After starring for USA Baseball, Cam Kozeal ready to help Millard … – Omaha World-Herald

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Stu Pospisil and Mike Patterson make their picks for the Nebraska state football playoffs and look at volleyball rankings entering district play.
Cam Kozeal’s fall routine wasn’t routine.
His mind-set had to change twice. From football to baseball and back.
“Mentally, baseball’s just a lot different than football,’’’ the Millard South senior quarterback said. “Football, I’m trying to kill people. Baseball, I’m trying to stay relaxed.”
It’s all football now after he stepped away from the Patriots for nearly a month while trying out, making and playing infield for the USA Baseball U18 national team that won the WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in mid-September.
Kozeal missed three games that Millard South lost. Since his return, the Patriots have won four of five – the loss was in overtime at No. 3-ranked Omaha Westside – and rejoined the Class A ratings at No. 9.
They travel to No. 7 Kearney (7-2) for a 7 p.m. first-round playoff game Friday at UNK.
“When somebody takes a month off, and it’s a brand new offense to begin with, it almost was like starting over,’’ first-year Millard South coach Ty Wisdom said. “OK, we got to get the timing back and learning new things and stuff. We were a little bit back to square one as far as where we were at as far as Xs and Os.
“He continues to progress each week, doing some really good things in our passing game, which then enables us to run the ball.”
Millard South is the No. 12 seed for the Class A playoffs, but the Patriots are 5-1 with Cam Kozeal, above, as their starting quarterback.
Since his return, Kozeal has passed for an average of nearly 220 yards a game and rushed for more than 70. His six-game totals are 103 of 163 for 1,394 yards and 15 touchdowns against three interceptions and 488 yards and eight touchdowns by rushing.
Kozeal hit the ground running when he flew back from Florida. He got in around 5 a.m. on Monday, slept a couple of hours and his parents had him go to school. He was back on the football practice field that afternoon. Within a day or two, he said, his mindset returned. The physical transition was not an issue.
Pledged to play for Vanderbilt, Kozeal during the summer was invited to the 18U National Team Training Camp after participating in the PDP (Prospect Development Pipeline) League in early summer that is coordinated by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.
“When I got invited to the Team USA trials there were no questions to ask. I was going to be going to that because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to take full advantage of that,’’ Kozeal said. “Once I got the invite, and then I actually made Team USA, I was super excited. It’s hard balancing school and baseball down there. But you find a way to just get everything squared away, no matter what.”
Millard South’s Cam Kozeal was the captain of the 2022 All-Nebraska baseball team.
He started four games for the national team, batting .308 with three runs scored and three RBIs.
“It’s just great experience being around all the best players in the nation and a lot of the best coaches, to do that and learn from them. The great Jack Wilson and Roberto Vaz (assistant coaches), they’re really fun guys to be around. I just learned a lot about the physical side of baseball along with the mental side of baseball so that was the big takeaway for me.”
Wisdom is a Lexington graduate who was a head coach in Arizona before hired at Millard South, where he had been an assistant for the coach he followed, Andy Means upon his retirement. After one game, he had to move pieces to account for Kozeal’s absence.
“We had some other guys that had to step up,’’ Wisdom said. “Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted to in those games that Cam was gone but I thought we had some young guys step up and get some valuable reps in some spots.
“And then when you lose a leader like Cam, other guys have to step up in those roles as well, not just on the field. We had some guys do that. And now that he’s back we have a few different things we can do with our offense as well because of the guys that got some reps in.”
While Millard South is the 12th seed and Kearney, which has lost only to Grand Island and Westside, is the fifth seed, coach and quarterback are eager for the game.
“We know it’s going to be a great atmosphere. Coach (Brandon) Cool and his staff do a great job,’’ Wisdom said. “We know it’s going to be a 48-minute ballgame, but we’re super excited to kick off and let it all loose.”​
The 2022 All-Nebraska football team. From top left: Grenta’s Zane Flores (honorary captain), Lincoln Southeast’s Gunnar Gottula, Omaha Central’s Caleb Pyfrom, Gretna’s Mason Goldman, Millard South’s Lance Rucker, Gretna’s Korver Demma, Grand Island Northwest’s Victor Isele, Elkhorn South’s Maverick Noonan, Omaha Westside’s Curt Cubrich, Grand Island’s Jace Chrisman, Omaha Westside’s Tristan Alvano and Omaha Creighton Prep’s Sam Sledge. Front row: Omaha Gross’ Sal Nacarelli, Bellevue West’s Isaiah McMorris, Omaha North’s Te’Shaun Porter, Elkhorn South’s Cole Ballard, Pierce’s Ben Brahmer (honorary captain), Bellevue West’s Daniel Kaelin, Grand Island’s Colton Marsh, Omaha Westside’s Caleb Benning, North Platte’s Kolten Tilford, Millard South’s Brock Murtaugh, Omaha Creighton Prep’s Marty Brown and Omaha Westside’s Jaylen Lloyd.
The 2021 All-Nebraska football first team, posed in front of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at the Nebraska National Guard base at the Lincoln Airport: Sitting, from left: Grand Island’s Kytan Fyfe, Omaha Westside’s Caleb Benning, Bellevue West’s Micah Riley-Ducker, Fremont Bergan’s Koa McIntyre, Millard South’s Gage Stenger, North Platte’s Vince Genatone. Standing, from left: Omaha Westside’s Tristan Alvano, Aurora’s Gage Griffith, Elkhorn South’s Maverick Noonan, Omaha North’s Keshaun Williams, Papillion-La Vista’s Will Hubert, Gretna’s Mick Huber, Omaha Burke’s Devon Jackson, Bennington’s Dylan Mostek, Gretna’s Zane Flores, Bellevue West’s LJ Richardson, Columbus’s Ernest Hausmann, Bellevue West’s Henry Rickels, Gretna’s Mason Goldman, Omaha Central’s Deshawn Woods, Bellevue West’s Kaden Helms, Pierce’s Ben Brahmer, Waverly’s Trevor Brown, Omaha Creighton Prep’s Sam Sledge.
Standing, left to right, Omaha Westside’s Cade Haberman, Lincoln Southeast’s Isaac Gifford, Waverly’s Trevor Brown, Omaha Westside’s Cole Payton, Scottsbluff’s Sabastian Harsh, Bellevue West’s Thomas Ault, Omaha Westside’s Avante Dickerson, Millard South’s Kohl Herbolsheimer, Bellevue West’s Zavier Betts, Millard West’s Dalys Beanum, Lincoln Southeast’s Xavier Trevino, Bellevue West’s Jay Ducker, Millard West’s Dane Christensen, Omaha Westside’s Grant Tagge, Elkhorn South’s Teddy Prochazka. Sitting, left to right, Bellevue West’s Jack McDonnell, Millard South’s Isaiah Harris, Bellevue West’s Nate Glantz, Omaha Skutt’s Tyson Gordon, Grand Island’s Caleb Francl, Omaha Burke’s Xavier Watts, Grand Island’s Broc Douglass, Bellevue West’s Matt Thompson, Grand Island Central Catholic’s Dietrick Stolz
Front row, from left: Sam Sims, Grand Island; Dietrick Stolz, Grand Island Central Catholic; James Burks, Omaha Burke; Dylan Sales, Omaha Burke; Shane Dailey, Bellevue West; Jarod Epperson, Omaha Skutt. Second row, from left: D.J. Gross, McCook; Garrett Snodgrass, York; Xavier Watts, Omaha Burke; Jevyon Ducker, Bellevue West; Kohl Herbolsheimer, Millard South; Alex Rodgers, Omaha Roncalli. Third row, from left: Joseph Krause, Seward; Ethan Piper, Norfolk Catholic; Nick Henrich, Omaha Burke; Garrett Nelson, Scottsbluff; Chris Hickman, Omaha Burke. Back row, from left: Zavier Betts, Bellevue West; Mehki Butler, Omaha North; Caden Johnson, Wahoo Neumann; Tyson Gordon, Omaha Skutt; Baylor Scheierman, Aurora; Noah Stafursky, York. Not pictured: Isaiah Alford, Lincoln High
Like the burr oaks at Mahoney State Park that were the backdrop for this photo, the 2017 All-Nebraska football team branched out with players from the Wyoming state line to the Missouri River.
The 2016 All-Nebraska football team “earned their wings” at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.
Back row from left: York’s Masry Mapieu, Bellevue West’s Sylvo Johnson, Lincoln East’s Chris Walker, Gretna’s Patrick Arnold, Bellevue West’s Tyler Ciurej, Omaha Burke’s Cole Frahm, Wilber-Clatonia’s Riley Homolka, Norfolk’s Lane McCallum, Ashland-GW’s Brett Kitrell, and Beatrice’s Cam Jurgens.
Middle row from left: Kearney’s Noah Urbanek, Bellevue West’s Jaylin Bradley, Omaha North’s Kendrick Parker, Omaha North’s Milton Sargbah, Elkhorn South’s Moses Bryant, Omaha Skutt’s Christian Banker, and Creighton Prep’s AJ Hubner.
Front row from left: Wahoo Neumann’s Noah Vedral, Omaha North’s Zion Williams, Bellevue West’s Diego Galvan, McCook’s Zach Schlager, Bellevue West’s Kevin Ponec, Norris’ Austin Schultz, and Millard North’s Jack Begley.
The 2015 All-Nebraska football team gathered at Papillion-La Vista High School for the photo shoot.
The 2014 All-Nebraska football team posted on the steps of the Joslyn Art Museum. The cover read: “A Step Ahead: The 24 members of the All-Nebraska football team towered over foes.”
Back rows, starting from left: Papillion-La Vista South’s Jeremy Kowalski, No. 75; Seward’s Adam Holtorf, No. 79; Papillion-La Vista South’s Ryan Earith; Kearney’s Brian Arp, No. 55; Elkhorn South’s Brett Stinson; Grand Island’s Kevin Cahoy, No. 12; Omaha Central’s Tre Sanders, No. 6; Omaha Central’s DaiShon Neal, No. 9; Grand Island’s Pierce Almond, No. 2; Blair’s Vance Janssen; Bellevue West’s CJ Johnson; Boone Central/Newman Grove’s Wyatt Mazour; Omaha Central’s Xavier Graham, No. 64; Creighton Prep’s Jeremiah Stovall; and Creighton Prep’s Jack McLeay, No. 54. Front rows, starting from left: Omaha North’s Cole Bixler, No. 34; Omaha North’s Michael Decker, No. 78; Omaha North’s Calvin Strong, No. 5; Omaha North’s Jason Martin; Grand Island Central Catholic’s Youhanna Ghaifan; Millard North’s Adrrell Taylor, No. 27; Omaha North’s Marquise Lewis, No. 1; McCook’s Bryce Lyons, No. 21; and Omaha North’s Markell Vaughn, No. 22.
In 2013, the All-Nebraska football and volleyball teams came together for a photo shoot, and the cover was designed to look like a Facebook page with the teams taking one big selfie.
The 2012 All-Nebraska football team made a splash in the shark tunnel of the Scott Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo.
Standing, from left: Luke McNitt, Kearney; DJ Foster, Lincoln Southeast; Josh Banderas, Lincoln Southwest; Nick DeLuca, Millard North; Harrison Phillips, Millard West; Mike Milenkovich, Millard North; Bryce Sosnowski, Millard South; Nathan Bazata, Howells-Dodge; Casey Sayles, Omaha North.
Middle row: Christian LaCouture, Lincoln Southwest; Jordan Bellar, Norfolk Catholic; Clay Fisher Millard North; Isaac Aakre, Millard North; Matt Kraft, Millard South; Alec Ditoro, Papillion-La Vista; Jake Schlager, McCook; Lee Carhart, Creighton Prep; Freeman Coleman, Millard South.
Front row: Andy Bayne, Millard North; Trey Carr, Omaha Burke; Calvin Strong, Omaha North; Skyler Monaghan, Millard West; Devin Washington, Lincoln Southeast; RJ Urzendowski, Creighton Prep.
With the Omaha skyline in the background, the 2011 All-Nebraska football team was “Standing Tall” at Pioneer Courage Park not far from the Omaha World-Herald building.
Bottom Row (from left): Tay Bender, RB, Lincoln Southwest; Isaac Aakre, RB, Millard North; Landon Arnold, OL, Millard North; Andrew Coppa, DL, Omaha Burke; Trey Foster, DL, Lincoln Southeast; Bo Liekhus, DB, Bellevue West.
Middle Row (from left): Darian Barrientos-Jackson, DB, Omaha Central; James Anderson, OL, Omaha Burke; Andy Janovich, LB, Gretna; Drew Farlee, K, Norfolk Catholic; Mike Minter Jr., DB, Lincoln North Star; Sam Cotton, DL, Lincoln Southeast; Devin Washington, RB, Lincoln Southeast; Sam Foltz, DB, Grand Island; Jeremy Callahan, P, Lexington; Robbie Lafour, OL, Lincoln Southeast; Jake Schany, LB, Blair; Jordan Nelson, RB, Omaha Burke; Ryker Fyfe, QB, Grand Island.
Top Row (from left): Jordan Brichacek, OL, Howells; Zach Oliver, WR, Omaha Burke; Terry Grigsby, DB, Omaha North; Drew Ott, LB, Giltner; Mike Shoff, OL, Cambridge.
All-Nebraska football captains Jimmie Forsythe of Omaha Burke and Tyson Broekemeier of Aurora were the focus in 2010 during this shoot at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing.
The 2009 All-Nebraska football hopped aboard this old streetcar at the Durham Museum.
There was “nothing pedestrian” about the 2008 All-Nebraska football team, which posed in front of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
Back row, from left, Tyrone Sellers of McCook, Corey Serrano of North Platte, Nathan Zook of Grand Island, Eric Koehlmoos of Pierce, Tyler Daake of Norfolk Catholic, Tyler Niederklein of Millard West, Charles Viers of Millard West, Josh Kage of Papillion-LaóVista, Jake Herweyer of Millard West, Cole Pensick of Lincoln Northeast, Jordan Hale of Millard South, Andrew Rodriguez of Aurora, James Davis of Omaha North, Jon Lechner of Prep, Scott Criss of Omaha Creighton Prep and C.J. Zimmerer of Omaha Gross. Front row, Matt Berry of McCook, Braden Taylor of Grand Island, Vinny Molina of Kearney, Kohlman Adema-Schulte of Millard West, Bryant Giles of Omaha North, Michael Burrus of Papillion-LaóVista South, Ronald Coleman of North, Tyler Seals of Bellevue West and Greg Hardin of Bellevue West.
For the 2007 All-Nebraska football team, The World-Herald chose individual shots for the cover instead of the group photo, and the result was “Picture Perfect.”
No challenge was too steep for the “Rock Solid” 2006 All-Nebraska football team, who posed in front of a climbing wall at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The 2005 All-Nebraska football team wore letterman jackets for the photo shoot instead of their jerseys.
Top, from left, Millard North’s Corey Young, Lincoln Southwest’s Ian Dike, Millard North’s Adam Nelson, Bellevue West’s Silas Fluellen, Omaha Central’s D.J. Jones (back row), Millard North’s Jeff Tarpinian, Kearney’s Tony Green, Lincoln Southwest’s Ben Martin, Bellevue West’s Jeff Martin, Lincoln Southwest’s Ollie Sloup, Papillion-LaVista’s Kyle Dooley and McCook’s Josh Cherry.
Bottom, from left, Omaha Benson’s Anthony Williams, Kearney’s Joey Rousseau, Lincoln Southwest’s Andy Cotton, Omaha Burke’s Ricky Henry, Omaha South’s Philip Barrientos, Creighton Prep’s Mark Waring, Omaha Burke’s Alex Henery, Millard West’s Brandon Pete, Omaha Burke’s Travis Liechti, Millard North’s Paul Homer, Omaha North’s Aaron Terry and Millard West’s Matt Leaders.
Nothing says football like rows of poinsettias. Those were the accents that went with this photo shoot for the 2004 All-Nebraska football team., 402-444-1201,
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Stu is The World-Herald’s lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Email
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Follow along for complete coverage of the 2022 Nebraska high school football playoffs.
Millard South’s Cam Kozeal was the captain of the 2022 All-Nebraska baseball team.
Millard South is the No. 12 seed for the Class A playoffs, but the Patriots are 5-1 with Cam Kozeal, above, as their starting quarterback.
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