LAUREL – History was made last fall for Laurel-Concord-Coleridge as the football team won their first playoff game as LCC.
Last season also marked the third straight year that Laurel-Concord-Coleridge qualified for the playoffs.
Alan Gottula will take over as head coach for LCC during his fourth year in the district. He brings several years of head coaching and coaching experience.
“I was the head coach at Albany, Missouri,” said Gottula. “I’ve been the head football coach at Franklin, Nebraska; prior to that I was a quarterback coach at McCook, I’ve been the head football coach at Sidney, I’ve coached in Red Cloud and 30 years ago I was in Bloomfield, Nebraska so I’m reasonably familiar with the area.”
Coach Gottula spent the previous three years as the defensive coordinator and led the offensive and defensive lines at LCC. Pat Harrington will take over the defensive coordinator position while returning assistant coaches are Nate Sims and Zeke Stephens leading the 32 members on the LCC football teams.
Week zero games will be Blue Hill at Cross County, Lincoln North Star at Hastings, Schuyler at Sandy Creek and Laurel-Concord-Coleridge vs. Homer.
Practice has gone well as coach Gottula added the team was able to begin practice on Wednesday, August 4 with an earlier start to the season.
“Honestly the weather has been, we’ve been very fortunate let’s put it that way,” Gottula added. “So, I feel we’ve gotten a lot done. We always wished we could have done more but practice is different these days than it used to be.”
The Bears went 5-3 in the regular season which ended with back-to-back losses to Wakefield (24-30) and Lutheran High Northeast (8-16). LCC won at Thayer Central, 76-36 in the first round of the D1 playoffs before suffering a 40-12 loss to Tri County last year to end their season at 6-4.
Evan Haisch was a dominant factor for LCC last season as he rushed for over 1,800 yards and was an All-State Selection. Sutton Ehlers, Haisch, Deagan Puppe and Evan Schmitt were All-District Selections.
The LCC Bears return an experienced and playoff tested group of juniors and seniors including 14 letter winners, five returning starters on both offense and defense.
Coach Gottula mentioned the group taking the field Friday night at 7 p.m. will not look much different than last year’s team.
“I try to build an offense around the athletes that you have available and we’ve got so many of them back we’re doing a lot of the same things,” Gottula mentioned. “Now, we’re doing things just a little differently, but at the same time it’s going to look pretty similar.”
Again, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge opens their 2021 season with a week zero game this Friday, August 20 against Homer. Last year, LCC won 78-14 at Homer.
The Bears will also visit Wisner-Pilger on August 27, host Stanton on September 3 before taking a week off from game-action on September 10 and then visit Elkhorn Valley on September 17. Laurel-Concord-Coleridge will host Hartington-Newcastle on September 24, be on the road back-to-back weekends at Plainview (Oct. 1) and Wakefield (Oct. 8) before ending the regular season hosting Lutheran High Northeast on October 15.