May 2013 Archives
The Northern Illinois University Athletics gained a new member to the Huskie to the family yesterday, as head wrestling coach Ryan Ludwig and his wife, Jolene, welcomed Hudson Thomas into the world at 1:56 p.m. He weighed 6.2 pounds and measured 18.5 inches.
Huskie fans can give their congratulations to the Ludwig family via Coach Ludwig's Twitter account @IronHuskie.
The 2013-14 college football bowl schedule
has been set. The Mid-American Conference has primary agreements with three bowl games; Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and GoDaddy Bowl. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, played in Boise, Idaho, kicks off at 4:30 p.m. CT on Dec. 21 and is one of four bowl games to be played that day. It will feature teams from the MAC and Mountain West. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, held in Detroit's Ford Field, will be played Dec. 26 and kickoff at 5 p.m. CT. The game features a MAC school facing off against a team from the Big Ten. The penultimate bowl game of the season, the GoDaddy Bowl, held in Mobile, Ala. and featuring a MAC-Sun Belt match up will take place Jan 5. at 7 p.m. CT.
The Bowl Championship Series bowl games will be played Jan. 1, 2, 3 and 6. The Rose and Fiesta Bowls will be played on New Year's Day and kickoff at 4 and 7:30 p.m. respectively. The Sugar Bowl will be played Jan. 2, while the Huskies' 2012 bowl destination, the Orange Bowl, will take place Jan. 3. The National Championship game will be played Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.
Northern Illinois has made five straight bowl appearances (2008 Independence Bowl, 2010 International Bowl, 2010 Humanitarian Bowl, 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl and 2013 Orange Bowl) and are looking to make it six in 2013. The Huskies return 14 starters (8 offense, 5 defense, 1 specialist) in 2013, led by dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel), a 2012 second-team All-American who accounted for nearly 5,000 yards of total offense while setting NCAA records for rushing by a quarterback with 12 100-yard rushing games. Leading tackler Jimmie Ward (Mobile, Ala./Davidson) and NIU's entire offensive line are among the 55 returning letter winners for 2013.
Bloguin's The Crystal Ball Run blog has been hard at work this week cranking out a series of posts this week previewing the upcoming 2013 Mid-American Conference football season. The Crystal Ball Run staff makes its conference championship picks, names its all-conference teams and ranks the strengths of schedules. There is an interesting post on the future relationship of the MAC and Big Ten and a podcast breaking down this year's season.
You can meet the league's new coaches, including NIU head coach Rod Carey and CBR breaks down the top 10 #MACtion games for 2013. The Huskies make three appearances on the list, including the top two.
Northern Illinois senior student-athletes Lauren
Eberts (women's soccer), Samantha Grams (volleyball), Shaakira Haywood (women's
basketball), Jenelle McCalla (track & field) and Amanda Sheppard (softball)
have been honored as 2013 Outstanding Women Student Awards for their
contributions to Northern Illinois University. Awarded annually since 1980, the
honor is given by the NIU Presidential Commission on the Status of Women to 48
women across all disciplines.
Eberts, who has a 3.762 GPA in public health, played
in every minute of the team's 2012 season. The senior defender helped NIU allow
the fewest goals in the Mid-American Conference and the second-fewest shots on
goal in NIU's program history.
Grams maintains a 3.805 GPA as a health sciences
major. The Forest Park, Ill., native earned Academic
All-MAC honorable mention laurels during her senior campaign with the Huskies
after playing in 24 matches and 62 sets in 2012. Grams totaled 28 kills, 39
blocks and 14 digs during the year, scoring 48 total points during the season.
Haywood has a 3.687 GPA in psychology.
in all 30 games, starting 12 at center in 2012-13 and has played in 37 straight
games dating back to February of 2012. Haywood scored a career-high 73 points,
averaging 2.4 points a game, shooting 43.3 percent (26-60) on the season.
McCalla, who has a perfect 4.0 GPA in psychology, holds the NIU school
record in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:01.76. This year, the Whitby,
Ontario, Canada, native qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships in the 60
hurdles, while also contributing on NIU's 4x400 relay teams.
Sheppard has a 3.495 GPA in kinesiology and helped the Huskies reach
the 2013 MAC Championship game. The Oak Forest, Ill., native batted .298 and
ranked second on the team with a .470 slugging percentage, while playing in all
57 games. Sheppard also was second on the team with 18 extra-base hits,
including a team-best 12 doubles and five home runs.
Northern Illinois graduate student and Huskie Media
Relations graduate assistant Michael Benson returns to ESPN UNITE: The Schwab
Wednesday at 11 p.m. CT to take part in the semi-final round.
Benson will take on Mississippi's Ryan Smith, the
Southeastern Conference's winner, and Penn State's Daniel Smith, the champion
from the Big Ten. The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Bristol,
Conn., for the finals at ESPN's headquarters.
"The semi-finals should be quite a challenge,"
Benson said. "It was nice to get out of the first round with a win, but now the
questions and the competition will be better. I've been doing what I can to
prepare, but it ultimately comes down to getting questions that fit your
The sport management major clinched a berth in the
semi-finals April 10 by winning the Mid-American Conference title over students
from Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Benson got four points out of the
first round, which asked the contestants to name the top 15 NFL career leaders
in rushing yards. After stumbling on the pop culture question, he all but
clinched the win by scoring five points in the college sports round question
that asked contestants to name the members of the Pac-12 Conference.
"I really struggled in the pop culture and social
media rounds the first time out," Benson said. "If I have any chance of moving
on to the finals, I'll have to do considerably better in both of those
The winner from the third semi-final will take on
Michael Smith of Utah and Taylor Smith of Maryland.
Track & Field: NIU took 11th place at the MAC Outdoor Championships over the weekend. Janay Mitchell accounted for eight team points by finishing third in the 100 meters and seventh in the 200 meters. Meanwhile, Sidra Sherrill (shot put), Natalie Tarter (heptathlon) and Jamie Burr (800 meters) also scored points for the Huskies.
NIU Athletics would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of long-time NIU Football "Sound Guy" Rick Calderon, who passed away Wednesday, May 1, in DeKalb following a long illness.
Calderon, who retired from NIU in 2008, was a fixture at Northern Illinois home and away football games for many, many seasons. In addition to operating the public address and music systems during games, he was responsible for the coaches' headset communications both home and away. At head coach Joe Novak's request, Calderon would set up "music" (often the opposing teams' fight songs, crowd noise and band played on a loop) to be blared at footbal practice during the week to simulate the other team's stadium atmosphere. On road trips, he would spend time illustrating post cards which he would then send to his many friends.
Calderon graduated from Northern Illinois in 1982 and was active in designing, installing and maintaining audio/visual systems around campus in addition to working with the football team.
Read much more on Calderon, here
. A memorial service was held Wednesday, May 8, in DeKalb.