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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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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

    Young `Cats ready to fight in the GLIAC

    Senior+running+back+Jake+Mayon+meets+an+Angelo+State+University+defender+in+the+open+field+in+a+matchup%0Aagainst+the+Rams+last+season.+Mayon+led+the+team+in+rushing+yards%2C+finishing+with+1%2C377+yards+from+scrimmage.%0APhoto+from+North+Wind+archives
    Senior running back Jake Mayon meets an Angelo State University defender in the open field in a matchup against the Rams last season. Mayon led the team in rushing yards, finishing with 1,377 yards from scrimmage. Photo from North Wind archives

    In the first season under head

    coach Kyle Nystrom, the Northern Michigan University Men’s

    Football team stumbled to a 1-8
    record and a ninth place finish in
    the GLIAC Conference.

    A promising key for the beginning of the season is the competitiveness the Wildcats displayed

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    during the final two games of the

    season against Wayne State University (WSU) and Northwood

    University (NU), respectively. At
    a point in the season where the
    team was definitivly out of any

    playoff consideration, the Wildcats clawed their way to close

    finishes, displaying a willingness

    to fight back that would benefit
    the team to start this year. NMU
    scratched their way back from 14
    points down against WSU and
    held a 24-23 lead before giving
    up a late field goal to lose a close
    contest.

    Against Northwood, the Wildcats traded blows with NU into

    the fourth quarter and again
    would fall because of a late field

    goal. The team shows a determination to finish the fight but

    will need help from the defense
    if they’ll look to win close games
    throughout the season.

    The Wildcat defense allowed
    20 or more points in every contest
    a season ago while surrendering
    302 total points. NMU loses their
    top tacklers from last season to
    graduation in defensive back Pat

    Ryan and linebacker Darryl Williams; together these two players

    accounted for over 10.5 tackles-per-game (tpg). Junior defensive

    back Troy Mayon returns as the
    leading tackler for the Wildcats,
    averaging 7.9 tpg and finishing
    the season with 42 tackles.

    NMU also welcomes back two
    of their leading sack specialists

    in sophomore defensive lineman John McMullen and junior

    defensive lineman Cole Van Enkenvort. McMullen led the team

    with three forced fumbles and
    4.5 sacks last season and looks to
    plug up the defensive line again
    this season. Van Enkenvort was a

    disruptor for opposing squads, accounting for one interception and

    forced fumble each and recorded
    three sacks.

    Coach Nystrom displayed a
    young offensive specialist team a

    season ago, electing to start freshman quarterback Ryan Johnson.

    Johnson as a sophomore this season is looking to carry the same

    efficiency he brought last season,
    passing for over 1500 yards and
    completing 60 percent of his
    passes. Touchdown production
    will be the key for the Wildcats
    this season as Johnson tossed nine

    touchdown opposed to four interceptions. Johnson’s pocket-style

    mechanics account for the opportunity for heavy passing numbers

    but spells trouble when the pocket
    collapses, accounting for 35 sacks
    on the season.

    Senior running back Jake Mayon will carry the load this season

    after rushing the ball 211 times
    en route to 1377 yards. Mayon’s
    stellar career as a Wildcat has
    only improved from year to year
    as he rushed for 1064 yards as a
    sophomore. Mayon is especially

    efficient toward the goal line because of his ability to hold onto

    the football and the strength he
    poses. In nine games played last
    season Mayon only fumbled the
    ball once to go along with his
    eight touchdowns scored.

    Northern Michigan begins
    their season Saturday, Sept. 1
    on the road against Mckendree
    University. The Wildcats begin
    their home season the following
    week as they take on the
    University of Texas Permian
    Basin Falcons on Saturday, Sept.
    8.

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