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There are an interesting slate of games approaching on the local sports calendar this week.

Of all the battles on tap this week the most intriguing just might be the on the volleyball court. On back-to-back nights Creek Valley and Leyton will renew a rivalry that has already produced high drama this season. But I like to save the best for last - so more on this later. But here's a look at some of the other exciting match ups this week.

Football:

Leyton at Hay Springs. Thursday @ 7 p.m. - The gridiron action starts early this week with the Leyton Warriors travelling to Hay Springs for a tussle in eight-man football on Thursday. For both the Hawks (3-1) and Warriors (4-0) its is their first district game of the season.

Hay Springs (D2) comes into the contest after a 70-22 thrashing at the hands of D1 Hemingford. Leyton, meanwhile, is coming off a 183-play overtime marathon nail biter over Paxton in what senior quarterback Alex "A Dub" Frerichs told the Sun-Telegraph, "Was the most exciting game I've ever played in."

What ultimately settled the matter was a mere two-point conversion. A Dub found Dylan Brenner in the end zone in overtime for the tie.Brennen Cruise then put the cherry on top by running in the winning two-point conversion. It was fitting that Frerichs, Cruise and Brenner were all involved in the winning moment. After all Frerichs threw three touchdowns to Brenner while Cruise ran in three others.

Is is harder to snap back from a 70-22 beat down or come back to earth after the their most exciting game ever? One things for sure, Leyton knows it won't shrink from the heat of the big moment - and after opening up 4-0 they must know by now they're a pretty good football team. Now they get to see how they'll fare in their own distict.

Briggsdale at Peetz. Saturday @ 1 p.m. - It's homecoming weekend for the undefeated Bulldogs (4-0) who meet their stiffest challenge of the year to date. In order to get their fifth straight win, the Dogs will have to turn back another unbeaten foe. The 3-0 Briggsdale Falcons come to town Saturday for what proves to be a six-man thriller.

The Bulldogs seem to have a slew of different heroes every week. It's Logan Vach, then Jordan Nelson or Garrin Cox or Bradey Holtz, etc. All will need to be on deck for this one.

The two have faced only one common opponent so far. Both met the winless Pawnee Coyotes (0-4) and defeated them handily by eerily similar scores. Peetz knocked off Pawnee 46-20 on Sept. 13. In the opening week of the season (Aug. 30), Briggsdale handled Pawnee 46-20.

McCook at Sidney. Friday @ 7 p.m. - The Raiders come into this contest after a mistake filled second half cost them any chance against a quality opponent at Aurora. McCook (3-1), another quality opponent, has reeled off three straight wins after a 22-7 opening week loss to those same Huskies. Critical mistakes were the downfall of the Bison, too.

Their loss to to the same common opponent aside, both squads have shown themselves to be solid football teams. Their difficulties against another good football team is not what has defined either up to this point. But the definition of neither team has been written fully. Stay tuned. A few sentences of that definition will reveal themselves Friday night at Weymouth Field.

For the Raiders, last week was the biggest game of the year. Not any more. This is their biggest game of the year. It's likely the biggest game they've had in several years. Any team can be beaten by a good team. Any team can have a bad week. Tomorrow night we see how they react.

Cross Country:

Sidney at Ogallala Invite. Thursday at 4 p.m., Sidney at UNK Invite Monday at 1 p.m. CDT - Fresh off a sweep at McCook the Raider runners are headed to Ogallala this afternoon and then to the University of Nebraska at Kearney on Monday.

Jachob Wiedeburg (18:12) ran to a second-place finish to lead three Raiders to the top five. Hayden Lienemann (18:26) finished fourth and Brody McKnight (18:27) was on his heels in fifth. Completing the strong effort at McCook were Ryan Birner, Jacob Schaub and Logan Uhlir.

The varsity girls have won its last two meets and dominated at McCook with six runners in the top 14. Scoring for Sidney were Alli Ehler, Madisen Stafford, Abby Heller, and Genessa Schilz. Close behind were Erin Lindeman (11th) and Mia Hernandez (14th).

As Head Coach Tony Neels revealed at the start of the season his real concern is how his teams continue to improve towards the District Meet in mid October. So far they appear on schedule.

Volleyball:

Creek Valley at Leyton. Monday at 5 p.m., Leyton at Creek Valley Invitational. Tuesday at 5 p.m. - If the match that the Storm (6-2) and Warriors (11-1) played at the Garden County Tournament Sept. 14, is any indication of what's in store early next week, hold on to your hats.

Though Leyton (District D2) swept the Storm (District D1) in two sets it was anything but a blowout. In fact, it could just have easily ended the other way around, as both sets needed overtime to settle. The Warriors were forced into eight-extra points to down Creek Valley in set one 33-31. Set two was little "easier" at 29-27.

Last season, on its way to a school-record 30 consecutive regular-season wins, Leyton lost but three sets. One to Paxton, one to Potter-Dix and of course one to Creek Valley in a best-of-three match.

Monday the rivals will meet in a best-of-five on the Warriors home turf. Tuesday the Storm get home court in a three setter. Haxtun, Colo. (2-7) will also be on scene at the triangular match at Chappell. With all due respect to the Fightin' Bulldogs, they might be relegated to the undercard.

 

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