Huskies to move forward after losing three

By John Dietz

Every football team in the nation experiences injuries or other problems that deplete their squad during the season, and NIU is no different.

Three Huskies that saw considerable playing time last year find themselves permanently out of the picture for the 1992 season. They are running back T.C. Dantzler and wide receivers Stacey McKinney and Rakeem Short.

Dantzler twisted his left knee during the spring intrasquad scrimmage on April 25 and underwent arthroscopic surgery on May 8 with hopes of resuming his wrestling career. McKinney and Short were declared academically ineligible.

The loss of Dantzler causes NIU to lose some depth at running back, but since the senior was not projected as a starter, the position won’t see any drastic changes.

Both head coach Charlie Sadler and wide receivers coach Trent Miles agree that the loss of McKinney and Short will hurt the team in the speed category.

“Both guys had excellent speed, and that’s one position that you really need speed,” Sadler said.

Miles echoed Sadler’s thoughts, but added, “The guys we have playing (at wide receiver) are as good as anyone in the nation. Everyone I’ve got can start and it’s just a matter of who can get it done in the next week or week-and-a-half.”

McKinney, who started at quarterback a year ago, had a chance to start as one of the wideouts, but sophomore sensation Vaurice Patterson has had the inside track, according to Sadler.

Patterson, along with Dantzler, is another of NIU’s two-sport stars.

Patterson was the starting point guard for the Huskies in the 1991-92 basketball campaign.

With one year under his belt, look for Patterson to improve on his receiving statistics from the 1991 season in which he caught seven passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

The Huskie football team will go on without McKinney, Short, and Danzler, but Sadler will miss them.

“We would like to have had those guys, but we have guys doing a good job at those positions,” Sadler said.