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April 8, 2009

Huskie Happenings


NIUHuskies.com, the official online home for Northern Illinois Athletics, is pleased to announce the launch of a new 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.



A DEFENSIVE TACKLE... OR MAYBE A PRIEST


Adam Coleman grew up wanting to be a priest. Find out more about the defensive lineman in this Q&A.

Freshman football player Adam Coleman recently took time after spring practice to talk to NIUHuskies.com. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive lineman from Bettendorf, Iowa discussed topics ranging from his childhood dream of becoming a priest to his admiration for former Chicago Bears linebacker and football Hall-of-Famer Dick Butkus. Check out the full Q&A here.


A QUIETER SIGNING DAY

Tomorrow is Signing Day for all the sports except football, men's and women's soccer, and track and field. Many fans haven't heard of "signing day" outside of the context of THE signing day, when football adds its annual class. Two months after that one, we have this one, where sports like wrestling, gymnastics and of course men's and women's basketball can make hay. It's almost a guarantee that tomorrow will be relatively quiet compared to February's big day, because many of the sports outside of football sign players over a long period of time. Many recruits will not have made a decision, and the discussion between coaches and players to identify the right fit will continue for several weeks before a high school athlete signs a National Letter of Intent. So, while tomorrow is the first day high school students can sign their NLIs, it certainly won't be the last. So, to keep up with what your favorite Huskie teams and what outstanding student-athletes they are bringing in by sticking here to NIUHuskies.com, your most comprehensive source for NIU Athletics news.


HALFWAY HOME

With seven practices down and seven more to go before the Spring Football Preview April 25, 2009, the Huskies have reached the midpoint of spring practice.

The Huskies' offense has spent the last two weeks working on fundamentals, while installing new schemes and concepts. The coaching staff has been pleased with players' comprehension all the new material being thrown at them.

"The greatest thing I've seen so far is how receptive the kids have been," NIU offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. "We're doing a lot more moving around pre-snap than we did last year. The kids have really picked that up and done a nice job with that. I think it's creating a different dimension for our team."

Limegrover has also been impressed with his squad's ability to make adjustments on their own without the coaches having to correct them.

"In the spring, you always feel your one step behind as far as the preparation going against the defense," Limegrover said. "The kids handle it great. We struggle a bit on something new, but they've been in the system long enough that they can make the adjustments on their own rather than us having to tell them. That's when you really know you have a chance to be good."

NIU head coach Jerry Kill has been watching the offense closely this spring and has made a few observations.

"Our quarterbacks are better than they were a year ago," Kill said. "On the offensive line, we've got some people that I didn't expect would step up, but have. Keith Otis has had a good camp. It's great to see him step up.

"The big thing for us right now is filling positions. Who's going to be our right tackle? Who's going to play right guard? Who are going to be are five receivers?"

Check back Thursday for a report on how the defense is progressing.


RICH HARVEST A GOLFER'S DREAM

Rich Harvest Farms, the proud home of Northern Illinois Golf, feels like it emerged from a dream. It many ways it did. Regularly rated one of the top-100 courses in the United States, the complex is the dream of NIU alumn Jerry Rich. You can read all about how this amazing place came to be in this terrific Chicago Tribune article.


Simply Beautiful.

As the article explains, Rich Harvest Farms will host the Solheim Cup, the LPGA version of the Ryder Cup, this August. The event will be a kind of coronation for one of the crown jewels of golf, an affirmation of what an outstanding venue the Huskies have the honor calling home. See the course for yourself with this photo gallery at NIUHuskies.com.


VOLLEYBALL SPIKES AM SESSION

This from head volleyball coach Ray Gooden.

The Northern Illinois University volleyball team continued its spring competition schedule playing in the annual Three Wise Men tournament at Loyola University. The Huskies finished third in the 16 team field.

NIU won their morning pool going 5-1 after sweeping Eastern Illinois and Marquette University from the BIG EAST Conference while splitting a two game match with Wisconsin Milwaukee.

The first place pool in the afternoon included the Huskies, Valparaiso, Iowa and Michigan State. Volleyball went 1-2 beating Valpo in the full game and was trailing 9-7 in the partial second game. The Huskies fell to the Hawkeyes and the Spartans in the final two games of the day.

The Huskies will complete its final competitive event of the spring traveling to Peoria playing against Bradley University this Good Friday evening.


THUNDERSTRUCK


THUNDER! OOOhhhhAAwwwOOhhaAwwwOOOOooo THUNDER!

As AC/DC would put it, Ben Gross of the Northern Star is a bit Thunderstruck. As the former Lincoln Laureate and ump-teenth year senior (to be fair, he is in grad school now) discusses in this article, he wants Thunderstix at all the football games next year. Well, Ben, I don't know much about much. But I do know the student support for football has been T.N.T., and, while every once in a while there may be a Problem Child at our home games, I can say there's a very good chance that For Those About to Rock at 2009 NIU Huskie Football, Thunderstix will be available for a least one game. So, Shake A Leg, and get your TICKETS today!


CERTIFIABLE

As many of you know, NIU Athletics is in the process of NCAA Certification. As part of that certification, Northern Illinois has prepared this self study. Another segment of the certification process is a series of forums, giving members of the campus community the opportunity to comment on that self-study. The first of the three forums is tomorrow from 11:30-1:30 at the Holmes Student Center Illinois Room. The other two forums will be held Thursday, April 9 in the DiBiase Board Room of the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center. The first Thursday forum will be from 4-5:30 p.m., with the second going from 6-7:30 p.m.


ROCK THE VOTE

The finalists for the Northern Illinois 2009 Football Season Ticket Design Contest are on-line, and voting is open. You now get to help decide what next year's season tickets will look like. Voting is open in all three age groups (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8). Huskie fans get to select from five finalists in each category, as selected by a group of NIU coaches. So make your voice heard, and VOTE NOW!

Event Calendar

Baseball
Wednesday, Apr 16 at Bradley (7 innings)
Baseball
Wednesday, Apr 16 at Bradley
Baseball
Wednesday, Apr 16 at Bradley (7 innings)
Baseball
Friday, Apr 18 vs Central Michigan
Softball
Friday, Apr 18 at Central Michigan
Softball
Friday, Apr 18 at Central Michigan
Women's Tennis
Friday, Apr 18 vs Toledo
Women's Track
Friday, Apr 18 at Mt. SAC Relays
Men's Tennis
Friday, Apr 18 vs Buffalo
Football
Saturday, Apr 19 vs NIU Spring Game
Baseball
Saturday, Apr 19 vs Central Michigan
Softball
Saturday, Apr 19 at Eastern Michigan
Women's Track
Saturday, Apr 19 at Blue Demon Invitational
Women's Track
Saturday, Apr 19 at Beach Invitational
Women's Tennis
Saturday, Apr 19 vs Eastern Michigan
Men's Golf
Saturday, Apr 19 vs Boilermaker Invitational
Baseball
Sunday, Apr 20 vs Central Michigan
Softball
Sunday, Apr 20 at Eastern Michigan
Men's Golf
Sunday, Apr 20 vs Boilermaker Invitational
Women's Track
Tuesday, Apr 22 vs Penn Relays
Softball
Wednesday, Apr 23 at Loyola
Softball
Wednesday, Apr 23 at Loyola
Women's Track
Wednesday, Apr 23 vs Penn Relays
Women's Track
Thursday, Apr 24 at Penn Relays
Women's Golf
Friday, Apr 25 vs MAC Championship
Women's Tennis
Friday, Apr 25 vs MAC Championships
Men's Tennis
Friday, Apr 25 vs MAC Championships