It’s a fall Saturday in Nebraska.
Let’s take a little break from the heavy news of the day and think about better times ahead — in sports.
In the matter closest at hand, the reason many of us drank from our lucky coffee mug this morning or are wearing that special underwear, the Huskers have a chance to win their second consecutive football game for the first time since Sept. 21 last year.
The World-Herald endorses that.
And we revel a bit in some other promising Husker news that provides a mental lift as we await the post-pandemic return of a normal pacing of sports events.
The already-strong Husker volleyball team this month signed what World-Herald sportswriters tell us might be the best recruiting class ever in any sport.
It’s quite a tale. As our Dirk Chatelain told it, volleyball coach John Cook, at a camp in 2017, told five 14-year-old girls they could be part of national championship teams if they all became Huskers.
Their high school careers led Kennedi Orr, Lindsay Krause, Ally Batenhorst, Lexi Rodriguez and Rylee Gray to be the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 10 and 70 recruits in the nation, and all of them signed to be Huskers. They are joined by Whitney Lauenstein, who is ranked 16th.
Notably, three of these young women, Krause, Lauenstein and Gray, are Nebraskans. This shows how a strong collegiate program can make a sport or academic pursuit popular in a region, creating dreams, role models and coaching expertise. That’s long been the case with football in Nebraska (we also could argue, with a sly smile, that it’s true of journalism), and is a feather in Cook’s hat and a credit to the state to have done so much to boost a women’s sport.
Creighton University is caught up in the wave, too, and the Big Ten is a true volleyball power conference.
Volleyball is an extremely exciting spectator sport that’s going to be all the more fun to watch for the next few years, it appears.
This has been Husker-centric commentary, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t express some excitement about Creighton basketball. The top-10 Jays were interrupted mid-game in March and promise another strong season.
One day, maybe, the Huskers will be able to create a real intrastate rivalry. The perennial hope that Nebraska basketball will cease to be an oxymoron (c’mon, this is about sports; let’s not be too serious) was boosted by coach Fred Hoiberg getting a commitment from the program’s first-ever five-star recruit, guard Bryce McGowens of Piedmont, South Carolina.
One day, we’ll be in the stadium or arena again, cheering Nebraska teams on. Today, we can all pull for football win No. 2. We have promising times ahead.
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