As the sixth-ranked Cardinals football team prepares to pursue its eighth consecutive College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship, it will have some new assets to help in the quest.
The stadium locker room was renovated during the off-season after a successful $70,000 fundraising campaign, the result of a partnership among the offices of development and alumni relations, the football program and its booster organization, the Quarterback Club. The project included the installation of wooden lockers, new flooring, two video stations with flat-panel monitors and computers, and updated art on the walls, including a tribute to several of the College’s outstanding past performers.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for a couple of years,” says head coach John Thorne. “We feel it could really help us in recruiting. For our current players and staff, it gives us two full-sized teaching stations, so players on both sides of the ball can watch film at the same time.”
“It’s going to be a tremendous asset,” adds athletic director Jim Miller ’86. “It’s a great example of how a neutral space like a locker room can be turned into something that gives you a competitive advantage, like stepping into a NCAA Division I-caliber facility. It’s certainly something that can help us in recruiting against the top programs in Division III.”
The Cardinals enter the 2013 season ranked sixth out of 245 teams nationally by D3football.com, which also named offensive tackle Jace Werkheiser ’14 and defensive back Shane Dierking ’14 to its Preseason All-America Team. North Central received a No. 9 ranking in the Lindy’s Sports preseason Top 25 and was ranked No. 10 in the Preseason Top 25 released by The Sporting News. Dierking was named to the Lindy’s Sports Preseason All-America Team as well.