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Article – Crush suffer playoff defeat

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Written by danielmullen

August 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm

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Written by danielmullen

July 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm

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Article – Crush show grit, but lose to defending NEFL champs

Written by danielmullen

June 15, 2011 at 1:30 am

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ArticleCrush Comeback Attempt Falls Short in Loss to Force

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June 10, 2011 at 8:01 pm

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Article: Crush Win Conference Opener

Written by danielmullen

May 17, 2011 at 1:14 am

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Inside Eau Claire

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For Crush, community precedes football

By Dan Mullen and Cory Bhend

The Eau Claire Crush, a non-profit organization, was founded on the idea of community: the Crush would provide entertainment for the Eau Claire/Chippewa area people while giving back to the community. Five years later, the team has not strayed from its goal.

“I came into (the Crush) just because I wanted to continue playing football,” said third year linebacker Nate Kirkpatrick. “I stuck with this team specifically because we are so involved in the community . . . it’s more than football with this team.”

Community events include Game Day Charities where the Crush donate money to selected local charities. These charities include Big Brothers Big Sisters, REACH, Disabled American Veterans, Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin, and United Cerebral Palsy. Six of these events are scheduled for 2011.

“We got that reputation early on that we had community involvement and it was going to be about more than just playing football,” said Kirkpatrick. “Eau Claire is a great football town and we get really good support from the community.”

However, great football towns don’t just expect community involvement; they expect great football too. The Crush began its inaugural 2007 season in the Great Plains Football League (GPFL), finishing the season as Eastern Conference Champions and runner-up in the GPFL championship. In 2008, the Crush joined with seven other teams to form the Northern Elite Football League (NEFL) and have remained in the league ever since.

“The NEFL has done a phenomenal job of bringing in teams that are all competitive,” said Kirkpatrick.

One obstacle facing the Crush is its players’ availability as many of the players are married and have jobs, said head coach Fred Hoversholm.

“Guys at this level are married; they have kids; they have jobs; they’re going to school and things like that,” said Hoversholm. “So every practice. . . we really don’t know who is going to be there.”

Despite the player-shuffling and uneven practice time, the Crush has remained competitive and successful, finishing the 2010 season 5-5. The team looks forward to an even more successful 2011 campaign, with new additions like Jake Setzer. The linebacker from Stanley Boyd said he was looking to keep competition and camaraderie part of his life.

“I was looking for a team that focuses on family,” said Setzer. “I like having a good atmosphere when I play football. It makes me want to come to practice and work even harder.”

The Crush finished the 2011 preseason 1-1 with a 14-0 win over the Kimberly Storm and a 7-6 loss to the River City Rough Riders, formerly of the North American Football League.

The Crush regular season kicks-off Saturday, May 14, against the Central Wisconsin Spartans.

Written by danielmullen

May 16, 2011 at 8:52 am

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Crush Come Close in Loss to Rough Riders

By Dan Mullen

LA CROSSE, Wis., May 7, 2011 – The Eau Claire Crush finished the preseason an even 1-1 after losing 7-6 to the River City Rough Riders, formerly of the North American Football League.

The game, played at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, was close to the end, as the Crush missed a late field goal that would have won the game.

“We moved the ball down and had saved our last timeout for a field goal,” said head coach Fred Hoversholm. “We had it set up the way we wanted it but we just missed the field goal.”

Hoversholm said his team’s defense kept them in the game, as the Crush was able to adapt to River City’s changing offense.

“The defense was stellar. They (Rough Riders) hurt us a bit on the under passes so we went into a different coverage and took that away,” said Hoversholm. “We were able to adjust and our defense really kept us in the game.”

Playing part in that stellar defense was Nate Kirkpatrick, who had four tackles (1 TFL) and an interception, which included a 27-yard return. Kirkpatrick (LB) said he was fortunate on the interception, as the Crush called a perfect defense.

“We were playing zone coverage and I was just at the right place at the right time,” said Kirkpatrick. “It just kind of came right to me. But we take pride in creating turnovers and I can’t say enough about how the defense played today.”

The offense seems to still be a work in progress. As opposed to last week, when Brian Pinno got the majority of the snaps, Justin Marion played most of the game this week, completing 4-13 passes for 34 yards.

Hoversholm said the team wanted to see both quarterbacks before making a decision.

“We wanted to switch it up,” said Hoversholm. “But we haven’t decided who will be our number one will be next week.”

Although it was a tough loss, many of the Crush players took positives from the game, including Derrick Swanigan (OL, DL, OL coach), who recorded a sack and forced a fumble.

“I think we played our hearts out man,” said Swanigan. I love these guys to death and I think we do a great job at practice and I think we did an exceptional job on the field today.”

Andy Allison (RB, WR) scored the lone Crush touchdown on a 10-yard run. Joe Poehls (LB, FB) led the Crush with 13 tackles (2 TFL).

The Crush will open the NEFL regular season Saturday, May 14, against the Central Wisconsin Spartans. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. in Schofield, Wis.

Written by danielmullen

May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

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