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JUST short of a year ago, I was taking notes from Northern Illinois right offensive tackle Matt Krempel, who was helping The Republic by doing a diary as he prepared for the Orange Bowl.
It appeared that Krempel was going to play in his second consecutive BCS bowl game this season, but the Huskies suffered their only loss 47-22 to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference championship game.
So Krempel, a Columbus North High School grad, will close out his college career on Thursday playing for Northern Illinois against Utah State in San Diego’s Poinsettia Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN).
It’s not the fairy tale ending that it could have been, but it should be one last highlight to Krempel’s very enjoyable ride.
Consider that Krempel, who had five starts this season and played extensively in the other games, helped to make quarterback Jordan Lynch the third-place finisher in the Heisman race.
Northern Illinois won seven road games this season, more than any other FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, Division I) team, and the Huskies’ 46 wins since the beginning of the 2010 season ties with Alabama and Oregon for most of any team.
Besides his accomplishments on the field, Krempel was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete semifinalist this season.
Wilson finishes at IU
Indiana senior wide receiver Duwyce Wilson, a Columbus East grad, didn’t get a big sendoff after the Hoosiers didn’t earn a bowl berth in football, but he was named the Harold Mauro Loyalty of IU Football
Wilson battled through injuries to finish his career with 87 catches for 1,102 yards and seven touchdowns in 44 games.
Although he looked like a big-time threat his senior year, his time away from the field due to injuries might have hurt his chances to be considered a top option on a team stocked with talented wide receivers. He finished the season with 15 catches for 167 yards. With his talent, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider him landing a spot at some professional level.
While Wilson says goodbye to the program, North grad Jake Reed is just getting warmed up. Reed started five games his sophomore season and played in nine at offensive guard. He helped Indiana set offensive records for yards (6,102) and points (461).
His workload didn’t stop him from being named to the All-Big Ten Academic Team.
Freshman Andrew Wilson, a Columbus East grad, was named the Hoosiers’ Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year with two other teammates. Wilson played in three games and had eight rushes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Those of you who have watched the 5-10, 222-pounder run can only hope that Indiana’s coaching staff gives him more opportunities in game situations. He not only has power, but he has tremendous heart, and that’s something that would benefit the entire team.
North grads make impression
Columbus North graduates Taylor Summa and Shaquille Ash made huge impressions during their first seasons with the football team at Marian, which finished 6-5.
Summa was Marian’s second-leading wide receiver with 24 catches for 451 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 79 yards and another touchdown. He led the team with an 18.8 yards per catch average.
Ash didn’t play in Marian’s first four games, but then the coaching staff figured out they had something special. After being inserted at linebacker, Ash had 43 tackles in seven games. He tied for fourth among the team’s leading tacklers even though he played in fewer games. You can bet he will be in the starting lineup from Game One next season.
Punter named All-American
North grad Kollin Carmen completed his career at St. Francis by being named to the NAIA All-American Second Team. Carmen finished third at the NAIA level with a 44.6 yards-per-punt average, and he had 17 punts of 50 yards or more. Don’t be surprised to see him get a look at the next level.
Non-football stars shine
It’s not just football players who are making news in college athletics.
Columbus North graduate Morgan Proffitt made an immediate impact as a freshman on Marquette’s soccer team, playing in all 22 games of an 18-4 season and helping the Golden Eagles earn a Big East championship with a 10-0 record.
Proffitt scored a goal and had 19 shots. She figures to make a huge impact on one of the nation’s top soccer programs in the future.
Columbus East graduate Micayla Speidel earned the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference First Team and Newcomer of the Year honors in volleyball. Speidel, a 5-9 freshman, led the conference with 520 kills, and she led her team to a 28-11 record.
North grad Elizabeth James finished her first soccer season at Dayton by earning a spot on the Atlantic 10’s All Rookie Team. She started all 21 games for the Flyers and allowed only 24 goals. She posted seven shutouts for her team, which finished 14-5-2 and earned the conference championship.
Jay Heater is The Republic sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 379-5632.
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