Previewing an upcoming season is never an easy task. To do so properly takes countless hours of emails, observations, statistical research, conversation, and reflection. Adding onto that difficulty are challenges, such as a cancelled 2020 season and lingering COVID restrictions, making our preview preparation feel almost impossible.
Despite these obstacles, the approaching 2021 season and its participants – whether that be players, coaches, fans, or families – deserve some semblance of normalcy. Soccer in Nebraska and all those who participate deserve to be promoted. Over the course of the next several weeks, NEST will overview EVERY high school soccer program in our state. This was done to the best of our ability using all of the information we could collect.
Nebraska Soccer Talk is here to support many fantastic teams, coaches, players, fans, and referees that make our game possible. One mission of this venture is to discover and centralize newsworthy information. This can only be done in collaboration with individual programs. As a whole, our sport must better promote itself in order to grow the player and supporter pool. We encourage every team to proudly and consistently advertise itself to us and the general public. The more information available, the more our game will grow. Soccer is a game historically left behind to linger in the background in the United States. That circumstance is changing, but that change will not happen automatically. Growing and covering all aspects of our sport will take effort from all of those who love it.
Disclaimer – To prepare for these articles, a questionnaire was sent to every school’s head coach and athletic director. Many of these questionnaires were returned in a timely fashion, others were not. Nebraska Soccer Talk prides itself on equal and in-depth coverage, but cooperation is needed to meet that goal. Please consider this to be our reasoning when it comes to article length and accuracy.
Grand Island Northwest
Head Coach – Ann Purdy
Players to Watch – Najib Ortiz, Jarit Mejia
State Status – Front Runner, Contender, Dark Horse, Up-And-Coming, Building, Too Early To Tell
Previous Season Accomplishments – 2019 Class B State Qualifier
NEST Analysis – Grand Island Northwest was absolutely the surprise of the 2019 season. The Vikings more than doubled their previous win total and captured a coveted slot at the state tournament. With the cancellation of the 2020 season, supporters were robbed of seeing an encore performance. 2021 provides Grand Island Northwest with the opportunity to reinforce the notion that this is a program on the rise. Najib Ortiz and Jarit Mejia will be two key members on this varsity lineup as they look to propel their team forward. Both of those players have cemented themselves onto our all-time name list, now they look to earn a spot on our post-season Best XI. Grand Island Northwest is a team to watch throughout the 2021 season. Nebraska Soccer Talk has placed them on our list of Teams on the Verge meaning the Vikings could soon find themselves inside the Top 10.
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