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UNK ‘hangs 10’ with plans for new surfing team

Students brought out the waterworks as they navigated their way through social distancing measures. 

UNK athletics is adding a surfing program to the list of sports offered on campus. The program will be unique for the region, as no other MIAA conference teams currently compete in surfing. 

The athletic department could not be more excited about this opportunity.

“This sport will bring a new culture to the UNK campus,” said Athletic Director Bark Meower. “I recently took a trip to Florida where I saw all of these surfers having a good time, and I thought that their energy was exactly what we needed on our campus.”

UNK has already hired their new head coach, esteemed action movie hero and notable deus ex machina David Hasselhoff, to lead the program. They are reportedly in talks to hire Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario as assistant coaches. 

“We originally tried to get Dwayne Johnson to coach the team, but he declined due to the fact that he’s already involved in the athletic world as a co-owner of the XFL,” Meower said. “We are so glad that we were able to get our second choice in Coach Hasselhoff.”

When he got the call, Hasselhoff was filming a movie overseas in Europe. He could not believe the uniqueness of a team in the midwest starting a surfing program. 

“When Meower called me, I knew that this was going to be my next true calling in my life,” Hasselhoff said. “I immediately dropped everything and quit the movie I was working on because this offer intrigued me so much.”

UNK’s biggest struggle with this program is finding adequate practice facilities to hone their skills. They currently have secured Johnson Lake as one place to practice and are looking into practicing at Island Oasis in Grand Island.

“The trick at Johnson Lake will be getting the boats to make waves large enough to stimulate the ocean,” Hasselhoff said. “This is why Island Oasis would be a lot more convenient as they have a wave machine already installed there. We’re really hoping that deal goes through.”

Hasselhoff will start recruiting immediately by targeting Florida and California as recruiting pipelines for the team, but he won’t be afraid to find surfers elsewhere. The team will still look towards the UNK student body for most of their roster this upcoming year. They will be holding tryouts on April 20 at Johnson Lake. 

“I totally feel confident in my surfing skills, and I think Coach Hasselhoff will be a great mentor for me to further my career,” said Jackson Sanny, a sophomore studying bodybuilding. “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to surf on a team here in the midwest and now I will finally get my chance.”

The team will mainly compete in various surf meets and tournaments in California and Florida. UNK will compete against teams such as Florida International, Florida Atlantic, San Diego State, Monmouth, UCSB, and the University of Miami. The team’s schedule is also highlighted by an international competition in Mexico on June 19 featuring surfers from all over the world. 

“It has always been a dream of mine to surf in the Gulf of Mexico and now I finally get to live out that dream thanks to the UNK athletic department,” Sanny said. 

UNK’s fans will also appreciate this new sport as they will get to watch the Lopers compete in many tropical areas. This will make it easier for them to choose their vacation destinations. 

“This program will bring something to UNK that our fans can appreciate, and it’s a program that’s not seen anywhere else in our region,” Meower said. “It’s a great opportunity for the university and the best part about it .”

The first meet will take place on May 9 in Miami Beach, Florida with the team traveling to San Diego, California to compete a week later on May 16.

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GRANT TIGHE, Sports Editor
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