16-Aug-2019 / Steve Stein
15-Aug-2019 / Steve Stein
15-Aug-2019 / Hometown Family Radio Sports Network
LINCOLN, NE —Today, the coaches for the 62nd annual Shrine Bowl of Nebraska were selected. The following Nebraska High School football coaches will represent the North and South teams respectively:
Head Coach: Mark Macke — HC, Lincoln High (A)
Asst. Coach: Rusty Fuller — HC, St. Paul (C2)
Asst. Coach: Josh Deines — HC, Sandhills/Thedford (D2)
Asst. Coach: Bryan Soukup — HC, Blair (B)
Asst. Coach: AJ Santos — Defensive Coordinator, Lincoln High (A)
Asst. Coach: Paul Cloutier — Special Teams Coordinator, Grand Island (A)
Head Coach: Ryan Thompson — HC, Ashland-Greenwood (C1)
Asst. Coach: Evan Klanecky — HC, Centennial (C1)
Asst. Coach: Jay Lanstrom — HC, Omaha Central (A)
Asst. Coach: Troy Huebert — HC, Central City (C1)
Asst. Coach: Nate Tonjes — Offensive Coordinator, Ashland-Greenwood (C1)
Asst. Coach: Brant Loewe — Running Backs Coach, Skutt Catholic (B)
Lincoln High Head Football Coach Mark Macke, who has led the Links back into Nebraska high school football prominence, will guide the North team on the field. During the 19 seasons he was a Creighton Prep assistant football coach and the offensive coordinator from 1992 through 2010, the Junior Jays were in the Class A playoffs 17 times with state titles in 1999 and 2004, and runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2003.
"I feel extremely honored and humbled to be selected as the North Head Coach. I was very fortunate to be an assistant in 2011. That was a wonderful experience not only for myself, but for the players as well," said Macke. "It's my goal that this will be another meaningful experience and that our players and coaches understand the true value of the Shrine Bowl and what it means to play in this game."
Ashland-Greenwood Head Football Coach Ryan Thompson, who led the Bluejays to seven straight playoff appearances between 2009 and 2015, a pair of Class C-1 state runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2014, and quarterfinal showings in four other seasons will lead the South team on the sidelines.
"I am very honored to be selected as the head coach for the South team in this year's Shrine Bowl Game. It is humbling to be associated with a long list of great coaches and players who have been involved with this game over the years," Thompson said. "Most importantly, I look forward to having our team support a great cause for an outstanding organization."
Dave MacDonald, Executive Director of the Nebraska Shrine Bowl remarked, "We are excited to have Coach Thompson, Coach Macke, and their assistant coaching staffs join us in our mission to support Shriners Hospitals for Children. The talent their teams have exhibited on the field is a testament to their tremendous leadership. We are grateful for their direction both on and beyond the field this year."
The 62nd annual Nebraska Shrine Bowl game will be played at the University of Nebraska-Kearney’s Ron and Carol Cope Stadium Foster Field in Kearney, Nebraska on Saturday, June 6. All proceeds from the game benefit Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.
14-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads on Wednesday for just under two hours while splitting time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.
Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke to the media after the conclusion of practice and began his session talking about the success of the offense in this past weekend’s scrimmage.
“As an offense we are executing at a faster pace,” Walters said. “Even the younger guys are picking up their sense of urgency and their tempo. The veterans on their first three possessions went down and scored. The next three, the defense shut us out. It’s a win-win. We win some and the defense wins some. It’s been good competition throughout camp.”
Walters continued by discussing the improvement and depth at the wide receiver position.
"I think we are going to be a pretty good unit,” he said. “A lot of guys have not played a whole lot, I’m putting them in pressure situations in practice, so that when the game comes around, they are ready to go. Going against our defense and secondary day in and day out makes our guys better. Iron sharpens iron. Those guys are making the young guys better. They are making everybody better. The reps we get against our secondary are going to make us better.
“We can play with seven or eight guys on the perimeter. If a guy goes down, we have another guy that is able to step up. I am very pleased with the receiving group. We are not satisfied. We have some work still to be done. I am very pleased with the effort, camaraderie and what they have given us so far.”
Walters was asked about sophomore wide receiver Javeon McQuitty and his recent play during practice.
"He has done a great job,” Walters said of McQuitty. “He understands the offense. The biggest thing is he is confident. Last year he wasn’t very confident. He kind of was more reactionary. Now he goes and makes things happen. He’s got that confidence. He made plays in the scrimmage. He keeps getting better and has that sense of urgency. He wants it. He wants to be a part of this team. He wants to contribute to the offense. That’s a good sign."
Walters also touched on the running backs and specifically the duo of Maurice Washington and Dedrick Mills.
"They are playing well,” Walters said of Washington and Mills. “Rahmir Johnson is playing well. I feel like we have a bunch of running backs to contribute. We are going to need them all. Going into each game, we are going to scheme and find roles and fits and how their skill set can cause trouble to the opposing defenses. All of them are going to be involved.
“Mills is a downhill guy. When defenses get tired, he is going to break some tackles and get extra yards. Mo (Maurice Washington) is Mo, explosive and dynamic. Then you add Rahmir and some of the guys like Wan’Dale (Robinson) at running back….we feel pretty good about that position"
13-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads to begin the second full week of fall camp on Tuesday, working out for just over two hours while splitting time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joanne Gass practice fields.
Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media after the conclusion of the practice and started off talking about the full team scrimmage held over the weekend.
"My big takeaway from the scrimmage was kind of an overall theme for the defense," Chinander said. "When we had busts, assignment errors or communication errors, the offense was very productive. When we were all on the same page and everybody, all 11 guys were playing one defense, we were pretty salty. The offense came out with a really good tempo I thought that day and us being able to adjust to that tempo is going to be the tale of the story here. I thought the first group tackled well, the second and third groups need to get a little better. I thought we were physical when we needed to be, and we saw a lot of guys do a lot of good things, so it was great for us."
Chinander then spoke about the improvement of cornerback Cam Taylor and how he can be utilized for multiple situations.
"Cam's a really dynamic player," Chinander said. "He can take reps at corner, he can take reps at safety. He can replace JoJo (Domann) at outside backer against ‘11’ personnel teams when we need him to, so having a guy like him that knows the whole defense and every position and is physical enough to play down low and is good enough on the edge to play coverage is pretty exceptional."
Chinander went back to the scrimmage and talked about how the defense started off on the wrong foot, but was able to quickly respond.
"Like I said, it looked good," Chinander said. "That first series, the offense came out and punched us in the mouth and had some big plays. Then after that, especially the first group, they tightened it down and really played some good football. It was good and bad. Would I like to just go and shut the whole thing down every series? Absolutely, but then I've got a whole new bag of problems because then it's feeling good and trying to reel them back in. I liked how it went because we got knocked down right away and we came back and did our job, so there's a little bit of butt-chewing I can do, but we aren't quite there yet. I liked where it was at."
Chinander finished off with the leadership mentality that is starting to be implemented with the Huskers.
"I think there's vertical leadership and horizontal leadership," Chinander said. "Sometimes when the leaders go vertical down to the rest of the team or from me to them down, the others guys need to go horizontal so everybody understands the message, and I think that's starting to happen. Once the leaders and the coaches say something now, everybody is spreading the word and reeling everybody else back in, so it's been good."
The Huskers will continue fall camp with practice on Wednesday, with the first game taking place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31 against South Alabama at 11 a.m CT.
13-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
The Nebraska volleyball team is ranked second in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Tuesday.
The Huskers received one of the 64 first-place votes and totaled 1,451 points. Stanford, which received 62 first-place votes, took the No. 1 ranking with 1,598 points. The Cardinal defeated the Huskers in the NCAA Championship match last December in Minneapolis, 3-2. The two teams will meet this regular season on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. This marks the second straight year the Huskers will begin the season at No. 2.
Minnesota (1,414), Texas (1,385) and Wisconsin (1,329) rounded out the top five. Other Big Ten teams in the top 10 included No. 6 Illinois and No. 8 Penn State. The Nittany Lions received the final first-place vote. Nebraska is scheduled to play 12 regular-season matches against teams ranked in the AVCA Preseason Poll.
The Huskers return five starters from last year's team, including first-team All-America middle blocker Lauren Stivrins. Nebraska will be replacing significant contributors in outside hitter Mikaela Foecke and libero Kenzie Maloney, who both won two NCAA Championships and two Big Ten titles with the Huskers in their four years at NU.
The Huskers begin the season with the Red-White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Tickets remain and can be purchased online here.
13-Aug-2019 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney football team began workouts for the upcoming 2019 season with its first practice of fall camp on Monday, August 12.
Around 120 Lopers took part in the helmets-only morning practice. Until schools begins on Monday, August 26, UNK will practice in the morning (9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.) most days followed by a night walkthrough (9-10 p.m.). The first full-contact practice comes on Friday, August 16, with scrimmages set for Aug. 17, (Saturday), Aug. 24 (Saturday) and Aug. 29 (Thursday). All practices and scrimmages are open to the public.
"We had good effort today," said third-year head coach Josh Lynn. "Because we're an older team, we were able to get in a lot of reps done in a short amount of time ... it's a good review for everyone. Conditioning is important this week as is working on the finer details of blocking and tackling."
Lynn saw the Lopers go 5-6 last fall, winning its season finale, 17-16, on a last minute field goal at Washburn. UNK dropped four games by a total of 21 points, including a double overtime setback to MIAA Champion Fort Hays State, 29-26. To record its first-ever winning season as an MIAA member and to send out a 24-member graduate/senior class out in style, UNK hopes to take advantage of six home games. Those battles include tilts with traditional league powers Pittsburg State (Sept. 28), Northwest Missouri State (Oct. 19) and Central Missouri (Nov. 2).
The Loper defense was among the stingiest in the conference in 2018, ranking among the statistical leaders in most categories. UNK held four foes under 17 points, pitched its first shutout as an MIAA member and had five players named all-conference.
While both starting cornerbacks and All-MIAA defensive end Ty Spies must be replaced, most of the rest of the unit returns. That includes All-Central Region inside linebacker Sal Sivio (Kansas City), two-time All-MIAA end Hinwa Allieu (Gaithersburg, Md.), two-time All-MIAA safety Dallas Vaughn (St. Louis) and 2019 team co-captains/captain alternates Rakid Hill (St. Louis) and Jordan Ingraham (Miami).
"All the way through the middle of our defense ... we have a good solid foundation and core," said Lynn.
UNK's option-based offense managed 28.0 points and 269.0 rushing yards per game in 2018. Nearly everyone returns including the top five backs and starting quarterback Alex McGinnis (Crete).
"This is the first time since I've been here we've had a returning starting quarterback. Being in his second year as a starter, Alex has a lot more confidence. He's a leader out there and the guys respond to him," said Lynn.
Senior Darrius Webb (Allentown, Pa.) earned All-Central Region honors last fall after running for 998 yards and 10 scores with four other backs combining for 1,225 more yards and 11 TD's. McGinnis, in his first year as the starter, completed exactly 50 percent of his passes for six TD's and 124 yards per game. He also had the second most carries (157) to the tune of 471 yards and six TD's.
"We have a great group of backs and we're doing some different things in our offense to make sure everyone gets touches," said Lynn. "It's a nice luxury to have all these guys here at the same time and it develops competition within the group. You have to come to work every day or you're probably not going to touch the ball."
locking for this powerful ground game is a veteran group including 2017 All-MIAA left guard Josh Stoltenberg (Creighton Prep), senior right guard Kolin Kenton (Lexington) and junior right tackle Corey Hoelck (Giltner), a team co-captain.
The wide receivers will be led by senior Sedarius Young (Orlando) and sophomore Montrez Jackson (Trenton, Fla.). Young redshirted last fall with Jackson earning All-American honors in the high jump as a member of the track team. At tight end/cruiser, two-year starter Alex Harms graduated with junior Kyler Van Housen (Polk) and fourth-year sophomore Zack Blaschko (Kearney) the veterans.
Finally, on special teams, senior Kendall Raschein (Red Bluff, Calif.) is back at punter and kickoffs after earning 2018 All-MIAA honors. He could vie for starting place kicking duties with former junior college teammate Junior Gonzalez (Corning, Calif.) a newcomer to watch. Also, junior Blaine Kennedy (Albion) is back at the important long snapper position.
UNK opens the year on September 5 at Missouri Southern State with Central Oklahoma coming to town the following Thursday night.
12-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Florence, Italy – Charlie Easley’s 15 points led five Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska wrapped up its tour of Italy with an 84-62 win over Italian Select Monday evening.
Easley, a walk-on from Lincoln, came off the bench to ignite a 10-3 Husker run late in the first quarter with consecutive 3-pointers after NU trailed 15-12. His second trifecta put NU ahead for good, as the Huskers stretched the lead after a slow start.
In addition to Easley’s 15, Dachon Burke added 12 for the Huskers while Shamiel Stevenson (11), Thorir Thorbjarnarson (11) and Kevin Cross (10) all finished in double figures. With the win, Nebraska went 4-0 on the trip over the last week.
Nebraska led 22-21 early in the second quarter before the Huskers ran off six straight points, including four from Stevenson, to push the lead to 28-21.
Italian Select was within 35-30 in the final minutes of the second quarter, but Nebraska closed the half with seven straight points to take a 12-point lead and opened the third quarter with nine unanswered points to build a 53-32 cushion with 7:29 left in the third quarter.
Nebraska learned its lesson from Thursday’s game with Silute BC, finished the third quarter strong. The Huskers scored six of the final eight points of the quarter to push the lead to 66-42 after Easley’s basket in the closing seconds of the quarter.
In the final quarter, Nebraska led by as much as 30 points with 6:08 remaining before cruising to a 22-point win.
The Huskers will return to Lincoln on Tuesday evening and will have some time off before the fall semester on Aug. 26.
09-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
The Nebraska women's basketball team completed a perfect three-game summer trip through Italy and Spain with a 94-77 win over the Barcelona All-Stars on Friday in Barcelona.
Sophomore Leigha Brown led the Huskers with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting, including a 4-for-7 night from three-point range. Brown, who added four rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals against Barcelona, averaged a team-best 19.7 points per game in Nebraska's three victories in Europe.
Junior center Kate Cain enjoyed a big night with 18 points on 9-for-9 shooting while adding nine rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Cain capped her three-game trip with averages of 9.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks for the Big Red.
Senior Nicea Eliely added a strong all-around game of her own with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals on Friday. The 6-1 guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., hit 7-of-9 shots from the field for the game. Eliely averaged double-figure points over three games for Nebraska in Europe.
Junior Taylor Kissinger gave the Huskers four players in double figures with 12 points on 4-of-9 three-point shooting. The 6-1 guard from Minden, Neb., added five rebounds and four assists. She also averaged double figures in scoring for Nebraska in Italy and Spain, while leading NU's three-point shooters.
All nine Huskers who played in Friday's game in Barcelona found the scoring column, including eight points and nine rebounds from sophomore forward Ashtyn Veerbeek. Sophomore guard Sam Haiby pitched in six points and five assists, while senior guard Hannah Whitish added four points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Sophomore Kayla Mershon contributed four points and three rebounds, while senior forward Grace Mitchell added two points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The Huskers opened the competitive portion of their international tour on Saturday, Aug. 3, with a 60-43 win over TTT Riga in Rome. Brown led the Big Red with 18 points, while Whitish contributed 14 points. Eliely scored 12 points, while Cain pitched in six points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots.
On Monday, Aug. 5, Nebraska improved to 2-0 on the tour with a 78-46 victory over the EuroBasket Turkish All-Stars in Florence. Kissinger led Nebraska with 20 points while knocking down six three-pointers, and Brown scored 18 points for the second straight game. Whitish contributed nine points in the victory.
Nebraska's trip to Europe began on Thursday, Aug. 1, and the Huskers arrived in Rome on Aug. 2. Following tours of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica on Aug. 3, the Huskers defeated TTT Riga that evening.
The Huskers were welcomed to Rome by the Pope at St. Peter's Square on Sunday morning (Aug. 4), before touring the Colosseum on Sunday afternoon.
They traveled to Florence on Monday, where the long day of travel concluded with a win over the Turkish All-Stars.
After a Tuesday morning bicycle tour and an afternoon of shopping at Mercado Centrale and Mercado di San Lorenzo, the Huskers enjoyed free time in Florence on Tuesday evening before taking cooking classes on Wednesday morning.
The Huskers departed Florence early Thursday morning (Aug. 8) for Barcelona, and enjoyed the afternoon exploring the city. Friday morning included a tour of the Sagrada Familia, before preparing for Friday night's game with Barcelona.
Nebraska will enjoy one more day in Barcelona on Saturday before departing Spain on Sunday morning for the United States. The Huskers will have two weeks off before the start of fall semester classes at Nebraska on Monday, Aug. 26.
09-Aug-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads to end the first week of fall camp on Friday, working out for nearly two and a half hours while splitting time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joanne Gass practice fields.
Head Coach Scott Frost spoke to the media following the conclusion of practice and talked about the team living up to his expectations from summer workouts moving into fall camp.
"I expected it to be better and it's better," Frost said. "I said that before and it's a lot better. Every position looks better than it did a year ago. The speed of practice looks better than it did a year ago. I'm having a lot of fun coaching this team. Last year there were times it was hard coaching the team, but this year everybody shows up with a smile on their face. I don't see one person that I don't want to talk to and they're having fun. This is a fun team to coach, so there's just a ton of things that have gotten better and it’s up to us as coaches and players to make sure that improvement leads to success."
Frost commented on the physicality of practice and how it has been another drastic improvement for the team.
"It's funny, we've had to have talks two nights in a row about slowing them down because we've been a little too reckless," Frost said. "It's not everybody, but that can lead to injuries on the field. You've got to practice like a pro and take care of each other, but I would much rather have to say slow down a little bit than telling them to go faster. I think the toughness and enthusiasm of practice has improved drastically as well."
Frost spoke about the defensive mentality and focusing on forcing turnovers and three and outs.
"We talked to our defense about getting the ball back," Frost said. "If a team drives it and we get a turnover and we get the ball back, that can sometimes be just as good as a three and out. The biggest stat for us is going to be turnovers and the other thing I wants to see us improve a little is three and outs. They make a big difference so we can get the ball in better field position offensively."
Frost finished off with the improvement at the quarterback position all throughout the depth chart.
"I think all the quarterbacks are doing a good job," Frost said. "We're vastly improved at that position from the number one guy all the way down the roster. It was a little depressing at times last year going into a few games with one, maybe two healthy quarterbacks. Noah (Vedral) has been throwing the ball as well as I've seen him throw it. Obviously, he's athletic and is familiar with our scheme. Luke (McCaffrey) is doing some really good things throwing the ball, also making a bunch of plays with his legs. He's picked up the offense really fast. Bunchy (Andrew Bunch) has improved drastically. Matt Masker's making some good plays, so we're at a lot better place at that position. I wish our season would come down to 4 by 1 relay with our quarterback group against everybody else's because we've got some guys that can run."
The Huskers will continue fall camp with practice on Monday, with the first game taking place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31 against South Alabama at 11 a.m CT.