[Photos by Edward Carifio]
UW-Stout was 5-4 last year and 3-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Blue Devils are coached by Clayt Birmingham, who is the cousin of DeKalb football coach Matt Weckler.
"(Weckler and Birmingham) seemed so much alike to me. It still felt like home," Diaz said. "Some of the players I met there, they welcomed me there. ... Me and (Donahue) have known each other since the fifth grade, and that's my best friend. So that actually makes it more comfortable. It's a far ride from home, and that makes it seem more like home."
Donahue said the fact Diaz was heading there was a big boost.
"That really played a factor in it," Donahue said. "I feel much more comfortable now that I have a teammate there I've known for a long time. We're going to dominate up there."
Its not just familarity on their own sideline – when the Blue Devils play conference power Whitewater, they'll see familiar faces on that sideline as well.
Current teammate Dan Baggett announced his plans to play for the Warhawks back in February, and DeKalb grad Zuerek Day just finished his freshman season with the team, which has won 11 of the last 13 conference titles.
"Now that I know that Zuerek goes there, and Baggett goes there, and I'm going (to Stout), that's just more motivation to dominate," Diaz said. "I know they're conference champs, but I'm trying to end that streak."