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10/11/2015 - From The Press Box: Links Surging, Rockets Still A Major Contender and State Softball

 I've said it before and I'll say it again, I never thought Lincoln High and Lincoln Northeast would be in a tight finish for playoff spots.

The Links and Rockets each need one more win in their respective districts to clinch post-season berths.  

For Lincoln High, though, they could be the city football champion for the first time in a long time (perhaps decades).  Head Coach Mark Macke's hard work is starting to payoff, which I first recognized when he took over in 2012.  His players never quit and play hard until the very end of a game, regardless of outcome.

The Links final two games of the year (Lincoln North Star and Omaha Northwest) could solidify not just a city title, but where they could be in the playoff picture.

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Northeast, who is the only Class A city school above .500 at 4-3, has a bigger challenge the next two weeks.

The Rockets will face a 5th-ranked Grand Island team coming off a 13-10 loss at home to Millard South.  Northeast could exploit the Islanders' vulnerability from losing to the Patriots, if quarterback Trevor Petersen is on target and Tivon Phillips' ground game is at top level.

Plus, the Rocket line on both sides of the ball along with the secondary need to stop a high-powered Grand Island offense led by quarterback Trey Kissick.

Northeast's 35-33 loss at Norfolk didn't hurt them much, other than dropping to be a contender in our Union Bank Top Ten.  A win over Grand Island, plus a victory at Omaha Burke will seal their fate on where they could end up in post-season play.


Playing men's fast-pitch softball as an adult and being around it at a young age when my father played, I have an appreciation for the sport.  As much as I wish I could cover the sport more often and provide play-by-play, my schedule doesn't allow it.

However, writing about softball is better than nothing, in my opinion.  

Softball is alive and well for two Lincoln teams in Class A.  

Lincoln North Star and Lincoln Southwest each qualified for the Class A State Softball Tournament, which starts Wednesday at the Smith Softball Complex in Hastings.

The Navigators draw top-seed Papillion-LaVista in the 9am opener, while the Silver Hawks at the same time will play third-seed Omaha Marian.  Millard South could be another team possibly making a run in the "A" tournament, but face an opening round matchup with their "Q" Street neighbors Millard West.  

In Class C, Raymond Central opens up the tournament at 2pm against Wahoo Neumann.  Conestoga, Cozad and Wayne will be the teams to beat in that bracket.  

Click the link below to see the full bracket.


Thursday night, you can hear the simulcast of the Grand Island/Lincoln Northeast football game courtesy of KFOR FM 103.3/1240AM with yours truly on the call with John Harris.  Our Friday Football Doubleheader features North Star and Lincoln High at 4:30pm from Seacrest. Kellan Heavican will have the call, then join me at Waverly at 7pm as the Vikings host Platteview at Viking Stadium.

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