by Reece Wickersham The Pioneer football team will be traveling to the Peru State College Oak Bowl to play their first game of the season this Saturday, August 27. They will be playing against the Fort Calhoun Pioneers in the inaugural Pioneer Bowl. The winning team of Pioneers will be carrying home with them an authentic wagon wheel as the game trophy. With their outstanding confidence, the NC Pioneers are certain that the they will secure their first win this weekend. Team Captain Baylor Poston stated, “After having a great week of practice, we are gonna come in ready to play”. Based on what we’ve seen so far, practice seems to be going very well for the Pioneers. Safety Jayden Borns says “I think that we can compete really well against Fort Calhoun and our team is definitely ready to take on the competition”. Don’t forget to come out to Peru this Saturday at 7pm to support Nebraska City in the Pioneer Bowl. You won’t want to miss it!
The Nebraska City Pioneers are going to kick off the season this Friday @ Pioneer Field with a gatorade scrimmage at 7:00pm. Everyone is welcome and the team is accepting donations in the form of sports drinks. When asked about practices, senior Jayden Borns stated that “It’s been a great week of practice and we feel prepared to take on our first game this season”. Senior Bayler Poston claims “I am ready to suplex somebody this year”. Starting Fullback Jackson Kreifel said “practice is going great, we have a lot of potential to do great things this year.” It appears that the Pioneers are very confident in their ability in what they can accomplish this season. Be sure to make an appearance this Friday to cheer on the Pioneers in their first scrimmage!
The Pioneer Football Team was able to get back on the winning side of things last Friday against a tough Fairbury Jeff's team. It is always a goal for teams to start off fast and put together solid drives and the Pioneer's did just that. On the opening kickoff MJ Nelson followed a swarm of Pioneer blockers to take the kick to the house and spark the Pioneers with a 7-0 lead within the first 10 seconds of the contest. Not to be outdone, the Pioneer defense stepped up right away and caused a turnover on downs that resulted in a Bayler Poston 30 yard touchdown run. Eddie Gonzalez tacked on the extra point and within four minutes of the football game the Pioneers were leading 14-0.
Nebraska City never looked back and was able to end the first half with additional scores by Bayler Poston on an 68 yard touchdown pass from MJ Nelson, Braden Thompson on a 41 yard touchdown pass from MJ Nelson, and an additional 85 yard touchdown run by Bayler Poston. The Pioneers went to the locker room at half with a comfortable 35-0 lead on a night where Nebraska City High School was inducting its inaugural class of Nebraska City High School Hall of Fame. Eddie Gonzalez was perfect on the night (and on the season) going 5 for 5 on his extra point attempts, and Eddie also added 3 points to the board with a 27 yard field goal in the 4th quarter.
The Pioneers finished the night with a victory of 38-6 and improved their record on the season to 4-2. Nebraska City will take on the Auburn Bulldogs on Friday 10/8 at Pioneer Field at 7pm.
Pioneer Football team participates in the Homecoming parade prior to their 61-14 victory over Omaha Concordia.
Parades, dances, decorations, patriotism, and school spirit could all be found around Nebraska City last week as the Pioneers celebrated their homecoming. All of the grandeur did not overshadow the fact that the Pioneer Football Team was trying to improve their record against visiting Omaha Concordia. Although the game was scoreless through the first quarter, the Pioneers soon found their rhythm and were able to produce 551 yards on offense and hold Concordia to just 159 yards in their 61-14 victory. The Pioneer defense showed their ability to not only shut down the running attack, but also create opportunities by causing turnovers. The Pioneers capitalized on 5 Concordia turnovers (2 fumbles and 3 interceptions). MJ Nelson, Gavin Bailey, and Chase Brown all intercepted passes and Gavin Bailey caused one forced fumble (recovered and scored by MJ Nelson) and Braden Thompson blocked a Concordia punt all while also creating scoring possibilities on special teams. Led by Eddie Gonzalez (kicker) the Pioneers shifted their game plan early on special teams and were able to cover multiple onside kicks giving the offense great field position.
The Pioneer offense seemed to have everything working for them. Quarterback MJ Nelson had an impressive night where he threw the ball for 180 yards with two touchdowns and ran the ball for 89 yards and one rushing touchdown, while also adding a 91 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Offensive weapon Braden Thompson finished the night with 5 receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns and also led the Pioneer defense in tackles. Offensively the Pioneers had seven players rush the ball but were led by Junior running back Baylor Poston with 17 carries for 219 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Kalan Fritch also added points for the Pioneers on a rushing touchdown to finish the game.
The Pioneers have improved their record to 3-0 and have seemed to find their groove with solid defensive play, a balanced offensive attack, and improved special teams. Nebraska City will travel to Platteview on Friday September 17 to take on the Trojans in Springfield.
The Pioneer football team started a little slow but was able to cap off a win with a 34 point unanswered run until late in the 4th quarter where Louisville was able to make the final score Pioneers 41 Lions 28. This brings the Pioneer's record to 2-0 to begin the season where they continue to rack up points. The Pioneers are averaging 44 points per game over the span of their first to opponents. The Pioneers were able to quiet the Louisville Homecoming crowd by making 433 yards of total offense, with 386 of those yards coming on the ground. Bayler Poston went for 195 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries while MJ Nelson added 182 yards and two scores on the ground for the Pioneers. Braden Thompson added a pivotal touchdown reception in the second half and recorded an interception on defense to seal a Pioneer victory.
The Pioneer defense started a little rocky as Louisville appeared to be in control of the line of scrimmage and jumped to an early 21-7 lead. Adjustments, substitutions, and a re-energized style of play seemed to be the ticket for the Pioneers as they were able to withhold the Lion offense and begin their own offensive attack. Creating two turnovers and limiting Louisville's time of possession was key in allowing the Pioneers to find the endzone. Coach Walker commented that "...I am pleased with how our team responded to being down. We gathered ourselves, stuck to what we know we can do, and executed. It says a lot about a team that can make a comeback and then win by that margin. I am proud of our efforts and will continue to work on the little things to make us better." The Pioneers will face Omaha Concordia this Friday as their homecoming game at Pioneer Field for their first home game of the season.
The Pioneer football team took the field Friday evening in Schuyler Nebraska to take on the Warriors for their season opener. The Pioneers took little time to put points on the board as they were able to gain good field position on the opening kickoff and score on the second play from scrimmage with a Bayler Poston run for 32 yards. Bayler Poston ended the evening with 141 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Poston was not the sole carrier of the football on Friday night for the Pioneers where Senior Quarterback MJ Nelson chalked up 93 rushing yards with 1 touchdown and 50 passing yards. The Pioneer offense seemed to be rolling by committee where multiple backs were able to gain significant yards against the Warrior defense. Jayden Borns rushed for 67 yards with 1 touchdown, Kalan Fritch was able to contribute 29 yards rushing with 1 touchdown, and Peyton Grubbs added 22 yards rushing and Jesus Mendez Valquier tacked on 15 yards on the ground.
Not to be outdone, the Pioneer defense came to work by not only pitching a shutout performance but limiting the Warriors total offense to less than 100 yards. The Pioneers won the turnover battle with two interceptions (Braden Thompson, Austin Sterling) and one fumble recovery (Kalan Fritch). Braden Thompson converted his interception for 20 yards for a defensive touchdown to solidify a Pioneer lead early in the contest. After such a dominant performance on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, kicker Eddie Gonzalez made his presence felt on special teams by going 5 for 5 on extra points, and causing 5 touchbacks on kickoffs.
The Pioneers are looking to maintain this momentum into this week as they take on Louisville on September 3rd, in Louisville who suffered a week one loss at the hands of DC West.
Sr. MJ Nelson (12) takes a snap, while Sr. Chase Brown (1) runs a route. Both players look to fill big roles for the Pioneers in 2021.
7 on 7 league play, football team camps, and many open field sessions have prepared the Pioneer football team for their season opener this Friday. The Pioneer Football team takes on the Schuyler Warriors in Schuyler where the Pioneers are excited to showcase a new regime and system under new head coach Kaleb Walker.
Although the team will be led by a new coach, many of last year's faces on the field remain the same. Last season proved that the Pioneers can move the ball and make plays all over the field and they are hoping to be able to do the same this season. With returners on both sides of the ball, Nebraska City will highlight their stat leaders in multiple ways. Michael Nelson (SR) will lead the Pioneers under center and utilize his speed and throwing ability to move the ball. Bayler Poston (JR) will be the Pioneers featured running back where he plans to continue to gain momentum from last season. Braden Thompson (SR), the Pioneer stat leader in multiple categories a year ago is back at tight end and will undoubtedly be a force for the offense. Returning wide receivers Chase Brown(SR) and Nyuon Thuokok (SR) brings size, speed, and athleticism to the Pioneers offense where first-year Pioneer Offensive Coordinator Andy Fedoris has many options to spread the ball around the field. It is no secret that the Pioneer offense has many playmakers, but the athleticism doesn't end with those touching the ball. The Pioneer offensive line returns players such as Michael Dia (SR), Andrew Stukenholtz (SR), Clay Duvall (JR), and Gavin Bailey (JR). All have varsity game experience and have picked up the offense in an incredible fashion.
Defensively many of the pieces were already set with returners on every level of the defensive unit. 8 returning starters will again be on the Pioneer defense with depth at each position.
We met up with Coach Walker to discuss his thoughts on the upcoming season and what the team's goals are as the season opener approaches. "I am excited to showcase what our kids can do. The leadership on our team is second to none and more importantly, we have great kids who show up ready to work hard each day. Our goal is to focus on the process of getting better. Each drill, each play, and build up our teammates along the way. The score and winning will take care of itself."
The Pioneers have named their five team captains in Michael Nelson, Braden Thompson, Michael Dia, Andrew Stukenholtz, and Chase Brown. Walker commented "I couldn't have asked for a better group of young men to lead our team. We are in good hands!"
Come out to Schuyler this Friday at 7pm to watch the Pioneers take on the Warriors!
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