The February 2023 issue of Hail Varsity is out now. To preview the issue, here is this month’s letter from editor Mike Babcock. Make sure you don’t miss an issue by subscribing today.
Time flies when you’re having fun. There’s a worn-out cliché, though worn-out might be the essence of cliches, hence I’m probably being redundant. So never mind. Stick with the cliché opening.
Time has flown for me covering Husker athletics because it’s been fun, and continues to be as the arc is on the year’s downswing with the baseball and softball seasons beginning. Rhonda Revelle’s softball team has already won four of five as of this writing and Will Bolt’s baseball team is slated to begin this weekend with a four-game series in San Diego. Expectations are high for both.
It happens every spring, to use a reference to a 1949 movie, though it isn’t spring and the movie is about the discovery of a formula causing baseballs to be repelled by wood. Though not the cause, Husker softball‘s Courtney Wallace pitched as if something had been used the opening weekend. Hot Reads provides a recap of the performance that earned her Big Ten Pitcher of the Week recognition.
Maren Angus provides a preview of the softball team, Wallace’s decision to return for a fifth season as well as the Huskers’ seemingly realistic expectation of returning to the Women’s College World Series, while Erin Sorensen provides a Q&A with junior infielder Sydney Gray.
Also in Hot Reads, Brandon Vogel writes about Husker baseball players Darin Erstad, Alex Gordon and Shane Komine, whose jerseys will be retired March 24, when Nebraska opens Big Ten play against Illinois at Haymarket Park.
I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember. Any kind of baseball, with fond memories of Hawks Field at Haymarket Park’s predecessor Buck Beltzer Field. As I recall, Komine pitched the last game there. I watched Gordon play for the first time in American Legion ball at Sherman Field, the summer before his sophomore year at Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast High School.
Anyway, Bolt and his “gritty beats pretty” baseball team has high expectations, as I said, with a roster that includes some talented newcomers. Caleb Clark, a freshman left-hander from Orillia, Ontario, Canada, could quickly, if not immediately, step into the starting rotation.
This issue also includes a Drake Keeler feature on two-sport Husker freshman Maggie Mendelson. Brady Oltmans has a football recruiting notebook—there are 39 new Huskers, and 103 on the roster in the off-season—and Jacob Padilla has a men’s basketball notebook, as that sport winds down.
In addition, there are plenty of photos from Eric Francis and John S. Peterson, including a spread on men’s and women’s gymnastics.
I’d conclude with a cliché, to come full circle, but I can’t think of a good one.
“Strike three, you’re out.”
Check that baseball . . .