Call it Christmas in February, the unwrapping of the new Nebraska high school football schedules for the next two seasons.
In Class A, where six of the nine games for each school are against district opponents, the non-district games bring us some wanted gifts — like Bellevue West-Millard West and Omaha Central-Omaha Westside — but there are a couple white-elephant gifts as well. Don’t think Omaha Northwest and Grand Island requested to play each other, or Lincoln Southeast and Omaha South.
Those matchups came about because, starting in Week 3, there are three district games and one team needing a crossover opponent.
These are the non-district games starting with Week 3:
Week 3: Grand Island-Omaha Northwest, Kearney-North Platte
Week 4: Bellevue West-Millard West, Lincoln Pius X-Papillion-La Vista
Week 5: Lincoln East-Lincoln Northeast, Omaha Central-Omaha Westside
Week 6: Norfolk-Bellevue East, Papillion-La Vista South-Omaha Creighton Prep
Week 7: Fremont-Lincoln High, Omaha North-Omaha Burke
Week 8: Lincoln Southeast-Omaha South, Omaha Benson-Omaha Bryan
Week 9: Lincoln North Star-Lincoln Southwest, Millard North-Millard South
Look at the available teams each week and there’s little to quibble about.
Most teams in Class A also seemed to fare well in getting their other two non-district opponents. Among the best matchups on opening week are Millard North-Omaha North, Westside-Prep, Millard West-Millard South, Papio South-Bellevue West and Grand Island-Kearney.
Second-week headliners include Bellevue East-Bellevue West (hey, it’s a rivalry), Lincoln Southeast-Lincoln Southwest, Millard North-Millard West, Millard South-Westside, Omaha North-Central and Prep-Burke.
>> Norfolk plays six Metro Conference teams, going on the road for four of them this year.
>> Bellevue East’s final five games are against non-Metro competition.
>> Omaha Benson caught a break in its return from two years in Class B. The Bunnies, who were 1-8 the past two seasons with the wins against Schuyler, don’t play a 2015 playoff team until Millard North in Week 5.
>> Lincoln High plays only Lincoln Southwest from the Lincoln Public Schools. Southwest and Southeast each have three LPS opponents.
District assignments in Class A were made based on the past two years of the NSAA point standings. All other classes have geographical district assignments.
Noteworthy in other classes:
>> Defending Class B champion Elkhorn South, no longer in the same district with runner-up Omaha Skutt, will play the SkyHawks in Week 2. The Storm start each year with York, which has lost to them the past two years in the playoffs on field goals.
>> Class B has no out-of-state opponents or Class C-1 teams. York trades Norris, Pius X, Crete and Waverly for Elkhorn South, Holdrege, McCook and Sidney.
>> Seven Class C-1 teams have eight-game schedules instead of nine. They are defending Class C-2 champion David City Aquinas, Ashland-Greenwood, Douglas County West, Kearney Catholic, Madison, North Bend and Omaha Concordia. The reason is an odd number of teams in C-1. Two other byes were avoided when out-of-state teams were found for Gordon-Rushville and Mitchell. All other schools in 11-man and eight-man have full schedules.
>> Class C-1 champion Columbus Scotus and Aquinas will have their annual meeting in Week 2 as a non-district game. Aquinas also gets Pierce before a district schedule with Wahoo Neumann and Wahoo.
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