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Loper Frosh Wins; UNK to Move Up in Regional Standings

The Nebraska-Kearney women's golf team shot the lowest 18-hole score in school history in winning the UNK Spring Invitational Tuesday at Awarii Dunes in Axtell.

The two-day tournament featured eight schools, seven from the Division II ranks.

After a very windy Monday, conditions were perfect on Tuesday. Five schools shot 328 or better, led by UNK's 308. The previous record of 311 was set back in 2000 at the Chadron State Invite.

The first round leaders with a 325, the Lopers need to shoot well as Missouri Western State and Dakota Wesleyan each turned in 314's today. Overall, Kearney shot a 633 with MWSU (642) and DWU (652) in second and third places, respectively.

The 633 is the second best 36-hole score by a Loper women's team, trailing only the 624 turned in at that Chadron State Invite (311-313).

Individually, Utah freshman Samantha Crawford earned medalist honors with back-to-back 76's (152). Her tournament included 19 pars, five birdies and she paced the field by averaging one under par on par five holes.

Crawford's score is just one off the 36-hole school mark, set by Carla Dobchuck in 2000 and tied by Jenny Deines the following year.

Lauren Fitts of DWU and Tiffanie Yabut of Mo Western each shot a 158 to tie for second place.

Three other Lopers cracked the top 10 in Colorado junior Ana Summers (7th/160; 84-76), Texas senior Stephanie Moorberg (T-9th/162; 81-81) and Colorado sophomore Katherine Kemp (T-9th/162; 87-75).

Finally, South Dakota junior Katelyn Haschke was 31st (172) with Unadilla senior Stephanie Rodgers, playing as an individual, tying for 27th (171/90-81).

UNK heads to Springfield, Mo., for the Central Regional Preview on April 13th.

Holman Named to U.S. Collegiate National Team

Nebraska junior volleyball player Briana Holman is one of 12 players selected to the U.S. Collegiate National Team that will play in the 2015 World University Games July 2-12 at Gwangju, South Korea.

It is the second career selection for Holman to the U.S. Collegiate National Team. The middle blocker from DeSoto, Texas was part of the USA team that participated in the Tour of China in 2014.

The World University Games happens every four years as a prelude to the Olympics the following summer.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Briana," Nebraska head coach John Cook said. "It's been a dream of hers, and she will get to go to South Korea where the 1988 Olympics were held. This will be a high-level tournament, and the USA is sending its best possible team to try and medal. It will be a great experience for her, not only to go to Korea and play against the best competition in the world, but to get to meet and play with different student-athletes from other teams around the United States."

The World University Games roster is part of USA Volleyball's High Performance program's Collegiate National Team. The squad has four players who finished their senior seasons in 2014, along with three seniors and five juniors.
Team USA for the World University Games includes setters Lexi Dannemiller (University of Michigan, West Chester, Ohio) and Micha Hancock (Penn State University, Edmond, Okla.). Opposites on the team are Khat Bell (University of Texas, Mesquite, Texas) and Alex Holston (University of Florida, Olney, Md.). Laura Larson (University of Arizona, Lakeville, Minn.) was named as the libero.
Middle blockers chosen to the World University Games roster are Nia Grant (Penn State University, Warren, Ohio), Briana Holman (University of Nebraska, DeSoto, Texas) and Paige Tapp (University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn.). Outside hitters selected to the team are Jordan Burgess (Stanford University, Fort Myers, Fla.), Carly Kan (University of Missouri, Honolulu), Andi Malloy (Baylor University, Allen, Texas) and Nicole Walch (Florida State University, Stuart, Fla.).
Mary Wise, head coach for the University of Florida, has been named the head coach for the team. She will be assisted by Kyle Robinson, the new University of Oklahoma assistant coach, and Dan Thomassen, Sage Hill High School volleyball coach and co-founder of Prime Volleyball Club in California.
The squad includes five AVCA All-America First-Team selections in 2014, including Burgess, Grant, Hancock, Holman and Holston. Further, Bell and Walch were AVCA All-America Second-Team selections in 2014, while Tapp was named to the third-team.
The World University Games squad will come together June 28 in Los Angeles before traveling to South Korea for the competition. The roster was selected through the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., along with an invitation-only training block held in January in Anaheim, Calif.
The U.S. Collegiate National Team program also includes a China Tour roster that will be announced later this week, along with a 36-player group that will train and compete in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in June.
U.S. Women's World University Games Roster
Name (Position, School, 2015 College Year, Hometown)
Khat Bell (OPP, University of Texas, Grad, Mesquite, Texas)
Jordan Burgess (OH, Stanford University, Sr., Fort Myers, Fla.)
Lexi Dannemiller (S, University of Michigan, Grad, West Chester, Ohio)
Nia Grant (MB, Penn State University, Grad, Warren, Ohio)
Micha Hancock (S, Penn State University, Grad, Edmond, Okla.)
Briana Holman (MB, University of Nebraska, Jr., DeSoto, Texas)
Alex Holston (OPP, University of Florida, Jr., Olney, Md.)
Carly Kan (OH, University of Missouri, Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii)
Laura Larson (L, University of Arizona, Jr., Lakeville, Minn.)
Andi Malloy (OH, Baylor University, Sr., Allen, Texas)
Paige Tapp (MB, University of Minnesota, Jr., Stewartville, Minn.)
Nicole Walch (OH, Florida State University, Sr., Stuart, Fla.)
Head Coach: Mary Wise (University of Florida)
Assistant Coach: Kyle Robinson (University of Oklahoma)
Assistant Coach: Dan Thomassen (Prime Volleyball Club, Sage Hill High School, Calif.)
Trainer: Meredith Dillon (West Valley College)

Three Huskers to Transfer

Nebraska volleyball head coach John Cook announced on Tuesday that Alexa Ethridge, Maddie Haggerty and Kira Larson are leaving the Nebraska volleyball program. Each player has been given a full release to transfer.

"We are very thankful for the contributions these three young women have provided to our program, both on and off the court," Cook said. "Alexa, Maddie and Kira are great talents and special people with high character. They all have bright futures ahead of them, and we wish them nothing but the very best. We are totally supportive of their decisions."

Ethridge was a defensive and serving specialist for the Huskers the past two seasons, appearing in 66 career matches. Larson played in 15 matches this season as a redshirt freshman, registering 13 kills and 10 blocks. Haggerty sat out her freshman season with a lingering injury.

The Huskers, who just wrapped up their third sand season with a 6-2 record, will now begin preparing for their only spring match on April 25against Kansas State in Grand Island.

Kubat and Dilday Earn Big Ten Honors

Following a 4-1 week for the Nebraska baseball team, that included a sweep of the nationally-ranked Texas Longhorns, senior Kyle Kubat was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week and freshman Elijah Dilday was named Big Ten Co-Freshmen of the Week by the conference office on Tuesday morning. The Huskers have earned three weekly awards from the league office this season, as Ryan Boldt was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 23.

One day after being tabbed as one of Collegiate Baseball's Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week, Kubat earned his first career weekly honor from the Big Ten office. The senior lefty has been lights out for the Huskers on Saturdays this season and was on top of his game against the No. 16 Longhorns. Kubat tossed 8.0 shutout inning and notched a career-high nine strikeouts for the second straight week. Following a two-out single by Brooks Marlow in the fourth, Kubat retired the final 13 Longhorns he faced. It was the senior's third career outing of at least 8.0 innings and trailed only his 8.2-inning effort against Michigan at last season's Big Ten Tournament.

Kubat, along with relievers Jake Hohensee, Colton Howell and Jeff Chesnut limited the Longhorns to four hits and three walks on the day, while piling up 19 strikeouts. The most strikeouts by a Husker staff since 2009 when NU notched 22 punch outs in a 15 inning game against Louisiana-Lafayette. After the Longhorns produced three hits through the first three innings, they then didn't record another hit until Ben Johnson led off the 14th with a single. Texas totaled just seven base runners and had a runner in scoring position only twice all game.

After missing the first 20 games of the year with a shoulder injury to his non-throwing arm, Dilday has quickly made his impact on the Husker offense and defense. The St. Charles, Mo., native started all five of NU's games last week in left field and hit .462 on the week with at least one hit in every game. The 6-1 Dilday notched his first career multi-hit game, including a two-out RBI double in the third, in NU's sweep clinching win over the Longhorns on Sunday. Dilday struck out once all week, while slugging .538 with an on-base percentage of .500, and he also played stellar defense with multiple diving catches.

Ayoub and Vetrovsky Named Athletes of the Week

Kansas City, Mo. – Nebraska-Kearney's Max Ayoub has been named the MIAA/AstroTurf Hitter of the Week while Missouri Southern's Sean Goosetree has been named the MIAA/AstroTurf Pitcher of the Week.



MIAA/AstroTurf Hitter of the Week
Max Ayoub, OF, Nebraska-Kearney
Batted .538 with five HRs and 14 RBIs this weekend as UNK swept Lincoln. Scoring 13 runs, he hit two HRs in two different games, pushing his season total to 12 and his career total to 29. The 6-3 outfielder is a native of Grand Island, Neb. where he competed at Grand Island High School.



Ben Vetrovsky
Hastings College

Ben Vetrovsky of Hastings is this week's GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men's Golfer-of-the-Week. Vetrovsky, a senior, from McCook, Nebraska, finished runner-up at the Bethel Spring Invitational and event that featured 110 golfers. He carded a two-round total of 145, including a two-under 70 in his opening round.

Huskers Return from Spring Break

The Nebraska football team completed its ninth practice of the 2015 spring football season on Monday afternoon. The Huskers practices for just over two hours outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields in helmets and shorts.
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley met with media members following the conclusion of Monday's practice, as Riley mentioned that in his 14 seasons as a collegiate football head coach, this was the first spring practice season where the team took a week off for spring break.
"This is the first time I have been involved in breaking up spring practice with a week (off), so I wondered what all that would be like," Riley said. "I thought for the most part it was pretty good, not perfect, but I don't know if it would be perfect anyways."
Riley added that having the time off was a good thing for some of the players who were dealing with some bumps and bruises before break.
"I liked the fact that we probably had four, maybe five guys that would have not practiced on practice No. 9, if we would have had it right after the last practice we had (before spring break)."
Despite getting back to the grind of a regular routine, Riley said there was plenty of enthusiasm on the practice fields on Monday.
"I thought the enthusiasm for practice today was really good. Kind of my favorite thing. The football was off and on a little bit today-the execution on plays, in general that part was not as sharp," he said.
Even the quarterbacks have been practicing well, despite transitioning from a spread offense to more of a pro-style offense.
"There was some good execution, some crisp throws, I am not sure as crisp today as we were on that last practice Friday (before Spring Break)," Riley said. "AJ got a lot of turns and I thought he made some nice plays, I thought Zack Darlington made some nice plays---I was impressed with him. The rest of the guys all had their moments too."
Nebraska returns to the practice field on Wednesday for its 10th workout of the spring.

Carrie Hofstetter to Lead Nebraska-Kearney Women's Basketball

The University of Nebraska at Kearney has hired former Hastings College head coach Carrie Hofstetter as its head women's basketball coach, UNK announced today.

UNK will formally introduce Hofstetter as its seventh coach in program history at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The press conference will be hosted on the floor of the Health and Sports Center.

"I am extremely honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead the UNK Women's Basketball program. Throughout the entire process, it has been evident to me that UNK is committed to success and excellence and I couldn't be more thrilled to join the Loper family," said Hofstetter.

She is a native of Edgar, Neb., and graduate of Sandy Creek High School and Hastings College. Whether as a player, assistant coach or head coach, Hofstetter has been a part of not only winning programs but ones that contended for championships on an annual basis.

She has a career coaching record of 68-31 in leading the Broncos program the past three seasons. Hastings won 25 and 28 games, respectively, the past two years, reaching the NAIA Division II Tournament national quarterfinals in 2014 and the semifinals this season.

Hofstetter was the head assistant coach at Hastings for four seasons (2004-08) before holding the same position at Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA)-member Fort Hays State from 2008-12.

As a collegiate player, Hofstetter was one of the Broncos all-time best players, powering Hastings to four national tournament appearances and 2002 and 2003 national titles. The point guard set school records for career assists and career steals while earning 2004 first-team All-American honors.

Hofstetter was then on the bench as an assistant coach when the Broncos won the 2006 national title and made four more national tournament appearances.

At Sandy Creek, she was a part of a 95-game winning streak and four Class C-1 state titles.

UNK Director of Athletics Dr. Paul Plinske chose Hofstetter following a nationwide search. She begins her new position immediately and replaces Kevin Chaney, who directed the program for five years.

"Over 130 highly qualified applicants submitted their names for the position of head women's basketball coach at the University of Nebraska Kearney. One surfaced as the perfect fit for Loper Athletics," said Plinske. "Carrie Hofstetter brings an incredible record of success to Kearney. Her ties to Nebraska, coaching experience in the MIAA and her stellar performance as a head coach at Hastings College make me tremendously excited to introduce her as the seventh head coach in our history."

As an assistant at Fort Hays, Hofstetter was part of a program that had just joined the MIAA. The Tigers won 59 games in her time assisting head coach Tony Hobson, including a 20-9 mark during the 2011-12 season. Hofstetter also played and worked for Hobson at Hastings College.

"What is especially appealing to me is that she knows how to create a winning culture that is founded on strong family values. She is a super addition to the Loper family and I can't wait to watch her work the sidelines in the Health and Sports Center," said Plinske.

Since 1968, the UNK women's basketball program has had 20-win seasons 16 times, made 14 National Tournament appearances and won eight regular season conference titles.

UNK WOMEN'S HEAD BASKETBALL COACHES - MODERN ERA
Connie Hansen (1968-82)
Dan Wurtz (1982-93)
Joe Sanchez (1993-94)
Amy Stephens (1994-02)
Carol Russell (2002-10)
Kevin Chaney (2010-15)
Carrie Hofstetter (2015)

GETTING TO KNOW CARRIE HOFSTETTER
Coaching Experience
- Hastings College, Head Coach (2012-15)
- Fort Hays State University, Head Assistant Coach (2008-12)
- Hastings College, Head Assistant Coach (2004-08)

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Hastings College (2004); Bachelor of Arts in Health Promotion Management, Hastings College (2004); Master of Science in Health and Human Performance, Fort Hays State University (2013).

Playing Experience: All-American point guard at Hastings College, leading the Broncos to four straight NAIA Division II national tournament appearances … part of three Final Four teams including the 2002 and 2003 national championship squads … three-time team captain, two-time All-GPAC (Great Plains Athletic Conference) selection and a two-time GPAC Defensive P.O.Y. … won 2002 NAIA National Tourney Hustle Award … in 2004, won NAIA Champions of Character Award and named the FCA Central Nebraska A.O.Y. … holds school records for assistants and steals in a career …inducted into the Hastings College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010

High School: 2001 graduate of Sandy Creek High School, where she was a key part of a Cougars program that won four straight Class C1 state titles … never lost a high school basketball game

Loper Women Lead at Awarii

The Nebraska-Kearney women's golf team shot an opening round 325 to lead the UNK Spring Invitational at Awarii Dunes in Axtell.

The eight-team team event began Monday morning and features seven Division II teams, including five from the MIAA.

As the day went along, the winds died down, making the team race very tight. UNK has a three-shot lead over Missouri Western State with four others shooting between 333-342.

Loper true freshman Samantha Crawford (South Jordan, Utah) shot a collegiate-best 76 (38-38) to lead the field by three strokes. Her day included two birdies and 10 pars as she shot even par on the five par three holes.

Tiffanie Yabut from Mo Western (79) and Taylor Gard of NW Missouri State (80) are in second and third, respectively.

Also for UNK, Texas senior Stephanie Moorberg is tied for fourth (81/43-38) with Colorado junior Ana Summers and South Dakota junior Katelyn Haschke both tied for 16 as each went 42-42 to shoot 84.

Finally, Colorado sophomore Katherine Kemp is tied for 27th (87/42-45) with Unadilla senior Stephanie Rodgers playing as an individual (34th/90; 43-47).

The final round starts at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday with a shot gun start.

3-31-2015

Shandra Farmer and Claire Hamburger of Hastings St. Cecilia have been named First Team All State basketball players by the Associated Press. The duo led the Hawkettes to a 23-4 record this year and a runner up finish in this years Class C-2 state tournament. Other first team selections include Taylor Kissinger of Minden and Mackenzie Willicott of Blue Hill. Named to the second team were Skyler Snider of Kearney, Kyle Thiele of Kearney Catholic and Casey Krolikowski of Centura.

The 18th ranked Nebraska baseball team will close out a 16-game homestand tonight when they host in-state rival Creighton. The Huskers are 15-1 on the homestand, with the only loss coming last Wednesday to Cal State Fullerton. The Bluejays have won seven games in a row. They are 15-7 on the season. First pitch will be at 6:35pm. Pre-game show begins at 6:04pm on "The Breeze," KLIQ 94.5FM.

Nebraska's pitching staff from Saturday's 15-inning 1-0 win over Texas was recognized by Collegiate Baseball as a National Player of the Week yesterday. Starter Kyle Kubat, along with relievers Jack Hohensee, Colton Howell and Jeff Chestnut limited the Longhorns to four hits and three walks on the day, while piling up 19 strikeouts, the most strikeouts by a Husker staff since 2009. Collegiate Baseball noted that this is the first time in the award's history that four players from the same school have been named Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week.

Two year starting forward Walter Pitchford is giving up his final year of eligibility, but will remain at Nebraska to finish his bachelor's degree in ethnic studies. Pitchford signed with Florida but played sparingly as a freshman. He transferred to Nebraska for three years. Pitchford averaged 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Huskers this year. The future of another Husker junior, All Big Ten wing player Terran Petteway, likely will be known next week. Petteway is trying to decide whether to turn pro or return to Nebraska for his senior season.

The Nebraska football team completed their ninth practice of the 2015 spring football season yesterday. The Huskers have been off for the past week for spring break. Head coach Mike Riley says the time off was a good thing for some of the players who were dealing with some bumps and bruises before the break. Nebraska will practice again tomorrow. The Red/White Spring Game is set for Saturday April 11th.

The Hastings College baseball team will play two games against York College tonight at Duncan Field. The Broncos are 13-10 on the season, 2-2 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference after splitting four games with Morningside and Briar Cliff over the weekend. The Panthers are 19-13. First pitch will be at 5:00pm. We'll have the action on 1230AM KHAS, beginning with the pre-game show at 4:45pm.

Grand Island beat the Hastings High boys soccer team 6-2 last night. Bruno Rodriguez and Colby Pedroza scored the goals for the Tigers. Hastings is now 2-3.

In the girl's game, Hastings shut out the Islanders 2-0. Markki Frazier and Bailey Richman scored the goals for the Tigers. Hastings is now 4-1.

Huskers Announce 2015 Volleyball Schedule

The Nebraska volleyball program has announced its 2015 season schedule. After leading the nation in attendance for the second straight season with 8,083 fans per match last season, the Huskers will play 15 regular-season matches at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2015. NU finished 23-10 overall and reached an NCAA regional final for the third straight season last year.


The Huskers will host a season-opening round-robin tournament on Aug. 28-29 at the Devaney Center. NU's season opener will be against Tulsa on Friday, Aug. 28. The Big Red will play Grand Canyon and Pittsburgh on Saturday, Aug. 29.

For the second straight season, the Huskers will meet the Texas Longhorns, as Nebraska travels to Austin, Texas the weekend of Sept. 4-5 for a pair of high-profile matches. NU will square off against the Longhorns on Sept. 4 and will face the Oregon Ducks in a neutral-site match on Sept. 5. Texas advanced to the NCAA Semifinals last season and finished the year ranked fifth at 27-3. Meanwhile, Oregon was ranked 14th in the final AVCA rankings with a 23-10 record.

NU returns to the Devaney Center the following weekend for the Ameritas Players Challenge on Sept. 11-12. A schedule is yet to be determined, but the field includes UC Davis, Georgia Tech and South Florida.

The Huskers face in-state foe Creighton on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the CenturyLink Center. Non-conference play concludes with the Huskers renewing their series with Iowa State on Saturday, Sept. 19 in Ames, Iowa.

The Big Ten schedule is in identical order to last season, with only home and away dates reversed. For example, the Huskers will begin Big Ten play with back-to-back matches against Iowa again, except the first one on Sept. 23 will be at Iowa, and the Sept. 26th match is at the Devaney Center.

Just like last season, the Huskers will again play home-and-home matches with Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. The Huskers will see Northwestern, Ohio State, Minnesota, Rutgers, Purdue and Wisconsin only once. Minnesota, Rutgers and Wisconsin will visit Lincoln, while the Huskers will play on the road at Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue.

The 2015 season marks the return of the NCAA Championship to the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. It's the third time the Huskers have hosted the NCAA semifinals and final in Omaha. The other years – 2006 and 2008 – still account for the top two all-session attendance records in NCAA volleyball history. A record-breaking 34,223 fans attended the 2006 semifinals and final, while 31,729 showed up in 2008.

The Huskers have had noteworthy seasons each time the final four has been in Omaha, and they hope 2015 will be no different. In 2006, the Huskers won the title over Stanford in front of a packed house of 17,209 fans. In 2008, NU fell just short against eventual national champion Penn State in the NCAA semifinals in front of an NCAA-record 17,430 fans.

Nebraska will hold its annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 22 at the Devaney Center. Ticket and TV information, including start times for select matches will be announced at a later date.

New Staff Goes to Work March 31st

The last three months have been busy for Josh Lamberson to say the least.

In that span, the University of Nebraska at Kearney first-year head football coach has compiled his staff and signed a recruiting class while also getting to know the players on the current team. He's also met with numerous community groups and traveled the state to meet Loper football alumni.

"They've really been a little bit of a whirlwind, but it's been a really exciting time," Lamberson said "I'll treasure these last three months and remember them for the rest of my life, being able to sit in that chair for the first time.

"The relationships that we've already built and the people that we've been able to bring into the fold I think is really special. Working with these kids and creating a culture of family has been something that I really enjoy, has been really special."

Lamberson and his staff have made changes to the offseason regimen and weight room routine since the players reported back for winter conditioning in mid-January.

"I think the kids really responded to it," Lamberson said. "We've stretched them and challenged them both physical and mentally, but they've really embraced everything that we've put in front of them, and I think we're going to be better because of it."

Now, though, with the grind of 6:00 a.m. offseason workouts completed, he's ready to hit the gridiron when UNK's spring practices begin on Tuesday, March 31st.

On practice days, UNK will be on the field from 3:45 to roughly 6:00 p.m. The Lopers have pre-practice meetings that start at 2:15 p.m.

Tuesday's practice will be the first of 15 for the Lopers. Next week, the Lopers are scheduled to practice three times, with four scheduled the remaining weeks, leading up to the spring game on Saturday, April 25th. Lamberson noted that they will hold a full scrimmage and half scrimmage during the second and third weeks of practice.

If weather is poor on a scheduled practice day, UNK may reschedule or just take that day off.

The practices will be open to the public, and Lamberson is encouraging fans to check out the Lopers. "We're a public institution. I think the public should get an opportunity to get to know our guys, our players, our coaches and watch us in action," he explained.

"I think the excitement level is high, and I want them to come out and see what our kids are feeling and watch them have that excitement level to attack practice every single day."

Throughout the offseason, Lamberson and his staff have been working at installing new schemes. He hopes to have 60 percent of the offense installed by the end of spring ball.
"Coach (Ken) Gordon is a little different on the defensive side of the ball," said Lamberson on the defense's progress. "It's not going to be fully implemented (in the spring), but we're going to have a good base in there."

When it comes to position battles, Lamberson is equal opportunity.

"I'm interested to see position battles as we go through spring practice and see how kids respond to some different things. I think across the board, offensively and defensively, we're going to have some fun competition the entire spring practice."

The Lopers had just 15 seniors on last year's team with the majority of that group being along the offensive and defensive lines. The biggest voids to fill are two-time All-American Cole Manhart (left tackle), three-time All-MIAA pick Pete Trausch (center/right tackle) and three-year starter Matt Bowman (defensive end).

Overall, the roster has changed little since UNK beat Emporia State in the 2014 regular season finale. On signing day, Lamberson and his staff added 35 players, 33 of whom will report in August.

Lamberson, who is also the Lopers' offensive coordinator, will work with the quarterback during practice.

The biggest change for Lamberson, though, will be not solely focusing on the offense during practice. "When I was an offensive coordinator you just worry about that side of the football," he said. "Now, you have to take the defensive side into account. With special teams you have to make sure that those guys have adequate and enough time to do what they want and put them in a position to go out and be successful."

As essentially the CEO of the football team, Lamberson has to focus on all three sides of the ball now, be in charge of 90 guys in the spring and more than 110 in the fall and a full coaching staff.

"You're not just worried about your area anymore," Lamberson explained. "I'm worried about a broader scope and the entire football team, which has been a fun transition for me."

While Lamberson and his staff are gunning to hit the practice field, the players are just as excited. "The energy level has been through the roof. They're excited to showcase what they can do in between the stripes and go out and start mixing it up with each other. There's been a lot of banter back and forth, which is healthy," Lamberson said.

The 14 practices will lead up to the spring game on April 25th. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. and Lamberson is hoping it will give the players and fans a hint of what's to come.

"We'll be in our game jerseys. We'll split up teams and be on two different sidelines," said Lamberson. "We're really trying to emulate that game day environment so it's not their first run when we play Northwest Missouri State on Thursday, September 3rd."

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