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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

A team for the ages

A perfect season for Westside’s state champs

The GOAT. The greatest of all time is one of the most prestigious honors in the world of sports. That raises the question who’s the greatest Nebraska high school football team to win a championship. After a historical year, the 2023 Westside Warriors have now raised some eyebrows questioning if they really could be the GOAT of Nebraska high school football.

Diving into the analytics of the Warrior team it’s amazing what they were able to do. Westside went 13-0, and had an average margin of victory of 49-3. The offense was nothing short of amazing, putting up a total of 5,643 yards and averaging 434 yards per game. The offense scored a whopping 82 touchdowns on the year. The offense was unstoppable, but the defense may have been the best part of the team. The unit only allowed three points per game. The defense had 96 tackles for losses, 17 sacks, 15 interceptions, recovered 12 fumbles and eight shutouts.. The 2023 Warriors matched the record for All-State selections with eight. 

“I’ve been coaching now for a while, I’ve coached in two states, I coached in Ohio for about seven years and coached in Nebraska for 23,” head coach Paul Limongi said. “I’ve coached some great teams, coached some great teams at Burke, there were some great teams in Youngstown I was a part of. But I’m obviously biased, this is a team that is truly, truly unique and special. The fact they never had a fall off, they never slipped, that they got better every week makes them one of the best I’ve ever coached and seen. I let other people do their rankings, we’re just very proud of how we played. They were a tremendous team, they loved each other, high character on and off the field, collectively all the phases, special teams, offense, defense was very, very good, not a lot of weakness. The kids bought in and all credit goes to them. I’ll just say they’re up there for me. They’re gonna go down in history one way or another.”

The 2023 Warriors are up against two teams for the crown, including the 1985 Creighton Prep team. The Jays didn’t allow a single first half touchdown until the state finals against Papillion. The closest victory margin was 15 points. The team had eight All Nebraska players and more than a dozen Division one recruits. The squad also had two players go on to play in the NFL and was ranked in the top 20 of USA Today’s ranking. The Omaha World-Herald Prep editor Stu Pospisil believes it’s a close race, saying there’s a lot that goes into his final rankings. 

“Certainly in my time it’s among the all time best,” Pospisil said. “I’m still working on the metrics and analysis. I would think Westside will end up very, fairly high.” 

Westside has always been a historical football program in Nebraska, including the 1982 Warriors. The team went 12-0, winning their second straight state championship. In the playoff run the Warriors didn’t allow a single point and outscored opponents 104-0. In comparison the 2023 team outscored opponents 200-6 in their four playoff games. The 1982 team had 13 players go on and play college football. Former Nebraska sportscaster of the year and KFAB 1110 Radio host Jim Rose says the 2023 Warriors top the 85’ Jays in his mind. 

“Watching high school football for the last 45 years, for my money the 85’ Prep team was always half a stride ahead of the 82’ Westside team, until this team came along,” Rose said. “I’ve never seen in Nebraska high school football a team that is more complete than the 2023 Warriors. They had exceptional defensive line play all year. This was a complete football team, and it’s clear they truly brought into everything they were doing, eight shutouts, a handful plus of division one guys, and complete dominance during the season against the best teams in the state. To me the 2023 Warriors are number one now.” 

Comparing teams to the 2023 Warriors, it’s obvious that some teams are better than the Warriors at certain positions. The skill position and talent of the Westside team may not be as good as the 1982 Warriors or 1985 Junior Jays, but the sheer dominance of this team is what stands out. The ability for Westside to have a game script and stick to it all game is what separates them from the rest. When Westside wanted to run or pass, they did, and it was always at a high level no matter the defense they played. On the opposite side of the ball, the defense was untouchable at every level. The team had four defenders on the All-State team that led one of the best defenses in state history. Mike’l Severe, longtime sportscaster on radio and TV host, says the Warriors dominance is what put them on top. 

“In terms of overall talent, on the offensive line and defensive line I don’t think they’re as good as some teams we’ve had,” Severe said. “When you talk about specifically at the quarterback position, at the wide receiver position, even at the running back position, based on what I’ve seen,I think they’re the best team I’ve seen. I watched seven games personally, the way they dominated on defense, as many shutouts they had, and as good as they were in terms of, when they decided they wanted to run the ball, they ran the ball. When they decided to throw the ball, it didn’t matter who it was, they got it out to the wide receivers, or they got it out to the running backs. I think overall they’re the best team I’ve seen and when you have a quarterback, who’s the best quarterback in the state, the best safety in the state, probably the best middle linebacker in the state, you’re a pretty good team in terms of history.”  

Let the debate begin on the greatest football team in Nebraska high school history. The 2023 Westside Warriors have a strong case for “best ever.”

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About the Contributors
Zachary Kastrick
Zachary Kastrick, Sports J Writer, WTV Live director
Hi, my name is Zach Kastrick! I'm a writer for Sports Journalism and WTVV Live Director. I'm a junior and this is my second year in Sports Journalism.I love positivity and encourage my staff to do great things. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at [email protected]!
Burke Brown
Burke Brown, Reporter
I am Burke Brown, I am a Sophmore. This is my second year on WTV. I love playing baseball but I also love watching sports. I am a huge Nebraska Cornhusker fan.
Carson Kelley
Carson Kelley, Production Manager
Hi, I'm Carson Kelley. I play baseball and tennis here at Westside. This is my third year in WTV and I enjoy being a production manager in this program.
Gage Vondra
Gage Vondra, Sports Photographer
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