Milner, Wallin selected as team captains; season stats compiled
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Members of this year’s Longhorns football team selected seniors Trey Milner and Justus Wallin as their honorary captains for the season.
The pair displayed their leadership qualities throughout the season both on and off the field to earn the recognition.
Longhorns finish 3-6
Their leadership helped the team through a season that yielded just three wins against nine losses.
Coach Dan Lenners said this year’s final record doesn’t tell the whole story.
Lenners said his team competed hard every game en route to earning a playoff berth, extending the Longhorns’ streak for consecutive playoff appearances, now at 18 years straight.
That achievement is tied for the fourth longest streak in Nebraska.
Lenners said his team put themselves in position to win games against Sidney, Chadron and possibly Gothenburg.
He said he was pleased with how his kids responded to adversity during the season and never giving up.
Looking ahead to next year, Lenners will get back a strong suite of juniors. Plus, a number of his younger players saw significant playing time later in the season.
That experience should be valuable going into the next season if they can build on this season’s success, Lenners said.
The key, he said, will be how hard his team works in the weight room during the off-season and especially over the summer.
Work in the weight room has become a necessity to be able to compete with other teams who spend their summers in the weight room, Lenners noted.
It will help develop those younger players so they are ready to compete at the varsity level.
Lenners said it was apparent all season long which kids put the work in during the summer compared to those who didn’t. Those that didn’t were never able to catch up once the season began, he noted.
Lenners said district coaches will gather after the playoffs to select all-district players.
Lenners compiled season long stats for this year’s 3-6 campaign.
Defensively, Wallin led all tacklers, finishing with 29 solos and 101 assists. Juniors Isaac Sorensen, Jeff Dickey and Kelton Fisher followed Wallin with their own defensive efforts.
On the offensive side of the ball, Dickey led the team in rushing with 362 yards, followed by Milner with 278 yards. Dickey average 6.1 yards per carry with Milner at 4.8 yards.
Dickey and Wallin led the team in rushing touchdowns with six each.
In the receiving department, senior Kevin German led the team with a total of 31 catches good for 541 yards and seven touchdowns. He averages 17.1 yards per catch.
Fisher handled most of the quarterbacking duties this season, throwing for a total of 1,116 yards.
He accumulated those yards by connecting on 64 of 146 passing attempts for a 44 percent completion rate on the season.
Gordon-Rushville W 51-0
@ Sidney L 13-32
Chadron L 21-46
Cozad L 0-42
@ Mitchell W 70-0
@ Gothenburg L 7-24
Kearney Catholic L 14-23
@ Minden W 35-21
@Gothenburg (playoffs) L 15-31