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December 13, 2013
Mr. Football 2013: Calvin Strong, Om. North
In a world where you can't go wrong, Huskerland Prep Report has named Omaha North junior running back as its Mr. Football, 2013. Strong narrowly wins the award over Millard West defensive end Harrison Phillips; both players are worthy and in many (most) other years Phillips would have been the winner.
As it is, we go with Strong, who not only led his team to the 2013 Class A state title but also re-wrote the record books along the way. Fast, elusive, tough and blessed with great balance, Strong finished the season with an incredible 3,008 yards rushing and 43 touchdowns, both of them all-time Class A single-season records.
Not only were his counting stats impressive but in the team's biggest moments, the semifinal win over Grand Island (by five points) and finals win over Omaha Westside (by two) Strong basically willed his team to victory, carrying the ball over 30 times both nights.
With another season to go there is no telling what Strong's career numbers will look like - take that back, they will be great - but his performance, style and playful enthusiasm are all part of his Mr. Football resume, making him Huskerland's player of the year.
Strong joins a pretty impressive list of past winners:
Past winners of Huskerland's Mr. Football award include:
2012: Isaac Aakre, Millard North.
2011: Drew Ott, Giltner.
2010: Jimmie Forsythe, Omaha Burke.
2009: Andrew Rodriguez, Aurora.
2008: Tyrone Sellers, McCook.
2007: Sean Fisher, Millard North.
2006: Collins Okafor, Omaha Westside.
2005: Jeff Tarpinian, Millard North.
2004: Zach Potter, Creighton Prep.
2003: Danny Woodhead, North Platte.
2002: John McCardle, Millard North.
2001: Greg Luebbe, Seward.
2000: Barrett Ruud, Lincoln Southeast.
1999: Ja'Maine Billups, Omaha Central.
1998: Judd Davies, Millard North.
1997: Jon Bowling, Lincoln Southeast.
1996: Eric Crouch, Millard North.