The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Stephen McKay
Sports Writer 

Talking Sports: Weekend of local sports action


W ith Labor Day now in the rearview mirror, the local sports seasons kick into high gear. After a quiet holiday weekend, the upcoming two days are full of activity.

On the gridiron, all the local teams will be in action this weekend - with all but one playing at home. In the Friday match ups, Sidney will welcome Hastings at 7 p.m., Sedgwick County (Colo.) will visit Leyton in Dalton at 7 p.m., the Buffaloes of Caliche High School (Illif, Colo.) will be in Potter to take on the Coyotes at 7 p.m. and South Platte will challenge the Storm of Creek Valley at 6. In a Saturday matinee, the Peetz Bulldogs will grapple with Briggsdale on the road in a 2 p.m. start.

In cross country, Sidney will be the visitors on both Friday and Saturday. First the Raiders go to Littleton, Colo. at 1 p.m. and then to Chadron on Saturday for a 10 a.m. start. Creek Valley goes to the Kimball Meet on Friday.

The big volleyball event over the weekend will be in Oshkosh as Garden County hosts a 10 a.m. tournament on Saturday. Creek Valley and Leyton will both be in attendance. The only volleyball action on Friday has Potter-Dix hosting Caliche at 4 p.m. in the first game of a volleyball-football doubleheader.

I don't know how competitive the games will be on the football field this weekend. Potter-Dix, which lost a halftime lead against Morrill with six second-half turnovers last week, is facing Caliche (Colo.) (1-1). Until last week, the Buffaloes were ranked among the best eight-man teams in Colorado. The Buff's slipped up, however, against unranked Kiowa in a 12-6 loss last week.

The Coyotes were a playoff team in 2014, but have been hit hard by graduation and declining enrollment. Despite these issues, they are not without talent. The speedy and athletic Kelsey Rozelle rushed for 67 yards and caught four passes for 160 yards in the season opener against Morrill. Coby Hicks reeled in four passes for 64 yards. Junior quarterback, Noah Nelson, threw for 226 yards while completing a third of his passes.

Leyton has a very tough opponent in Sedgwick County (2-0). So far this season, the Cougars have outscored two Nebraska opponents, 153-8. The Warriors struggled to run the ball against Mullen (1-0) in their season opener. They tallied just 59 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Rhett Dye played a clean game as he completed four passes for 74 yards without an interception. Drew Brenner hauled the big one - a 64-yard touchdown in the third quarter. On defense, the Warriors needed 96 tackles and two Dye interceptions and still surrendered 44 points.

Creek Valley, which has struggled to win in recent years, may have its best chance for a win this week. If it can top the Blue Knights of South Platte, it may give the Storm the confidence it needs to improve. Last week, South Platte lost by the count of 39-0 to Wallace.

What Creek Valley and South Platte both seem to have in abundance is youth and inexperience. In the Knights 62-36 win last season, the Storm's freshman quarterback Pierce Leef battled sophomore signal caller Jeremy Bartels of South Platte.

Both teams appear to have difficulty attracting upper classmen onto the practice field. In their 2014 matchup, just four seniors were listed on the Knights roster while Dane McConnell was the only senior on the Creek Valley roster. McConnell, probably the Storm's best player in 2014, did not play against South Platte.

In the six-man game, Peetz goes on the road for the first time in a must-win game at Briggsdale (1-1). Yes, it's still early, but the 0-2 start for the Bulldogs puts some urgency into their mission.

The 'Dogs should be considered a strong favorite to upend the Falcons. Last week, Briggsdale fell to league opponent Pawnee, 54-28, after topping Genoa-Hugo/Karval 36-22 in its opener. The biggest challenge for the Bulldogs is likely to be the familiar face of former teammate Logan Vach.

Vach, a senior, moved from Peetz after his sophomore year. He is the leading rusher for Briggsdale. He piled up 271 rushing yards in the season opener against Genoa-Hugo.

Though the teams have yet to play each other this season, there has been some bad blood between the two off the field. It should be a great rivalry game to watch.


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