Seniors to take spotlight; college careers near end

By Chris Sigley

It’s time to pay tribute to the top dogs.

As the 1988 NIU football season comes to a close, memories of first big plays and nightmares of even bigger blunders are relived in the minds of the Huskies as they prepare to make their final entrance into Huskie Stadium this weekend.

The 13 graduating seniors will be introduced before NIU’s finale at 1:05 p.m. Saturday in Huskie Stadium for Senior Recognition Day.

While the seniors have taken turns every day for the last two weeks of practice making speeches, Thursday the seniors all got together and “said their piece and farewell to the team,” linebacker Mike Hollingshed said.

“It’s been kind of funny this week at practice because you never imagined you would get to this point and now it’s here,” Hollingshed said. “The anticipation of all this has been kind of scary, thinking about the real world and everything. When you’re associated with football so long, you forget about the other things, like getting a job and going to work.”

Guard Bob Montel said that the reality of entering the real world snuck up on him a little quicker than he expected.

“It went too fast,” Montel said. “At least when you’re coming out of high school, you knew you had another chance to play in college. Now there’s only a one in a million chance you’ll go to the pros.”

While linebacker Mike Higgins said he is happy about a winning season to cap his final year, he says “it’s like a Catch-22.

“It’s funny because we had three losing seasons, and now we’re finally winning,” Higgins said. “I really believe we should have been 9-2 or 10-1. We had a chance for a bowl bid. It’s like a Catch-22 because it’s great we had a winning season, yet it’s almost more disappointing then not being in the race at all.”

However, linebacker Mike Manson seemed to get the most out of his Huskie career.

“It’s everything I thought it’d be and maybe a little bit more,” Manson said. “It’s going to be nice to have some time to myself, but I’m going to miss the games on Saturday and the excitement with the fans.”

Quarterback Marshall Taylor said, “I’m glad we had more wins than losses, rather than a .500-or-less season. I’ve learned a lot of valuable things that will help me out in life.”