HARTINGTON — An old rivarly will be renewed here Friday night.
Cedar Catholic and Crofton will tee it up at Russ Hochstein Field at 7 p.m. Friday in the regular season opener for both teams.
This will be the 46th gridiron meeting between the two teams. Cedar leads the career series 28-17. The Trojans have not beaten Crofton since a 20-14 win in 2001, however.
Crofton earned a 29-15 decision here last year. Cedar led at halftime in that contest, but the Warriors charged back to earn the win. It was one of only two losses Cedar suffered all year. The other loss was a 7-0 defeat in the state semfinal game to defending state champion Wakefield.
Cedar Catholic has an awful lot of holes to fill if the Trojans hope to make a return trip to the state semifinal game.
Cedar lost a lot of players to graduation, including the school record-holder for sacks, Tim Wieseler, and All State lineman Kyle Dump.
The Trojans return a school record holder and an All State running back in junior Chad Koch. Koch set the single season rushing record last season and was named to every major All State team in the state last year. He is ranked as a pre-season All State selection this year by Huskerland Prep Report.
Crofton is hoping to improve upon its 7-3 season in 2007. The Warriors are expected to be led this year by a core group of experienced seniors. Six starters return this year on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Three skill position players, senior running backs Tyler Kleinschmit and Calvin Mueller, and junior tight end Weston Foxhoven are expected to get the brunt of the work for the Warrior offense.
Mueller, 5-6, 160-pounds, ran for 647 yards last year. Jordan Nelson, a 160-pound junior, also saw acation at running back last year, and is again expected to play a big part in the offense this year.
Foxhoven is one of three starters returning to anchor the Warrior offensive line this year.
Foxhoven, a 6-7, 235-pounder, drew state-wide attention for his physical play last year.
He is joined in the line by 6-1, 220-pound senior tight end Trevor Arens. Senior tackle Trent Schieffer, 6-0, 220-pounder, also returns.
Lettermen Jysse Schleister (Sr., 230), Blake Woockman (Jr., 180) and Preston Mueller (Soph., 200) should be in the battle for starting spots.
Foxhoven is a nightmare for opposing tackles and Arens is also outstanding at the other end. Schieffer and senior nose tackle Matt Peitz (6-1, 230) round out what should be an outstanding group. Preston Mueller and juniors Spencer Steffen and Woockman will battle for time at linebacker. Kleinschmit and Calvin Mueller are returning starters in the secondary, where junior letterman Jacob Murphy (185) could also see significant playing time.