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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
Features Writer

The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Football travels to Northwood for season opener

The 2015 NMU football season kicks off this weekend on a roadtrip to visit the Northwood Timberwolves at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 in Midland, Mich.

The Timberwolves’ football program suffered a major loss this past season, losing head coach Pat Riepma to a battle with lung

NMU head coach Chris Ostrowsky spoke highly of Riepma’s impact on football.

“From their perspective, they lost their leader,” Ostrowsky said. “He was a great man and a great ambassador for college sports. I’m sure they’ll be playing with a lot of emotion, and it’ll be a tough football game.”

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Riepma holds the Northwood coaching record with 95 wins from 1993 to 2007, as well as 2007 and 2013-14.

Riepma suffered mouth and throat cancer in 2009 causing him to leave the team, but after he beat it he returned in 2013. He was diagnosed with lung cancer one year later.

Leonard Haynes will be Northwood’s interim head coach for the season.

Last season, the Timberwolves upset the ’Cats opening night in a 23-13 match on Sept. 6 at the Superior Dome.

Northwood out rushed NMU 254-46 in the contest, with 165 of Northwood’s rushing yards coming from junior running back Jared Briguglio.

The Timberwolves also controlled the clock 41:14 to 18:6 in time of possession.

The Timberwolves had two league leaders on the defensive side in 2014, as sophomore Mike Fisher’s average of 11.5 tackles per game was the GLIAC’s best. Junior Mike Keith’s 9.4 tackles on average per game was the conference’s fifth best.

Northwood finished the 2014 season 4-6, putting them fifth out of eight teams in the GLIAC North Division.

Junior Mark Morris saw the most playing time of Northwood’s quarterbacks last season, going 72-117 in passing for 1,155 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.

The Timberwolves were picked in the coaches polls to finish seventh in the Division for 2015.

Meanwhile for the Wildcats, NMU is coming off a 2-8 season last year where they finished seventh in the GLIAC North, but seven of their eight losses were games in which they held second half leads.

In this year’s coaches polls, NMU was projected to finish eighth in the division.

“The greatest thing is we still have to play games, and coaches polls never win championships,” senior NMU wide receiver Marcus Tucker said. “Going out and playing football is what wins games. [Coaches polls] mean nothing to us. I’ve been an underdog my whole life, so I know you can’t pay attention to those types of things.”

NMU junior quarterback Shaye Brown is in his third year under center for the ’Cats, and last season Brown was the GLIAC’s second leading passer in yards per game averaging 261, just .01 behind Ohio Dominican’s senior Mark Miller.

The ’Cats’ offense leaders are stacked with a senior core with wide receivers Trey Hipke, Marcus Tucker and Austin Young, as well as running backs Wyatt Jurasin and Terrance Dye.

Tucker was NMU’s leading scorer with seven touchdowns and 843 yards. Jurasin was The Wildcats’ leading rusher with 655 yards and five touchdowns.

On the defensive side, junior linebacker Dante Holmes led returning Wildcats in sacks with four. Junior linebacker Julian Hornback and senior Levi Perry followed with 2.5. Sophomore defensive back Pat Ryan and junior defensive back Brandon Auguste each brought in two interceptions for NMU.

Sophomore linebacker Dalton Stenberg was NMU’s leading tackler averaging 8.9 tackles per game.

The ’Cats are searching for their first winning season in Ostrowsky’s four years as NMU’s head coach.

“We don’t feel much pressure,” Tucker said. “As long as we stay the course and play our game, we can’t attest for what other people do.

“If we play Wildcat football, play physically and strong, make plays and get turnovers, I see us getting the job done. No pressure will be on us, but at the same time we know we have the potential to make some great things happen here.”

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