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August 22, 2013Well, that was fun.
For the past decade and some I have been the Nebraska high school publisher for Rivals.com, operating this site, huskerlandpreps.rivals.com. Over that time we have tried a variety of different angle to present our coverage of the players, coaches and games.
This time around I feel like we stumbled into a format that I really liked.
Somewhere in the middle of the summer we decided to present a "count up" of the top ten teams in each class and then carried it over to our Top 30 seniors in each class, presenting the latter by number instead of class alone. That turned out to be a lot of fun and created a little drama - and, after all, isn't that what football is all about, drama?!
While I enjoyed that type of format for those two features we also published all of our player feature stories before the start of the season, another change in how we have done things in the past. As usual, those 18 interviews proved to be the highlight of my year, getting to sit down face-to-face with player, and most time coach, to conduct an interview that any other time would be done over the phone.
It's always great to talk to the players, see their reaction when they are asked questions, and find out more about them than you would in just a 15-minute phone interview. The travel is always a combination of exhilarating and overwhelming but once again we managed to get around to some different parts of the state, making sure most of the regions are covered in our feature presentations.
While there has always been a heavy emphasis on players and teams in our coverage of high school sports this time around we featured on our preseason magazine cover three of the most accomplished coaches in the history of Nebraska high school football. Carl Tesmer (St. Cecilia), Mark Wortman (Elkhorn) and Jeff Bellar all won their 300th career game during the 2012 season and they were not only featured as our cover subjects, but also allowed me the pleasure of a long interview once they arrived at our Central City office. The interview was telling, I believe, as the coaches discussed their careers, their approach to the game, their team and the high expectations each has created for their programs. It was a fascinating 90 minutes and I hope you had a chance to read the interview.
Practice has started and the games are just around the corner but I wanted to check and also mention how much we appreciate the support for what we try to do, both in our print product and on-line. This will be our 24th year of publishing Huskerland Prep Report and we look forward to many more...