HARTINGTON — Several Cedar County athletes will take part in upcoming All Star football games.
The 2021 Northeast Nebraska All-Star Classic is set for noon, June 12 at Veterans Memorial Field in Norfolk, while the following week in Hastings, the 43rd Nebraska Eight Man Coaches Association (NEMFCA) SERTOMA 8-man All Star Game will take place with either the East or West going to take a 22-21 series lead.
Representing area schools will be Myles Thoene and Kerby Hochstein (Cedar Catholic), Kobe Heitman (Hartington-Newcastle) and Anthony Haberman and Peyton Wieseler (Wynot).
Trojans head coach Chad Cattau saw his two seniors play big roles in the team’s trip to the Class C2 state quarterfinals and Hochstein and Thoene will get a crack at one more shot on the prep gridiron.
“Kerby was a great player and leader for us this past season,” Cattau said. “He had an outstanding year for us on both sides of the ball. He was not only our leading tackler, but he was our quarterback on defense, as well.”
Cattau said Hochstein understood the game very well, and used that knowledge to aid the team.
“He was responsible for making all adjustments with the defensive line and linebackers, and that is not an easy role to have,” Cattau said. “You have to understand where everyone needs to be aligned for every formation, and Kerby was responsible for making sure it happened on every play.”
Cattau noted Hochstein’s heart and tenacity that deceived for his 150-pound frame.
“Kerby wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything and that is what propelled him to an outstanding season and career for us,” Cattau said.
Thoene was an all-around, Swiss Army Knife type of player for the Trojans.
“On defense, he played corner, safety, and we even walked him up and played him at the linebacker position at times,” Cattau said. “On offense, he played receiver and even got some carries at running back towards the end of the season after we had a couple injuries at the position.”
Thoene was an all-state defensive back that seemed to know how to make big plays.
“He did a great job of always having us in the correct coverages throughout the season,” Cattau said. “On offense, he became a very reliable receiver for us all season. He was able to catch almost every ball that was in his area, and he also had deceptive speed which allowed him to get open on deep routes as well. He was always a threat to make plays for us on both sides of the ball throughout his career.”
Thoene looks forward to playing the game one more time.
“It will be fun to be able to go with a group of boys where I know a lot of them and we can have a good time playing football,” Thoene said. “I just want to leave it all out there one more time and enjoy it.”
Thoene admits he has gotten a little out of shape since basketball ended, but he expects to play in the slot on the offensive side of the ball and likely cornerback or safety on defense.
“I just don’t want to go out there and look silly,” Thoene said. “I haven’t run too much since basketball. A lot of those kids are in track, so they are going to have a foot up over me for sure. I probably should (try to get in shape). It will probably be good for me.”
Kobe Heitman will play in both games, so he plans on staying pretty busy these next few weeks.
“Being able to play again, for the last time, it’s a great feeling,” Heitman said. “All the hard work, practice and dedication for a sport I care about makes it worth it. It’s going to be a great feeling to see this year’s seniors again and play a few more times.”
Heitman said he has been able to keep in shape with some running and making trips to the weight room. He will likely play running back in these games.
“I want to have over 150 yards rushing and at least two touchdowns,” Heitman said of his goals for both games.
Heitman will play safety for the Wayne State football team beginning in the fall.
Heitman’s coach, Cory Uldrich, at Hartington-Newcastle, has nothing but superlatives to offer for his departing leader.
“Kobe has worked incredibly hard to be a good football player, and he deserves to be rewarded for his dedication, work ethic, and ability,” Uldrich said. “He was a tremendous leader for us on the football field, and we will miss his leadership next year.”
The Blue Devils had a nice, bounce back campaign that equaled a playoff berth and a trip to the second round with Haberman and Wieseler doing their part to spark that run of excellence.
Both young men also will play in each all-star game.
“Peyton really proved himself on the line on both sides of the ball this year and it shows by being selected to two all-star games,” Wynot head coach Steve Heimes said. “He is a great player and even better person who is always willing to help everybody no matter the situation.
“Anthony is a great athlete and fun to watch play. He is a great competitor and wants to win against everybody no matter the challenge.”
Haberman is not sure what position he will play until the team starts practicing for both games – he is also going to participate in an all-star basketball game for good measure.
“It gives me one last go round to play football and to make me proud of what I did during my high school career,” Haberman said. “I hope I play receiver in that game; I have a good turnout and my team comes out on top. I hope I have 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns.”
Haberman will attend Southeast Community College in Lincoln and says he will not play sports.
“I might do some amateur basketball,” he said. “I am going to definitely miss high school sports. I gave all I could, but there is always something more to give.”
Wieseler expects to take his offensive line playing prowess to both games before beginning his collegiate baseball career at Mount Marty next year.
“It’s going to be really fun, and I definitely was sad when the football season ended last fall,” Wieseler said. “It’s one of those games where you leave it all out on the field. I am glad to be able to play two more games. I am very fortunate to be selected and hopefully it should be pretty fun.”
Wieseler used to play 11-man football as a younger kid, so he looks forward to tinkering with it again.
“I’ve always really wanted to play high school 11- man and see how different it was to 8-man,” Wieseler said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity.”
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