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    BLOG: Writing His Own Final Chapter

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    Demetrius Dugar faced a hostile Carrier Dome environment in his first career start in 2009, and will return to Syracuse as a full-time starter for the 'Cats this Saturday.

    The job belonged to Sherrick McManis, a senior so accomplished that he would eventually be drafted by the Houston Texans. But then, shortly before the 'Cats played the third game of their 2009 season at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, the cornerback was injured, and thrust into his spot was a callow freshman named Demetrius Dugar. A year earlier, down at Houston's powerful Aldine High, he had helped catalyze his team to a playoff berth and earned All-District honors. But here against the Orange, he remembers, "It was a lot of butterflies.

    We are excited to unveil our 2012 Twitter hashtag for Northwestern Football and all of our 19 varsity sports programs over the coming academic school year: #B1GCats.

     

    Why #B1GCats? We love the way it channels both our Chicago's Big Ten Team brand and our membership in the "B1G" Conference. While the Wildcat is one of the most popular nicknames in collegiate athletics, we truly are the only #B1GCats. It's also shorter than #Northwestern--we love what our school name stands for, but it was not made for a 140-character world.

     

    In the realm of the B1G, we also are excited about the way our hashtag complements the Big Ten's stable of Twitter accounts. The #B1GCats play @B1GFootball.

     

    #B1GCats will be our official hashtag across all sports in 2012-13, and we still will use #Northwestern as well. The #Northwestern #B1GCats open the season at Syracuse at 11 a.m. CT Saturday. Make sure you use the hashtag for the best chance of inclusion in our @Storify social media recap after the game!

     

    Help us welcome the #B1GCats hashtag into our Twitter family by using it today in a clever and creative tweet. We'll pick one of our favorites and award an @UnderArmour purple heatgear t-shirt to its author!

     

     

    BLOG: It's About Time

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    Watch Coach Fitz's Press Conference: Full Version (All-Access) | Free Preview

    Game Notes and Depth Chart -- Week One at Syracuse (PDF)

    * Often, during his Monday press conference, 'Cat coach Pat Fitzgerald would spice his comments about a player or a position group with the word "fun" or the phrase "enjoy the moment" or the exhortation to "have some fun." This all seemed counter-intuitive just days before his team's Saturday season opener in the hostile dome out in Syracuse. But then, near the end of his time on stage, that all made sense when he offered up this. "We've been practicing now since January in some way, shape or form," he offered up, "either in the weight room, or conditioning, or spring ball. Then the guys worked their tails off this summer, we feel strong our our chemistry, then through the grind of camp. So I'm looking forward to going and playing. I'll know a lot more (about his team) next Monday. It's kind of like waiting for your baby to be born. 'Hey. It's got ears. It's got a nose.' So here we go. Let's see what we look like."

    BLOG: Treyvon Green Bounces Back

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    The play, a run, is simply called Inside Zone, and when it was called for him early Tuesday afternoon, Treyvon Green slipped through a crease and gained a tidy six yards. He, later, would not remember who hit him and brought him down. But he would remember that, after he picked himself up off the field, he thought, "OK, I'm back. That setback I had, it's time for me to get back and get ready for the game and help my teammates."

    In the early hours of August 6, 2012, a car-sized rover called Curiosity landed on Mars in the culmination of a 254-day, 350-million mile journey. The much-celebrated and nerve wracking landing captured the nation's fascination before Curiosity began its scheduled two year mission of studying the climate and geology of Mars. One former Northwestern student-athlete stayed up late to watch the landing live for a very good reason: he played a role in designing part of the Curiosity Rover.

    BLOG: Building Blocks at Wide Receiver

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    They are now, an hour into Wednesday's practice, off by themselves, isolated from their 'Cat teammates at Camp Kenosha. Here, at one corner of the field, it is just the wide receivers and Dennis Springer, their position coach, and for long minutes they take turns pairing off in front of his watchful eyes. At his first whistle, one in the pair will chop step. At his second whistle, that same one will half-block the other. After his third whistle, there is almost always some instruction.

    BLOG: Who Is Where, and When, For NU Football

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    Notes, quotes and observations from Practice One of Day One at beautiful Camp Kenosha, where a light drizzle failed to stop the proceedings. . .

    * Sophomore running back Treyvon Green, who took a hard hit at last Friday's practice and was later taken to the hospital, accompanied the 'Cats on their journey north. He did not work out on Monday morning. But later coach Pat Fitzgerald said, "Trey's doing great. He's doing great. We fully expect him to be back for the opener.

    Pariano's Blog No. 5: Final Thoughts From London

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    The 2012 Summer Olympics came to an end yesterday. Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski were across the pond supporting Jake Herbert during Saturday's 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are heading back to the US on Aug. 15 and Pariano checked in with one final blog from London.


    Tim Cysewski (left) and Drew Pariano (right) with Northwestern graduate Jake Herbert (middle) at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

    Jake Herbert was involved in two of the most controversial matches at the 2012 Olympic Freestyle Wrestling competition. Both matches involved official challenges that resulted in points for his opponents. Throughout it all, Jake was full of class and did himself and the United States proud.

    The entire Herbert support group was there to greet him after his matches and it was an emotional welcome to say the least. The sport of wrestling will at times "tear your heart out" and Saturday was a prime example of that fact. It's an extremely personal sport and all of our student-athletes at Northwestern train very hard to be able to compete at the highest levels. Jake has set the stage for everyone who follows in his footsteps.

    Jake's overall mood was one of appreciation. He thanked all of his supporters, family members and NU friends personally on Saturday night. I for one was again impressed with Jake; not a lot of world class athletes' could pull it together to sincerely thank each and every person who traveled to London for him - Jake did.

    I believe that there are too many cliches in sports and most of them drive wrestlers and their coaches crazy. So, I won't even begin to think about some of the ways to put it into words other than to say: We will have the opportunity to see Jake compete internationally for the next several years. Those were the words coming from Jake throughout Saturday evening. He is determined to bring home a World title in 2013.

    Previous Entries

    Blog No. 1: How It All Began

    Blog No. 2: The Competition

    Blog No. 3: Final Preparations

    Blog No. 4: Sights And Sounds From London

    BLOG: Sunday Postcard from Camp Kenosha

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    For the 21st consecutive year, Northwestern Football has moved its training camp from the comforts and familiarity of campus life in Evanston to a football-only environment in Kenosha, Wis. The Wildcats arrived at their new home, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, late Saturday evening before enjoying their first day off the practice field since camp begin last Monday.

    Pariano's Blog No. 4: Sights And Sounds From London

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    Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski are currently in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in the 84 kg freestyle competition. Pariano and Cysewski landed across the pond safely on Thursday and Pariano checks in with his latest blog from London. Jake's day of competition is less than 24 hours away as he wrestles at 7:30 a.m. CT Saturday morning.

    Jake weighed-in and received his draw today. He will open with Cuba (Daniel Humberto) and will then draw into the winner of the Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan) vs. Ibrahim Bolukbasi (Turkey) match. Sharifov was the 2011 World Champion and Jake's side of the bracket is loaded with past World and Olympic medalists. The complete bracket for 84 kg can be found here.

    The atmosphere in the ExCeL Center was second-to-none today. We had a lot of the US group with us including our very own Jason Welch and his father. Watching the Olympic quarterfinals and semifinals while sitting next to Jason Welch and his dad (John) was a great experience. We were able to watch Jordan Burroughs wrestle Canadian Matt Gentry (2004 NCAA Champion) in a hard-fought match and see Burroughs qualify for the gold-medal match at 74 kg. Although Jake was busy preparing for his own day, I am sure that the US results will get him excited.

    Jake is planning on grabbing dinner with his parents (Jim and Kelly Herbert) this evening. The current count of Herbert supporters was around 60 and is growing. Former NU wrestler and assistant coach Will Durkee made the trip out to watch Jake as did 2011 All-American Andrew Nadhir. As mentioned before, Jason Welch and his father are in London along with current NU wrestler David Helmer. The group also includes 2008 NU graduate Nick Hayes, who is accompanied by his parents (Curt and Kathy), 2005 Big Ten Champion Matt Delguyd also is in town with his brother Nick. The Northwestern contingent is strong and it will help Jake as he competes against the world's best.

    The initial walk into the arena is crazy with about six different sports all going on in the ExCeL Center. As usual, the wrestling fans are a very unique group and most of them know exactly what is going on. Intermingled in this group are the people from the UK who are cheering on each and every wrestler. I am not sure if they know the scoring system, but they seem to be enjoying the experience.

    Jake's big day is less than 24 hours away and we are all excited to watch him go for gold.

    For those at home, there are a number of ways to follow Jake live. Here are a few links to bookmark for Saturday morning.

    - www.NBCOlympics.com - Complete listing of Saturday's webstream links for the wrestling competition

    - www.London2012.com Aug. 11 Schedule - Direct link to complete schedule and results for Jake's matches

    On Twitter...

    Follow @USAWrestling and @Flowrestling. Both accounts have been providing bout-by-bout coverage live from London.

    Previous Entries

    Blog No. 1: How It All Began

    Blog No. 2: The Competition

    Blog No. 3: Final Preparations

    BLOG: Skip's Media Day Nuggets

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    Quick hitters from that annual ritual called Media Day, when all teams are undefeated, all players are relatively healthy and all is right with the world. . .

    * The 'Cat offensive line, in seasons past, talked often of having Hog Pride. "But what Coach (Adam) Cush(ing) said is, 'Hogs get slaughtered,'" guard Brian Mulroe would say early Wednesday afternoon. "So now we're The Big Cats, The Cats of the Jungle. We're going to pride ourselves on our athleticism, and also just being smart and quick. It's given us a good, new outlook."

    BLOG: Back On Court

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's quest to return to the NCAA Tournament began officially on Wednesday with the first volleyball practice of the 2012 season. In fact, the 'Cats had a pair of practices on the docket sandwiched around other meetings and events.

     

    The Wildcats reported back Evanston for the fall on Tuesday, Aug. 7. After moving back to campus the team took its physicals, met with NU's compliance staff, received its equipment and enjoyed a team dinner with support staff, family and friends inside the scenic Stadium Club high atop Ryan Field.

     

    Wednesday's schedule began bright and early with an appointment with Northwestern Sports Performance coach Katie Fort. After all the testing was out of the way, the Wildcats took to the floor for the first practice of the season at 9 a.m. Following a spirited opening session the team broke for lunch and another series of meetings, which included presentations on nutrition, marketing and athletic communications.

     

    Northwestern will practice again twice Thursday and once on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon the 'Cats will be participating in a few video shoots for the upcoming season. Head coach Keylor Chan and the team will wrap up the first week by hosting the third annual Drills! Drills! Drills! Coaches Clinic for high school, middle school and club coaches. For more information about the clinic, click here.

     

    Stay tuned to NUsports.com for more preseason volleyball coverage of the 'Cats. The regular season opens on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. when the Wildcats take on Bowling Green at the Marquette Classic in Milwaukee. For the complete 2012 schedule, click here.

    Pariano's Blog No. 3: Final Preparations

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    Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski will be in London for the final days of the 2012 Summer Olympics supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in the 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are in London from Aug. 8-15 and Pariano will provide a number of blogs leading up to Jake's competition on Aug. 11 and while the coaching staff is in London. This is Pariano's final blog entry from the USA as he leaves for the Olympics tonight. Entry No. 4 will give fans a glimpse of what he's seeing in London.


    Jake Herbert posted this message along with a photo of the gold medal he is working for on his Facebook page: "So excited to know all my family is getting in (to London) soon. By family (I mean) not just blood related but everyone coming over to support me. I hope you all travel safe ... It's because of you all I am where I am today. I love you all and thank you."

    Jake will weigh-in at 84kg/185 pounds the night before the competition on August 10. Less than an hour after the weigh-in, the final pairings for the bracket will be released. If you go to TheMat.com, the release on Jake's draw will come out on Aug. 10 at roughly 4 p.m. CST.

    All wrestling competition is completed in one day and the matches will follow one another quickly. Jake will wrestle up to three times in a two-and-a-half hour period depending on his draw. Once the medal matches are determined, a two-hour break from competition will take place where the athletes will eat, rest and prepare for their medal match.

    Both Coach Cysewski and I are excited to be front and center to watch the US win multiple medals and the competition will take place at the Excel Center. There will be strong challenges from Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan for the seven contested weight classes. I am assuming that most people who are attending the games will want the complete experience (tours, local food, historic landmarks, etc). Tim and I are simply looking forward to the wrestling itself.

    Previous Entries:

    Blog No. 1: How It All Began

    Blog No. 2: The Competition

    BLOG: Back Where They Belong

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    It was the 17th period of the 'Cats' first practice for the 2012 season when running back Mike Trumpy accepted a handoff from quarterback Zack Oliver. There was nothing special about this play. It was a simple dive over right tackle, where Trumpy found a crease enough to gain five yards before getting tripped up. But later, with a soft smile on his face, he would recall, "It was nice. Obviously, all my stuff is a little rusty, but each day I'll improve and grow. Still, I'm just so happy to be out here."

    Pariano's Blog No. 2: The Competition

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    Northwestern graduates, and 2012 Olympians, Matt Grevers (left) and Jake Herbert (right) pose for a photo in London. Grevers won a gold medal by setting an Olympic record in the 100-meter backstroke and Jake Herbert awaits his day of competition on Aug. 11. (Photo courtesy of Jake Herbert)

    Northwestern wrestling head coach Drew Pariano and associate head coach Tim Cysewski will be in London for the final days of the 2012 Summer Olympics, supporting NU graduate Jake Herbert as he competes in the 84 kg freestyle competition. The two are in London from Aug. 8-15 and Pariano will provide a number of blogs leading up to Jake's competition on Aug. 11 and while the coaching staff is in London. Pariano's second entry previews the competition at 84 kg and explains what Jake needs to do to medal.

    I believe that the 2012 competition will be unlike any other when it comes to top-level performances. It's not rare to see former World and Olympic Champions wrestle in the first round because FILA rules (the governing body of international wrestling) state that they do not seed the top wrestlers based on past World and Olympic results. For example, Jake will not receive preferential seeding consideration based on his silver medal at the 2009 World Championships. It's what we call a blind draw.

    TheMat.com is breaking down each weight class periodically and the 84 kg weight has 19 competitors.

    Jake has competed against numerous wrestlers in the qualified field. He went head-to-head with 2009 World Champion Zaurbek Sohkiev (Uzbekistan) and has a win over the most recent World Champion, Sharif Sharifov (Azerbaijan). Ibragim Aldatov (Ukraine), Dato Marsagishvili (Georgia) and Albert Saritov (Russia) are all world medalists and represent a veteran group at 84 kg. Jake will not know his draw until the night before competition.

    Unlike the World Championships, each nation must qualify the Olympic weight class through placement at the 2011 World Championships (top 5) or through international events such as the Pan-American Championships. Advancement in each individual bracket is based on winning the best-of-three periods and scoring per period does not carry over; unless there is a fall, which immediately ends the match.

    All athletes who make it to the semifinal round are guaranteed a medal match, meaning that those who are defeated in the semi's will wrestle for bronze. Each weight has the gold, silver and two bronze medals up for grabs. Ironically, there are also two fifth-place finishers per weight. You can stay alive in the consolation bracket if the wrestler who defeated you makes it all the way to the gold-medal match. If this happens, you are entered in the repechage; and you have the ability to wrestle back to face one of the semifinal losers for a bronze medal.

    Past Entries:

    Pariano's Blog No. 1: How It All Began