This fall I was blessed to work as a freelance photographer for KETV News Watch 7 (ABC) Omaha, covering Nebraska football in Lincoln. The games this season were tough to watch. The turnovers, the missed blocks, the missed tackles, the missed opportunities. The Ohio State game was especially tough to photograph as there weren't too many highlights on either side of the ball for Nebraska. I averaged about 50 photos per game for KETV, that game I submitted less than 40. Working the sidelines was also a challenge due to the increased number of visiting photojournalists from Ohio, as well as increased in-state media coverage.
I went back through the photos and picked out my fav five from each of the home games to present you with a review of 35 photos from Nebraska's 2017 football season. at Memorial Stadium.
Then, Scott Frost happened. in one December Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, the historical and humiliating 4 and 8 season became a distant memory as the elevator doors opened and Scott Frost stepped out as Nebraska's new head football coach. The air was electric with excitement as hundreds of people packed into the Club Level of Memorial Stadium to await the return of their native son. As those elevator doors opened the cheers erupted. Scott Frost could be seen holding back tears. I can only imagine what he felt, what it was like for him to return home to a huge welcome from friends, family and former teammates.
After watching what Coach Frost's offense did this past season at the University of Central Florida, I'm expecting a lot of thrilling action shots in 2018 and beyond. I think I need to buy a new lens.
To view all of my photos shot for KETV this football season, go to the following links below for each game plus the Scott Frost press conference.
KETV Husker Football
Nebraska hosts Arkansas State
Nebraska hosts Northern Illinois
Nebraska hosts Rutgers
Nebraska hosts Wisconsin
Nebraska hosts Ohio State
Nebraska hosts Northwestern
Nebraska hosts Iowa
Scott Frost Press Conference
All Rights Reserved - 2017 © Skip DeBusk
Photos cannot be used without signed permission from KETV and Skip DeBusk
Just three months ago at the start of the college football season, no one imaged the events that would take place over the past few weeks resulting in the quarterback from the University of Nebraska's last national championship in 1997 returning home as its head coach. Scott Frost certainly didn't imagine it. He was focused on rebuilding a football program at the University of Central Florida that went 0 and 12 before he arrived on December 1st 2015. Just two years later he would take them 12 and 0 winning the American Athletic Conference (AAC) title in double overtime against Memphis and becoming both the AAC Coach of the Year and Home Depot National Coach of the Year. But then Nebraska happened.
Nebraska fans too thought that head coach Mike Riley and company were in the process of rebuilding the football program in Lincoln. But, early in to the season things were off to a shaky start with a 7-point win over Arkansas State, a bad showing on the road against Oregon, then a terrible showing at home losing 21 -17 to Northern Illinois. If warning bells weren't going off already, they were now, especially in Athletic Director's (AD) Shawn Eichorst's head who gave an impromptu interview with the media following the post-game press conference. He knew that his tenure at Nebraska was directly tied to on-field success of the football program since he had fired seven year head coach Bo Pelini after a 9-win season and hired his own guy, Mike Riley out of Oregon State. Five days later Nebraska President Hank Bounds and Chancellor Ronnie Green would relieve Eichorst of this duties as AD effective immediately citing that Nebraska football wasn't being competitive enough.
Three weeks later on October 15th Nebraska had hired their new AD, Bill Moos who was the current AD at Washington State. I don't think anyone in Nebraska had heard of Bill Moos before, but Hank Bounds and Ronnie Green assured us that they had found the "right fit" for this position at Nebraska. At this point in the season Nebraska was now 3 and 4 with embarrassing at home losses to Wisconsin and Ohio State. Back in Florida, Scott Frost was quickly building momentum as UCF was taking care of business on the field at 5 and 0. Nebraska fans knew change was coming to the football program, but was it. Many thought that Bill Moos, a PAC 12 guy would retain Mike Riley, a former PAC 12 guy. There was a lot of anxiety about the season, the program, the leadership...probably because this had become routine at Nebraska since then Chancellor Harvey Perlman hired Steve Pederson as AD in October of 2002. When Steve Pederson fired head coach Frank Solich in 2003 following a 9-3 season and two years after making it to the 2001 National Championship game, he stated that he would not "let Nebraska gravitate into mediocrity." At that point, the legacy of culture, coaches, and staff that began with Bob Devaney in 1962 came to a crashing closure. So ya, after 15 years of "mediocrity" Nebraska fans had become leery of change, longing for the days of the 1990's when the program was at it's peak in not just winning, but bruseing competitiveness.
Bill Moos wasted no time in embracing his new University, the fans and the state. He was also evaluating the football program stating that as a general rule he didn't like to fire head coaches during the season. Seeing Bill Moos on the sidelines these past few games and listening to him during press conferences, I think President Hank Bounds and Chancellor Ronnie Green hired thee perfect fit to lead Nebraska's athletic department.
Then came a purely pathetic loss on the road at Minnesota. Nebraska was sitting at 4 and 6, meanwhile in Florida, Frost had all of the momentum with UCF charging ahead at 9 and 0. What Husker fans didn't know was that Bill Moos had already met with Scott Frost and wanted him.
Scott Frost was having seconds thoughts about coming to Nebraska as late as the Friday night before the AAC Championship game. That's when he called Tom Osborne, They talked for a while. Scott had a lot of questions. He wanted to make sure that the leadership was right and that there wouldn't be any roadblocks, that he could run the football program his way. As fans, I think we've all seen these roadblocks the past 15 years. Even with Mike Riley, I heard rumors that because Shawn Eichorst knew his job security was tied to wins on the football field, he micromanaged Riley. For example, according to rumors Riley didn't want to hire Bob Diaco and we witnessed what a mistake that was. Worst season since 1961.
I wasn't on the Scott Frost bandwagon, I was a Chip Kelly fan. I had hoped Nebraska would hire Kelly three years earlier when Bo Pelini was fired. However, as Bill Moos said during the press conference introducing Scott Frost, we just landed the biggest up and coming coach in America. After watching Frost in his presser after winning the AAC Championship and then watching him at Memorial Stadium on Sunday, I'm very impressed with him, and agree with Bill Moos..
I feel like Nebraska has returned to its roots, that 15 years of wondering aimlessly through college football as long-held school and NCAA records fell into the gutter of mediocrity, the legacy of former Chancellor Harvey Pearlman who started the downfall of Nebraska football has been closed. With Scott Frost we get back to the culture of Nebraska football because we finally have someone in a head coach who grew up with it, played in it, and won a National Championship because of it. The current players I saw leaving Stadium One after their first meeting with Frost had smiles and were excited about this new opportunity. Former players are ready to come back and to be a part of this program. I don't know who he was, but I road on the elevator at the stadium with a former player who couldn't stop talking he was so excited about the future of the program with Scott Frost. He said that Nebraska is back, that we are truly back, that Frost gets this place and he knows what this place use to be and will make it that way again.
I'm going out on a limb and guess that Memorial Stadium will probably be sold out for the spring game April 14th.
Since the election of Donald Trump as President on November 8th 2016, a wave of liberal rage has marked the last 11 months. Antifa protestors clad in black masks and waving Communist flags shut down college campuses, destroy property and indiscriminately attack those they disagree with, whether women or the elderly. Meanwhile, comedian Kathy Griffin takes photos with a bloody replica of the president’s decapitated head. Then last week, a radical liberal and former Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer who worked in Iowa attempted the assassination of several Congressional Republicans during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. This shooting brought about two things, the culmination of 11 months of non-stop negative attacks against President Trump and violence against Trump supporters, and even more vile hatred for Republicans as many on social media praised the gunman and thought the shooting was funny.
Besides the Antifa, another resistance group is Indivisible which is a project of the Advocacy Fund which was formerly called the Tides Advocacy Fund, part of the Tides Foundation, which also is behind Black Lives Matter. The Tides Foundation is a essentially an organization that funnels money to liberal groups with an estimated $143 million given in 3,532 grants in 2010 alone. The Tides Foundation's programs are a checklist of liberalism’s most ambitious agenda: the Open Society Institute of George Soros, AFL–CIO, the Arab American Action Network, American Civil Liberties Union, the pro-Castro groups United for Peace and Justice and Center for Constitutional Rights, along with groups opposing free trade and gun ownership while advocating green energy and government-funded abortion.
The resistance group Indivisible boasts on their website 5,983 Indivisible groups nation-wide. They provide training to their subordinate groups and members on how to "Pressure Your Members of Congress to Resist Trump." The Indivisible Nebraska resistance group has shown up in large numbers at town halls held by Nebraska's Congressional representatives, all Republicans. I attended all four of Nebraska's 2nd District Representative, Don Bacon's public town halls. The April 29th town hall held at Millard North High School and May 13th town hall held at Bennington Elementary were the most raucous town halls. With plenty of law enforcement on hand there was no violence as shown by the Antifa at the pro-Trump rally in March, but there was plenty of shouting and finger pointing directed at the Congressman who sometimes couldn't finish his answer. There were Trump supporters and Bacon supporters in attendance, but the Indivisible Nebraska group showed up in force with one goal, to resist.
Following his town hall in Bennington, Rep. Bacon told us during his press conference that he already knows what questions he's going to be asked the day before because of how coordinated the resistance movement is. He encouraged the media to investigate Indivisible and to read their manual. Here are his comments:
Nebraska Representative from the state's second district Don Bacon (R) said earlier this year that he didn’t plan to hold any town hall meetings because he worried about potential disruptions, but he reversed his decision after taking heat for that position. Ironically, his predecessor he beat in the 2016 election, Democrat Brad Ashford, didn't hold any public town hall meetings during his two years in office.
Today, Bacon hosted a pair of town halls, first one at Gretna Senior High School and the second one at Millard West High School where he faced a raucous crowd of nearly 400 people.
Several protestors in the audience were seen wearing Planned Parenthood, Resist, Indivisible Nebraska, and Persisted t-shirts. A few held up signs and many more held up red pieces of paper in protest against what Bacon had to say, green if they agreed with him. Boo's and jeering were usually associated with the red paper.
During the one-hour sessions Bacon fielded questions on topics such as health care, President Donald Trump’s behavior, North Korea, and the Russia investigations. Some attendees said the format was intended to suppress questions. Bacon staff members said the format was designed to let more people get questions answered rather than allow a few people to dominate the microphone as has occurred at other town halls around the country. Bacon defended the town hall meeting format, which required people to submit written questions that then were read by moderators. People were permitted to ask follow-up questions aloud, and many did. However, the audience also complained because people were not handed microphones to ask their follow up questions.
Bacon said that he plans to schedule at least three more public town halls around the district in the coming weeks.
Showing up to photograph a pro-Trump Make America Great Again (MAGA) rally in downtown Omaha did not disappoint when a couple dozen Antifa protestors arrived. As the Trump supporters began their march west on Farnum Street from 13th Street, there was a heavy police presence to include mounted, bike, and pre-staged cruisers.
At the onset of the march there was only one protestor who followed the group on the other side of the street, holding a sign in one hand and a bullhorn in the other hand, and was continually yelling at the Trump supporters. As the march ended near the Douglas County Courthouse, a small group of peaceful protestors gathered outside of the Trump rally. All was good until the Antifa arrived, dressed all in black, faces covered, beating a drum and waving Communist flags.
The arrival of the Antifa did not stop the President Trump supporters from carrying on with their rally as several from that group moved out to confront the Antifa by chanting "USA! USA! USA!" to drown out the protestors drum and shouting through a bullhorn. The Omaha Police officers quickly moved in to create a barrier between the two groups. The police asked the Antifa to move back to where the peaceful protestors were standing so as to create some distance from the MAGA rally. The Antifa refused police orders and that's when things became interesting.
The first arrest came as a protestor began resisting police orders by shoving the bicycle back towards the police. The police eventually got the more than two dozen protestors moved to an area where the peaceful protestors were standing. Shortly thereafter, an Antifa protestor threw some type of a smoke device at the police which escalated tensions.
As the police diffused the device their tactics changed from controlling the protestors to dispersing them. To aid in dispersal the police fired pepper ball rifles at the feet of the protestors. In total, eight protestors were arrested. This whole time the Trump rally continued, unaffected by the protestors. Once the police had successfully dispersed the Antifa protestors, the peaceful protestors returned and stayed until the rally was over.
For more information about what happened, Omaha's KPTM Fox42 Steve Sanders reported on the protests. I walked him through the events of that morning and he used several of my photographs for their 9pm news broadcast.
The Omaha Fashion Week (OFW) is celebrating their 10th year of bringing fashion to Omaha as they held their spring fashion week event. Over the course of the past 10 years OFW has grown to become the 5th largest fashion event in America. That's not too bad considering some of the company they keep with New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles to name few popular fashion cities in America.
A fashion week is a fashion industry event which allows fashion designers to display their latest collections. The fashion collections are displayed via runway shows for buyers and the fashion community to take a look at latest trends. The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the fashion capitals such as Milan, Paris, London, and New York City. The U.S. has several outstanding fashion weeks to include OFW.
The OFW is a talent incubator that seamlessly connects designers, stylists, photographers, artists and models through nurturing platforms and engaging opportunities. OFW is the Midwest’s premier fashion event, spotlighting fashion innovations and celebrating creative excellence.
This edition of the OFW featured a stylist from Holdrege, Nebraska, Tina Wise owner of Salon Bliss. She was selected for the first time to join OFW and was teamed up with designer Hannah Kristina. She was joined by fellow Salon Bliss stylist Jennifer Calkins. Salon Bliss's creative hair styles were on display as the models wearing Hannah Kristina strut the runway in Omaha.
Wiese said that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hoped to be invited back again.
Here are some more photos from the Omaha Fashion Week!
Several high school dance teams from Nebraska and Iowa competed today in at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Maverick Dance Competition held at the Lee and Helene Sapp Field House.
The dance teams competed in three different categories of pom pom, hip hop, and jazz as well as individual competitions. I would love to tell you how they are judged, but that's not my area of expertise! So here are some more photos.
Between the tungsten and florissant lighting along with the bright red background surrounding the dance area, white balance in post-processing was a challenge since I was shooting in jpg for a faster frame rate versus shooting in RAW. The photos didn't turn out too bad, but if I had to submit a few for print or a competition, then I would spend some extra time fine tuning those few photos. If I go back next year, I'll probably shoot in RAW and hope I freeze the right motion. With the number of jumps in the pom pom category, I should get a few great shots.
This past weekend the Papillion Soccer Club wrapped its fall season for girls ages 5 & 6. The season runs eight weeks from the end of August to the end of October where eight teams consisting of 64 girls compete on soccer fields adjacent to the Papillion Park located near Washington & Lincoln streets in Papillion. The teams have volunteer parent coaches who instruct the young players on the fundamentals of the techniques, skills and rules. The players also learn important life skills such as team work and sportsmanship.
Greg Coyle of Papillion, who’s been coaching soccer for 10 years, was the coach of the Puma’s and is an avid fan of the sport. He enjoys coaching because he loves the game and working with children to teach them about soccer. Coyle commented that “children learn best through praise and positive coaching.”
Coaching young players, many who have never played before, presents a unique challenge, one that Coyle enjoys taking a shot at. During practices he wants the kids to have as many touches with the ball as they can and involves them in fun games that utilize the skills being taught for that particular practice session.
This season Coyle had his 6-year-old daughter McKenzie on the team. He said he is very proud of this team and what they accomplished in only playing for one season together. “It has been impressive to see how quickly they have learned the game and developed their skills” Coyle commented. He continued by saying, “They cheer each other on and celebrate on another’s successes.”
When asked how important is being involved in soccer, or any sport, for grade-school aged kids, Coyle stated that sports are a great teacher by teaching many important skills, physical and mental, that children will use throughout their lives; “teamwork, competition, drive, overcoming obstacles and challenges, health and fitness, dedication, humility, community, friendship, compassion, the list goes on.”
Coyle stated that his is truly blessed with the opportunity to coach the Puma’s this year and enjoyed the outstanding parent support. He said that being involved in the community is what’s important to him and he is looking forward to coaching another team with the Papillion Soccer Club.
The #8 Nebraska Huskers hosted unranked Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Saturday. The undefeated Huskers were looking for a win to justify their top 10 ranking, but started out sluggish going down 14 to 10 against the Boilermakers in the first half. However, the Huskers lead by Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong came out strong after halftime scoring on their next three possessions to win the game 27 to 10.
During pre-game warmups I had a clown spotting at Memorial Stadium. I couldn't identify the player but I believe he was a defensive back.
No idea if the clown will be seen again next week when the Huskers take on the #10 ranked Wisconsin Badgers for a Big Ten West matchup that could decide who plays for the Conference Title in December.
Enjoy more photos from the game!
The Republican nominee for President, Donald J Trump visited the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa as part of his continued focus on key states, many of which President Barack Obama carried in 2008 and 2012. His second visit to Iowa this month follows Monday night's debate where many in the media were saying he lost to Democrat challenger, Hillary Clinton. Trump was on offense today accusing Clinton of being both corrupt and incompetent and questioning how she escaped criminal charges in her email controversy.
A packed crowd of about 1,200 supporters greeted former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani with enthusiastic cheers and applauds as he laid out a case for why Trump should be the next President of the United States. This is Giuliani's second visit to the Mid-America Center, his first was in 2004 when campaigning for then President George W. Bush's re-election.
,Trump has been hitting hard at the media during the campaign saying that they aren't fairly covering him while ignoring Clinton's many scandals involving her private email server and the deleted 30,000 emails that the FBI is looking for. Several in attendance wore stickers on the back of their shirts, in full view of the media that read "Propaganda By Omission American News Media." At one point during his speech Trump talked about how he's leading in several polls by 20% or 80% but the media doesn't want to hear it or report it, pointing back to the media. At which point the crowd turned around and boo'd us.
Trump's campaign started a new outreach this week to Christian conservatives which Trump boasted about. The Trump campaign knows that many evangelicals stayed home when President Obama was re-elected in 2012 and that he needs them to vote in large numbers if he hopes to beat Clinton in November.