Pitchin' with Pritch: The time is here; fall sports are back
It seems as if every year school starts earlier and earlier and this is year is no different.
High schools across the State of Nebraska have started practicing and we will be going to games before August is over. I think we are early, but I visited with one of my brothers who is the principal at Crawford High School in Crawford, Texas and he was saying how they were getting ready for their first scrimmage with a school 90 miles from them and had been practicing for x amount of days already.
They actually have three scrimmage games before the season starts. Their volleyball team has already been in a tournament. So I guess it depends on your definition of EARLY SEASON. It apparently varies from state to state.
One thing is for sure, it will be soon and it will start to show who put time in during the summer and who didn’t work as much as they could have during that time. I know at the local level the participation rate seems to be a bit higher and that is a positive sign, and with that I would think successful levels might also rise. Right now everyone is undefeated and getting ready to keep it that way or as close to that as possible.
At the University, confidence seems to be pretty good with the Cornhusker football team. For the first time in what seems like forever, preseason rankings have the Huskers at number 24 and some football experts even have them winning their division of the Big 10.
I think the possibility of them being better is there for sure, but if they just ended up at .500 that would better. One of the things a lot of writers are saying is that Nebraska has more depth at a lot of positions and that could be very big in having a successful season. I hope they get better each week like coaches want their teams to do and get back into the Big 10 Championship game.
Other teams in the West division have gotten better also and I think the Big 10 is very balanced. I don’t know if they are the best conference in the nation, but there are some pretty good football teams in the Big 10 every year. As much as I hate to say it, I think the Alabama and Clemson teams still might be the best ones in the nation. But if Coach Frost follows the same pattern at Nebraska as he did at UCF, then it won’t be long till Big Red is in the Big Picture again.
On the volleyball court, the Big Red is still a national power. The early rankings there has Coach Cooks team ranked number two in the nation. I don’t think too many people would question that and if they did it would be because they would think they should have started at number one.
The Big 10 is definitely a strong volleyball conference, so if the Husker women can get through that schedule and be successful, I would like to think they would have another shot at a National Title. Again you got to have talent, they have to play well together, and they need to stay away from injury to key players. The Husker volleyball program has been able to do that most of the time.
I am particularly excited about the possibility of the Husker Men’s basketball team having a great season. I have hoped I would see a Husker team that would be a national contender in my lifetime and I am starting to get worried it won’t happen.
I can actually remember Danny Nee’s teams that won a Big 8 tournament once but right now I would be extremely happy if the men’s team could just get into the NCAA tournament and win a game, which they have never done the few times they made the tournament.
I certainly will be seeing a new group at Pinnacle Bank Arena this year, from the coaching staff to the team, where only one player from last year is still there. They did pretty well on their junket to Italy a couple of weeks ago going 5-0. I have no idea the caliber of teams they played but they won all of them pretty handily.
Again you hope for the best, that the team plays hard, plays smart and plays together and is successful in a very competitive conference. This is a good time of year! Looking forward to a lot of success from here to Lincoln.