Calvin Strong will sell the tickets.
Omaha North's junior running back is getting Division I attention, and rightfully so after a standout sophomore season in which he led the Vikings to the state finals.
But creases for Strong's cuts or holes for his spin move will likely depend on a revamped North offensive line.
Well, not completely revamped.
Junior Michael Decker, an All-Metro first-team and All-Nebraska second-team selection a year ago, will shift from left tackle to one of the guard spots this season.
He'll be joined by three new starters up front for North, which opens its season at Kinnick Stadium on Friday night against Omaha Benson.
“You've got to put the puzzle together a bit there,” Vikings coach Larry Martin said. “But Michael is a pretty good one to start with.”
Martin lauds the work ethic first. Decker made a giant leap between his freshman and sophomore seasons, the coach said.
By the end of last year, the 6-foot-3½, 280-pound Decker was holding down the spot that protects the quarterback's blind side.
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“He's got good size, good strength,” Martin said. “But he's also got that desire. The thing I feel that separates some kids on the line is that they like to finish blocks. That's what Michael has. He'll get on you and move you, but he wants to bring a little extra to it.”
He'll get that chance more often by moving one spot closer to the ball. At first, Decker said, the guard position was “weird.”
“I had never played guard in my life,” Decker said. “But I'm liking it. You get to hit linebackers instead of just linemen.”
He's also looking forward to showing off some of his athleticism in plays where he'll be required to pull.
The thing to remember once you get in space? Stay out of Calvin's way.
Decker said he made that mistake during one of Strong's runs last year, inadvertently helping make the tackle.
“He cuts back and you try to keep up with him, but you just don't want to run into him,” Decker said with a laugh. “You have to just keep doing what you're doing and do it fast.”
Both Decker and Martin said the loss in last year's Class A title game should serve more as a raised bar than a motivational tool.
North, playing in its first title game in school history, led top-ranked and unbeaten Millard North after scoring a touchdown in the final two minutes.
But the Mustangs drove the length of the field, scored in four plays and watched a potential game-tying North field goal sail wide as the game ended.
Decker said the sense of accomplishment came before the disappointment.
“We knew we were good and we didn't doubt that we could do it,” he said of reaching the final. “But when we did it, it was almost like we couldn't believe it had happened.”
Now, though, the Vikings want to take that last step.
“The coaches have done a good job of keeping us going,” Decker said. “I need to do more. We all know we need to do more. We want more.”