By David Roberts
It’s been 658 days. That is how long it has been since the College has played in a regular season football game. The team has practiced patience and perseverance throughout the past year and a half in hopes of returning to the gridiron. Now, it is time for the Lions to get this season started.
The Lions have had a strong offseason in 2021. Iron sharpened iron in the spring with the Blue and Gold game, an intersquad scrimmage held at the Lions Den. The College also traveled out to the nation's capitol to scrimmage against the Catholic University of America, where there were strong performances all around.
This momentum carried into the summer during August camp where the buzz about a regular season was felt in returning members and new recruits alike. Senior captain Nick Celli, economics major, said that the team’s energy is sitting at “an all time high.”
“Since being at the College, I think this group has the most energy and everyone is hyped to be back to playing a regular season,” he said. “Our confidence is high and we all are aware of what we can accomplish this season. Everyone is brought in to our process and the young players have quickly adapted to the way we do things here.”
The Lions have a lot to look forward to this season, with their roster consisting of veteran upperclassmen such as linebacker Malcolm Henry, communications major, and quarterback Dave Jachera, marketing major. But there are a few promising new additions to the team, such as defensive back Ryan McKinney and running back Jayson Schmidt.
“The team’s strong suit is the veteran presence we have,” Henry said. “We have a strong mix of seniors and juniors but at the same time, we have some young guns that are in the mix and are contributing.”
Starting quarterback Dave Jachera gave insight to the strong leadership found within the team.
“We have leaders on both sides of the ball with strong voices that the team looks up to,” he said. “We have three defensive captains, Gavin Liepe, Nick Celli and Mike Siwak, who all play a huge role in our defense. On the offensive side we have James Marcheski and myself that take the leadership role.”
Jachera said the team also has players that do not have the “C” on their chest, but are still great leaders on and off the field — which is why he believes the team will be successful this season.