Football Continues To Prep For Colby Mules

By Colin Ruane: Sports Writer

After last year's 5-3 record the Bantam Battalion has high aspirations for the 1998 football season. Despite the small numbers the platoon makes up for it with their enthusiasm and tremendous intensity.

The annual Blue-Gold scrimmage has all the flavor of a regular game with a little added punch. For those Trinity sports fans unfamiliar with this traditional exhibition match, the Blue and Gold Game is a "dry-run" for the Bantam squad before the official start of the season. It's the first opportunity for the soldiers of fortune to convince the coaches that they posses the skills and confidence of battle. As a result, competition among teammates is heightened.

Before Trinity is sent to take on the NESCAC, the coaches organize this scrimmage which faces the two practice teams, "Blue" (offense) and "gold" (defense) against each other. In the end, the first offense is matched up against the second defense and vice versa. After weeks of practicing with each other and running plays that will be used in the upcoming season, the players are tested in a final inter-squad scrimmage. For the players, the Blue and Gold game serves as a chance to use the plays and positions they have been going over and learning since early August.

Officials were present on the field and were used to regulate play. However, any penalties called during the game were waived, allowing the players to acknowledge their mistakes. As a result, the players get the feel of an actual scheduled game.

The intensity and enthusiasm that the team puts into a regular season game was displayed during the Blue and Gold game. This was most likely a result of the thick competition to fill the empty spots on the roster

Although the public was welcome to watch the inter-squad scrimmage, the most interested spectators were the coaches. The scrimmage helped to put the many hours of practice into perspective. The Blue and Gold game gives the Trinity coaches a chance to analyze the progress of the team, watching closely how well plays are executed. The scrimmage also allows the coaches to see whether defensive and offensive positioning is correct.

Head Coach Don Miller commented, "It's just too early for judgement", but Assistant Coach Steve Fountain added after the game that the coaching staff found one particular aspect that needed some work—the Center-QB exchange. There were a number of fumbles generated by the exchange that must be eliminated prior to the opening of the '98 season. On the other hand, a pleasing aspect of the game particularly was the absence of any serious injuries after the game.

With the Blue and Gold game behind them, the Bantams must concentrate on the task at hand—to improve on their record of 5 and 3 from last year's season. Considering the fact that last year's team was fairly young, the Bantams are depending on the potentially dangerous combination of veteran experience and the impressive talent of the many younger members of the team to take them to the top of the NESCAC.

The offense that has been introduced this year will rely heavily on the ability of the quarterbacks Greg Wysocki '00 or Liam McNeilly '00 to pass the ball successfully and to establish themselves as a threat through the air amongst opposing teams.

Last year's loss to Wesleyan was a rarity over past seasons and the Bantams plan on using that reminder as motivation to improve on last year's record and hopefully complete another winning season. The Bants will scrimmage Bates at Harvard on Saturday.

NOTE: This document belongs to the Trinity College Tripod. I am storing it here because the Tripod doesn't keep an archive of past articles.