2020: Playing during this pandemic was a real challenge that I had to overcome. It was difficult to follow all the protocols and keep myself healthy so my team and I could have a season this year. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to play this year because I know some teams had that privilege taken away from them. Despite the challenges with following all pandemic rules, playing football this year was my escape from all political and COVID talk for a couple hours a day. That made the game that much more enjoyable to me.
Coach Tim Williams: Will is one of the hardest working young men that I have ever coached. He has a drive to be the best at his positions and by doing so, he pushes all of those around him. Will is a great teammate as well. He treats all of his teammates with great respect and he gets that same respect back from them. I also believe that he is a great person. His care of others is evident in and out of the school. After games, win or lose, he is talking to his teammates. He is last to leave the locker room making sure that it is completely clean. Coaching Will has been a true blessing and anyone that he comes in contact with has become a better person because of it.
Grand Island DL, 6-2, 215, Sr.
Was a two-year, two-way starter for the Islanders who led them in rushing as a fullback.
Reflecting on 2020: This season was challenging with COVID but I felt we overcame the obstacles well. We utilized Zoom to keep the team connected while we were all at home and shared modified work out plans so everyone could use what they had at home to stay in shape. When allowed, we worked hard in the weight room to make gains and build team continuity. The season started out slow with the initial team quarantine, where many could’ve let the frustration get them down, but we banded together as brothers and made the best of it. Getting on the field was the top priority so we kept that in mind and connected daily during the quarantine to stay on course. We lost a lot of good talent and leadership from the previous season, so myself and other senior leaders worked hard to demonstrate the Islander standard and take younger players under our wings and show them the way. While everyone wants to win every game, sometimes you have to find the small wins even in the game losses. This season we found some of that each game, whether it be by an individual improvement or a better team effort as a whole. The returning players can use this experience to build on for next year and work to be even more successful on the field. I am proud of our season and our team this year. The brotherhood that has been created will surely lead to lifelong friendships for many. We have grown as athletes, but more importantly as young men, which is one of the best parts of the Islander football program. It was hard to end the season knowing you’re a senior and you will never play football for GISH again, but I can walk away knowing I was coached by the best, held to the highest standard, and developed as an athlete and a leader. I can only hope the next guy up succeeds far beyond me, then I will know I did my job and made a lasting impact.
Coach Jeff Tomlin: Daylon is one of the most dynamic players I have ever had the privilege of coaching. Daylon's combination of speed, quickness, athleticism, toughness (played most of this season with a broken foot), physicality and competitiveness are truly unique. Daylon has linebacker speed and instincts combined with the strength, toughness and leverage of a defensive lineman. As a running back, Daylon runs with excellent power and balance and possesses outstanding hands. Daylon is a tremendous all around football player and has been an outstanding leader and teammate. Daylon leaves an outstanding legacy at Grand Island Senior High.
Omaha Westside LB, 5-10, 195, Sr.
Among the state tackle leaders for two years, he called the state champion’s defensive schemes.
Reflecting on 2020: I could not have done as well as I did this season without the defensive line. If I had it my way Will Hurtado, Cade Haberman, TJ Ingram, and Ryan Zatechka would all be on this team. Playing this season was an amazing experience. It showed me that hard work pays off, dedication and consistency is key, and the will to prepare to win is everything.
Coach Brett Froendt: A true 'Warrior'. His ability to study an offense, master the game plan, coach/lead his teammates, and to make plays made ‘Rambo’ one of the best defensive players we've had here at Westside. His Navy Seal-mentality oozes with grit, toughness, the will to prepare, and desire to be the best. A tremendous athlete and football player.
Millard South LB, 6-2, 205, Sr.
Three-year starter led the Patriots with 121 total tackles, including 10 tackles for loss.
Reflecting on 2020: This year was definitely something special. We were extremely lucky to be able to play. Throughout the season, we had to adjust to the new restrictions but we stayed together as a team and overcame the COVID obstacles in order to try and reach our goal of winning a state championship. We fell short in the end, but I wouldn't trade this season for anything.
Coach Andy Means: Tate is one of the best linebackers we've had here at Millard South. Tate has great athletic ability, with his speed and quickness but also a toughness to be able to play linebacker. Tate is an intelligent football player who could pick up quickly what the opponent was trying to do on offense and react to it very fast. It's one of the reasons he was one of the leading tacklers in the state.
Millard West LB, 6-3, 215, Sr.
Fordham signee had 118 total tackles in nine games with two fumble recoveries.
Reflecting on 2020: This football season was strange to say the least. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play even with the uncertainty last fall. I made some incredible memories and built relationships that will last a lifetime.
Coach Kirk Peterson: Under the circumstances of 2020, James had an incredible year. We’ve had some really good linebackers in our school’s history and he ranks right up near the top. Great student of the game with a great motor and is a great playmaker. Above all else, he’s a great kid who has a very bright future ahead of him athletically and academically.
Bellevue West LB, 5-9, 175, Sr.
Returning All-Nebraska pick had 12½ tackles for losses among his 77 total tackles in seven games.
Reflecting on 2020: Although many of our games were canceled from this pandemic, we were very blessed to play the sport we all love. My heart goes out to all the seniors who did not have the same opportunity.
Coach Mike Huffman: It is an absolute blast watching Jack play football. Every time this kid laces up the cleats and fastens his helmet it is 100 mph of everything that he’s got. A total throwback who proves that being tough is still one of the most important aspects of being a great football player. Jack’s ability to time his blitzes and his knack for making the big play separates him from most of his peers. Years of wrestling has made Jack a fantastic tackler and the guy you would want at the point of attack when a game is on the line. With all that said, his internal desire to play as hard as he can all the time is what I will miss the most. You always knew at the end of a game and even practice that Jack had given his all to help the Thunderbirds be successful.
St. Paul DB, 6-2, 188, Sr.
Wyoming signee made 68 tackles and three interceptions for the Class C-1 Wildcats.
Reflecting on 2020: Playing this year was something else. Every week you didn't know if you were going to be playing or not. That made every practice count as it could have been our last. Who knew that wearing a mask would save our season.
Coach Rusty Fuller: Tommy is a special athlete. He was a pleasant surprise for us this year. He really grew into his frame over the off-season and his athletic ability is top notch. Tommy also was a punt returner, PAT holder, kick returner, long snapper, and played on kickoffs.” Tommy's work ethic is what makes him so unique, he has the drive of a champion. He wants to be the best in any sport, regardless of what he is playing! I am super excited to see what his future holds as the sky's the limit for Tommy.
Bennington DB, 6-1, 210, Sr.
Dominating at defensive back with 97 tackles, he rushed for 802 yards and 12 touchdowns and finished the year playing with a dislocated elbow.
Reflecting on 2020: For me playing during the season was really no different. We had masks and stuff and had to socially distance but ultimately when it came to football the job was no different. Our goal was to come out, play good football and get the job done every Friday night. I obviously missed the fans because the atmosphere is electric with fans but it really made us focus up and create our own energy. Overall it was a little bit different with the regulations but ultimately the goal never changed.
Coach Kameron Lenhart: Tyler has been tremendous to the success of our program. His desire to be successful, and find positivity in everything he does has allowed him to get to where he is today. While playing football, Tyler suffered some serious injuries. But even with all the setbacks those injuries bring about he continued to work, get better, stay positive, and achieve his goal of playing college football. On the field, Tyler was a game-changer. As they say, big-time players make big-time plays, and that is what it felt like he would do every time he had the ball in his hands. Defensively he was our field general and made sure everyone around him was doing their job. Because of his physical style of play, he created opportunities for us to get the ball back and set the tone for how we wanted to play defensively. When big moments came during game time, Tyler took it upon himself to make the play. Lastly, what I loved most about Tyler was his ability to become a servant leader for our team. His teammates were drawn to him because of his personality and the way he treated everyone around him. Whether it was a freshman or senior, he was genuine and fully present in the moment when he is with them. If Tyler committed to something, he stayed true to his word. Being naturally cheerful and loving to joke around helped with all this. Our entire team knew they could come to Tyler for anything and he would do whatever was needed to help them. I am very proud to have coached Tyler. He left a lasting impact on our program. He is the type of player a coach wishes he could fill his whole team with. I know he will continue to have success in all the opportunities ahead of him.
Omaha Westside DB, 6-2, 200, Sr.
Husker signee was a two-year starter at safety and had 583 yards and eight touchdowns receiving.
Reflecting on 2020: Playing this season was a challenge for everyone on and off the field. We had to sacrifice a lot in order to make sure we were able to play each week. This season made me realize that I need to play every game with heart and give 100% effort at all times as you never know when the end comes. It is a season to remember because of the relationships I built with my teammates, going undefeated, and winning a state championship with them.
Coach Brett Froendt: Perhaps the best pure athlete I've seen in my 28 years. Great ball skills and his ability to control his body is elite. Koby's upside is huge at the next level and his versatility will be coveted by the Nebraska staff. A young man with great heart and passion to compete.
Omaha Creighton Prep DB, 6-2, 190, Sr.
Husker walk-on signee had five interceptions and led Prep with 54 catches for 751 yards and eight touchdowns.
Reflecting on 2020: It was tough at first for the team and myself to get adjusted to the way the season had to go in order for us to play. But I think we handled it tremendously going through so much adversity. At the end of the day it was a blessing for us to even have a season and it taught me not to take anything for granted.
Coach Tim Johnk: Alex is the most competitive player I have ever coached. Alex is not only a fantastic football player, he is a great student and person. He is the model of what we want all our student-athletes to be. When we needed a big catch on offense or interception on defense Alex was there to get it done.
Video: All-Nebraska breakdown
Stu Pospisil joins Jake Anderson to break down the 2020 All-Nebraska football team, including some of the toughest omissions, how this year's section came together, plus his views from a unique high school season.
MORE ALL-NEBRASKA SELECTIONS
WR, Carson Shoemaker, Hastings, 5-7, 150, Sr.
TE, Micah Riley, Bellevue West, 6-5, 220, Jr.
OL, Gabe VanWinkle, Kearney, 6-3, 240, Sr.
OL, Cooper Taylor, Elkhorn South, 6-2, 280, Sr.
OL, Nolan Gorczyca, Omaha Roncalli, 6-6, 285, Sr.
OL, Beau Wendt, Millard South, 6-0, 290, Sr.
OL, Caden Camese, Bellevue West, 6-1, 300, Sr.
QB, Jarrett Synek, Hastings, 6-0, 195, Sr.
B, Heinrich Haarberg, Kearney Catholic, 6-5, 200, Sr.
B, Dominic Rezac, Omaha Westside, 6-1, 175, Jr.
B, Eli Larson, St. Paul, 6-0, 222, Sr.
K, Kelen Meyer, Ord, 6-2, 195, Sr.
DL, Zeph Sivels-Edan, Millard North, 5-10, 285, Sr.
DL, Jack Nickolisen, Millard South, 6-3, 280, Sr.
LB, Barrett Liebentritt, Omaha Skutt, 6-0, 220, Sr.
LB, Evan Canoyer, Waverly, 5-9, 185, Sr.
LB, Sam Scott, Omaha Skutt, 6-2, 220, Sr.
LB, Quinton Adams, Lincoln East, 6-3, 215, Sr.
LB, Jake Appleget, Lincoln Southeast, 6-5, 210, Jr.
DB, Carter Glenn, Lincoln East, 5-11, 165, Sr.
DB, Preston Pearson, Kearney, 6-2, 210, Sr.
DB, Derek Branch, Lincoln Southeast, 5-11, 170, Sr.
DB, Koa McIntyre, Fremont Bergan, 6-0, 205, Jr.
P, Patrick Foley, Omaha Creighton Prep, 6-3, 200, Sr.
All-Nebraska football teams through the years
Photos: All-Nebraska football teams through the years
Standing, left to right, Omaha Westside's Cade Haberman, Lincoln Southeast's Isaac Gifford, Waverly's Trevor Brown, Omaha Westside's Cole Payton, Scottsbluff's Sabastian Harsh, Bellevue West's Thomas Ault, Omaha Westside's Avante Dickerson, Millard South's Kohl Herbolsheimer, Bellevue West's Zavier Betts, Millard West's Dalys Beanum, Lincoln Southeast's Xavier Trevino, Bellevue West's Jay Ducker, Millard West's Dane Christensen, Omaha Westside's Grant Tagge, Elkhorn South's Teddy Prochazka. Sitting, left to right, Bellevue West's Jack McDonnell, Millard South's Isaiah Harris, Bellevue West's Nate Glantz, Omaha Skutt's Tyson Gordon, Grand Island's Caleb Francl, Omaha Burke's Xavier Watts, Grand Island's Broc Douglass, Bellevue West's Matt Thompson, Grand Island Central Catholic's Dietrick Stolz
Front row, from left: Sam Sims, Grand Island; Dietrick Stolz, Grand Island Central Catholic; James Burks, Omaha Burke; Dylan Sales, Omaha Burke; Shane Dailey, Bellevue West; Jarod Epperson, Omaha Skutt. Second row, from left: D.J. Gross, McCook; Garrett Snodgrass, York; Xavier Watts, Omaha Burke; Jevyon Ducker, Bellevue West; Kohl Herbolsheimer, Millard South; Alex Rodgers, Omaha Roncalli. Third row, from left: Joseph Krause, Seward; Ethan Piper, Norfolk Catholic; Nick Henrich, Omaha Burke; Garrett Nelson, Scottsbluff; Chris Hickman, Omaha Burke. Back row, from left: Zavier Betts, Bellevue West; Mehki Butler, Omaha North; Caden Johnson, Wahoo Neumann; Tyson Gordon, Omaha Skutt; Baylor Scheierman, Aurora; Noah Stafursky, York. Not pictured: Isaiah Alford, Lincoln High
Like the burr oaks at Mahoney State Park that were the backdrop for this photo, the 2017 All-Nebraska football team branched out with players from the Wyoming state line to the Missouri River.
The 2016 All-Nebraska football team "earned their wings" at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.
Back row from left: York's Masry Mapieu, Bellevue West's Sylvo Johnson, Lincoln East's Chris Walker, Gretna's Patrick Arnold, Bellevue West's Tyler Ciurej, Omaha Burke's Cole Frahm, Wilber-Clatonia's Riley Homolka, Norfolk's Lane McCallum, Ashland-GW's Brett Kitrell, and Beatrice's Cam Jurgens.
Middle row from left: Kearney's Noah Urbanek, Bellevue West's Jaylin Bradley, Omaha North's Kendrick Parker, Omaha North's Milton Sargbah, Elkhorn South's Moses Bryant, Omaha Skutt's Christian Banker, and Creighton Prep's AJ Hubner.
Front row from left: Wahoo Neumann's Noah Vedral, Omaha North's Zion Williams, Bellevue West's Diego Galvan, McCook's Zach Schlager, Bellevue West's Kevin Ponec, Norris' Austin Schultz, and Millard North's Jack Begley.
The 2015 All-Nebraska football team gathered at Papillion-La Vista High School for the photo shoot.
The 2014 All-Nebraska football team posted on the steps of the Joslyn Art Museum. The cover read: "A Step Ahead: The 24 members of the All-Nebraska football team towered over foes."
Back rows, starting from left: Papillion-La Vista South’s Jeremy Kowalski, No. 75; Seward’s Adam Holtorf, No. 79; Papillion-La Vista South’s Ryan Earith; Kearney’s Brian Arp, No. 55; Elkhorn South’s Brett Stinson; Grand Island’s Kevin Cahoy, No. 12; Omaha Central’s Tre Sanders, No. 6; Omaha Central’s DaiShon Neal, No. 9; Grand Island’s Pierce Almond, No. 2; Blair’s Vance Janssen; Bellevue West’s CJ Johnson; Boone Central/Newman Grove’s Wyatt Mazour; Omaha Central’s Xavier Graham, No. 64; Creighton Prep’s Jeremiah Stovall; and Creighton Prep’s Jack McLeay, No. 54. Front rows, starting from left: Omaha North’s Cole Bixler, No. 34; Omaha North’s Michael Decker, No. 78; Omaha North’s Calvin Strong, No. 5; Omaha North’s Jason Martin; Grand Island Central Catholic’s Youhanna Ghaifan; Millard North’s Adrrell Taylor, No. 27; Omaha North’s Marquise Lewis, No. 1; McCook’s Bryce Lyons, No. 21; and Omaha North’s Markell Vaughn, No. 22.
In 2013, the All-Nebraska football and volleyball teams came together for a photo shoot, and the cover was designed to look like a Facebook page with the teams taking one big selfie.
The 2012 All-Nebraska football team made a splash in the shark tunnel of the Scott Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo.
Standing, from left: Luke McNitt, Kearney; DJ Foster, Lincoln Southeast; Josh Banderas, Lincoln Southwest; Nick DeLuca, Millard North; Harrison Phillips, Millard West; Mike Milenkovich, Millard North; Bryce Sosnowski, Millard South; Nathan Bazata, Howells-Dodge; Casey Sayles, Omaha North.
Middle row: Christian LaCouture, Lincoln Southwest; Jordan Bellar, Norfolk Catholic; Clay Fisher Millard North; Isaac Aakre, Millard North; Matt Kraft, Millard South; Alec Ditoro, Papillion-La Vista; Jake Schlager, McCook; Lee Carhart, Creighton Prep; Freeman Coleman, Millard South.
Front row: Andy Bayne, Millard North; Trey Carr, Omaha Burke; Calvin Strong, Omaha North; Skyler Monaghan, Millard West; Devin Washington, Lincoln Southeast; RJ Urzendowski, Creighton Prep.
With the Omaha skyline in the background, the 2011 All-Nebraska football team was "Standing Tall" at Pioneer Courage Park not far from the Omaha World-Herald building.
Bottom Row (from left): Tay Bender, RB, Lincoln Southwest; Isaac Aakre, RB, Millard North; Landon Arnold, OL, Millard North; Andrew Coppa, DL, Omaha Burke; Trey Foster, DL, Lincoln Southeast; Bo Liekhus, DB, Bellevue West.
Middle Row (from left): Darian Barrientos-Jackson, DB, Omaha Central; James Anderson, OL, Omaha Burke; Andy Janovich, LB, Gretna; Drew Farlee, K, Norfolk Catholic; Mike Minter Jr., DB, Lincoln North Star; Sam Cotton, DL, Lincoln Southeast; Devin Washington, RB, Lincoln Southeast; Sam Foltz, DB, Grand Island; Jeremy Callahan, P, Lexington; Robbie Lafour, OL, Lincoln Southeast; Jake Schany, LB, Blair; Jordan Nelson, RB, Omaha Burke; Ryker Fyfe, QB, Grand Island.
Top Row (from left): Jordan Brichacek, OL, Howells; Zach Oliver, WR, Omaha Burke; Terry Grigsby, DB, Omaha North; Drew Ott, LB, Giltner; Mike Shoff, OL, Cambridge.
All-Nebraska football captains Jimmie Forsythe of Omaha Burke and Tyson Broekemeier of Aurora were the focus in 2010 during this shoot at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing.
The 2009 All-Nebraska football hopped aboard this old streetcar at the Durham Museum.
There was "nothing pedestrian" about the 2008 All-Nebraska football team, which posed in front of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
Back row, from left, Tyrone Sellers of McCook, Corey Serrano of North Platte, Nathan Zook of Grand Island, Eric Koehlmoos of Pierce, Tyler Daake of Norfolk Catholic, Tyler Niederklein of Millard West, Charles Viers of Millard West, Josh Kage of Papillion-LaóVista, Jake Herweyer of Millard West, Cole Pensick of Lincoln Northeast, Jordan Hale of Millard South, Andrew Rodriguez of Aurora, James Davis of Omaha North, Jon Lechner of Prep, Scott Criss of Omaha Creighton Prep and C.J. Zimmerer of Omaha Gross. Front row, Matt Berry of McCook, Braden Taylor of Grand Island, Vinny Molina of Kearney, Kohlman Adema-Schulte of Millard West, Bryant Giles of Omaha North, Michael Burrus of Papillion-LaóVista South, Ronald Coleman of North, Tyler Seals of Bellevue West and Greg Hardin of Bellevue West.
For the 2007 All-Nebraska football team, The World-Herald chose individual shots for the cover instead of the group photo, and the result was "Picture Perfect."
No challenge was too steep for the "Rock Solid" 2006 All-Nebraska football team, who posed in front of a climbing wall at Dick's Sporting Goods.
The 2005 All-Nebraska football team wore letterman jackets for the photo shoot instead of their jerseys.
Top, from left, Millard North's Corey Young, Lincoln Southwest's Ian Dike, Millard North's Adam Nelson, Bellevue West's Silas Fluellen, Omaha Central's D.J. Jones (back row), Millard North's Jeff Tarpinian, Kearney's Tony Green, Lincoln Southwest's Ben Martin, Bellevue West's Jeff Martin, Lincoln Southwest's Ollie Sloup, Papillion-LaVista's Kyle Dooley and McCook's Josh Cherry.
Bottom, from left, Omaha Benson's Anthony Williams, Kearney's Joey Rousseau, Lincoln Southwest's Andy Cotton, Omaha Burke's Ricky Henry, Omaha South's Philip Barrientos, Creighton Prep's Mark Waring, Omaha Burke's Alex Henery, Millard West's Brandon Pete, Omaha Burke's Travis Liechti, Millard North's Paul Homer, Omaha North's Aaron Terry and Millard West's Matt Leaders.
Nothing says football like rows of poinsettias. Those were the accents that went with this photo shoot for the 2004 All-Nebraska football team.