HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – It was all smiles at Thursday’s Michigan Tech Football Media Day. It’s hard not to keep a smile knowing you’re just days away from playing a football game. Something the Huskies haven’t been able to do in almost 700 days.
“We’re ready to go and we’re ready to get after and play on September 4th against Hillsdale,” said Steve Olson, Head Coach of the Huskies. “We’re excited to be at home. We’re excited to have our home crowd out here and actually get to play in front of our crowd here at Kearly Stadium on Sherman Field.”
The Huskies return a nice mix of veterans and young talent on both sides of the ball. The balance is something head coach Steve Olson is excited about.
“The main thing is I think our offensive line has made some nice strides,” said Olson. “I know our defensive line is really good led by a guy like Nate LaJoie, he’s a really good player. We’ve got some veteran linebackers back, like Marvin Wright who’s been a really good player for us for years. We got Will Ark back, who is our quarterback that has been a starter for us for a couple of years. He’s seen a lot of game action so he has a lot of experience to bring to the table. Then, we got a pretty good core of running backs that are all returning and some receivers that we’re excited to see.”
Will Ark returns under center for the Huskies. He’s used his extra time to perfect his craft and has set big goals entering this season.
I think I can be the best quarterback in the league,” said Ark. “I want to get there, I think I can put in the work to get there. I think I can do it. I’ve been trying to watch more film, I’ve been trying to run more, I’ve been, not necessarily trying to lift more, but just do more stuff to try and better myself with the extra time that we’ve had. Whether that be quarterback-specific position work. You know, throwing the ball, footwork type stuff, stuff like that.”
All-American defensive lineman Nate LaJoie could be the best defender in the GLIAC this season.
The Sault Ste. Marie native will be a disruptive force for the Huskies once again.
“I definitely still want to be a sack leader in the GLIAC,” said Lajoie. “Last season, I was able to lead the GLIAC in sacks, so, I want to add on to that total and hopefully get into double-digit sack numbers this year. I ended last season with eight and a half, so if I can get at least into double digits that would be a personal record this year.”
Another U.P. product is Newberry native, John Paramski. The senior linebacker will be another key leader on the defense.
“It feels good,” said Paramski. “I mean, it’s been weird not playing football for that long. But everyone is excited. The whole team is excited as I’ve probably haven’t seen it since I’ve been here. So, there’s a new energy and we’re all excited to be here and get this season rolling.”
The Huskies open up their season against Hillsdale on September 4th. The first of a four-game homestand to start their year.
“I think our football team comes out and they bring high energy to practice, and we’re looking forward to them bringing high energy to games and playing with a spirit,” said Olson. I think just how we come together as a team, our unity, and the bonding that we have, I think will be a real strength for us. So, we’re looking forward to seeing how that will hold as we continue throughout the season because I think we have a really good football team and I’m excited for us to play.”
- The 5th Down: High School Football Highlights & Scores (9/25/21)
- Player Spotlight: Ishpeming’s Hailey Hytinen is paving the way for future women
- GOTW Preview: Gogebic & Stephenson to meet in the ‘Painting the Peninsula Pink’ game
- Stephenson proud to be a part of the ‘Painting the Peninsula Pink’ game
- WATCH: Marquette Marching Band Halftime Performance