WHITE PINE PRESS
NORTHWESTERN MICHIGAN COLLEGE
WE HEW TO THE LINE; LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.
Meet NMC's new Sporting Division
March 23, 2023
Announced March 23, 2023, NMC has been approved for a Basketball, Football and Softball program.
They will have white home uniforms with green away uniforms. Both will feature a proud Hawk Owl on the front of the jersey with the bird’s strong talons holding the number on the front, with “Hawk Owls” in bubble letters just above the logo.
NMC has named Marcus Bennet head coach of the football team and CJ Schneider as the head coach of the basketball team. The search for a head softball coach is still underway.
Bennett, who formerly served as Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has a deep love for the game, and has helped to organize the annual Snow Bowl on campus. Bennett has not talked about what type of offense and defense that he plans to run, but he insisted it would be a “good one.” Although he has only been the head coach for a few hours, the players that have applied to be on the roster love the hire. De’Coldest Receiver, a tight end that signed up for the team immediately, said “I think he brings that fire to the field but brings love and compassion to the locker room.”
As for the actual games themselves, they are projected to be unlike any other college football game played across the country. With only one field goal post, NMC has gotten the approval from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for all field goals and extra points to be set up on that side of the field. Unfortunately, the field does not have much seating. The few benches there have an obstructed view. NMC is planning to build stands, but in the meantime, the new geothermal power system will be used to melt the snow near the sidewalk for use as seating. These “seats” will be free of charge, likely because you're paying for it by having wet pants. The location of the NMC fitness center presents a problem Bennett referred to as “minor.” If a ball is overthrown it could smash one of the windows of the fitness center, which in a climate as cold as Northern Michigan, can create a nightmare for anyone trying to get a workout in during the game. The field does not currently feature a scoreboard.
The new basketball coach is CJ Schneider. Schneider, the residence manager for North Hall, has been organizing staff basketball meetings and attending open gyms with students. Buck Etgetter, projected Hawk Owl All Star Player, said “He really hones in on the fundamentals of the game. He always tells us that he never really had the speed or bounce, but that doesn’t always win over hustle and knowing the game. It really is those subtle intricacies that will win you games.” Etgetter is expected to be the team’s first scoring option in their inaugural season. Schneider is expected to run a screen heavy offense. “A good screen cannot be undervalued. It can hurt a little bit especially with some of the skinnier guys out on the court, but it is really effective” said Schneider. Unlike the football field, there is actual seating in the Rajkovich PE building. However, like the football field there is no scoreboard.
While the softball coach has not been selected yet, there are already players that have signed up for the team. Homer Unner, the first to sign for the team, expressed concern over the sport’s projected popularity. “We’re the only sport that has an actual scoreboard and we’re going to get the least attention,” he said. The softball field, like its two counterparts, has some quirks. There is no fence to determine when a home run is hit. It is tough to say whether or not a makeshift fence will be added for game days or if the players will have to leg out homeruns.
While most students and faculty are pleased with the inclusion of more physical activities in NMC’s extracurriculars, some are raising concerns over the timing of the football and softball seasons. Playing in the snow is something that the football team can do, but with a sport like softball it’s nearly impossible to play an organized game in the snow. That leaves a very small window in the spring for the team to hold tryouts and play a full season.
The student population is sure to increase within the next few years thanks to the new sports teams. With these additions, it is an exciting time to be a Hawk Owl. We look forward to covering NMC sports and we hope to see some athletes use this as a launching pad for Division 1 colleges and professional sports leagues!