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.
Head Coach – Digger Hawkins
Players to Watch –
- Sarah Weber – University of Nebraska soccer signee
- Rainna Daharsh – University of Nebraska-Kearney soccer signee
- Taylor Daffer – Creighton University soccer signee
- Chaley French – Illinois State University soccer commit
- Savannah DeFini
State Status – Front Runner, Contender, Dark Horse, Up-And-Coming, Building, Too Early To Tell
Previous Season Accomplishments – 2019 Class A State Semi-Finalists
NEST Analysis – This was one of the most exciting teams in 2019, and the Lady Dragons appear primed to make another deep run at the state tournament. Coach Digger Hawkins has a team absolutely loaded with talent and experience. Perhaps most importantly, this talent can be found throughout several levels, not just in one or two positions. Look for Gretna to be one of the stellar teams of the 2021 season. Players such as Sarah Weber, Taylor Daffer, Chaley French, and Savannah DeFini are game changers capable of putting together great performances on any given night. Adding to that core are several talented sophomores and freshmen.
High expectations can be a double edged sword, so anything short of a state title game will most likely be considered a disappointment in many ways. Talent is one thing, putting it all together is entirely different. It will be fascinating to witness how Coach Hawkins utilizes all of these pieces. Nevertheless, as Taylor Swift so eloquently stated those types of challenges are considered to be “champagne problems”.
Belief and anticipation for this program is high, that is why they debut in our pre-season poll as the #2 squad in Class A and also hold a front runner status.
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