a podcast and research project about
Nebraska High School Sports History
Suiting Up Varsity is a podcast and a Twitter feed run by Greg Mays, a teacher and coach at Hastings High School in Nebraska. My dream is to publish a book of Nebraska high school sports history. That's been my dream for decades, maybe since 1983 when I first checked out Jerry Mathers's great book Nebraska High School Sports from my high school library (I'm Hastings High 1986!).
Mathers's book was published in 1980. He planned an updated version for the turn of the century, 2000, but for a variety of reasons it was never published. Mathers died in 2003.
I began researching Hastings High sports history in the early 1990s. (A book specifically about Hastings also works into my dreams.) I've been collecting and archiving information for decades, looking for the best way to organize and understand such a big topic (and one that gets bigger each year!). The beginning of a project this big is always daunting. I was daunted.
In 2016, my wife and I took a trip to Florida for our 25th Anniversary. It was a great trip. We stayed a couple blocks off of Clearwater Beach and every morning while my wife slept in, I would drag my laptop out to the pool. And, I started to write.
I decided that the problem had been, I was always trying to write the whole book. On that trip I decided I would just start writing, one podcast episode at a time. I've been writing more and building more lists and databases and charts and.... about anything that will help me get a handle on this monster topic, ever since.
In June 2017, I started posting pictures on Twitter from old yearbooks and newspapers that I had gathered during my research. The Twitter feed (@SuitUpVarsity) has turned into a great source of information, motivation, and fun. We are experimenting with posts on Mastodon (https://mastodon.world/@SuitUpVarsity)
Any published book is still far away. I still have a day job. But, I feel like I'm on the right track, and I'm having a blast sharing the stories and pictures I've found along the way.
If you have ideas or suggestions, contact me at GMAYS AT HHSTigers.Com.
If you want to help build this project (and get some great inside looks at the stories and projects we are working on), consider supporting Suiting Up Varsity on Patreon.