Northern Michigan University Wildcats’ football, men’s soccer teams hosting free exhibitions in Superior Dome this weekend

Northern Michigan University’s Niko Scheibal passes the ball during the Wildcats’ men's soccer game played against Wisconsin-Parkside at the MTU Soccer Field in Marquette on Oct. 6. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

MARQUETTE — A pair of Northern Michigan University men’s sports teams will host free exhibitions inside the Superior Dome — where recent outside winter weather will only be a rumor — this weekend.

Fans can come to the dome at no charge at 1 p.m. Saturday to watch the newest edition of the Wildcats football team try to hit the reset button after struggling all of last season. Concession stands will be open for business, too.

NMU went 0-11 under first-year head coach Shane Richardson. Northern gave up at least 60 points four times, which likely was exacerbated by a pair of defensive players who left before the season began through the NCAA transfer portal and became NCAA Division II All-Americans at their new schools.

Now Richardson & Co., whose staff includes the recent addition of Joe Gatz as offensive line coach, has been practicing for several weeks in preparation for Saturday’s event, which NMU Sports Information lists as having offensive vs. defensive sets, positional group drills and situational football, among other things.

The Wildcats’ men’s soccer team will host a free-admission exhibition match at 4 p.m. Sunday in the dome against Wisconsin-Superior.

Northern Michigan University’s Tommaso Lami chases down a pass from a teammate during a college men’s soccer game against Northwood at the NMU Soccer Field in Marquette on Aug. 31. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

In two previous exhibitions this spring, this NMU team has won both and outscored its opposition 10-1.

The NMU men also played UW-Superior in a 2023 exhibition and won that one, even though UW-Superior is a dominant force in its NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, going 17-4-2 overall and 13-1 in the UMAC last fall.

“We have implemented an energetic and electrifying style of play to combine with our possession principles, which has made this program exciting to watch,” Northern head coach Alex Fatovic said.

Fatovic hopes his Wildcats can generate more offense next fall after going 2-10-4 in 2023 and being shut out in nine of those 16 contests.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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