Four years ago, 13 of the Springfield College football team’s players stepped onto Alden Street wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to face the wonder that was life away from home.
Fast forward to this coming Saturday and those 13 young men will be playing on Stagg Field for the last time.
“Four years ago this was something so distant for these guys,” said coach Mike DeLong. “We are honoring 13 guys…it’s an accomplishment to last four years.”
The players will be honored before the game in a ceremony that will involve both the players and their parents for their commitment to the program during their time on Alden Street. As of now, DeLong will ensure that everything is business as usual on Saturday despite the added emotion. Everything right down to the coin flip.
Senior captains Duke Ekblom and Mike McDonald have been at every coin toss this season, but when asked if he has any special plans for the seniors, DeLong was a bit incredulous.
“I had honestly never even thought of that,” laughed DeLong when asked if he would send out all thirteen for the coin flip. “Who knows, though, maybe I’ll try something new. I’d never even considered that.”
Ekblom, McDonald, Andy Bean, Mike Davis, Phil Baier, Brian Staub, T.J. DeMartino, Kevin Shields, Joel Altavesta, Mike Escalante, Ricky Peacock, Brian Cupole and Grantham Raymond will be honored.