Category Archives: Husker Basketball

Saying Goodbye to Sam Foltz

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a special guest post by Misty Schaecher, a dear friend from my high school days at Grand Island Senior High. Like nearly every kid from that era, we both worked at the Skagway store that was on the other side of the parking lot from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church which hosted the memorial service for Sam Foltz.

Misty reached out earlier this week to see if this site could use any coverage of his service. Her out-of-the-blue offer momentarily took me aback until I realized this is just another example of how Husker fans stick together in all kinds of weather.

Her story and photos follow below.

Drew Brown and Sam Foltz

“There is a Presence in this Place.”

As Husker Nation descended upon Grand Island for the memorial of Sam Foltz, the air of grief was palpable. An early morning thunderstorm set the stage for this morning’s service, causing flooding throughout this small Nebraska town.

The entrance to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church was lined with flags, family, friends, fans, teammates and coaches. When you are a part of something as great as Husker Nation, you are a part of a family that is supportive and infinitely great.

Husker Flag

Nearly 2,000 people attended the 75-minute memorial service.  This included seven busloads of his University of Nebraska teammates and fellow students.  Seven Priests and the Archdiocese Bishop presided over the ceremony where Sam’s life was celebrated.  People overflowed the church, spilling into the hallways and reception hall where the ceremony was broadcast live.

Sam Foltz with kids

Not since April 18, 1996, when quarterback Brook Berringer died in a tragic plane crash, have Husker fans felt such sadness. Sam Foltz was a punter, so much of the everyday hoopla of being a quarterback didn’t surround him as it did Berringer, however, his genuine kindness made him a fan favorite from the start.Sam was a true hometown hero of Grand Island. He was not only a Husker, he was also a brother, a son, a friend, and a true Islander.

Sam Foltz Diploma

As the football season fast approaches us, Husker Nation will not be the same. There will be one less dreamer on the field this year. One less determined young man reporting to practice. One less teammate offering advice to the underclassmen. One less hero representing the town of Grand Island, Nebraska on the national stage.

On July 19, 2016, Sam tweeted, “You never know who’s watching. What impact do you wanna leave on the next generation to aspire too?!”

This fan, this town, and this state will remember you Sam Foltz and we will indeed be looking up to you.

Sam Foltz Running

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BLACKSHIRT FLAG

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View From The Red Zone: Ohio State

Ahh, yes. THE Ohio State Buckeyes. In all of my time here at UNL, their men’s basketball team is one of the few (relevant) B1G teams I haven’t actually seen play in person. Naturally, I was pretty excited.

ohio state
You’re in our world now, Ohio State.

I spent my time before tip-off roaming around PBA with my BTN Instagram cutout, asking random strangers if they wanted me to take a picture for them. Because, you know, that’s never awkward or creepy at all. But there was one bright side to working that game—it was the first time I didn’t injure myself on the cutout as I swung it around like an idiot. Progress!

I’ve been getting to that weird overly-nostalgic still-trying-to-deny-the-fact-that-I’m-graduating part of this season with this game being the second to last home game. Suddenly, everything from the starting line-ups to hearing GDFR makes me weirdly sentimental.

The Red Zone introduced a few new fatheads this game, including Eli Manning during Super Bowl 50, puppy monkey baby, and Jean Ralphio (who I’ve been pestering The Red Zone directors for for months). Although, I’m not sure what’s more terrifying: puppy monkey baby or the fathead of Austin Powers with Tim Miles’s face on it, which I hadn’t even realized was an altered image until someone explained it to me.

Let’s start off by saying that the first half was one of the most uneventful things I’ve ever seen in a game. You could tell The Red Zone was getting impatient as they complained about their newspaper getting sweaty and their hands getting covered in ink. Thankfully, Andrew White saved us just over three minutes in, putting the Huskers up 2-0.

For the first half of the game, it seemed like the Huskers couldn’t do so much as take a step without getting a foul. It was like the refs had just gotten new whistles and couldn’t wait to try them out… Just not on Ohio State. After two technicals had been called, one on Nebraska and one on Ohio State’s JaQuan Lyle, I started yelling at the refs to just T themselves up for their horrible job. I’m sure they appreciated that.

I do have to say that my absolute favorite part of the entire game was the infamous floor slap from Ohio State’s Jae’Sean Tate as he was defending Tai Webster. Hopefully he didn’t hurt his hands too badly—his dignity has been hurt enough.

Shoutout to everyone that’s posted a GIF of the floor slap to Twitter, though. I’ve probably wasted nearly an hour of my life rewatching it over and over again. It never gets old.

The other Ohio State player that really stood out to me was Marc Loving. Not for anything basketball related, but rather the fact that after nearly everything good that Ohio State did, Loving seemed to immediately flex his biceps in celebration for the entire crowd to celebrate. Calm down over there, Hercules, we can all tell you’re really loving yourself.

With just seven seconds left in the game and the Huskers up 56-54, the refs called a foul on Webster. Not only was this Webster’s fifth foul, but it allowed JaQuan Lyle to score two more points for the Buckeyes and send the game into overtime. Flashbacks to Miami earlier this year, anyone?

Final Score
The heartbreak of an overtime loss never gets any easier.

And yet again, victory was in sight for the Huskers, but managed to slip away yet again. Hopefully Nebraska will be able to break their three-game losing streak with a win on the road against the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The Huskers will return to PBA to take on the Purdue Boilermakers next Tuesday for their final home game of the season. Not only am I going to be an emotional wreck at my final Nebrasketball game, but my BTN call time and the beginning of my live newscast just so happen to be the exact same time. Should be fun!

Hayley Archer is a senior Broadcasting major at UNL. Follow her on Twitter at @Harchinator.

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View from The Red Zone: Maryland

It was the biggest home game of the year. The Huskers men’s basketball team was taking on the fourth-ranked Maryland Terrapins at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Everyone was excited—especially me. Why? Because I had unfinished business with Melo Trimble.

Flashback to the Maryland game last year where I stood directly next to the Terrapins as they warmed up. I found the star then-freshman player to be the easy target of heckling. Everything from making jokes about what he was doing to picking on him as a person “The higher the hair the closer to God, am I right, Melo?” He was continually rolling his eyes at me as the stupid jokes kept coming out. Naturally, I was loving every second of it.

Melo Trimble
Maryland star Melo Trimble doing his best to ignore us during pre-game warm ups.

This year, however, he came in to PBA with an attitude that showed that he wasn’t about to listen to anyone yelling at him. But I was ready, I had done my research. It was only just beginning.

A thirty second Google search showed me that it was 21st birthday the day before, so a few of us had the brilliant idea to start yell-singing Happy Birthday to him every time he tried to do… Well… Anything. While unfazed during warm ups, it proved to be effective during free-throws (until the very end… Spoiler Alert!), in which he missed every one that we sang during.

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Selfie with Melo, kinda.

The only time he paid any attention to us this year was when I was joined by my good friend Ndamukong Stoos (aka Caitlin Stoos but I like my nickname for her more) in doing Maryland’s warmups with them. To be honest, we looked like complete idiots stretching and running around in the aisle, but as long as it made Trimble look over, it was worth it.

You could tell how much this game meant to Husker fans as it was completely deafening at tipoff. The energy and volume stayed high throughout the game, including when my roommate turned to me to say “gosh, I always forget how loud your voice can get.” Shoutout to my many years of theatre and broadcasting for that one.

The Huskers were able to keep up score-wise with Maryland throughout the entire game, but several missed opportunities caused the Huskers some trouble. But even though the Huskers had a difficult time capitalizing on turnovers and were shooting just 31.8 percent, it was still honestly a fun game to watch. Stressful, but fun.

You could tell how stressed I was watching the game solely by the foam finger I was holding throughout. Since I’m such a fidgeter, anything handed to me during a game that can be destroyed will be. By the end of the game, the foam finger didn’t even have a finger anymore, nor was it usable. Whoops.

Also probably doesn’t look good on me considering that they were given to us by my employer—Big Ten Network. Sorry guys.

Foam Finger.
This poor finger didn’t stand a chance.

The Huskers fell 70-65 to the Terrapins, but will be hosting Rutgers at home next. Honestly, if we lose to a team that has as many conference wins this season as I personally do, I’ll be concerned. Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.

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View from The Red Zone: Michigan

After an exciting one-point win over the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing, it was no surprise that students were lined up outside of Pinnacle Bank Arena before doors opened to watch the Husker men’s basketball team take on Michigan.

The excitement surrounding this game came from more than just a four game winning streak, though, as this game was the annual Avery Strong game. Fans sport their bright gold #AveryStrong shirts in support of Avery Harriman and pediatric cancer research and are encouraged to get swabbed to see if they could potentially be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant.

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The Red Zone gets stocked up with #AveryStrong t-shirts.

As one of Big Ten Network’s on-campus marketing interns, I was ready for the flood of students to pour into PBA as doors opened an hour and a half before the game. “Flood” might not be the right word, considering each student has to get scanned in one at a time, making it a little anti-climactic… But you get the point.

Being a BTN intern, I stand out in the concourse and get people to take Instagram pictures to enter the #BTNWinningShotContest (come visit me). This time, we borrowed some fatheads from The Red Zone for fans to take pictures with as well. It’s amazing how giddy the older demographic gets when presented with the opportunity to take a picture with the Pope.

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Pope Francis is a big fan of Tim Miles. Huge.

Another thing I’ve learned in my time as a marketing intern is how unsubtle people are when they try to avoid someone. As someone who does a large amount of shopping at the Mall of America, I like to consider myself a natural at avoiding kiosk workers and other people trying to get me to come over and buy something or do something. But being on the other side of things, I’ve learned that the avoid-eye-contact-and-walk-a-little-faster isn’t nearly as subtle as some people may think. Time to re-think that strategy, I guess.

After tipoff, I was able to trade in my BTN shirt for an #AveryStrong shirt and join my friends in The Red Zone. Much like football, I forget about any dignity I have left as I yell at the opposing team and dance around like an idiot. The main difference? They can actually hear me.

You’d think with how often I harass the cameras (if you’re new, check out this recap) I’d be used to being thrown up on the big screen at the most embarrassing moment.

Nope.

As the camera jumped from fan to fan during the Emoji Cam, my roommate and I turned a bright shade of red as the two of our faces graced the screen for everyone to see. Later, fans got the chance to check out some pretty sweet dance moves from me on the screen (not really). You’re welcome, Lincoln.

Halftime
Avery Harriman on the big screen at halftime. You can learn more about become a potential bone marrow donor here.

The Red Zone was able to get quite a bit of use out of our many fatheads for free throw distractions, considering how whistle-happy the refs seemed to be in Michigan’s favor. Everything from Donald Trump to crying Michael Jordan to the poop emoji were waved around by students in attempts to distract the Wolverines. The Red Zone might have to look into some more distractions, considering the Wolverines made 10 straight free throws in the final minutes of the game.

RefsThe refs debate over what foul to call next on the Huskers.

The amount of calls from the refs were frustrating some fans so much that a group of us in the front row looked up the names of each of the refs so we could personally thank them for the wonderful job they were doing.

As fans filed out with the clock ticking down at the end of the game, a chorus of booing echoed through the arena as Michigan forward Duncan Robinson sank a three-pointer as the Wolverines were already up by 10 points.

The Huskers fell to the Wolverines 81-68. While fans may be disappointed in the loss, I’m sure there will still be some students lined up waiting to watch their Huskers take on the Maryland Terrapins next Wednesday, February 3rd. Personally, I have some unfinished business heckling Melo Trimble, so you’ll know where to find me.

Hayley Archer is a senior Broadcasting major at UNL. Follow her on Twitter at @Harchinator.

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