Lots of excitement in week one of the 2015 high school football season.
New surroundings at Seacrest Field and upsets in the Class A top ten.
Well, nothing earth shattering. But enough to see a few changes come about.
Let's start out with the big game Friday night at Seacrest with No. 10 Lincoln Southeast and contender Lincoln Southwest, which played before a crowd of 6,746. Not the biggest turnout for this rivalry, but thrilling nonetheless.
In a seesaw affair, the Knights and Silver Hawks battled on the gridiron in order to get an upper hand on the city title race and bragging rights for one year. Tied at 7 at the half, Southwest got a 31-yard field goal from Joe Stenoncek to go up 10-7 in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Martiez Prather returned it 82-yards for a touchdown that gave Southeast a 14-10 lead.
The player that stood out the most was Southwest junior running back Braeden Hartwig, who ran 22 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Hartwig's second touchdown late in the third quarter proved to be the game winner, as both teams had a big defensive battle in the fourth quarter.
Regardless of the outcome, it was great to see the huge crowd for an intra-city high school football game and the perfect spark to the season and a refurbished Seacrest Field.
Lincoln High and Lincoln Northeast got to play the first game at Seacrest this year on Thursday night. Mother Nature had to stop the game for about a 30-minute lightning delay, but the Links got their first win over another city team in nine years with a 20-13 win over the Rockets.
Elsewhere in Class A, Millard West hung on Thursday night to upend defending state champion Omaha North 21-19 and Bellevue West flexed its muscle by downing Omaha Westside 45-22.
SEATING, PARKING, PRESS BOX IMPROVEMENTS AT SEACREST
So, let's talk about the new surroundings at the 53-year-old stadium that sits off of 70th and "A" Street. For starters, the press box accommodations are ideal and spacious. Lighting and electrical outlets above the counter tops make it more accessible to utilize equipment. Overhead lighting has an adjuster to make it bright or soft.
Windows in all the press box space (north, middle and south booths) can open up to allow more air flow. You can walk straight in and not have to use the stairs, unless you're assigned to the top deck in the center box. That's designated for TV crews or additional radio crews to use.
Seating is new, pulled further away from the main field to allow more spacing for soccer games in the spring. New bleachers and hand railings help make getting up and down the aisles better. Capacity dropped from about 10,000 to a little more than 9,000 (it's barely noticeable).
The big talk among stadium goers was the new video/scoreboard in the south end zone, which was donated by the Seacrest family, the namesake of the field. High-definition that will feature pre-recorded videos, graphics and advertisements for now, with the capability in the future to show replays during games.
Oh, and the parking lot. Completely paved. No more loose gravel to worry about.
A-plus. That's my grade for the new Seacrest Field. The $4.1-million for the improvements came from a portion of the voter-approved LPS bond issue. Trust me, it's money well spent because the original foundation for the seats was shifting and buckling and something had to be done.
Condolences to Roach Family/ElkhornSports.com
We're nearly three months behind this sad news, but we wanted to offer our deepest sympathies to the family of Tom Roach, the founder and owner of ElkhornSports.com, who died suddenly on June 4 at the age of 56.
Here's a write up on the passing of Roach's death via ElkhornSports.com.
"In 2003, when internet broadcasts were in it's very infancy, Tom helped spearhead the idea of having our very own webcasts for Elkhorn High School. Those humble beginnings have led to over a thousand broadcasts of Elkhorn and now Elkhorn South High School events. Many chuckles have been shared over the years of the learning curve we all went through . . . and Tom always carried the loudest laugh. Whenever things would get difficult, it was Tom who would always remind all of us that elkhornsports.com is for the kids. Tom was so thankful to all of those who carried that mantra with their countless volunteer hours. And he was particularly proud when an Elkhorn Public School student would decide to help broadcast and most recently when a student broadcaster decided to give broadcasting a try as a college major. That was always his ultimate vision.
Tom was an outstanding athlete in four sports. He was best known for his football accomplishments and played football at Iowa State. Tom still holds the Iowa High School 100 meter dash record. He is member of the Iowa High School Hall of Fame.
We send our deepest condolences to the most important part of his life . . . his wife Teri, and his children . . . Tyler, Tara and Trevor. Tom so enjoyed attending their activities from grade school through college. He is also survived by his mother, Betty, two brothers, Joseph and Matthew, and two sisters, Sally and Teresa."
Tom was a great ambassador to online sports webcasting in Nebraska and we are very appreciative of his extended hospitality in helping cross promote LincolnPrepSports.com each time Elkhorn or Elkhorn South would compete against Lincoln schools featured in our weekly broadcasts. We salute you for your service!