The first official day of practice for the 2022 fall sports season was Monday. Here is Omaha North’s report, notes and observations from the Vikings first official practice.
The defensive line is once again the Vikings strength. Orlando Hernandez and Ceontre Brown have graduated and so did their 9.5 total sacks from 2021. That won’t stop the Vikings from applying pressure upfront and creating some tackles for loss. Returning is Tyson Terry, the sophomore who was the first ever heavyweight state wrestling champion as a freshman. Terry is a force and so is senior Tyler Stewart, also a state wrestling champion. A lot will be asked of the duo on both sides of the ball but there is some depth in the defensive line. In the mix for the other starting spot in the Vikings 3-4 defense is junior Jordan Vasquez-Shaw and S’marious Henderson. Both should see significant playing time this season.
Senior running back Te’Shaun Porter is one of the best backs in the state. Porter will look to improve on his 1,610 yards and 18 touchdowns from last season with a semi rebuilt offensive line. Outside of Porter there is a lack of experienced depth. There are two sophomores and four freshmen that the staff likes as backup options. One or two will need to spell Porter on occasion.
Senior Tre Brown will likely rarely come off the field for the 2022 Vikings. A three-year starter in the defensive backfield, Brown moved from corner to safety in the middle of last season. Brown will also have an impact at wide receiver, punt and kick returner. Sophomore Titan Glassman, senior Zyon Knox, junior Donavon Jones and freshman Champ Davis will fill the other three positions on the backend of the defense.
North traditionally has strong athletic linebackers, particularly at outside linebacker. 2022 should be no different with seniors Julian Turner-Wright and Gavaughn Lumpkin returning at the position. Senior Omaha Northwest transfer Armani Levering has varsity experience and should make an impact at one of the linebacker spots.
The quarterback position is unknown due to the lack of varsity experience. Jordan Williams, a two year starter, is gone but there is talent at the position. The two candidates that are battling for the starting spot are both sophomores and have yet to start a varsity game in their high school career. Sebastian Circo transferred from Omaha Burke. Circo has the arm talent and football IQ most coaches love in a quarterback. Nate Collins is a bit more athletic and could provide a threat with his legs. A decision on who the starter will be should come soon in camp.
Keshaun Williams could take the top off a defense and would fight for a ball in the air, most of the time winning. Williams leaves a big hole to fill in the passing game. Turner-Wright will look to be that big play threat but the depth is greater in 2022 with unproven players at the position in Brown, Glassman, Davis and Lumpkin.
The offensive is a rebuild at the key positions. 2021 starting center Peyton Knickerbocker will miss the first few games with a hand injury. Clearly that will be a big hole to fill and is getting sorted out. Stewart returns at right guard and Terry will move from tight end to either left guard or left tackle. Deandre Harper, Devon Jones and Nolan Bartles are competing at the other offensive line positions. The hope is to possibly be interchangeable with the unit.
Moving Terry inside on offense creates a pretty big opportunity for unproven players in Levering and Deon Cooper.
One of the best defensive coordinators in the state, Jarod Meysenburg is gone after 20 years North. Meysenburg is now the head girls track coach at Omaha Westview. It is a big loss for the Vikings who will likely get more comfortable and better as the season progresses.