By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – Former Bay Port grads Cam Hackl (2016) and Ben Styczynski (2017) have each taken slightly different paths in their college football careers, but both have now found a home playing for St. Norbert College (SNC).
The junior Hackl had D1 interest after graduating from high school and eventually ended up at North Dakota State University (NDSU) before transferring to SNC last year.
Hackl played in all 10 games and recorded 13 total tackles, two of which were for a loss. He also registered 1.5 quarterback sacks.
“We have a lot of good defensive lineman here – basically six starters,” said Hackl, who is studying communications/media studies. “We rotate every drive – it’s really selfless of the d-line because we don’t really care who’s starting as long as it helps the team. We have a constant rotation so we stay fresh. It’s been great – I’m really glad that I ended up here. It wasn’t the right fit (at NDSU), so just to come here and have a group of guys that loves everyone else and treats everybody with respect, is a great feeling. I finally feel at home now.”
Fourth-year head coach Dan McCarty echoed those same thoughts.
“Cam has found a home here – we couldn’t be happier for him and what he has done for the team,” McCarty said. “We’re expecting big things from him this season.”
The sophomore Styczynski spent last year in a backup role but is hoping to make more of an impact this season. He rushed for 72 yards in his three games of varsity action, with a 6.5-yard average per carry.
“I played in the first two JV games last year and was starting to do pretty well,” said Styczynski, who is studying business administration. “I was also on the scout team for about half the year, trying to work my way up. Then I got some varsity time towards the end of the year and scored my first college touchdown, so that was cool. For this year, I hope to get more playing time and help out in any way I can.”
McCarty has also been impressed by Styczynski so far.
“Ben has had a good start to camp,” McCarty noted. “He’s a tough kid and will help us out for sure this year.”
Both players got off to good starts in St. Norbert’s 16-7 win over Aurora University Sept. 1.
Hackl had two tackles from his defensive line position, while Styczynski had 50 yards rushing on 10 carries. He had a long run of 28 yards in the second half.