The expectations for the Scottsbluff High School football team heading into this season are no different than other other season.
Expectations are high.
That’s the way it goes when you’re one of the perennial powers state wide in Class B.
Last season for the Bearcats finished with a record of 8-2. The lone regular season loss came on the road at McCook (one of the best games Scottsbluff played all season) while that second loss came at home in round one of the state playoffs to Blair.
I caught up with some players and coaches on Wednesday after practice and Assistant Coach Jud Hall was talking about how the first few days of camp have gone.
The big story revolving around the team over the summer months was the arrival of junior defensive lineman/tight end Garrett Nelson on the national recruiting scene.
After attending multiple camps including stops at the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin, Nelson really blew up in Lincoln at the Nebraska camps, eventually picking up an offer from and committing to the Huskers. He was the first commit in their class of 2019.
Nelson is the first division one scholarship player that Scottsbluff has had since Head Coach Joe Benson has been on staff.
Benson has said that for this team to reach their potential they’ll need to become a dominant unit on the defensive side of the football.
The headliner that’s not around anymore is running back Max Mason, who rushed for close to 1,800 yards last season while scoring a whopping 30 rushing touchdowns. Mason is widely regarded as one of the best football players the Panhandle has seen in years.
That said, the cupboard is far from empty. In fact, it’s loaded with talent and potential.
Junior Chris Busby and sophomore Jasiya DeOllos each rushed for over 9 yards per carry last season in limited duty. While the ceiling for that tandem is high, Coach Hall says they have some adjustments to make.
Junior Keegan Reifschneider will provide the coaching staff with another versatile player that can help out in the running game and do some damage downfield in the passing game also.
Last year at this time an area of concern was the quarterback position. Noah Bruner took the reigns as a junior and started to develop and improve from week to week.
This season it’s a position of strength.
The Bearcats look to be a heavy favorite in the district once again this season. Alliance lost plenty of talent off last years team while Gering is just trying to find some solid footing and get in the win column. Sidney brings back plenty of firepower on both sides of the ball led by a dynamic backfield.
You add it all up and Scottsbluff is once again the team to be in the region.
They have a chance to be one of the best teams in Class B.
Scottsbluff will open up with a road game at Hastings on August 25th.