Colors: Purple and Gold
Head Coach: Joe Kvidera (1st season)
2017 record: 2-6
Returning Starters: N/A
The Emerson-Hubbard Football Program is under new leadership as former Pirate assistant and Ponca Head Coach Joe Kvidera takes over for Ken Swanson, who took an administration position at Laurel-Concord-Coleridge.
Among the returning letterwinners are seniors Spencer Burcham (RB/DB), Jacob Kneifl (OL/DL), Micah Lamprecht (TE/LB), and Nolan Ostrand (RB/LB), and juniors Nolan Belt (QB/DB), Tyler Stark (OL/DL), Hunter Schock (TE/LB), and Sophomore Zach Shanks (OL/DL).
Kvidera, who won a state title at Ponca in 2009, looks for big things out of Kneifl and Ostrand. “We expect some great play and leadership from Jacob Kneifl and Nolan Ostrand on both sides of the ball. Both Jacob and Nolan O. were among the leaders in tackles last year. Jacob was an honorable mention all-state and all-district player. Nolan Ostrand was an honorable mention all-district player.”
Kvidera also looks for big things from Belt. “Offensively, we will be led by Junior QB Nolan Belt. As a sophomore, Nolan B. combined for over 1,000 yards rushing and passing. We look forward to Nolan having a productive season.”
Other players who could step up and contribute include senior tight end Connor Newton (6’2, 195) as well as senior lineman Nick Ahlers (6’3, 210), and junior lineman Kaden Swanson (6’1, 230).
Kneifl moves from tight end and defensive end to guard, according to Kvidera.
Key losses include Josh Sebade, who led the team in tackles the last 3 years, and was the team’s leading rusher last year.
Kvidera says it was a successful offseason. “Most of the guys were in. We had a number of guys make their 80% goal of offseason lifting, and we had a team camp at Wayne State College, we’ve been going there a number of years. We always like going over and seeing our friends over at Wayne State. And that went pretty well for us. We always use that as kind of a learning tool as well just to kind of see where we’re at, and what the new group of guys is going to do.”
Kvidera says it will be important for underclassmen to step up and contribute this season. “We will need some of our younger players to develop this fall to help provide depth at all positions.”
Kvidera adds his squad is ready to get after things. “We have a good group of upperclassmen returning to the team. This group is hungry for success after a disappointing finish to last season. I’m excited to see what they can do.”
Emerson-Hubbard looks to get back to their playoff form this season.
Kvidera says executing and not making mistakes are keys to making the playoffs this year.
The Pirates open up the season at home against Homer on Friday, August 24th.
Kvidera says his squad is looking forward to the contest. “I think we’re going to be pretty evenly matched. Been watching a little bit of a film on Homer from last year. They’ve got some big guys, and they’ve got some skill guys. That will be a very good test for us early on to kind of see where we’re at and gauge our progress. And it’s an old conference rivalry there in the Lewis and Clark so the guys are going to be up for it I know that. It’ll be a fun first contest for sure.”
Emerson-Hubbard is in District D2-2 with Pender, Clarkson/Leigh, Mead, Cedar Bluffs, and Omaha Christian Academy.
Kvidera says it will be fun playing new opponents. “Those are going to be some teams that are going to be pretty good. They’ll be good tests. And most of them we haven’t seen before. We have Omaha Christian Academy and Mead and Cedar Bluffs. And we’ve never played those teams before so it’s going to be kind of nice to get to see some new teams and some different things in a new district.”
Kvidera says his team has embraced the challenge. “We are playing in a new district this season, against many teams that we have never gone up against. We are looking forward to the challenge of new competition.”
Bob Jensen of the Huskerland Prep Report feels Emerson-Hubbard is in as wide open a district as there is in D-2.
2018 Emerson-Hubbard Pirates Football Roster:
8 Hunter Schock Jr. TE/LB
14 Jacob Kniefl Sr. OL/DL
15 Spencer Burcham Sr. RB/DB
17 Brock Mackling Fr. QB/DB
22 Anthony Lawrence So. RB/LB
25 Cameron Ahlers So. RB/LB
31 Nathan Busker So. RB/LB
32 Ryan Kinnaman So. RB/DB
33 Micah Lamprecht Sr. TE/LB
34 Nolan Ostrand Sr. RB/LB
35 Nolan Belt Jr. QB/DB
38 Ethan Eriksen Fr. OL/LB
42 Mason Hall So. TE/LB
44 Alex King-Lobo So. OL/DL
50 Drake Steel Jr. OL/DL
51 Garrett Blanke Fr. OL/DL
83 Hunter Morgan So. TE/DE
93 Zach Shanks So. OL/DL
99 Tyler Stark Jr. OL/DL
09/07/18 @ Allen
09/14/18 @ Plainview
09/21/18 Cedar Bluffs
10/05/18 @ Omaha Christian Academy
10/12/18 @ Pender