OK, we have the state track meet and Memorial Day behind us. Time for an update on where we stand, Huskerland-wise.
* For many of my friends in the media and (non-track, of course) coaching arena when they speak of state track they aren't talking Burke Stadium, they/re talking Bluffs Run. And I'm OK with that...all things in moderation.
I actually snuck in some time at the dog track while in Omaha last weekend for the, ahem, state track meet. My affinity for the doggies goes way back - my dad loved playing the doggies - and long ago I (thankfully) figured out not to take the whole thing so seriously. Keep the bets small, never bet a favorite, always bet the black dog with white tips of the feet when wearing the blue blanket, that's my mantra for success at the track.
At the "other" track we lucked out, two dry days where the temperatures were about perfect. Lots of great performances on the track and in the field and it is always great to get caught up with folks from all four corners of our state, which in reality is really more of a big town than a big state.
There is also a sense of closure when the state track meet is over. It (mostly) brings to an end the school term and sets many folks (mostly) free for the summer. Unless you are a football coach, or football player.
Or a member of the media who has a June 15 deadline to complete a preseason high school football magazine.
* First of all, thanks to the many coaches who have continued to help us out in a timely and complete manner. I've gotten to know a lot of you guys personally over the years and enjoy very much the relationship we have developed while covering the sport of football.
That said, more so than in any year since we have published Huskerland Prep Report - and we are about to embark on our silver anniversary season - we are short of preseason reports from Nebraska high school football programs. We are still minus dozens of them despite repeated requests ranging from e-mails to phone calls and texts and that causes me a problem.
Be assured there will be "something" about each program in our magazine; I do plenty of digging beyond these requests for information. In the end we will use what we have.
What we won't have, to the larger degree, is information to compile some of our other features, like our Top 225 player ranking feature, the all-state teams, the top games of the year. You can't just make this stuff up - though I bet many of you thought I did - you need a little help. It does take a little study and a little research, most of which I can do but not all since we don't have the forms.
Not sure how to approach that situation but we will figure something out, we always do.
* On a related note, I still need to get out to about six or seven more player interviews for our magazine. With my responsibilities to our local, Central City newspaper taking precedence I have yet to make my Panhandle swing or get into Omaha; hoping to make both sometime this month. As usual, the ones I've made have been a blast and those yet to come will be the same; it's the best thing I get to do all year as part of this gig.
* To review, our magazine deadline is 20 days away and basically not doable, not as completely as I'd like. We will continue to feed team previews to our website and interview coaches as we gather steam into the summer, along with as many of our other regular preseason features as possible, given what we have to work with.
After all, kickoff is only three (shockingly brief) months away.