Football looking ahead

The Colby Football Team is in the midst of preparing for another successful season on Mayflower Hill. After last year’s season, which saw the squad go 4-4 despite great offensive capability that led to an over 25-point score differential, the Mules are looking to improve and contend for the NESCAC title. The season opens September 20th against the Trinity College Bantams. The team is also eager to avenge last season’s Hail Mary loss to Bowdoin College after beating Bates College weeks earlier, thus costing them the Colby-Bowdoin-Bates Championship. However, the team only graduated three seniors last year, which should make for a successful season as they return many of their starters.

The boys know the trip to Hartford wont be for pleasure – it’ll be strictly business. Sophomore wide receiver Ryder Arsenault ’17, says, “It’s going be tough. Those guys are hard to beat at home. It’s their season opener too and we know they’ll pack the stands. However, we’ve been looking forward to it all summer and training with those guys in mind. It’s going to be a battle but we feel confident in our abilities and we are excited to go down there and show them what Colby Football is all about.”

The team was left with some uncertainty after Justin Ciero ’16, last year’s starting quarterback, transferred. However, those who truly bleed Mule blue and grey know that they have a secret weapon waiting in the wings in Gabe Harrington ’17. Harrington comes from the Southern California area – a breeding ground for blueblood quarterbacks – and has all the skills necessary to make big noise in his first season as a NESCAC starting quarterback.

Sophomore running back Jabari Hurdle-Price ’17 seems amped about the new season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. He says, “ We hired an entirely new offensive coordinator this offseason and he has implemented a brand new up-tempo offensive system. I’m stoked about it because it should take advantage of some of the speed we have on this team. Also, I know we can exploit many of the defenses on our schedule using it, since a lot of teams aren’t used to seeing an offense playing as quickly as we are attempting to run. It should allow us to get vertical in the passing game when defenses load up the box, but also throw short passes to some of our skill positions like Nick Joseph [’15] and Luke Duncklee [’15] and let them pick up yards after the catch when the defense shows blitz.”

Hurdle-Price ’17 says that the element that will set this team apart this season that hasn’t in years past is the feeling of family that they bring onto the gridiron. “We have twenty more seniors on the team this year that we didn’t have last year,” he says. “That alone is a huge change from last year, as it adds a ton of leadership. Furthermore, this year’s captains are simply outstanding on the field and in the locker room. We all know that with the leadership of safety Zack Padula ‘15, linebacker Hank Nelson ‘15, and offensive lineman Connor Clancy ’15 the Mules will be successful in not only in the game against Trinity, but throughout the season as well. The Mules’ home opener is on Saturday September 27 against the Middlebury Panthers.

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