Daily Chronicle sports reporter Jeremy Werner caught up with Northern Illinois tight end Jason Schepler, a Sycamore graduate, to talk about Friday’s DeKalb-Sycamore game, Spartans football, his volleyball-playing sister Justine and Huskies football.
Werner: Let’s get right to it. Who wins the Castle Challenge (DeKalb vs. Sycamore football at Huskie Stadium tonight)?
Schepler: Sycamore, man. Sycamore, no doubt.
Werner: Have you seen them play yet?
Schepler: I haven’t had a chance to. But I talked to coach (Joe) Ryan a little bit, and he’s excited about them. I read the paper, and they seem to be firing on all cylinders. It’s fun to hear about it.
Werner: What has coach Ryan told you about this team?
Schepler: It’s a fast group of kids doing the right things. It’s exciting. I know (Sycamore grads and NIU freshmen) C.J. (Compher) and Marckie (Hayes) have been able to get out there. Hopefully one of these days I can go out there because I want to see them play really bad.
Werner: I know you’ve seen some NIU volleyball games too with your sister Justine being a freshman on the team.
Schepler: Yup. I’ve been to about three or four of them so far, and they’re still undefeated, so that’s awesome. It’s a really good team. They all communicate really well, and they’re all selfless. They don’t complain about playing time. There’s a lot of freshmen playing, and they don’t complain about it. They just do their jobs and that’s why they’re successful.
Werner: How’s your sister playing?
Schepler: She’s doing good. They brought her in to serve a couple times, and I know one game she got three aces in a row. I was going crazy.
Werner: How’s she adapting to college life?
Schepler: She’s doing pretty good. I stay home, and she stays in the dorms. She came home over the weekend, and I was helping her out with her homework. She likes it. She’s getting used to it.
Werner: What were your impressions from the Iowa State game?
Schepler: I think we just got to pick up on the little things. If you look at the film, we didn’t do very well in third-down situations. We just want that one extra thing on that third down, and I think it would have been a totally different game.
Werner: The coaches had good things to say about the tight ends. What were guys able to accomplish on Thursday?
Schepler: I don’t know if we had any mental errors, maybe just one or two. That’s one of the things that I know was one of my goals this year, was not to have many mental errors in games. I kind of worked on that through the fall camp, and I think the tight ends as a whole have done a better job of learning the position. We’re just trying to learn what we need to do and get better at technique.
Werner: This next game against North Dakota looks like a big one because it is at home and before you head to two Big Ten opponents over the next two weeks.
Schepler: We got to win this game. It’s the most important game right now because it’s the next game. We’re preparing like it’s the most important game of the year. We just got to stay excited through the whole game. We got to come out pumped up, and I’m really looking forward to playing this first game at home.