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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
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My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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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.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

‘The Fastest Sport’

It’s nearly midnight on a snowy Tuesday. Most NMU students are in their dorm rooms curled up with a laptop completing their homework, but that’s not the case with the members of the NMU lacrosse team. They are in the Superior Dome preparing for Saturday’s season-opening tournament.

“I’m really excited,” Junior Alex Knudson said. “It’s always nice to start the season off up here at home in front of our fans.”

Knudson is also the president of the club.

In Saturday’s tournament, Northern will faceoff against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at 2 p.m. and the University of Michigan-Dearborn at 6:30 p.m. UM-Dearborn and NMU are both members of the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association (CCLA).

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Knudson said he doesn’t mind the late night practices in the Dome, because the team has practice space, an amenity that many teams don’t have.

“It’s better for us than some teams. We at least get to use the Dome to practice in,” Knudson said. “A lot of other lacrosse teams are stuck practicing in cramped gyms. We’ve got a lot of space to use.”

Team captain Ryan Cherry said he has high hopes for his team in this weekends games.

“Eau Claire won last year, so this year we’re kind of looking to get revenge for that. It should be a really good game, I know we’re fired up for it,” he said. “What I see happening this weekend is that we’re going to dominate.”

Coach Brian Buchek echoed Cherry’s optimism.

“We’ve got a lot of individual talent. We just have to hope that we can pull it all together this weekend,” he said. “It should be two great games. The teams we are playing are both very solid competitive teams, but I think we can come out on top.”

It’s not just the talent of the team that has Cherry excited. He and numerous other members of the team said that this year’s team has great chemistry.

“The energy on this team is just crazy,” he said. “Of all the years I’ve been on the team, this is the best year by far.”

Knudson agreed.

“We’ve had a couple of coaches say to us that our team chemistry is like nothing they have ever seen,” he said.

What sets the lacrosse team at Northern apart from other club lacrosse teams around the country is that the Northern team receives no school funding for the program. According to Buchek, who coaches as a volunteer, many other coaches around the league get paid.

Buchek said he decided to coach the team because of the great experience he had over the past four years on the team.

“I played four years here and my eligibility was up, but I still wanted to stay with the team,” Buchek said. “We needed a coach so that we can play in our conference, and here I am.”

In addition to finding their own volunteer coaching staff, the team also has to pay for equipment and travel. Knudson said dues for a new player on the team are $550. This money pays for a helmet, a game jersey and practice jersey, warm-ups and competition fees.

The other major expense the team faces, travel costs, is taken care of through the generosity of players’ families, said Knudson.

“Usually when we travel to a game we play within 40 minutes of some guy’s house. The families take us in, they feed us, give us a place to stay,” Knudson said. “Without the support we get from our families and our teammates families, we probably couldn’t do what we do.”

Knudson said the excitement of the sport was the main reason students should attend the games.

“It’s the fastest game on two feet – it’s physical, it’s new and it’s exciting,” Knudson said. “If students come out, I guarantee they will like it.”

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