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The North Wind

The North Wind

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Ava Sehoyan
Ava Sehoyan
Assistant News Editor

Hey!! I'm Ava Sehoyan and this is my third year at NMU. I'm beginning my first semester at the North Wind. I study environmental studies and sustainability as well as journalism. I grew up on Mackinac...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

IN THE WOODS — The Evil Dead series, with their deep woods settings and offbeat humor, make excellent horror movies to watch in the U.P. With October just starting, there isnt a better time to check them out.
Opinion — Michigan in Movies: "The Evil Dead" Series
Harry StineOctober 4, 2023

Football drops final contest of 2007

Football seasons come and go, and with the final game of 2007, the Wildcats suffered a 44-14 road loss to two-time defending national champion Grand Valley State University.

The NMU football team must now look back on a season that concluded with a 4-6 record and a ninth place league standing.

“There’s no question we are a much better football team than a year ago,” head coach Bernie Anderson said. “Better, but certainly not where we want to be in the building process. We know it’s a process, but I would have hoped to get one or two more [wins] in there.”

Although the season had its high points, including a 3-2 record in the Superior Dome and a win over rival Michigan Tech, the team knows it has many things to work on in the offseason.

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“We fell a little shy of what we expected but at the same time, we’re making improvements,” Anderson said.

A victory over Grand Valley could have given NMU a monumental-and storybook-ending. Instead, the ‘Cats ended up falling to the Lakers for the second year in a row.

GVSU wasted little time getting things started in the game, and before the Wildcats could catch their breath, the Lakers had a 27-0 halftime lead.

Little would change after halftime adjustments were made, as the Lakers came out strong in the second half, scoring on their first two possessions making it a 37-0 game.

The game was sort of a homecoming game for two of the Wildcats’ biggest stars this season. Senior quarterback Buddy Rivera is from Grandville, while sophomore running back Mark Bossuah hails from Grand Rapids.

Bossuah ended the day with 74 yards and a score on 17 carries, and Rivera concluded the game 19-of-33 passing for 160 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions.

Junior wideouts Fred Wells and Dan Elmore led the ‘Cats in receiving. Elmore finished with eight grabs for 78 yards, while Wells, who caught the only passing touchdown, brought in six catches for 52 yards.

Freshman safety Courtney Sweeney led the NMU defense with 10 tackles and a forced fumble on the day.

During the offseason, the team plans to focus upon last season’s record while maturing and becoming a better team.

“We’ll try to improve offensively. I think we can always get better,” Bossuah said. “We don’t lose anyone on offense with the exception of quarterback. I think myself and the offensive line will get better. We need to be more consistent as an offense, as well.”

With early-season games coming down to point margins as low as two, one and five, the season very well could have gone in a different direction for the Wildcats. In fact, after opening the season 0-4, NMU went 4-2 in their last six games. Much of that success can be credited to their play at home.

“We established the Dome as being a tough place to play,” team captain and junior offensive lineman Kris Krempien said. “I think it started early with the Northwood game. We realized how we could play.”

Offensively this season, the Wildcats improved on the previous season’s almost non-existent running game. Bossuah finished second in the GLIAC with 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns.

For the year, Rivera completed 56 percent of his passes and threw for 2,198 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rivera leaves NMU as one of the most prolific passers in school history.

“I think whoever is playing quarterback will do fine,” said Bossuah. “I think we will be more than a one-dimensional offense much like this year.”

The Wildcats are losing six senior starters defensively and will have to find young faces to step up to fill the void.

Only one starter from last season’s defensive squad will return as a senior in junior linebacker Alex Grignon, who finished the year with 44 tackles including two fumble recoveries.

“I’ll need to take care of what I need to do to become a better player week in and week out and do what the defense needs to win games,” Grignon said. “If I and others do that, the defense will be improved from this season.”

The strength of the NMU defense this season may have been the play of its linebacking corps. The Wildcats play a unique three-five defense in which five defenders act as linebackers close to the line.

This season, the team’s five leading tacklers came from that linebacking group. Senior Nicholas Bloch finished the season with 95 tackles and 3.5 sacks, while sophomore Nathan Yelk had 83 tackles.

“We learned how to play together and trust each other this season,” Grignon said. “But we still have a ways to go to be the defense that we would like to be.”

The team’s leadership should remain fairly intact with three team captains-Elmore, Yelk and Krempien-returning for next season.

It will be up to them and the new seniors to get this team where it needs to be for the upcoming season.

“Having been a team captain helps, as I’ve already developed into that leadership role,” Krempien said. “I just try to do my best to make the team better.”

After capturing more wins this season than any Wildcat team since 2002, the Wildcats appear to be heading in the right direction. Rebuilding a program, however, takes time.

“Were going in the right direction,” Anderson said. “There are things changing, and we learned an awful lot of lessons throughout the year.”

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