One week to go.
Friday night marked the last before the 2009 prep football season kicks off, and area teams are tweaking and tuning in preparation for their season openers next week.
Northeast, which held a scrimmage Friday, has made two realizations this summer.
First, the Rebels still need to settle on starters in the trenches.
“That's our big question mark right now,” Northeast coach Jeremy Mosier said. “We only return two guys who started on the offensive line last year. So we’ve got to find three guys — three guys to step up. The defensive line is the same kind of thing, but that has come along much quicker than the offensive line.”
Second, senior newcomer Spencer Lueders could surprise a lot of people.
Lueders did not play in 2008 after suffering an ankle injury at a wrestling camp last summer. The Rebels will align the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder at wide receiver and middle linebacker.
“I cannot wait for other teams in the district to watch tape on him,” Mosier said. “I would love to be a fly on the wall. He's going to be an impact player. He wasn't anywhere near the program last year. It's almost like getting a good transfer student in here.
“He's going to be a dynamic player, and he's been elected a captain by his peers.”
A look at the other area schools as they head into the final week of preseason (Central DeWitt coach Kurt Kreiter and Erie-Prophetstown coach Chuck Milem were unavailable for comment):
In 35 years of coaching Rick Pogemiller has seen his share of hot, steamy August days, and he doesn’t mind that this summer’s weather has created more favorable conditions for the players. He’s not worried that it will turn them soft.
Area coaches chime in entering preseason's final week
One week to go.
- High School Sports
Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too
Brady Ernst is having a summer to remember.
The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.
Jones leaves UNO program
Jalen Jones is done with basketball — for now, anyway.
The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
"College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.
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- Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too