Huskies past and present share field, expectations

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Husky Nation turned the pages back a decade Friday, remembering an earlier era of championship football while watching this year’s Big Red roll toward a possible 2018 title.
Members of both the 2008 and undefeated 2009 state title teams were honored at halftime, many gathering after the game to relive those glory days and renew genuine friendships.
“I don’t remember a lot of plays, but as I found out tonight I haven’t seen my buddies in a long time and it doesn’t seem like any time has passed the second we got here,” said Jamie Bergmark, an anchor on the line for both championship runs. “The unity is still here and that’s what wins championships. Obviously the state championships were nice, but long-lasting friendships are what it’s all about.”
Husky fans will long remember the back-to-back titles, and what many still believe could have, should have been a trifecta in 2010. The players and coaches involved said they cherish those memories, and the chance to come back and share them.
“Just being around the team is the best part of it,” said Andrew Rodriguez, a dominant Husky lineman who went on to start for the bigger Big Red in Lincoln. “There are no relationships better than the ones you build in high school.”
Tyson Broekemeier, another former Husky/Husker, said the McCook rivalry stands out in his memory.
“Other than that just being around the team there was such camaraderie and Coach Huebert, in particular, was just a good guy to be around,” Broekemeier said. “We played hard and we were trained the right way.”
Speaking of McCook memories, the game that still stands out as one of if not the best high school games I’ve ever seen was the 37-33 classic in 2008. The Bison had whipped the Huskies earlier in the season, but Huebert and Co., including now head Husky Kyle Peterson, dialed up a new game plan that worked to perfection. That team believed in each other and played with such unity in an epic upset win, which was still evident as some of those players chatted Friday night.
“Those are life-long relationships, player to player and coach to coach, but you sometimes lose the player to coach relationship,” Peterson added. “You spend so much time together, sometimes more with those kids than your own families, that you get to be close. It’s neat to have an opportunity and that type of reunion to be able to celebrate that.”
Peterson made sure that the current Huskies shared the field, although briefly, with the former state champions, noting that this year’s team has a chance to run the table like their ’09 predecessors.
“There have been other teams that have gone undefeated, but that was the first team to do it in the playoff era,” Peterson said. “I think so much of what they accomplished and the principles and the character traits that they brought to our program are still such an important part of what we try to accomplish today.
“That group in 2009 didn’t start the tradition, but they kind of elevated the expectations,” he concluded. “I thought it was important for our kids to rub elbows with and honor the group that did that for them.”
Here’s hoping the 2018 Huskies can rub elbows as state champions in 2028, when all three teams come home to remember when.

KURT JOHNSON can be reached at kjohnson@ hamilton.net

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