Elkhorn South exceeded expectations in its first year in Class A. The Storm finished 2018 with a 7-4 record before falling to Bellevue West 38-31 in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
In their second Class A season, the Storm return standout players with varsity experience at key positions.
World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter attended Elkhorn South's practice on Monday. His notes and observations are below.
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Teddy Prochazka is a power conference recruit at offensive tackle. On Monday you would've thought he was a power conference prospect at defensive tackle. Even though he is just learning the position, the 6-foot-9, 285-pound Prochazka has the size, athleticism and disrupting ability to be a high level defensive tackle at the next level. Prochazka has grown both physically and mentally in the offseason. He was a leader, who encouraged his teammates while also vocally correcting their mistakes.
Depth, experience and talent return on the offensive line. Along with Prochazka, center Isaac Zatechka and right tackle Cooper Taylor started as sophomores. With a year of varsity experience and physical maturity, the trio will help make up one of the best units in the state.
Senior linebacker Jack Paradis is the quarterback of the defensive unit. At 6-2, 196-pounds, he is physical and demonstrated he can diagnose plays quickly at middle linebacker. Junior Makhi Nelson-Douglas showed he can make plays in the backfield at outside linebacker. Opposite Paradis at middle linebacker is junior Bo Wiesler. Junior Dilan Krause should provide depth at linebacker, while sophomore Koy Wilke made plays against the top offensive unit and could see significant playing time at outside linebacker this season.
Elliott Brown returns at quarterback after tallying over 1,000 total yards in 2018. Brown showed supreme confidence in the offense and is a dual-threat quarterback. The quarterback position has strong depth behind Brown. Krause and Nelson-Douglas are two good athletes that can step in and make plays if needed.
Replacing 1,000-yard back Cooper Jewett would be a challenge for most programs, but the Storm have plenty of athletes that should be to fill the gap in the run game. The two leading candidates to get the bulk of the carries are junior Eli Hustad and sophomore Ben Warren.
In 2018, the Storm threw for 1,098 yards as a team. An emerging group of playmaking wide receivers should help the offense. Jewett was previously the team's leading receiver with 21 catches and 365 yards, but the 2019 receiving corps will likely be led by junior slot receiver Guy Hunt. Junior Zach Michener, at 6-4, 200-pounds, is a relatively unknown player that is poised to have a breakout season.
Defensive back is a position that will be tested specifically in week four when the Storm host Bellevue West. Senior defensive back Blaze Doxzon and senior safety Shae Wright will need to make plays in the secondary.
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