Spring football game to show off the brand new defense, position battles

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This Saturday, the NMU football team will finish its spring training in traditional fashion with a 4 p.m. game in the Superior Dome.

After a 4-6 record and the loss of six starting defensive players and star quarterback Buddy Rivera, the team is looking for changes and improvements on both sides of the ball this coming season.

To help the ‘Cats continue with improvement, head coach Bernie Anderson brought in new quarterbacks and wide receiving coach Dan Mettlach and defensive coordinator Randy Awrey.

Awrey is in the process of changing NMU’s entire defensive scheme, an important task considering the 2007 stats.

The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) is known as an offensive league. Last year NMU ranked 10th out of 13 teams in the conference for scoring defense.

Awrey comes to NMU from Saginaw Valley State University, where he helped lead the Cardinals to a 7-3 season last year before leaving.

Mettlach was a player under Anderson at Michigan Tech and is looking to take part in the process of replacing one of the best quarterbacks in the Wildcat history books. There are four quarterbacks fighting for the spot: Matt Blanchard, a freshman from Lake Zuric Ill., Vincent Church, a sophomore from Grand Junction, Mich., Ben Hempel, a sophomore from Franklin, Wisc. and Carter Kopach, a freshman from Bolingbrook, Ill.

After the spring game, the first regular season game for the new football squad is scheduled for Sept. 6 against the Northwood Timberwolves at the Superior Dome.