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  1. It's finally here, football Friday night! Concord @ SB St Joe : last year for the foreseeable future for this non conference week 1 battle, in what should be another good one. I think Concord should be decent, but Driscoll is a beast for St. Joe along with several other returning including Coach Kelly's boy at LB. East Noble @ Plymouth : Another good one between two strong programs, however I feel EN is on the upswing and Plymouth isn't the Plymouth of old. Elk Memorial @ Elk Central : a year ago I never would've guessed it would be toss up like I believe tonight will be. Wish they could've played this a week earlier so I could be at the last Mangy game with my Memorial family. I am a strong believer in Brownlee and Centrals run game however. Goshen @ Fairfield : I'm glad to hear Fairfield has better numbers this year. Goshen is not the Goshen of old, and while I like Coach Park, I fear they're facing an uphill battle. At the middle school jamboree earlier in the week, Goshen was barely able to field a team, and I felt bad for their kids that did come out, it was ugly. They're begging kids that are cut from the soccer team to give football a try. Huntington North @ Warsaw : The first of many wins for Warsaw this year and my favorite by a lot to win the NLC this year. Really like what the Curtis's are doing down there. Seems like the kids are really buying in! Warsaw big tonight before probably their toughest game of the regular season next week. Jimtown @ NorthWood : No more Bronson Yoder, but they're always packed with good talent (although they're unable to field a freshman team this year). Jimtown had excitement for their new turf, but weren't able to field an 8th grade team this year due to small numbers. Always play each other tough, but NW wins this fairly easily. Lakeland @ Wawasee : Toss up, but I'll go with the NLC in this one. Not sure what Wawasee has this year as I believe their best player from last year (punter) graduated. I wasn't all that impressed at the jamboree last week with Lakeland, granted most teams don't show too much during scrimmages. Northridge @ Adams : I could see this going either way, but I think a lot of people are sleeping on the Raiders this year (I'm okay with that). If we can slow down the deep ball some, and control the clock with our ground game, I like our chances at school field tonight. Interested to see our defense as we're running a 3-4 vs 4-3 now, and Coach Wogomon took over as DC since Coach Logan retired after last season. We added a few out of state transfers this off season that should help us as well.
  2. Central looked good against Northwood, especially Brownlee, didn't see their offense against Northridge, but Northridge was moving the ball pretty well when they had the lightning delay.
  3. Northridge was at Elkhart Central tonight along with Northwood, Central, and Lakeland
  4. Northridge/Northwood were at Rice Field tonight, up against Elkhart Central/Lakeland. Both NLC representatives looked good, however Central moved the ball well against Northwood starting D (mainly Brownlee). Northwood had a couple injuries, hopefully nothing serious. Northridge was moving the ball well against Central, however their 10 offensive plays got cut short from lightning, and I called it a night before I could see if they were able to finish the drive or handle Central/Brownlee's offense. Both NW/NR handled Lakeland with relative ease. I look for Brownlee to be one of the area's best running backs this year, but don't count out Northridges run game. We have a few returning backs with some serious talent, and added an out of state transfer from South Dakota that was a force on one of SD's top ranked teams.
  5. I see Northridge has replaced Northwood with Angola on their freshman schedule due to Northwood not being able to field a freshman team, anyone else having a difficult time this year? I know Goshen has been struggling to field a 7th grade team this year as well.
  6. I'm in the Warsaw as favorites camp, but beyond that I'm not as sure. Northwood should drop off some after losing one of the best prospects in years, but until I see otherwise, they'll probably be top 3 in the league. Northridge lost a big one as well in Graber, but I wouldn't count us out of the top 3 just yet, and yes, we should have a good 1-2 punch on the ground attack. Plymouth and Concord both have kids returning that will obviously help them out, but I'm not convinced they're going to be the traditional powers of years past. Goshen, Memorial, and Wawasee should be toward the bottom again, but I could see Memorial and Goshen surprising a few people.
  7. Per Northridge athletics press release yesterday: Outdoor complex groundbreaking set; Interra Credit Union secures football naming rights FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MCS Media Contact: Marker & Pen info@mymarkerpen.com Interra Credit Union Media Contact: Karen Steffensen Interra Credit Union karens@interracu.com Middlebury Community Schools Announces Groundbreaking for Northridge Athletics Complex, Signs Quarter of a Million Dollar Naming Rights Deal with Interra Credit Union MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (July 10, 2019) – Middlebury Community Schools (MCS) has announced that it will break ground on its brand-new outdoor athletics complex at Northridge High School on July 16, 2019 and that it has inked a five-year, $250,000 football facility naming rights deal with Interra Credit Union, which is headquartered in Goshen and has a branch in Middlebury. The outdoor athletics complex at Northridge High School in Middlebury will feature an approximately 4,000 seat football stadium with outdoor track, baseball stadium and softball stadium – all of which will be fitted with state-of-the-art field turf, as well as updated team and gameday facilities. The football facility, which will be named Interra Field, benefits from a five-year, $50,000 per year naming rights sponsorship deal that provides category exclusive football marketing rights to the credit union and financial support for the school corporation to add additional support staff and equipment needed to maintain the grounds. “We are so very thrilled that our school community has allowed us to provide our students, coaches and teachers with these wonderful facilities and are very pleased with Interra's support,” said Superintendent Jane Allen. “We are excited to see the games begin in 2020!" "We are pleased to have Interra Credit Union partner with us on this project for our community,” added Middlebury Community Schools Board chair Joanna King. “This project reflects many years of planning by the board and administration to provide adequate facilities for our students in a financially responsible way." “At Interra, we are so excited to have the opportunity to partner with Middlebury Community Schools on such an impressive project,” noted Amy Sink, CEO. “It further solidifies our connection with the entire community.” “This partnership demonstrates Interra’s commitment to the school, a broader investment in the many young people who will reap its benefits for years to come and in the community spirit it will generate,” Andy Marshall, Executive Vice President and COO, added. Middlebury Community Schools has awarded construction work for the Athletics Complex to Shawnee Construction & Engineering after an extensive bid process that was held over the last three months and concluded on July 9, 2019. "Shawnee Construction has completed multiple projects for Middlebury Community Schools at a very high standard," stated Jeff Palmer, Director of Buildings & Grounds. "We are very excited to continue our relationship with them." Northridge High School Athletics, which serves over 700 student-athletes each year, will benefit from the updated facilities and the school corporation’s commitment to developing a sponsorship program available to local and regional businesses – as well as individual donors. Additionally, Middlebury community individuals and families will also have the opportunity to join in on the excitement by participating in a brick paver campaign targeted for a plaza outside the entrance to Interra Field. “It is a time of excitement and anticipation that can’t really be put into words,” shared Dave Harms, Northridge High School Athletic Director. “This project has been on the minds of our community, school and student-athletes for a long time. Seeing it all come together is awesome and will be great for everyone involved.” Interra Field expects to be open for the football home opener against South Bend Adams on August 21, 2020. Baseball and softball facilities will be ready for action in the spring of 2021. The groundbreaking will occur at 2:00 p.m. on July 16, 2019 on the Northridge High School campus and will be open to the public. To learn more about the Northridge High School outdoor athletics complex and ways to participate, visit northridgefacilitiesproject.com. About Middlebury Community Schools Middlebury Community Schools serves three townships in northeastern Elkhart County (IN). The school corporation provides a unique environment with a blend of traditional values and progressive education. The system is comprised of seven schools – four elementary schools (grades K-3, an intermediate school (grades 4-5), a middle school (grades 6-8) and a high school (grades 9-12). It is governed by a five-member elected school board which takes responsibility for educating all students in the district who are capable of learning, regardless of their abilities, race, color, national origin, creed or handicap. Follow Northridge Athletics on Twitter @nridgeathletics for up-to-date information on happenings within the athletic department. About Interra Credit Union Interra, headquartered in Goshen, Indiana, has assets of $1.2 billion. The credit union’s field of membership spans 18 counties in northern Indiana, with almost 300 employees serving nearly 82,000 members. Interra operates 15 offices in Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall and Noble counties in Indiana and via a suite of robust electronic services at interracu.com.
  8. He looked the part against us in week 1 last year, but I don't understand their no punt strategy.
  9. I was there as well, curious what happened with half of the rosters Laporte provided. Northridge players were replaced by Penn's roster on many of the handouts. Thankfully I was one of the few I spoke to that got a correct copy.
  10. Nice Article by the Elkhart Truth on former Northridge player Isaac Zickafoose found here: Could pro football be next for Zickafoose? BY BOB OPPENHEIM roppenheim@elkharttruth.com A dream will come true for many college football players this week when they’re selected by a team during the National Football League draft. It appears unlikely that former Northridge football standout Isaac Zickafoose will hear his name called at the draft. But he isn’t ruling out the possibility of playing in the NFL. A standout football career at Bluffton University has gotten Zickafoose noticed by NFL scouts. “I feel like I have a chance to play in the NFL,” said Zickafoose. “My agent has been talking to people and he says I have a great chance. “I’m probably going to be a (college) free agent. It’s going to be a challenge because I’m a Division III kid and people doubt you when you play at that level. But that drives me. I know I’m different. They’ve never seen a player like me. I feel like I’ve got a shot. “I’m just going to keep working hard and keep doing the things I’m doing. I’ve been doing drills and trying to make myself a better football player.” Zickafoose made an impact early at Bluffton and honors would soon follow. “When I was a freshman I played on the scout team defensive line,” Zickafoose said. “On two plays I really played well against the first team offense. Coach (Denny) Dorrell told me to go play for the first and second team defensive line. He wanted me to believe in myself. He said I had a lot of potential. I started believing in myself. It was crazy.” Playing defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker, Zickafoose finished as the school’s all-time leader in sacks with 35.5, sack yards with 228, tackles for loss with 60.5, tackles for loss yards with 308 and fumble return yards with 80. Zickafoose was the first Bluffton athlete to earn American Football Coaches Association All-American status, as he earned second team honors in 2018. He was a four-time first team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference selection and a three-time All-North Regional selection. Zickafoose also was twice named HCAC Defensive Most See FOOTBALL, PAGE B2 Northridge gradute Isaac Zickafoose (7) gets set to rush from his defensive end position for the Bluffton University last fall. Photo Submitted Football From page B1 Valuable Player. Zickafoose’s top honor came on April 16th when he received the 2019 A.C. Burcky Award, which is given to Bluffton’s senior Male Athlete of the Year. “It’s a great honor,” Zickafoose said about winning the prestigious award. “It’s something I really didn’t expect to win. I got great support from my coaches, teammates, friends and family. I’m blessed to be able to receive it. “I would play anywhere to help the team. I liked playing defensive end and being able to play the run and go after the quarterback. I also enjoyed playing defensive tackle, but it was challenging. In college, teams would game plan for you on the inside and sometimes you would be double-teamed. When you played on the end you’d go up against only one guy. “Teams game planned for me more in college. In high school, there’s more 1-on-1 play. Our defense at Northridge was good. I wasn’t even the best player on our defense. Other teams focused more on Cam Ridenour and Sven Johnson.” Beavers football coach Aaron Krepps felt the honors given to Zickafoose were richly deserved. “Isaac is arguably the best defensive player to ever play for Bluffton University,” said Krepps in a press release after Zickafoose received the A.C. Burcky Award. “His God-given ability is easy to see, but what you appreciate most about him is his willingness to be coached. He showed up daily ready to work and he put the extra time in to hone his craft. His success was born out of persistence and determination.” Personal pride was Zickafoose’s biggest motivator. “I competed against myself,” he said. “I didn’t want to mess up. That would be the worst feeling. Throughout the week I would prepare for my game on Saturday. I watched film on my competition. I watched the other team’s offensive linemen, running backs and quarterback. I looked at everything. I tried to play out in my head what the other team was going to do against me.” Zickafoose bounced back to have a great senior year after being disappointed with his play during his junior season. The 6-1, 245-pounder finished with 63 tackles – 49 solo – 11.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. “My junior year was my worst year,” Zickafoose said. “It was a frustrating year. Coaches told me if I got bigger I could be unstoppable. I then started working out and eating more. I got up to 270 pounds that season. I was able to convince myself to play at that weight. I felt comfortable but it was different. It was hard for me to play in games. I got really tired in games. It wasn’t working out for me. I had to switch up things. After the season I researched how to lose weight. I cut out meat, dairy and bread. I tried it that summer after my junior year and I lost weight and got back to 230-240 pounds. It’s a crazy thing. I’ve gotten stronger since I’ve done that. I was back in the 240-range as a senior and it was my best season.” Zickafoose has also been recognized for his work outside of football. A 3.40 student as a sports and recreation major, Zickafoose was selected this year as a scholar student for his major. “My GPA has improved since high school,” Zickafoose said. “In high school I was a fool. I felt like I was just going to get by. I felt I would get a full-ride in college because I was a good football player. Reality hit me that academics is a big part of going to college. Schools were telling me that I had to get my GPA up. Schools don’t want you if you’re grade are bad. “While I was going to school at Northridge I was working at a factory in Middlebury and my boss Kent Yoder asked me where I was going to college. I said I didn’t know if I was going to college because my grades were so bad. He told me he was a board member at Bluffton University and he said he would talk to the football coach. I got a phone call from coach Dorrell. He asked me to come take a visit and I said definitely that I would make a visit. I visited the school in July and I liked it. “Bluffton has a discovery program for students with low GPA’s and I was accepted into that program. It was one of the best opportunities that I’ve ever gotten. I didn’t let them down. I was forced to study and that’s what I did. Every night for two or three hours I would do my homework.” Zickafoose, who will graduate in two weeks, has a plan if there’s no football in his future. “I would like to be an athletic director,” he said. “If I could be an assistant A.D. and work under somebody’s wings that would be a great opportunity for me.”
  11. Per WHME, Northwood has decided to drop Fairfield as their Wk2 opponent, and have added Chatard to replace them. Fairfield will add Osceola Grace as their Wk2 opponent.
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