The fall sports season began Aug. 9, with the first official practices for fall sports teams.
Here are notes and observations from Omaha Skutt’s Monday practice.
Wyoming commit Caden Becker (6-4, 220) is back at quarterback. Becker is a significant threat in the running game, but look for more from him in the passing game in 2021. Last season, Becker rushed for 435 yards and seven touchdowns. Through the air he had 429 yards in eight games. A year of experience in the SkyHawk system and a full offseason working with his teammates should make Becker more productive in every aspect for the SkyHawks in 2021. Backing up Becker at quarterback looks to be sophomore Bennett Turman.
On the outside, it looks as though Becker will have plenty of nice options to throw to. Junior Joe Connolly is probably the fastest player on the team and could be a deep threat. Quinn deNourie (6-2, 200), didn’t play for the SkyHawks the last two seasons, but the senior could be a significant contributor at receiver. DeNourie flashed on Monday catching a deep ball in the team portion of practice along with a few catches in what could be third and medium situations.
Brandt Pickrell (6-3, 225) at tight end is a big target who could be more of a household name throughout the state by the end of the season. Pickrell could have a major impact on both sides of the ball in 2021. At strongside defensive end, Pickrell can set the edge and has the speed to get to the quarterback.
It’s rare for an offensive lineman to play for the SkyHawks prior to his senior season. Traditionally well-coached, the question isn’t if the position group will be a strength, it’s who is going to be in the group of five who start the season. Joe Brinker (6-1, 235), a senior, will be the anchor at center. Brinker will also help on the defensive line at tackle. Another name to watch up front is senior Nathan Eich.
At running back, the top three rushers from 2020 have graduated. The next man up is likely going to be junior Wyatt Archer (5-10, 175). Archer primarily played receiver and defensive back in 2020. Junior Maccoy Holtam (6-2, 185) and senior Mason Kass could share carries with Archer at running back. At fullback Jackson Chandler (6-0, 200) is a threat to get the tough yards.
The sophomore class is talented. An undefeated freshman season certainly proves that. How quickly some of those now sophomores contribute at the varsity level will be interesting to see. Traditionally it takes a special type of player to get significant playing time as a sophomore at Skutt.