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Hot Diggity Dog: Hungry students taste test competitive eating, hot dogs at team tryouts


UNK is adding another entrée to the menu of Loper athletics with a competitive eating team. With this sport available, the Lopers will be able to attract athletes from around the world who are looking to make a career for themselves in the sport.

UNK participants will be able to train together as a team and enter contests around the country individually in a partnership with Major League Eating. Some of the most famous Major League Eaters include Joey Chestnut, Matt Stonie, Miki Sudo and Michelle Lesco.

“I was still unsure of what college to attend, but with this news, UNK is definitely where I will be heading in the fall,” said Chuck Steak, an incoming freshman. “To compete against my idol Joey Chestnut is something that I have dreamt of my whole life. With training and support from the team at UNK, I think I will be able to take him down someday.”

UNK is hiring rising star Nick Wehry as head coach for the team. Wehry has competed in a variety of different food groups but is best known for eating 11 pounds of strawberry shortcake in just eight minutes.

“Being able to bring in somebody like Wehry is really, really massive for a new program like this,” said UNK athletic director Bark Mauer. “We are hopeful that he will be able to take this team to new heights and develop pro eaters that will be able to eat really, really, really massive amounts of food for years to come.”

Wehry has expressed his excitement to come to Nebraska and put the sport on the map in the state. 

“I’ve done a few corn on the cob competitions in my day, so Nebraska seems like the perfect place to transition to,” Wehry said. “I was surprised when I got here that the entire state wasn’t just cornfields, but that just means there’s even more food options for us to choose from! I’m hoping that my arrival at UNK will help get more people from the state invested in the world of competitive eating.”

Loper students have expressed interest in the sport for many years and now they’ll finally get to add it to their plates.

“I was so excited to hear this news,” said Franky Bratwurst, a sophomore at UNK. “I have always chewed my hot dogs, but just from talking to the coaches, I’ve learned that I’ll have to use a different tactic to be successful in this sport. I’m ready to start plunging them in water and jamming those savory dogs down my throat. I will do whatever it takes to win.”

While cost concerns may be on the mind of many Loper supporters, UNK has a plan in place that they hope will get the job done.

“Not only will this sport bring us new student-athletes that are looking to make a name for themselves in the MLE, but it will be cost-efficient,” Mauer said. “We already have a state-of-the-art training facility for them with The Graze in the Nebraska Student Union, especially now with Gordon Ramsay as the head chef.”

Athletes will be considered by the coaching staff after they prove capable of devouring an assortment of hot dogs, chicken wings and donuts.

Look for the UNK competitive eating team to begin training in the fall semester of 2022.

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KEVIN BURD, Sports Edior
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