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North Dakota looking for a big year from Shaugabay
Growing up in Warroad, Minn., Adam Shaugabay had to play hockey.
“You have to play hockey,” Shaugabay said. “It’s in your blood up there. You’re so close to Canada and the (hockey) stick factory is there, too. As a little kid, you grew up watching the Warroad Warriors going to state and winning hockey championships with guys like T.J. Oshie.
“But I played a lot of football, too.”
And football earned Shaugabay a scholarship at UND, where the 6-foot-1, 202-pound junior is working to see more playing time as the Sioux prepare for the Big Sky Conference in the fall.
He’ll likely be on special teams in the fall as he was last season. But he also may see more time at tailback or even at fullback, a position he is learning during the spring season.
“We’re trying to see where Adam fits in,” UND coach Chris Mussman said. “He’s taking reps at tailback. He’s physical and he’s not afraid of contact so we’ve been giving him some reps at fullback the past few weeks.
“He’s pretty elusive. Our guys are having a tough time bringing him down.”
During Wednesday’s practice at Memorial Stadium, Shaugabay was productive during the live session. He picked up a 12-yard gain on his first carry with the No. 2 offense. He followed with a 3-yard gain and a 2-yard touchdown as the second-team offense capped a six-play, 40-yard drive.
Shaugabay said it doesn’t matter where he plays.
“Wherever they say,” he said. “I want to help wherever I can. I’ll do my best to help this team win games because it was fun last year.
“I’m looking forward for us to win some games and surprise everybody in the Big Sky. I just don’t want other teams to overlook us. If we carry over what we did at the end of last season to this season, we’ll be fine.”
UND’s offense was much better during Wednesday’s practice than it was 48 hours earlier.
“It was a much better day offensively,” Mussman said. “They were browbeaten in meetings after Monday’s practice. But that’s what usually happens; guys have some pride and they respond. Our tempo was much better today.”
UND will practice again Friday before holding its second scrimmage of the spring season Saturday.
Shaugabay likely will get reps at both tailback and fullback. He’s come a long way from his hockey days.
“I was a right winger and probably could have played juniors somewhere,” Shaugabay said. “But I preferred to get a scholarship and get my schooling done as soon as possible.
“Now, I eat and sleep Sioux football.”
By: Wayne Nelson, Grand Forks Herald