Football team breaks camp and preps for season

AnnMarie Kent

The Wildcat football team wrapped up their 10-day camp and the coaches and players see huge improvements and expect good things from themselves this fall.

re-footballscrimmage2.JMHead coach Chris Ostrowsky begins his fifth season with the Wildcats and said, in every aspect, the team is in better shape than they were his first day.

“It’s time for us to win significantly, for me to feel good about where we’re headed,” Ostrowsky said. “I think we have great players who deserve it.”

The team hasn’t had a winning season since before Ostrowsky got to Northern Michigan University. In the 2009 season the Wildcats went 6-4.

The 2015 campaign brought the best season the ’Cats have seen since 2010, marking the strongest finish since Ostrowksy’s 2012 start as coach. Ostrowsky believes that the talk surrounding NMU football is starting to change, saying the team has had unbelievable support from alumni and faculty.

“The first two years, three years, you heard about how bad we were,” Ostrowsky said. “Now our quarterback is being told he’s going to be the greatest quarterback in the history of the school.”

Senior quarterback Shaye Brown has received a lot of praise from coaches and teammates, but Brown said it isn’t about getting personal recognition.

“I know I have a lot of good guys around, so that’s what really helps,” Brown said. “I know that even if I’m having a bad game, guys like Jake Mayon, Paris (Woods) or Julian Crum are going to step up. I’m not really looking for personal accolades, I’d rather have a winning season.”

Senior wide receiver Paris Woods said it’s wonderful to have Brown as his quarterback and he praises Brown both on and off the field.

“I think he was the third person I met on campus. We’re great friends off the field,” Woods said. “He knows all the ins and outs about this offense.”

Woods himself is a legacy at NMU. His father Jerry Woods was a Wildcat defensive back in the ’80s before he was drafted into the NFL, where he played for the Lions and the Packers. Ostrowsky said Paris’ consistency is one of his best traits as a football player.

“His approach every day stayed the same; there is no roller coaster with Paris,” Ostrowky said. “You can always rely on him; he is a great worker, he’s a mature young man.”

Woods was a transfer that played all 11 games with the Wildcats in his first season here. The newcomer ended in third on the team for receiving yards with 595 yards. The team named him Offensive Newcomer of the Year and he was named on the all-GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) honorable mention team.

As the team starts the season they’re looking ahead, but not too far ahead. The only goal the team has in mind is starting the season off with a 1-0 record.

Senior defensive back C.J. Washington said the only expectation they have of themselves right now is to start the season with a win against Lake Erie College. Washington says they have an obstacle ahead of them.

“Ourselves. I feel like ourselves are going to be our biggest obstacle,” Washington said. “As long as we execute and do the things we’re supposed to do, I feel like we’ll be good. This is the year we rise up,” Washington said.