2021 Football Junior Journalism Program

Junior Journalism is a program for girls and boys 5th through 8th grade. Indiana Sports Corp selected 15 students to participate. 14 students were paired with one Big Ten University and one was paired with the Big Ten Conference Office. Students were required to write an article featuring the assigned University's football team, which included conducting research, interviews and any necessary work to complete the article below.

Big Ten Conference Office

Junior Journalist: Prudence Peng, Sycamore School 
Imagine you are in a position setting up a football game, not just any football game, but a football game in which the winning team earns the honor to play in one of the six bowls that comprise the College Football Playoff, including the Rose Bowl Game? Well, that is 1 exactly what happens every year in the Big Ten Football which is organized and supported by a talented team of dedicated and hard working staff. Read more


Junior Journalist: Paul Schoettmer, South Decatur Junior Senior High School 
When looking at the Illinois Fighting Illini football team this season, you might notice two players that look similar. Chase and Sydney Brown are identical twins hailing from London, Canada that have been impactful leaders for both sides of the ball. Chase is a dominant running back, posting multiple 200 plus rushing yard games, and Sidney is a key piece being a great secondary, with two forced fumbles on the season. This article will show you what you may and may not know about the twins. Read more


Junior Journalist: Dillon Powell, Westfield Intermediate School 
Life for college football players is different than how you expect even now in covid. I interviewed college football player Dylan Powell (my name is also Dillon Powell) and learned so very much from him. I am only 11, far from being in college and knew what it was like, and then after interviewing college football player Dylan Powell I realized it is very different then what you would expect. Read more


Junior Journalist: Kate Lowry, Christ The King Catholic School
"There's so many little things we can do better, and if we can do that, we'll become a better team." Coach Kirk Ferentz said this after the Penn State win on Oct. 12, 2021. Read more


Junior Journalist: Erin Kihiu, New Palestine Junior High School 
The University of Michigan football team has had a very strong 2021-2022 season. Their 8-1 overall record, and 5-1 Big Ten Conference record, are a very evident sign of this. Throughout the last few weeks there has been much talk about who is in the College Football Playoff Picture. The teams that are at the top right now as of Week 10 is No.1 is Georgia, No.2 is Alabama, No.3 is Michigan State, and No.4 is Oregon. Michigan is ranked No.7 but with 3 games to go before the final playoff rankings come out there is the possibility of Michigan qualifying for the Postseason. Read more

Michigan State 

Junior Journalist: Emily Williams, Franklin Central Jr. High 
Imagine; your heart is pounding as you prepare for the game ahead. You’re waiting to run out of a tunnel and enter the field where over 70,000 fans are watching in the stands. That's what tight end Connor Heyward, quarterback Payton Thorne, and wide receiver Jayden Reed do every game day. This year, the Michigan State Spartans had an outstanding streak in the Big 10 football tournament. Read more


Junior Journalist: Shayen Maun, Sycamore School 
Chris Autman-Bell is a Minnesota Golden Gopher wide receiver who has had tremendous success in his first three years of play. In his freshman year, he had 28 receptions for 449 yards. That is an average of about 16 yards per reception, something that you don’t regularly see even in the NFL. He only got better in his sophomore year with 28 receptions, 371 yards, and 5 touchdowns. These are very impressive stats for a two-year wide receiver. Again, he improved even more through his junior year. Though he played only a seven game season due to COVID 19 stunting the season, he still managed to have 22 receptions for 430 yards and one touchdown. He was on track to get 676 yards that year, an amazing number to have as a junior. Read more


Junior Journalist: Camden Spears, Brownsburg East Middle School 
Some people may think that playing sports is all fun and games. I think there are a number of lessons learned while participating in sports. Like developing good practice habits, keeping priorities straight while sacrificing time and energy, learning to work with others while sharing credit and realizing that you will not always win and that is okay because you will develop relationships along the way that can lead to places you never imagined. In this article about the Nebraska football program, I hope to detail the topics of relationships, preparation and realization. Read more


Junior Journalist: Ethan Kihiu, New Palestine Intermediate 
Northwestern will be hosting the Wildcat Classic football game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Wrigley Field, in Chicago, Illinois. Although this is the first year there will be a Wildcat Classic, it has been anticipated by fans and sports networks for weeks now. People have been scheduling time and buying tickets to watch the game. Before everyone gets so excited, let us review how these teams’ season has been so far. Read more


Junior Journalist: Quinn Hostettler, Christ The King Catholic School 
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a student athlete playing on the football team for Purdue University? I sure did, so I talked with Andrew Sowinski, freshman wide receiver at Purdue, and learned the requirements of being a student athlete never end. Whether having good time management skills or preparing for the big game, being a student athlete is serious business. Read more


Junior Journalist: Kira Lee, Christ The King Catholic School 
11 weeks into the football season, things seemed pretty impossible at that point for the Scarlet Knights. Multiple defensive players had been injured, and it was time for some players to step up to this challenge of defense. Two of those players were Tyreen Powell, a freshman player, and Drew Singleton, a linebacker. In the game the Knights played against Indiana University, the Knights powered through the difficulties and won the game. Read more