The second-ranked Omaha Westside varsity football team is set to kick off their season against their rival seventh-ranked Creighton Prep on Friday, August 27 at Burke Stadium. Westside is looking forward to their 2021 season, as they are coming off of their first state championship since 1982. Senior quarterback Kolby Brown says a lot has changed since last year and he believes the championship should be put into the past and they should be focusing on the season opener.
“I think more than anything there has been a lot of talk about that state championship and I think for us we were a different team this year, it’s a different year as good as that was last year,” Brown said. “I think more than anything we have to put that back in the past and just focus on this year and we can ride the waves off of it but it’s a whole new team and we just need to come out and play our game.”
As the reigning state champion, the Warriors can be shown to have a lot of pressure to defend. With the loss of four Division I commits along with four other starters, the Warriors had a lot of holes going into the season. Each class is going to have to step up. For head coach Brent Froendt, that it will take time, but hopefully it will all play out in the end.
“We lost a lot of talent, a lot of college talent and it’s difficult to fill that,” Froendt said. “We have a lot of seniors who are ready to fill it and some young kids who are going to take some time to develop and that doesn’t typically happen by the first game. So it’s going to be a year-long process and hopefully we’ll be at our best at the end of the year.”
Not only has the team been stepping up in many ways, but Kolby Brown has also stepped up in the role of quarterback this season. After Brown was in a back up role last year to Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year and North Dakota State commit Cole Payton, he is looking forward to being the starter.
“I have done a lot of film study and studied a lot of what Cole did well and kinda morphing that into my game and obviously what I do well.” Brown said. “Also just making sure I am in full control of everything we’re doing as an offense and I understand everything I’m doing too.”
Along with many returning senior starters, the Warriors have a very deep sophomore class. Two of the standouts are Caleb Benning and Jahmez Ross. Senior Wide Receiver Jack Wimmer noted how big of a role the sophomores will play this season.
“Sophomore class is definitely big. They are filling big shoes from last year so there are a lot of empty spots that they have to come in and fill,” Wimmer said. “There is a lot to learn too and it’s definitely different then freshman year. So us as a senior class or even the juniors even have to do a lot to get them ready for the upcoming week.”
The first test for the Warriors will be against the arch rival Creighton Prep on Friday night. Westside will be looking for their fifth consecutive win against the Junior Jays. Kick off will be at 7 p.m. at Burke Stadium. Tickets will be sold in the main office Thursday and Friday. The game will also be available on Creighton Prep TV on YouTube and our website.