At 2013 Big Ten home opener, Jack Hoffman (middle) threw out the first pitch.
By Randy York
When you’re in your 22nd consecutive season as a softball coach at the Husker helm, time may not exactly stand still, but it slows down enough to allow Rhonda Revelle to push the pause button and reflect on the realities of why it’s such an honor to coach at a place like Nebraska. “Honestly, what really gets me going is seeing how much the players love playing at home – from listening to their own walk-up songs to what’s going on with the video productions,” Revelle said. “Watching them out here this week with HuskerVision and doing their own little thing and having no idea how it would all turn out in production is part of the experience. It’s what gets them all amped up.”
As the Huskers’ Hall-of-Fame head coach, who has won more games than any head coach in any sport in Nebraska Athletics history, Revelle tends to soak in smaller things than that. “When I walk onto the ball field, simple things get me going…smelling the grass, seeing the grounds crew working…things that aren’t so well documented like watching our workers in the yellow jackets dusting down the chair backs…I don’t think many institutions take so much pride in the fan experience to do something like that,” Revelle said.
Whether you’re coach, player or a fan, this weekend “is like the second phase of our season,” Revelle said. “In fact, it’s almost like starting the season all over again. There’s just a lot of pride when you play within your conference and begin vying for a championship, hopefully. It just takes on a different focus. Of course, we play a very strong non-conference schedule, but this is almost like a whole new ball game.”
“This” is No. 15-ranked Nebraska hosting No. 16 Minnesota three times this weekend at Bowlin Stadium – Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. “Minnesota has done a remarkable job in their program through the last few years,” Revelle said. “I respect what they’ve done. You look on paper and it almost looks like these two teams are mirror images of each other. It should be an outstanding series!”
Revelle is well aware that other sports are reaching the peaks of their respective seasons at the same time the Huskers are launching their conference schedule. “I figure basketball Friday morning and afternoon and softball Friday night,” Revelle said. “Women’s basketball plays Saturday and we play Saturday. It’s all good. We’re excited for all of our teams that are competing this weekend. At Nebraska, we’re all about TEAM and solidarity.”
Saturday’s softball game is a Pepsi Pack the House promotion that offers $1 for admission and $1.50 for Pepsi products and hot dogs.
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