A young roster. Potential at running back. Questions at wide receiver. Here are five key storylines heading into the start of NIU's camp Friday.
“We challenged these guys mentally by getting them up at 6 a.m. for an entire summer,” Burno said. “We work them pretty hard off and on the court. And these guys have definitely met the challenge.”
“I was starting since my sophomore year, so I’ve always been the younger dude,” Lorenzo said. “But now since I’m a senior they really want me to take control of the team and show them the right things to do.”
The recent DeKalb graduate and soon-to-be Cleveland State wrestler took second in both the freestyle and Greco Roman events, the only competitor in his age group to reach the finals in both styles. And in Greco, he kept on coming from behind.
“From the start we all came together,” said Jenna Lewey, who plays for NIU after graduating from Sycamore. “From our first few practices and our first game we clicked really well. Everybody was on the same page. It helps that a lot of us have played together at some point in our careers but also the new people have come in and stepped it up.”
“They were hungrier than we were. There’s no secret about that,” Gecan said. “They wanted to win more. [Reyes], you could see it in his eyes. He was going to get some goals. We didn’t have a guy that wanted it that much today unfortunately. Hopefully that will change going forward.”
DeKALB - The DeKalb County United women’s under-23 team gave up four goals in a 13-minute stretch, falling to the Chicago Mustangs 5-2 Saturday in a friendly before heading off to an invitational championship tournament in Iowa next week to conclude its season.
Nick Doolittle was approved by the Hiawatha District 426 school board on Thursday, taking over a program that went 3-3 under Jason Keneway in the COVID-19 pandemic shortened season in the spring.
“It was surreal, that’s for sure,” Tarnoki said. “Obviously varsity is a big deal, and going up against Kaneland for our first game, I was like wow, I’m really here. I’ve got to do this.”
“I have no problem with that,” Tate said. “I’m a whole different person on defense. I’m going to turn some heads this year.”
“I broke a lot of barriers, especially coming back after a COVID season,” Long said. “It was one of those seasons the competition was tough no matter what because you had a lot of super seniors coming back. But I ran lifetime bests in all my races, got in the top 10 in all my events so it went really well. And I also made it into the first round of the NCAAs for the first time in my career. So it was nice.”
“It’s been real easy because Schneeman, he was our offensive coordinator last year,” senior lineman Gavin Engh said. “He made great bonds with all the players, I feel, and we trust him and if he stays I welcome it.”
“Everything is starting to feel back to normal,” senior wide receiver Xavier Gagnepain said. “The whole state is coming back in. You can start going places without your mask if you have your vaccine. But it’s starting to look a lot more normal and regular.”
“He has a great pedigree. He’s had some success at Fieldcrest. ... He played at Auggie and is a great addition. I knew in the back of my head he was a strong candidate, which is why I put him in as the interim coach.”