By Nathan Charles
Here are the candidates for SBLive’s Nebraska high school athlete of the week for Nov. 21-27. Read through the nominees and cast your vote. Voting will conclude Sunday at 11:59 p.m. If you would like to make a nomination in a future week, email email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: Our Athlete of the Week feature and corresponding poll are intended to be fun, and we do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. However, we do not allow votes that are generated by script, macro or other automated means. Athletes who receive votes generated by script, macro or other automated means will be disqualified.
Kyle Kasik, Clarkson/Leigh Running Back
Kasik might be the biggest star of any in Nebraska’s seven state title games. The Clarkson/Leigh junior filled up the stat sheet in every category – carrying the ball 45 times for 320 yards with six touchdowns, he converted all six two-point conversions, made eight stops with five solo tackles on defense, collected 2 and 1/2 tackles for loss, intercepted a pass and defended another. Kasik and Clarkson/Leigh won the Class D-1 title 48-20 over Neligh-Oakdale for the first championship in program history.
Tristan Alvano, Westside Kicker
If Kasik might be the biggest start of the championship round, Alvano might have benefitted the most from his heroics. After hitting five field goals including a 45-yard walk-off winner in the Class A title game against Gretna, Alvano was offered a scholarship to Nebraska by interim coach Mickey Joseph. Alvano accounted for all 15 Warrior points after the first quarter and make kicks from 44, 50, 26, 42 and 45.
Ben Brahmer, Pierce Tight End
Brahmer ends his Bluejay career with all kinds of school records and looks forward to Division-I football. But before he’s on TV screens every weekend, Brahmer left quite the legacy in leading Pierce to its second state title in three years. The 6-6 senior caught 11 passes for an NSAA playoff record 249 yards and three touchdowns in the C-1 title win over Aurora. He was also a force on defense, picking off a pass while making six tackles, three solo.
Keegan Shuler, Hitchcock County Linebacker
Schuler led the defensive effort for the Falcons in the Class D-2 eight-man championship win over Howells-Dodge. The senior linebacker led Hitchcock County with 13 tackles, three solo and held Howells-Dodge to its lowest total of the season and lowest in more than two years. Shuler and the Falcon defense also limited the Jaguars to about 100 yards less on the ground than their average.
Caleb Benning, Westside Receiver/Defensive Back
It had been an emotional and mental struggle for Benning the last two months. After an injury sidelined him in September, Benning spent the next nine weeks trying to get ready to play again. The only trouble was it seemed his only chance would be if Westside made the final. Well, the Warriors did and he delivered with two interceptions defensively to go with a game-high 14 catches for 103 yards offensively in a win over Gretna.
Trey Bird, Bennington Quarterback
Bird ends his varsity career as the Bennington starter with a perfect 25-0 record and back-to-back state championships. Few other players in Nebraska history can claim similar achievements. In his final game, Bird was 13 of 20 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball eight times for 45. He’s put up more than 5,000 yards of offense in the past two years.
Anthony Rezac, Westside Quarterback
The Warriors have been blessed with tremendous quarterback play recently, and Rezac is right up there with the best. The junior solidified his legendary status with a night that included 27 of 36 passing for 337 yards and two touchdowns, completions to six different receivers and 83 yards rushing with a score on 24 carries in the Class A title win over Gretna. Oh, and he’s got another year to go with a career that already has 3,456 passing yards and 38 passing touchdowns to go with 1,370 rushing yards and 21 more scores.
Blayke Moore, Gretna Wide Receiver
Moore was a game-breaker for the Dragons as they looked to repeat as Class A champions Monday night at Memorial Stadium. The senior caught five passes for 153 yards and a touchdown including an 80-yard score that immediately answered a touchdown from Westside. Moore made catches of seven, five, seven, 54 and 80. He finishes the year with over 600 yards receiving, 32 catches and nine touchdowns.
Kade Pieper, Norfolk Catholic Defensive End
Pieper was the leader in tackles for a Norfolk Catholic defense that put together a shutout in the Class C-2 title win over Hartington Cedar Catholic. It was the second time the Knights shut out the Trojans this year and their third scoreless defensive effort of the season. Pieper had seven tackles and two sacks. Five of his tackles were solo stops. He and the defense held Cedar Catholic to just 147 yards on 40 plays.
Abram Scholting, Pierce Quarterback
Although his tight end set the record, it was thanks to Scholting, and the offensive line, that Ben Brahmer found himself in that position. Scholting was an uber efficient 14-of-18 passing for 270 yards and three scores. He picked up 31 more yards on the ground and made four tackles on defense during a Class C-1 title win over Aurora. Scholting closes his career as a two-time champ who quarterbacked Pierce to a 36-4 record in his three years as a starter.
Zane Flores, Gretna Quarterback
Flores would like to have a few of his throws back, but even with a couple mistakes figured in the Oklahoma State recruit was masterful most of the night in the Class A championship. He ended his Dragon career with 414 passing yards, three touchdowns, 52 yards rushing and another touchdown. It was the seventh time in his career he’s thrown for more than 300 yards and was a career-high.
Isaac Conner, Bennington Wide Receiver
Conner was a big-play threat for the Badgers in their state title win over Gross on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior started the night with a bang, catching a 75-yard touchdown pass. In the second quarter he caught another score for 25 yards. His final varsity game included four catches, 110 yards and the two scores.