Columbus Lakeview pic
The Columbus Lakeview football team is the reigning Class C-1 Champions. They begin their playoff journey on Friday as the seven seed. Photo by Abbie Tessendorf.

The effects of Columbus Lakeview’s C-1 State football championship in 2021 are showing up in 2022. Lakeview won the state title last year, the school’s first, after overcoming losses in two of its first three games. The run included avenging a loss to powerhouse Pierce in the state championship. Most of the starters from that team graduated, so coach Kurt Frenzen for the Vikings had plenty of work to do. That work started well before school started in August.

“In summer prep, we want to do the very best we can to provide all of our players reps that we had coming back,” Frenzen said. “So, starting with our team camp at the University of Nebraska, we didn’t get concerned about trying to win a scrimmage or anything like that.”

Frenzen has been coaching at Lakeview for 22 years and was named the Omaha World Herald’s 2022 boys coach of the year. With Frenzen having so much experience under his belt, he knows how challenging it can be for a team to transition from year to year.

“We really wanted to try to focus our efforts on this year and not think about last year too much,” Frenzen said. “If we talked about last year, I thought our kids would maybe get complacent and be satisfied with last year.”

So far, the Vikings are 7-2 on the season and are riding a similar trajectory to last year. They are on a six-game winning streak after starting the year 1-2, just like last year. In the regular season finale, they beat their hometown rivals Columbus Scotus 28-7.

Lakeview is now the seven seed in the playoffs, and they take on ten seed Wahoo on Friday, Oct. 28. Lakeview beat Wahoo during the season 14-10. If Lakeview beats Wahoo on Friday, the possibility of playing the two seed Pierce in the second round for a rematch of the state championship is likely.

Lakeview senior Brenden Sloup was named the starting quarterback at the beginning of the year. However, after getting injured for a couple of games halfway through the year, sophomore Clayton Thomson took over the starting quarterback role. Sloup is now a starting middle linebacker for the Vikings. With high expectations coming into the season, Sloup has made it his priority to focus on this year.

“With my limited varsity experience, I did feel the pressure of high expectations coming into this year,” Sloup said. “However, getting to play last year in JV, and the extra work this offseason, the pressure seemed to not bother me once I got settled into my new role.”

Sloup knows that one of the biggest contributors to team success is leadership on the team. Because of this, he has put it upon himself to be a leader for the Vikings this season.

“It has not been difficult at all to step into a leadership role for this team,” Sloup said. “I have been a water boy for years before high school and have been around this program enough to know what good leaders look like.”

Sloup and Frenzen spoke volumes about how exceptional the culture is on Lakeview’s football team.

“Trying to be the best person that you can be are the kind of expectations we set forth on the kids,” Frenzen said. “And I think if we do those types of things, and our kids buy into it, I believe wholeheartedly that the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”