NESCAC announced fall sports will be making its return during the Fall 2021 semester. Middlebury football finally has a chance to defend its 2019 conference title.
The Panthers went undefeated at 9-0 and claimed the NESCAC title to themselves. In 2020, the conference canceled all fall sports due to the pandemic.
At the end of the 2019 season, the Middlebury football team was the only division III program in the country to remain undefeated.
Head coach Bob Ritter is eager for his team to get back out there and get a chance to play again. “I think our guys are incredibly excited and can’t wait to get going. It seems like forever since we’ve played” said Ritter.
Having the 2020 season wiped put a lot into perspective for athletes. “I think with the loss of last season, people understand that we get to do this. It’s a privilege and an honor. The guys are really excited to get back at it” Ritter added.
The Panthers 2021 schedule has already been released. Middlebury is expected to play nine games. The Panthers open the season on the road at Williams on Saturday, September 18. Midd returns to Youngman Field on Saturday, September 25 for its home opener against Bates. Coach Ritter noted that he’s excited for the team to release their first game jitters.
“That first play is what I’m looking forward to. That sense of anticipation and the nerves everyone has in their stomach. Once the game starts, it all dissipates. We’re focused on winning. I think seeing that first play on Youngman Field will be a really big moment” said Ritter.
Players return to Middlebury’s campus on Thursday, August 26th to begin preseason training.