* Last year, in the wake of their first loss of the year (to Army in week three), the 'Cats were enveloped by a miasma and dropped four more in a row before emerging from their funk. Now, a fall later, they have just suffered their first loss of this season (on Saturday at Penn State) and here looming in front of them is a rigorous road test at 4-1 Minnesota. So, we wondered Monday, just how do they make sure they do not reprise the struggles that beset them a year ago.
"It's all about just refocusing," answered senior defensive tackle Brian Arnfelt, who is one of their captains. "It's on our (list of) values. Respond. How do we respond? I don't think we necessarily took the right attitude last year. But I don't think with this year's group that's going to be an issue at all. I think we have a group of character guys who are willing to answer, who are willing to put in the work during the week, the film study, the practice, the reps, the grind, in order to get the results on Saturday. So I don't think that will be an issue...
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held its 15th annual Field
Day Friday on the Wildcats' FieldTurf practice field, welcoming more than 150 area
kids to meet and interact with some of their favorite NU student-athletes.
Family Focus, the McGaw YMCA and the Youth Organization Umbrella (Y.O.U.)
visited campus for the afternoon. The 70-member YMCA group remained after Field
Day to attend Northwestern's women's volleyball
match against No. 1 Penn State at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
All 19 Northwestern varsity programs hosted various stations consisting of activities
relevant to their respective sports. Student-athletes either instructed the
young fans on some of the intricacies of their skills or created fun
games for the participants to play.
child had the chance to spend time with multiple Wildcat athletic teams, getting the
opportunity to learn the fundamentals of sports such as fencing, lacrosse, golf and
soccer. The swimmers held a relay race at one station while hosting a land-based version of
their training game "Sharks and Minnows" at another. The fencers showed the basics of their
sport via very safe plastic weapons. Several kids really got into the football
station, launching their 4-foot-tall frames into several non-travel squad members who served as tackling dummies.
Other activities included taking golf, tennis and baseball swings with tennis balls, basketball on lowered hoops and soccer drills and relays. The young girl in the picture below tried her hand at the softball "speed pitch" station, eventually launching the ball 11 miles per hour!
night, the Illinois PGA announced that our Director of Golf and head men's golf
coach Pat Goss has been named the organization's Teacher of the Year for 2012.
This is a prestigious and well-deserved honor for a man who previously was
named one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America in 2007.
While this award was
decided well ahead of the start of the 2012-13 Northwestern men's and women's
golf seasons (and the Ryder Cup held locally at Medinah last week), all three
of those events provided clear-cut evidence of Goss' teaching prowess.
-- The Northwestern Volleyball coaching staff is hosting their annual Fall Clinic on Monday, November 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. Head coach Keylor Chan
will be on hand, along with several assistant coaches, to give instruction to campers.
The fun-filled clinic is for high school athletes looking to learn new techniques or improve upon their talents. The two-hour camp will be an exciting learning process with drills run by Northwestern coaches.
All athletes in grades 8-12 are invited to the clinic. The cost of the camp is $20 for each athlete in attendance. Northwestern Volleyball asks that anyone interested in attending the clinic please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, grade, school, email address, phone number and a parent's name.
Please checks payable to Keylor Chan's Volleyball Camp and mail to:
Wildcat Volleyball Clinic
1501 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60208
The clinic is open to anyone limited only by age and number of campers. The waiver at the top of this page must be completed before participating in the clinic.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact the Director of Volleyball Operations, Emily Carle at 847-467-2134 or email@example.com.
-- Carsten Parmenter
DEAR SANTA: The shame here is you cannot see Kain Colter's face. It is aglow, borderline beatific, reminiscent of that look worn by a boy as he opens his presents on Christmas morning. This is appropriate, really, since we are now discussing the offense the 'Cats unwrapped last Saturday against Indiana, that offense that found him once again multitasking. "There's a lot of different things we can do with it," he is saying, clearly excited about its myriad possibilities.
"Really, you just saw me in the slot (against the Hoosiers), at one position and
and (with) one personnel group. We could switch up the personnel group, who we have in the game, switch up where I'm going to line up, the plays that we run. There's a lot of things the coaches can do with that. Now, I don't really know exactly where it's going to go. I leave that up to Coach (Mick) McCall (the offensive coordinator) and the other offensive coaches, let them game-plan. But we can have some fun with it and I'm excited for it."
Competition is a theme that cuts constantly through this 'Cat football season. There is competition for starting roles. There is competition in hopes of building depth. There is competition with an eye on improvement. There is competition to find, as Pat Fitzgerald often says, the best 11. "Competition makes good players great and great players special," is another point he is fond of making.
Guys have got to make plays or it's next man up. That is one more point he is perpetually stressing, but here is where the sword can get double-edged. If a player is worried about his job, if a player is worried that he must be perfect, if a player is so worried that he operates with one eye looking over his shoulder, he is not going to produce his best work. We made this point to Fitzgerald after a recent practice and then asked how he, as coach, can make sure this does not happen while keeping the necessary competition alive.
* Nick VanHoose did no dance and minced no words early Monday afternoon. He, instead, simply owned up. "I had a lot of mental mistakes and a couple coverage mistakes," the redshirt freshman corner said here, thinking back to his performance Saturday in the 'Cats win over Indiana. "This week was probably my worst game mentally. With the coverages, it was probably my worst game. But got it fixed today in film and I'll go talk about things to (defensive backs) Coach (Jerry) Brown later."
Some two months ago, back on Media Day for the on-rushing season, Pat Fitzgerald took time to laud the running back Venric Mark. "What I like most about V so far is his attitude has been tremendous," he said then. "He's like a kid in a candy store. He's having fun. I told him the other day, 'You're a junior now.' He just kind of rolled his eyes. It's going fast for him, but he really invested this summer. He's in great shape."
"As I think about it now, yeah, it has really gone fast," Mark himself would say minutes later. "I remember when I first got here and I can't believe I'm going into my third year ... It gives you a sense of urgency. Coming into your junior year, it's bar none. You've got to make plays. We're all hungry for that. We really are."
LOOKIN' BACK: There were any number of reasons we wanted to check in with offensive tackle Patrick Ward. There was, first of all, his selection as the 'Cats offensive player of the South Dakota game. There was, in addition, that one minus he had received for his performance last Saturday, that negative blip he got for his work on -- of all things -- a quarterback sneak. Finally, and not unimportantly, there was the homage paid his mental acuity by Pat Fitzgerald, who had noted in awe that Ward was a straight A student except for a single A-minus.
"There were a couple A-minuses. Unfortunately," he admitted when we did check in with him.
* Here's a rarity. As their offensive player of the game in Saturday's win over South Dakota, the 'Cat coaches selected left tackle Patrick Ward. "He had one 'minus' the whole game. He was pretty close to that perfect game you can throw as an offensive lineman," Pat Fitzgerald said Monday.
* Here's the kicker. Adam Cushing, the 'Cat offensive line coach, gave Ward his single minus on, of all things, a quarterback sneak. "I beat Cush up about it today. I made fun of Adam," Fitzgerald revealed. "I told him, 'Pat Ward came to me and said it was the worst coaching performance he'd ever seen. [Cushing] had to nitpick to give him a minus.' It was actually on a quarterback sneak. That was the funny part of the whole thing. 'C'mon, Cush. Give me a break.'"