The clock stuck midnight, and Papillion-La Vista ushered in a new era and a new tradition with the official start of the 2019 Nebraska high school football season.

The Monarchs were the only team in the Metro area to practice the minute teams were permitted to take the field. It's a tradition first-year coach Tim Williams brought with him from Waverly.

World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter was there in the early hours Monday morning, and here are some observations on the Monarchs:

* * *

The known

Running back seems to be the Monarchs' deepest position. Senior Frankie Allen is the star of the group, a speedster who fits almost perfectly into the Monarchs' run-focused pistol offense. Allen showed Monday he is more than a straight-line runner. He has burst and the ability to make defenders miss.

The offensive line might be the best position group on the team. Preston Kellogg leads them at right tackle, and at 6-foot-5, 277 pounds, he's one of the better lineman in he state. He is also likely to play some nose tackle on the defensive side of the ball.

Another lineman who flashed serious potential Monday was Matthew Schwartz. He looks the part at 6-4, 257 pounds, and during drills he showed good punch and footwork. He will be a key piece to the Monarchs' success running the ball in 2019.

The unknown

There will be a new starting quarterback, and senior Lane Harris is the leading candidate to take most of the first-team snaps. Harris has a good feel for the offense and showed Monday he can connect on short to intermediate routes. Another option is sophomore Kyle Ingwerson, who may not have Harris' speed but can push for time at quarterback.

I will be curious to see how the Monarchs use senior Alek Abels, who stands out physically even when not wearing pads. On Monday he was used as a lead blocker and he'll also play middle linebacker.

Sign up for daily headlines from NEPrepZone

Get a daily roundup of game recaps, player features and more in your inbox.

Mike is a prep recruiting specialist for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MikeSautterOWH. Phone: 402-444-1335.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.