The Albion College football team finished the spring season 3-0 as conference champions. After COVID-19 postponed the team’s usual fall season, a conference season was scheduled for the spring.
Despite the gratitude the team has at having the opportunity to play, the spring season brought challenges as well. Jacob Tietsma, a senior from Grass Lake, said that he felt some frustration.
“It was a frustrating spring. Having played Trine and having teams cancel or postpone games for the next three weeks was tough,” said Tietsma. “It says a lot about our team and how disciplined we were to not fold and keep doing the things we needed to do to get better every week, no matter if we knew we were going to have a game or not.”
Albion was supposed to play every school in the conference, but games with Hope College, Kalamazoo College and Alma College were canceled for various reasons.
Mitch Arendsen, a senior from Zeeland, said that he felt the same frustration as Tietsma with regard to other schools canceling games that were on the original season schedule.
“We all were disappointed in teams who decided to drop out of the season when other teams on the same campuses continued to play, but we did everything we needed all year to keep safe and put ourselves in a position to win,” said Arendsen.
Having just played a season of games this spring, players are questioning how this recent season will translate for the team in the fall.
In a typical year, springtime for football consists of no-pads practice and workouts. This year, however, playing a full season leaves athletes with less time to recover before the fall season. Thus, any serious injuries could keep an athlete out of the season in the fall.
“We’ll see about how it will work with the fall, but I don’t think the transition will be too different than previous years,” said Tietsma. “We’ve gotten to have spring ball in previous years, but this year was a lot more physical with real games.”
Drew Shafer, a senior from Springport, said that he feels that this spring season will be a good stepping stone for the fall.
“I feel like we all thought it was a great foundation for what we’re trying to achieve again in the fall, and hopefully we can keep that momentum going in the fall,” said Shafer
Players on the team said that they felt the team grew together through this spring season, and they’re hoping to use that growth to aid momentum this upcoming fall.
“Going into the fall we have gained so much chemistry as a team” said Arendsen. “This spring has brought us closer together and will help us overcome any adversity that we may face in the fall as we look to defend our title.”
Albion’s football team will be back to a normal season this fall and looks to continue the success they had this spring.