Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Signs of Spring

by Shawn Strasburg

It is sort of spring, okay it is positively spring but the weather doesn’t want to cooperate today. I have several reasons to acknowledge the beginning of spring every year and more so this year. People think of spring as either a date, or a change in weather, or perhaps a change in activity. All of these things affect my spring perception but none like the weather.

For starters I was born on the first day of spring and that has always made it quite easy to know when spring begins. However my cake no longer signifies the day when the weather should become nice. Some overzealous joker changed the calendars a few years back and now half of them designate March 20 as the first day of spring. As if something printed could negate what I have know my whole life, spring begins March 21st.

Around my house we have never investigated this thing called spring cleaning. Sure we clean and clean all year long, and no one in my house really likes to do it. This cleaning is a never ending process already and we see no need to devote a week of pure cleaning just to show our dedication to torture. Furthermore, if it is spring and nice outside who would want to be stuck indoors doing such mundane things that should be reserved for times when blizzards are whistling through the trees.

One activity that we do participate in that begins in the spring is gardening. By the first day of spring you are pushing your luck if you have not ordered your seeds by mail and plan to get a good variety. I ordered heirloom seeds a year ago and in February they were already sold out of some bean species. This time of year I think of amending the soil with good organic aged manure and hiring the neighbor kid to rototill it in. Some seeds perhaps should be seeded in the window soon, depending on what you will be planting. Tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini, summer squash, pumpkins, and broccoli all could be growing soon.

If you have seen the movie Bambi then you are well aware that in spring all manner of creatures bear young. Well at my house I have noticed few of the wild species, though the domestic are hard to ignore. Someone (perhaps me) considered a fifty dollar Holstein bull calf to be a good investment. He has in fact surprised us in his continuing value. Consider that a family of four can easily pay over fifty dollars to go to a 3-D film when you throw in a little popcorn and soda. This calf bucks and kicks bawls and plays, he follows me around as a surrogate mother and has notions that my children belong to his herd. Long after a movie is forgotten, Calfy, Mr. Snuggle Face, or number one as my wife calls him due to his ear tag, still brings joy and entertainment to our family with his antics. He is nine days old and I think we get at least fifty dollars a day of happiness from him. When the weather warms up we plan on bringing the kids chickens back from grandma’s house when they have concluded their spring duties of hatching eggs and we will have an orchestra of noises to wake to every morning.

The weather is the least trustworthy measure of spring. In my mind I never consider snow to be a part of spring and cold weather is right out of the equation. Spring should be tropical with warm rains and slight breezes filled with fragrant smells of flowers and fresh air. When I watched the weather this morning and they called for snow, and I looked out the window and saw the stony skies, I felt like returning to winter hibernation for a while longer until summer has prevailed on old man winter.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Amateur Draftniks Point of View – Part II

By Hayden Flanders
So this is getting out of hand.  The NFL season is on the brink of collapse, and the labor impasse, looks…well…impassable at this point, with the players union no longer a union, and several players filing antitrust lawsuits against the NFL, and the owners locking out the players.  Things have just gone downhill since, with the players refusing to go back to the negotiating table after rejecting a last-minute proposal by the owners.  Both sides pointing fingers, blaming each other for this mess...Not thinking about the people who may very well be hurt the most by this labor lock-up…Us fans.

We all wait all offseason for our next glimpse at our beloved NFL teams, and then watch with anticipation, excitement, and sometimes even pain, as our teams fight and scratch their way toward the Super Bowl, what has been the most-watched championship event in sports for the past 3 years.  At least the NFL is doing one thing…Continuing on with the NFL Draft, even though the teams cannot sign their respective selections until the labor deal is done.

But anyways, I’m sick of the “labor problems” in the NFL. What I’m interested in now is the NFL Draft, and I’ve already written one piece on two players who peak my interest.  This time, things are going to be a LITTLE different.

There are several players that will be selected this year, over 200 to be exact.  Several get more hype than others, and a couple of them…straight up do NOT deserve that hype.  Many of you will disagree with me on these two players, but these are my personal opinions.

First off, the money pick, Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton.  Yes he won a title, yes he won a Heisman, “But he did them both in ONE season as a starter!!” . . . and your point is?  Newton, while physically imposing, and athletically-gifted as he is, has some serious issues with his game, Number One being his attitude.  Word has spread that he’s not so much of a team player, and tended to change calls in the huddle to plays he felt were more to his liking, and that he is what the NFL likes to call a “head-case” someone who thinks they’re MUCH better than they really are.

Think of current Tennessee Titans, and former Texas Longhorns Quarterback Vince Young.   Athletic, big, strong, but guess what? He just doesn’t have the head on his shoulders to succeed at the level needed in the NFL.  He has been said to not be willing to practice, and not willing to focus, and just does not really TRY, and Newton has started to come across as THAT EXACT sort of player.  Which that, to me, says he just will NOT succeed in the NFL.  Quality backup? Maybe. Starter? NO!

Next up, and this one is a much easier one to say, is Washington Huskies Quarterback, Jake Locker.  Last season, he was being touted as the “2011 #1 Overall Pick!” but after this past season…things have changed…drastically.  Locker was coached by Quarterback Guru Steve Sarkisian, who is the current head coach of Washington, and his play was PHENOMENAL to say the least in 2009, but in 2010, he regressed to a VERY bad point.

At the end of this season, he was still being touted as a 1st round pick, just no longer #1 overall…but now, he’s slipped to most analysts guessing somewhere between late 2nd round although the way to early-to-mid 3rd round!  Even then, I think that’s a bit steep for the likes of Locker.  In my eyes, in the games I’ve watched of him (and yes fellow Husker fans, I have watched more than the 2 Husker-Huskies games), He is a TERRIBLE passer.  He can run, that is for sure.  But his passing leaves MUCH to be desired.  He has a BAD tendency to stare down his receiver that he’s gunning for, which causes him to throw more INT’s then he normally would, because his eyes are leading the defenders to the ball.  His pocket presence, while somewhat-good, is Not NFL quality.  He is willing to turn it up and run, but more often than not, I saw Locker force a bad pass that should not have been thrown.

Granted, I was willing to give Locker another chance, with the All-Star games, the NFL Combine, and the Washington Huskies Pro Days all coming up for him to showcase his talents to NFL scouts…But my 2nd chance blew by the wayside, as Locker showed off a less-than-spectacular performance in not one, not two, but all three of his chances.  The only thing keeping him afloat is the fact that there are SO many Quarterback-needy teams in the NFL this draft season, so at least one will take a flier on the former Washington Husky.

Now while I believe those two are busts-waiting-to-happen, I have one quarterback who I believe is VASTLY underrated.  That quarterback is Florida State 5th year senior, Christian Ponder.  Ponders biggest knock on him is the fact that he has had multiple surgeries on his throwing arm, which people said has decreased his arm strength, which, to begin with, was never spectacular.  While it may have decreased it SOME, He has shown, now that he’s healthy, he has PLENTY of arm strength.

Ponder has shown INCREDIBLE accuracy, being able to float deep balls over the defenders, and hit his receivers in-stride, and his short-to-medium range passes are even better, he has the anticipation, and ability to read the routes, and feel the passes that he can “throw the receiver open” , in other words, if the receive isn’t really OPEN to be thrown to, if a defender is in the area, Ponder is so accurate that he can throw the ball to a point where ONLY the receiver has any chance at it, therefore, “throwing him open.”
While not the fastest quarterback of this draft class, he has speed, and quickness.  Those two skills are good enough that he CAN, and will challenge the edge of defenses if he needs to take off and run.  He, however, is NOT a Run-First Quarterback, he is a passer.

While a good runner, his pocket presence leaves a bit to be desired, but that can be coached up in the NFL.  While it may take some work, I believe Ponder can, and will, be a Legitimate NFL Starter somewhere (personally hoping my Miami Dolphins either take him at the 15th pick of the 1st round, or trade down to a lower pick in the 1st round, pick up an early-to-mid 2nd round pick to replace the 2nd round pick given to Denver in the Brandon Marshall trade last draft, and pick up Ponder there if he’s still available.)

Well I hope you all enjoyed this “amateur” draftniks take on a few more players.  I’m not done writing about them yet, the draft is Not until April 28th, and so I have a few more stories up my sleeve, including one about all the Husker Draft-hopefuls!

NCAA Division 1 Men’s March Madness Basketball 2011; Husker Men’s Team finishes season at 19-13

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
For this article I am going to type about NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball for this season (2010-2011).  I will be talking about the 2010-2011 Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball season, the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Tournament, and the NCAA Division 1 Men’s National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The Nebraska Cornhuskers Basketball Team completed the season with 19 wins and 13 losses.  That is good and I’m looking forward to next season when Nebraska goes up against Big 10 Conference competition.  I think Nebraska will finish with a better winning percentage in games against their conference teams next season being in the Big 10 as opposed to being in the Big 12 this season.  Now we will briefly review Nebraska’s season.
Nebraska started the season off with two wins, two losses, and then went on an eleven game winning streak for a record of 13-2.  Next, the Cornhuskers lost two straight then won two out of their next three games for a record of 15-5.  The Huskers then lost three straight, won three more games, lost two more, and ended up winning for the last time this season against Missouri for a record of 19-10.  Nebraska then lost to Colorado in the regular season finale, Oklahoma State in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament, and Wichita State 76-49 in the NIT.
I wish the Tournament was simply the top 64 Teams with the best winning percentage and the fewest amount of possible losses and most amount of possible wins.  I also think it’s fair to say that any team(s) who ties (via winning percentage and/or most wins and/or fewest losses) with another team(s) for the 64th spot should get into the Tournament. 
Perhaps for one conference only three teams should be allowed to get into the NCAA Tournament.  For example let’s use the Big 12.  Let’s say Kansas has the best overall record during the regular season at 28 wins and 2 losses and they lose two games to Big 12 opponents.  They would be in my opinion crowned the overall regular season conference champion.  Next, let’s say that Texas for instance finished Big 12 Conference play with a perfect record but their overall record was 27-3.  Texas would be the regular season conference champion because they had the best record only in conference games.  Finally, we’ll say that Nebraska had a 19-11 record and they lost more games in the conference games than Kansas and Texas did.  However, we’re going to say that Nebraska ends up winning the Big 12 Tournament.  Nebraska would then be called the Big 12 Tournament Champions.
With the format I just explained in the previous paragraph and then the teams with the best winning percentages after that I think would make a great 64 Team NCAA Tournament.  Obviously, if for example, Kansas had the best overall regular season record and the best conference record and Nebraska won the Big 12 Tournament then only two teams from the Big 12 would go to the NCAA Tournament if no other teams in the Big 12 had great winning percentages.
I don’t understand how the Michigan State Spartans got into the NCAA Tournament when they had fourteen losses before the Tournament even started.  Nebraska only had twelve losses before they lost to end their season in the NIT.  When you closer look at the records a person will see why Michigan State earned the right to get into the NCAA Tournament and Nebraska didn’t. Nebraska had a record of 19-11 and Michigan State had a record of 17-13 at the end of the regular season.  In the Big 12 Tournament, Nebraska lossed in the opening round for a record of 19-12 and in the Big 10 Tournament Michigan State won two more games before losing to Penn State for a record of 19-14. 
A person at this point would still think based on winning percentage that Nebraska is better.  I would have to agree if Michigan State this season would have lost in the opening round of the Big 10 Tournament and their record would have been 17-14.  But Michigan State didn’t.  By winning two games in the Big 10 Tournament Michigan State proved they were worthy to go to the NCAA Tournament and they ended up playing two more games than Nebraska did this season.  Without two losses for Michigan State their record would have been the same as Nebraska’s heading into the heart of March Madness. 
Now, I am going to talk about this season’s NCAA Tournament and the NIT.  Higher seeded teams in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament this year finished with a record of 25-7.  In Round 3, higher seeded teams finished with a record of 10-6. In the Regional Semifinals so far higher seeded teams have a record of 1-3.  Overall in the NCAA Tournament higher seeded teams have a record of 36-16.  In the NIT, higher seeded teams in round 1 finished with a record of 13-3.  In round 2 the record was 4-4 and in round 3 it was 4-0.  Overall in the NIT, higher seeded teams have a record of 21-7.

Friday, March 11, 2011

NFL CBA – D-Day

by Hayden Flanders
My last couple of articles, I’ve spoken about the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement . . . Well it’s now Friday, and the CBA deadline is coming—at midnight, with no deal in place, and no signs of there being one.  That means that there very well may be no NFL in 2011 – 2012.
The owners and Players Union originally extended the deadline for 24 hours, then extended it another 7 days, until today, to give the arguments and the chance for a new CBA more time to develop . . . but alas, it has not happened yet.   Tonight, at midnight…the CBA deadline expires.  Word came out from NFL Players Association Director DeMaurice Smith that “the 18-game schedule is off the table.” And that the owners and players had agreed to a rookie wage scale,  or instead of a “rookie salary cap” like the last few seasons, it would make the NFL rookies not get such blockbuster contracts, such as Rams QB Sam Bradford’s contract of $50 million guaranteed, while they are still very much unproven in the NFL.
While there are more issues still to be worked out among the owners and players, the agreement of the rookie wage scale is a positive sign, in a rather negative-looking situation.  If we’re lucky, the first agreement, and the fact that the 18-game schedule NOT happening has been agreed upon, could open a door to the rest of the issues getting worked out, and a new CBA happening at Any moment, but for now, I highly doubt it.
Now I am not saying that for a FACT there will not be NFL next season, just that at this point it seems unlikely…Now things can change in a hurry when it comes to these talks, so new information, or a signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement could literally come at anytime as long as the Players Union and Owners are willing to continue the talks, but I am guessing the deadline will pass with No CBA, and the talks to continue until one is struck, however long that may take is anyone’s guess.  As hardened of an NFL fan as I am, I hope it does not last long…especially not in to September like some “experts” are guessing, in which case, the season will be in DEFINITE jeopardy.

North Platte Community College Basketball: Men’s Team-Season in Review; Lady Knights advance to Nationals

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
To begin with, the North Platte Community College Men’s Basketball team finished the regular season with a record of fourteen wins and fourteen losses.  In the Region IX Tournament East Sub-Region, North Platte scored 58 Points but Western Wyoming Community College scored 74 Points thus ending the Knights season with an overall record of fourteen wins and fifteen losses.  Now I will review the North Platte Knights season. 
The Knights at home this season finished with a record of eight wins and four losses and away this season finished with a record of six wins and eleven losses.  North Platte Community College Knights ended the 2010-2011 season having two wins and one loss when the game had been sent into overtime.    The Knights finished with five wins and zero losses when they scored Ninety-Nine points or more in all their games this season.
North Platte won their first six games of the season and then they lost three straight before winning again on 99-96 in Overtime over Northeastern Junior College (Sterling, Colorado).  After that game and with seven wins and three losses, the Knights went on a four-game losing skid before winning two more.  North Platte then played overtime with Northeastern Junior College again, and this time they lossed 87-81.
The Knights then won against McCook Community College and then lost three straight for a record of ten wins and eleven losses.  North Platte then went on a three game winning streak by beating Quakerdale Prep 66-58, Southeast Community College 66-59, and Central Community College-Columbus 95-61.  The Knights then lossed two more to even up their record at thirteen wins and thirteen losses.
North Platte then clinched their final victory of the season by a score of 84-71 over Central Community College-Columbus for a record of 14-13.  The Knights then lost to Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) 79-74.  What was very interesting about that game was the WNCC Men’s team was here (North Platte) at 12 p.m. to practice before the game when it didn’t start until 7:30p.m.  The bigger twist was that there were no games that day at NPCC before that. 
I think it’s funny that WNCC only won by five points.  It’s great when North Platte has someone who is willing, can shoot, and make three-pointers when a team needs them.  That person would be Nick Tomsick who scored 24 points in that game and most of those points were a result of making shots from beyond the arc. 
Sometimes I don’t know why teams waste game time looking for good looks to score.  I wish teams would just shoot the basketball from beyond the three-point line right after they retain possession and get in close range of the three-point line.  In my opinion, this is especially true when your team is constantly struggling to stay close to your opponent’s score and is losing the game (most of, if not all, the time).  So that concluded the North Platte Knights regular season with fourteen wins and fourteen losses.
The Men’s team has many reasons to look forward to a better season next season with only Karol Gruszecki being the lone sophomore on the team this season.  In fact, I saw the players having a little fun by scrimmaging in the gym and getting ready for next season.  Now, let’s talk about the Lady Knights.
The North Platte Community College Lady Knights basketball team completed the regular season with a record of 16-11.  Since then, they won the Region IX Championship Game 77-69 over Southeast Community College.  This was only the second time the Lady Knights have won the Region IX Championship.  The other time was in the 2008-2009 Season.
After the Region IX Championship Game, North Platte for the first time ever won a District Playoff Game by traveling to Bottineau, North Dakota and defeating Dakota College 69-68 to advance to the NJCAA Division 2 National Tournament.
So now let’s review the Lady Knights entire season.  North Platte started the season off by winning three straight games and then they ended up losing three straight games.  Then, the Lady Knights won a game and then lost a game and did that four straight times.  So after fourteen games North Platte had a record of 7 wins and 7 losses.
Next, the Lady Knights won two straight, lost one game, won another game, and lost yet another game.  At this point North Platte had a record of 10 Wins and 9 Losses.  The Lady Knights then started a five game winning streak which is their best streak they’ve had all season long (winning or losing), so far.  After that, North Platte lost two more games for a record of 15 Wins and 11 Losses.  Currently, the Lady Knights are on a three-game winning streak.
North Platte has a home record this season of 8 Wins and 3 Losses and a road record of 10 Wins and 8 Losses.  The Lady Knights begin National Tournament play Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in which they will play Parkland College in East Peoria, Illinois at 6 p.m. Central Time.  I remember watching online from last year the NPCC Men’s team playing at the National Tournament at njcaa.org.  I bet anyone could watch the Ladies play at the National Tournament online at njcaa.org as well.  All I’m going to say is, “Good Luck” to the Lady Knights, “Do Your Best” all the time no matter what the circumstances are, and “Be Prepared.”
Here is the Roster for the Lady Knights: #10 Destini Lewis, #12 Ann Kuroki, #14 Ivy Kuroki, #20 Mercedes Martin, #22 Emily Sughroue, #24 Anna Woodhead, #30 Renee Otero, #32 Heather Dickson, #40 Travonsha Herbert, #42 Ali Hinrichsen, #44 Jori Fleming, #50 Kally McClintic, #52 Maggie Carson, and #54 Kellie Smith.  The head coach is Richard Thurin, the assistant coach is Bridget Haneborg, and the student assistant is Gretta Anderson.



Monday, March 7, 2011

I’ll Raise You Two Walleyes

by Shawn Strasburg

“Somebody caught a couple nine pound walleyes.” That was all that was needed to finally motivate me to dust off the fishing poles for the year. I had been contemplating a fishing trip for the last month, it wasn’t that I had better things to do, it was I had things I had better do. But when I heard that story and that they caught the fish only a mile from my house at the tail race, I decided it was time to throw the dice.

For those of you that do not know the location of the tail race, it is between Cody Go Carts and the north campus. You drive north along the canal and generally fish between where the water spills down the rocks and flows into the South Platte River.

Fishing is a lot like gambling. It is generally a waste of money, nearly everybody brags about the elusive prize, and evidenced by the trash on the ground, smoking and drinking abound. I was neither drinking, nor smoking, but I was after that one in ten thousand fish. I have only caught a few master angler fish and that seems to be the odds, but their scarcity seldom deters me.

Not knowing exactly how the fish were caught I grabbed any tackle I thought would work, two poles and three dozen minnows. The air was warm, the sun was shining, and I had that little giddy feeling that today was the day. I parked beside five other vehicles and wormed my way between a few anglers. Now, I never appreciate when another angler saddles up too near me, so I gave them a fair half cast distance.

Remembering an old co-workers advice to “drift a minnow over the rocks”, I tied on a hook, put a bobber up two feet, and added a weight for good measure. I wrestled a minnow out of the bucket and cast out and let it churn it’s way down stream. I repeated this at varying distances, sure that I would have Mr. wall hanger soon.

Then my neighbor downstream came alive, whooping and hollering, while his pole made an inverted u. Of course I had to watch as he danced and fought and came up with at least a six pound walleye. On the next cast I caught one of the more common species of concrete. With my line busted off, and spying that he had on a white lure, I commenced to tie on absolutely everything white that I could drag out of my tackle box.

For the next 90 minutes I cast and reeled, determined to catch a big fish, but only managed to deposit more and more tackle on the bottom of the canal. My lucky neighbor even offered advice, “Tie on a polly.” I am still unsure what a “polly” is. Yet he caught another fish with his lure and unfortunately lost it after another elaborate show of dancing and hollering.

By supper time one of my reels was broken and I had lost all of the line off of the other pole. The canal was at least sixty dollars richer and I was cold and hungry. I left with my head hanging low determined not to waste any more money on this bad habit of fishing. And I held steadfast to that promise for two whole days, until the fishing fever returned and I once again thought I had a chance at the big one.

NPCC Christian Young Adult Groups: Meets Tuesday & Wednesday Nights

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
Do you want to be saved from eternal punishment?  If you do, then accept Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior.  If you don’t know Jesus Christ, I right now, will briefly explain.  Jesus Christ was born sometime around near the end of BC/BCE and near the beginning of AD/CE, lived a sinless life, and was crucified on a cross and died to save every person on Earth from the punishment of sin.  Three days after Jesus’ death he resurrected from the dead.
Jesus took your place.  He took the punishment you deserved.  Jesus Christ went to heaven because he lived a sinless life.
I would also highly encourage you to come to one and/or both of the Christian Young Adult Groups I am going to mention right now.  You can learn more and more about Jesus by coming to one and/or both of these Christian Young Adult Groups.  All I am going to encourage you to do is come and see.
For those of you who didn’t know, or like myself had no idea North Platte Community College had at least a Christian young adult group, there is one going on.  In fact there is more than one going on.  Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)/Campus Crusade youth group meets every Wednesday night at North Platte Community College South Campus during the school year at 8:30p.m.  The meeting place is in the Fireplace Area (and if it’s not there it’s in the Student Lounge or Room 112).
Here is some information about another NPCC Christian Young Adult Group: Young Adult Fellowship, Tuesdays @ 6:30p.m., North Platte Community College South Campus: Room 112.  If you want more information about Young Adult Fellowship, come to it.
Honestly, I haven’t been to the Young Adult Fellowship yet so I am going to talk about what goes on at FCA/Campus Crusade youth group.  Some of you may think the word “Athletes” in FCA is a reason not to come because you aren’t an athlete.  The truth is you don’t have to be an athlete to come to FCA/Campus Crusade youth group.  There will not be any strenuous physical activity required.  All the group members of both groups I’m sure hope that you would come to their group and accept Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior, trust Him (Jesus), and follow Him.
Personally, I feel, as long as a person goes to any Christian Group, hears about Jesus Christ, and (I hope) accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior that’s what I feel is the most important thing you can learn here on Earth.  It would be great if any person would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and that relationship with Jesus would last a lifetime.  I personally hope every person on Earth will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior today (not tomorrow).
So, what goes on at FCA?  What should I expect?  First, when you first arrive you can count on talking or listening to others talk until FCA starts at 8:30p.m. Next, after the talking is done you can count on playing some kind of game while people who show up late for FCA arrive.  Thirdly, you can count on some very tasty snacks such as cookies and juice.  Then, you can expect to learn about God through a devotionals and scriptural readings out of the Holy Bible.  Pertinent questions to the devotionals and/or scriptural readings will then be asked.  You will have to answer these questions in your head and may occasionally be called on to share your answers aloud.  Sometimes you will be quizzed on how well you know the Ten Commandments. 
Finally, you can expect to tell the group members what your rose, bud, and thorn were for the week.  A rose is your high point from the previous week, bud is what you are looking forward to in the upcoming future, and thorn is your low point from the previous week.
Do I need to bring anything?  If you have got a Holy Bible try to remember to bring it.  Otherwise, the group members who are usually there will try their best to make sure you get a visual aid (Holy Bible).  Occasionally, the group will watch a video so that would be the visual aid for the evening and again pertinent questions will be asked.  The group members will also try their best to make sure newcomers feel welcome.
You may contact one of the following people for more information about FCA/Campus Crusade youth group: Stephen Friesell (308) 660-9007, Evan Troxel (308) 289-9474, Heather Dickson (308) 230-0416, Ali Hinrichsen (308) 520-6858, or Tiffany Hoaglund (308) 520-6629

Friday, March 4, 2011

“The Truck Comes Tomorrow”: The Food Critics Visit Taco Bell

The Taco Bell attached to the Conoco gas station and convenience store has a lot of choices on their menu, but on this visit we couldn’t choose Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, steak, or mild sauce, because they had run out of all these items.
Yes, the food critics are back, and we’re continuing our trek north up Highway 83. At Taco Bell, we enjoyed quesadillas, chips and cheese, and a chalupa. We’ve been to Taco Bell many times, and this food met our expectations. Everything was hot, fresh, and well prepared. Since there was no mild sauce available, we had to try the mild verde (green) sauce, which had a slightly odd flavor, but it was OK. The Taco Bell staff was friendly, fast, and apologetic regarding the missing items.
Pros: clean, friendly, updated d├ęcor, one of the few places you can get Mountain Dew Baja Blast
Cons: poorly stocked
For our next review, we’ll cross the interstate and continue north. We’ve decided to include the restaurants on Halligan drive that can be seen from 83.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Husker Baseball 2011: Something to Look Forward to

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
Finally, another season of Nebraska Cornhuskers Baseball is here.  I am so glad that this year I decided to actually pay attention to the beginning of the regular season.  In years past with about any college sport (except Husker Football) I didn’t really pay attention to how the season kicked off for any particular team until I saw a game on television or heard it on the radio.  It’s a bummer that I actually had to be at college to think about college sports more.  So let’s get this article rolling by remembering the glory days.
In the year 2000, the Cornhuskers won the Regional and then made the Super Regional for the first time ever in which they played the Stanford Cardinal and lost two out of the three games played.  The following year, Nebraska won three straight games in the Regional, won two more in the Super Regional, and made it all the way to the College World Series in which they ended up losing the final two games of the year.
In 2002, the Huskers won the Regional, defeated Richmond in three games in the Super Regional and lost to Clemson and South Carolina in the College World Series.  In 2003, they won three games but lost two games in the Regional.  In 2004, Nebraska lost in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament.
In 2005, Nebraska made it to the College World Series and finally won a game against Arizona State.  In the winners’ bracket they lost to the Florida Gators and ended the season by losing to Arizona State.  In 2006, 2007, and 2008 the Huskers were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by losing in the Regional. 
In 2009, Nebraska had 25 wins, 28 losses, and 1 tie.  In 2010, the Huskers finished by winning 27 games and by losing 27 games.  So to sum it all up 2010 looked like a good way to end the season—with a four game win streak.  Oh yeah, Nebraska beat Creighton 21-5 to start that season ending streak.
I am looking forward to another season of Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball and I hope they win more games.  Thirty games to win this season would be a good goal.  It would also be nice to see them win Regionals, Super Regionals, and win two games in the College World Series if they cannot win the National Championship.  I’d be satisfied with that result.
Here in 2011, the Cornhuskers started the season off with a loss.  However, since then Nebraska has won three straight games for a current record of three wins and one loss.  All games this season can be heard on the radio on the Husker Sports Network and all game times are Central Time.
Here are the results of the Huskers 2011 Season so far:
Fri, Feb 18   Texas State at San Marcos, Texas 2 - 7 (L)
Sat, Feb 19   Air Force at San Marcos, Texas 8 - 1 (W)
Sat, Feb 19   Washington at San Marcos, Texas 10 - 3 (W)
Sun, Feb 20   Missouri State at San Marcos, Texas 16 - 4 (W)
Here is the Huskers remaining 2011 Season Schedule:
Bearkat Tournament 
Fri, Feb 25   Northern Colorado at Huntsville, Texas 1:30 p.m. 
Sat, Feb 26   Northern Colorado at Huntsville, Texas 1:30 p.m. 
Sat, Feb 26   Sam Houston State at Huntsville, Texas 6:30 p.m. 
Sun, Feb 27   Sam Houston State at Huntsville, Texas 10 a.m. 
Wed, Mar 02   Nebraska-Kearney Hawks Field-(Lincoln, NE) 1:35 p.m. 
Fri, Mar 04 UCLA Hawks Field-(Lincoln, NE) 1:35 p.m. 
Sat, Mar 05 UCLA Hawks Field 2:05 p.m. 
Sun, Mar 06 UCLA Hawks Field 1:05 p.m. 
Tue, Mar 08 Doane College Hawks Field 1:35 p.m. 
Fri, Mar 11   Fresno State  Hawks Field 1:35 p.m. 
Sat, Mar 12   Fresno State Hawks Field 2:05 p.m. 
Sun, Mar 13   Fresno State Hawks Field 1:05 p.m. 
Tue, Mar 15   South Dakota State Hawks Field 1:35 p.m. 
Wed, Mar 16   Kansas State at Manhattan, Kan. 6:30 p.m. 
Fri, Mar 18   North Dakota Hawks Field    1:35 p.m. 
Sat, Mar 19   North Dakota (DH) Hawks Field    2:05 p.m. 
Sun, Mar 20   North Dakota Hawks Field    1:05 p.m. 
Tue, Mar 22   Northern Colorado Hawks Field    6:35 p.m. 
Wed, Mar 23   Northern Colorado Hawks Field    1:35 p.m. 
Fri, Mar 25   Texas Tech* at Lubbock, Texas    6:30 p.m. 
Sat, Mar 26   Texas Tech* at Lubbock, Texas    5 p.m. 
Sun, Mar 27   Texas Tech* at Lubbock, Texas    1 p.m. 
Fri, Apr 01   Oklahoma State* Hawks Field    6:35 p.m. 
Sat, Apr 02   Oklahoma State* Hawks Field    2:05 p.m. 
Sun, Apr 03   Oklahoma State* Hawks Field    1:05 p.m. 
Tue, Apr 05   Creighton Hawks Field    6:35 p.m. 
Fri, Apr 08 Kansas* at Lawrence, Kan.    6 p.m. 
Sat, Apr 09 Kansas* at Lawrence, Kan.    2 p.m. 
Sun, Apr 10   Kansas* at Lawrence, Kan.    1 p.m.
Tue, Apr 12   Wichita State at Wichita, Kan.    6:30 p.m.
Fri, Apr 15   Kansas State* Hawks Field    6:35 p.m.
Sat, Apr 16   Kansas State* Hawks Field    3:05 p.m.
Sun, Apr 17   Kansas State* Hawks Field    1:05 p.m.
Tue, Apr 19   Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha, NE) 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Apr 22   Oklahoma* at Norman, Okla.    6:30 p.m.
Sat, Apr 23   Oklahoma* at Norman, Okla.    2 p.m.
Sun, Apr 24   Oklahoma* at Norman, Okla.    1 p.m.
Tue, Apr 26   Iowa Hawks Field    6:05 p.m.
Fri, Apr 29   Baylor* Hawks Field    6:35 p.m.
Sat, Apr 30   Baylor* Hawks Field    2:05 p.m.
Sun, May 01   Baylor* Hawks Field    1:05 p.m.
Fri, May 06   Texas* Hawks Field    6:35 p.m.
Sat, May 07   Texas* Hawks Field    2:05 p.m.
Sun, May 08   Texas* Hawks Field    1:05 p.m.
Tue, May 10   Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha, NE) 7 p.m.
Fri, May 13   Texas A&M* at College Station, Texas    6:35 p.m.
Sat, May 14   Texas A&M* at College Station, Texas    2:05 p.m.
Sun, May 15   Texas A&M* at College Station, Texas    1:05 p.m.
Thu, May 19   Missouri* Hawks Field    6:35 p.m.
Fri, May 20   Missouri* Hawks Field    6:35 p.m.
Sat, May 21   Missouri* Hawks Field    2:05 p.m.
Wed, May 25-Sun, May 29   Big 12 Tournament* at Oklahoma City, Okla.    TBA
Fri, Jun 03-Sun, Jun 05   NCAA Regionals at Campus Sites    TBA
Fri, Jun 10-Mon, Jun 13   NCAA Super Regionals at Campus Sites    TBA
Sat, Jun 18-Wed, Jun 29   College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha, NE) TBA
* Conference Games