Spirit soars

for Huskies

Through all the smoke filled air and the soft mist on Saturday afternoon, a feeling of comradery swept across Huskie Stadium.

Some people believe Homecoming is just another excuse to go out and party, but this year the feeling has changed a bit and you can see a little more school spirit.

Two years ago when the Huskies finished the year with a horrible 2-9 record, there were students on campus who didn’t even know NIU had a football team.

Last year with a 5-6 record and a first look at tailback LeShon Johnson, students seemed to be a little more interested in Huskie football.

This year there are a number of reasons why school spirit, and a liking to Huskie football are taking place.

The number one reason, undoubtedly, is that NIU possesses the nation’s leader in rushing and all-purpose yards in LeShon Johnson.

You could ask just about anyone on campus if they know who good ol‘ #42 is, and they would respond by saying “the ‘Cowboy.'”

Another reason for this blow up in the following of the Huskies is the Big West.

Since the Huskies have entered the Big West there seems to be an actual meaning for playing.

There were also some key points this year that have helped the Huskies obtain this following (not including the Northern Star sports staff blowing smoke about them five days a week).

The Huskies kicked off their Big West opener with a bang at Huskie Stadium and an NIU show that wowed Huskie fans.

The following week Scott Crabtree and the Huskies pulled off a come-from-behind victory over reigning conference champs Nevada, and the dream of going to a bowl game was one step closer to reality.

Against downstate rival SIU, LeShon Johnson showed what he could really do running for a career high 322 yards.

There could not have been a better place to do it than in Huskie Stadium.

Finally, the Huskies came home after losing to New Mexico State and showed the home crowd that their season isn’t close to being over.

The students showed their spirit by tearing down both goal posts.

There has been a lot of talk on campus about making a trip to Las Vegas if the Huskies do win the Big West, but they can’t do it without the students’ support.

Knowing they have that kind of support gives them another reason to win.

The Huskies last home game of the season is this Saturday against Southwest Louisiana.

This will be the last time you could see LeShon Johnson play in person before he goes to the NFL.

And if things work out, this could be the last time you see a bowl team play at NIU.