The November issue of Hail Varsity is on its way to newsstands and mailboxes now. To preview this month’s issue, here’s the Letter from the Editor. Make sure you don’t miss an issue by subscribing today.
It happens every year around this time, but somehow I’m still surprised. You’re rolling along, covering the ins and outs of football and volleyball, and then suddenly the sports calendar is as full as a Thanksgiving Day plate.
You think, for a second, “this is too much.” Then you dig in and it’s delicious as always. Why, yes, I think I will have a little bit more football, volleyball’s stretch run and the beginnings of basketball all at once.
We found room for all of those in this month’s issue, but basketball takes the spotlight. It sets up as an intriguing season on the hardwood in Nebraska.
Amy Williams’ team, coming off a run to the Women’s NIT, opened with a pair of resounding wins, reaching 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1983. Shooting, obviously, wasn’t a concern over those two games, but rebounding is this team’s pet project and the Huskers nearly doubled up their opponents on the boards through two games.
Staff writer Steve Marik makes his magazine-feature debut in this issue with a profile of junior guard Sam Haiby. She’s a great basketball player, but that’s just the start as Marik details. Haiby, who grew up in Minnesota, is fond of pond hockey, a certified SCUBA diver and pitched on her high school baseball team. Yes, her high school had just one team.
On the men’s side, staff writer Jacob Padilla explores the unique opportunity this season presents for Bryce and Trey McGowens. Born two years apart, the brothers didn’t get the chance to play together in high school and both have professional aspirations, an opportunity that could present itself in the near future, so this year may be the only opportunity for the pair to share the court.
(Note: A day after this issue went to print, Trey McGowens was injured during Nebraska’s loss to Creighton. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks.)
Nebraska opened with a difficult, 1-point loss to Western Illinois and had to rally to beat Sam Houston in its second game, but Bryce McGowens has certainly looked the part of the 5-star prospect he was out of high school. He scored 25 points in the opener and then led the Huskers with 29 in the win over the Bearkats.
Padilla and Marik also give you quick scouting reports on each of the Big Ten teams so you’re ready to go for conference play.
There was a bit of football news to get to as well after Athletic Director Trev Alberts announced Scott Frost would return for 2022, and then Frost announced four assistants had been let go. It will mean some changes for Nebraska’s offense, eventually, but the Huskers still had two games to go as this issue went to print. They were important games, too.
A bowl bid wasn’t on the line, but the bruising, back-to-back tandem of Wisconsin and Iowa is still a marker of sorts. Nebraska has played close with the best teams on its schedule this season, and these are the two the Huskers simply must compete with on an annual basis if success in the Big Ten West is going to be a regular feature of the future.
Beating either or both wouldn’t drastically alter the season. It would be more like a slice of pie at the end.
Pie is always nice.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.