Monmouth University begins delayed football season against Robert Morris March 13
Normally it would be 90 degrees during Monmouth University football training camp, but the season was delayed because of the pandemic. The team says that navigating the preseason in the winter weather is the new normal as the team prepares.
“Having preseason in the winter is different. Normally we’re worried about cooling the players down and we have ice baths for them after practice,” says head coach Kevin Callahan. “Now we’re worried about keeping them warm and retaining the body heat. But whatever adversity the snow has brought, our players have handled it extremely well.”
Callahan is entering his 28th season as head coach of the Hawks. He has eight starters back on offense and nine back on defense. But the team hasn’t played an actual game in nearly 450 days.
“It’s just really terrific to be outside after shutting down last spring. And then we had limited practice in the fall. Just to see the guys out here again practicing, you can tell they are really excited about it,” Callahan says.
The majority of FCS conferences and schools elected to push their football season to the spring with modified schedules. Monmouth will play four games against Big South opponents.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for FCS football as a whole. A lot of people don’t get the opportunity that we’re getting today, especially from my team. Obviously for everyone that’s playing outside today, we’re making history,” says senior Justin Terry.
There will be a 16-team playoff with a national championship to be held in May. Conference winners get automatic bids. While Monmouth is the defending Big South champion, the players say that they are leaving this in the past.
“It’s always 1-0. Obviously four games, we have to win every single one. We’re not looking too far ahead,” says senior AJ Farris. “We’re not dwelling on stuff from two years ago and the championship. We’re just focused on Robert Morris right now, what’s ahead of us.”
Monmouth was picked to finish first in the Big South Spring Football Preseason Poll.
The Hawks will play Robert Morris on March 13.