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March 27, 2009

Huskie Happenings


NIUHuskies.com, the official online home for Northern Illinois Athletics, is pleased to announce the launch of a new web-based blog, "Huskie Happenings." The section includes links to a daily newsstand, online chats, feature stories and interviews, game-day and multimedia information, promotions, calendars and much more. We hope this will become your first and last stop everyday for all the information you crave about Huskie Athletics.

The "Huskie Happenings" addition will be more interactive with visitors of NIUHuskies.com. For that to work, this must be a a two-way street, or even one of those really confusing five-way stoplights. That means we need to hear from you. I know you're out there, Mr. or Ms. Fan Who Wants to Be Heard. So step up, and e-mail us at houghtaling@niu.edu.


CHATTIN' IT UP

Take a quick minute to read this Q&A with wide receiver Willie Clark, and find out the best advice he has ever received from one of his coaches! Read the entire interview...


DRUMROLL PLEASE

Six home games, three ESPN network airings, a pair of contests versus Big Ten foes, and the always-rugged Mid-American Conference West Division await the 2009 Northern Illinois Huskies, according to the football schedule released Thursday by NIU and the MAC Office. Read more...


GET VERTICAL

Trevor Olson, who stands 6-6, had little problem "getting vertical" during Thursday's practice.

Get Vertical! That was the phrase of the day from NIU football coaches on the second day of spring practice out at Huskie Stadium this morning. From wide receivers to running backs, kick returners to quarterbacks, the Huskies' coaching staff was emphasizing the importance of getting up field quickly. The coaches were stressing the fact that, not only is it a matter of gaining more yards, players are more prone to getting injured when running sideways or on an angle than they are if they are running straight ahead.

Another point of emphasis for the Huskies this spring has been working on being fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game. As a result, the coaches came up with a drill to close out practice with. The Huskies are divided into their Warrior Elite teams (look for an in-depth description of the Warrior Elite Program in a future edition of Huskie Happenings) and are placed at eight different stations around the practice field. The teams are rotated through stations featuring pass catching drills, the two-man sled, ball stripping drills and running drills, just to name a few. It's a fast-paced drill and a great way to reinforce all the lessons taught throughout the day.

On another note, Adam Warner of WTVO Channel 17 in Rockford was out at practice this morning capturing the Huskies in action. Be sure to tune into WTVO's sportscasts today for highlights of the Northern Illinois football team.


SUNSHINE GREETS HUSKIES ON DAY TWO

With significantly warmer temperatures and no rain, the Huskie football team resumed spring practice this morning, and we'll be sure to enlighten you on what was emphasized a little later today. In the meantime, check out the DeKalb Daily Chronicle's John Sahly's video interview with head coach Jerry Kill, which was conducted earlier this week.


HUSKIES DO THE SPLITS


Lots of good stuff from Mary M. Bell Field yesterday. The Huskies' bats exploded in a game one victory, before Valparaiso answered with a hitting flurry in the nightcap to salvage a doubleheader split. Nevertheless, check out our recap, both box scores, and a PHOTO GALLERY from the doubleheader. As always, a shot out to our brave (and probably still cold) photographer Scott Walstrom for attending the festivities to provide us images from the games.

The Northern Star's Shamus Brown provides readers a perspective from Kayla Kramer, whose two-run blast off Valpo pitcher Sam McGee in the fifth inning of game one broke a 2-2 tie, and nearly hit a Chevrolet Suburban parked on the street in left field (just a little bit left, next time, Kayla).


PEORIA SPLIT

High Five for Beating Bradley

Likewise, the Huskie baseball team came away with a doubleheader road split at Bradley Wednesday. NIU avenged a tough 3-2 loss in the opener to record a 5-1 win in the second game of the twinbill at O'Brien Field in Peoria. NIU hurlers gave up just six hits in the doubleheader.

When the going gets tough, turn to one of your most dependable relievers, writes the Northern Star's Ben Gross in this story. Down by four runs, the Braves loaded the bases in the bottom of the final inning. NIU head coach Ed Mathey brought in pitcher Tom Zelasko. The result: a grounder hit to the infield. NIU took the ground ball and turned it into a double-play, earning the four-run victory.


WHAT A TEAM ON THE UPSWING LOOKS LIKE

Didn't have a chance to make the trek to Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena for the Huskies' gutsy three-point loss against Kent State in the Mid-American Conference Tournament? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Courtesy of MidAmPub.com, check out this extensive photo gallery from the game between the Huskies and Golden Flashes. NIU led for more than 30 minutes in the 64-61 setback. Two more photo galleries with NIU ties are also included on the site.

Event Calendar

Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 22 vs Buena Vista
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 22 vs Tiffin
Women's Gymnastics
Saturday, Nov 22 vs Black/Red Intra Squad
Women's Volleyball
Sunday, Nov 23 vs Semifinals
Women's Volleyball
Monday, Nov 24 vs Championship
Men's Basketball
Wednesday, Nov 26 at Iowa
Women's Basketball
Wednesday, Nov 26 at Eastern Illinois
Football
Friday, Nov 28 at Western Michigan
Women's Basketball
Saturday, Nov 29 vs South Dakota St.
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 29 vs West Virginia
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 29 vs Binghamton
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 29 vs Sacred Heart
Men's Basketball
Sunday, Nov 30 vs Maine
Women's Basketball
Sunday, Nov 30 vs Delaware State or UNLV
Men's Basketball
Tuesday, Dec 2 at DePaul
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