First Advisor

David J. Wishart

Date of this Version


Document Type



Husa, Andrew. (2017). A Historical Geography of Six and Eight-Man Football in Nebraska (Master's thesis).


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Geography, Under the Supervision of Professor David J. Wishart. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Andrew Husa


This thesis serves as both a historical geography of six and eight-man football in Nebraska and a discussion of their relationship to rural depopulation. After beginning with an introduction to six and eight-man football, I present an overview of the entire state, including the historical geography of six and eight-man football teams, backgrounds of schools closing and consolidating, and the new trend of cooperative sports teams. This overview is accompanied by maps at five-year intervals depicting the high schools playing six and eight-man football. Rural depopulation, which has plagued the state since the Great Depression, can be seen expressed in the large number of high schools that do not have enough young men to field an eleven-man team. The third chapter of my project uses Custer County as a case study. Custer County has a rich history, with many high schools and their respective football teams. After my case study of Custer County, I dedicate a chapter to my personal experiences as a player and fan of an eight-man football team at Lewiston High School. My project concludes with a look at the future of six and eight-man football in Nebraska.

Advisor: David J. Wishart