’Cats vs Wolves in homecoming matchup

AnnMarie Kent

With the game against Grand Valley State University in the past, the football team looks ahead to the homecoming game against Northwood University.

re-football-jmIn the second-largest crowd at Lubber’s Stadium in Grand Valley history, the Wildcats were downed by the Lakers 50-24. The Lakers are currently ranked second in Division II football in the country and tied for first place with Ferris State University in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football.

Head coach Chris Ostrowsky said they took plenty of positive things away from their loss to the Lakers. The experience of playing against a team that he said will go late into the postseason was a great experience.

Ostrowsky also said playing in a crowd of that size was good for the team. As the team moves on from the loss, Ostrowsky said the focus at practice this week is remembering the importance of fundamentals of the game.

“We’ve got to understand the importance of starting, especially on the offensive side of the ball,” Ostrowsky said. “That really is an emphasis this week.”

The Northwood Timberwolves play a triple option football, which gives the offense three options for possible ball carriers, instead of the traditional two. Ostrowsky said this will no doubt cause the Timberwolves to take possessions away from NMU and the team needs to be ready for that.

The Timberwolves are currently tied for last place in the GLIAC with Lake Erie University and Walsh University. They’re 0-3 but that doesn’t mean  the game will be easy for the Wildcats, Ostrowsky said. He said he won’t let the team get cocky about this game because it’s a team that can go toe-to-toe with Ferris State and lose by a single point.

Junior wide receiver Julian Crum remembers how aggressive Northwood was last year.

“Their offense is slightly different than other teams we play, and last season we didn’t do too well against them,” Crum said. “So we’re really going to focus on the little things and the small details that we missed last week and the week before.”

Saturday’s game against Northwood also brings the homecoming game to NMU. To sophomore linebacker James Brown, homecoming at the Superior Dome is something he loved as a child. Growing up in the Upper Peninsula, he remembers coming to games and enjoying the feelings of a packed stadium.

“It’s kind of a dream for a local kid like myself, to come up here and play in a homecoming game with a big crowd,” Brown said. “It really means a lot to me to go to war with my brothers.”

Ostrowsky said homecoming is a special time for the team because of the celebration of football going on. He enjoys the whole community being involved, including the student body, alumni, staff and faculty.

“I’ve got a lot of pride in being the head football coach here, and our players have a lot of pride in wearing green and gold,” Ostrowsky said.

“We really want to put on a great show in front of a big fan base.”

Ostrowsky also enjoys the parade because he said it’s a way to celebrate NMU athletics and let the players enjoy a homecoming event. They’re excited and they’re full of passion,” Ostrowsky said. “It’s really a fun time of year to be a student and even more so to be a football player.”