“It’s a new us”: Reigning football champs prepare for 2021 season

PIERCE, Neb. - Across the state student-athletes are hitting the field and one team in northeast Nebraska has a lot to live up to.
Pierce High School is home to the Class C-1 Football State Champions but what will it take for the Bluejays to get the opportunity for another title this year?

"Number one you've got to stay healthy," said Head Coach Mark Brahmer. "Number two, you've got to have some young guys surprise you."

The Bluejays graduated 20 seniors and now have just ten veterans.

"Our senior class is not a big group of guys, but the guys that have come through for four years have developed into very good football players," said Brahmer.

The first week of practice has the "new" team coming together.

"That's what we've got to do out here at practice before the season," said Ritter Oestreich, Pierce Senior. "Figure out what our strengths are and utilize them the best we can."

Despite their successful history, the Bluejays are focusing on the task at hand.

"Go by week by week," said Oestreich. "Because last year with COVID-19, we didn't know for sure if we were going have a game that week or not."

For the seniors each week holds a little more weight as they build toward their first game on August 27. 

"I mean it's something that you dream of ever since you were a little kid, of winning a state championship," said Oestreich. "Personally for me, after winning the state championship and seeing my parents and my family it was really a proud moment. So to be able to do that one more time as a senior and finish it off, that'd mean a lot to me."