Looking Back: Biggest thing this team accomplished was getting back into the minds of the people of Worcester and Central Mass. Ten wins, beating UConn, Polar Park game all led to this. There should be no complaints about this season.
Looking Ahead: Biggest challenge will be keeping the coaching staff together. No secret HC pays their assistants peanuts. That has to change. Success will lead to some people leaving but you have to keep the young coaches (who are excellent) there to keep the pipeline intact. The AD hiring is huge to make sure continuity is there in the football staff.
Very slim possibility to keep Chesney here long-term. His name and reputation are out there going back to Assumption. But you can make it a difficult decision to leave.
Looking forward to 2022. This should be a pre-season Top 15, Top 20 at a minimum, team. Lots of talent returning and ready to fill gaps.
In my opinion, the biggest question mark on the roster for next year is the defensive line. To my knowledge, all 3 starters are graduating and need to be replaced. In addition, we are replacing one steering CB (Smith) and one starting LB (Anderson). Thankfully, I think Spence and Doran likely take over their starting positions. I would also like to see us get bigger on the back end and we have some sophomores and juniors who should be bigger contributors at safety next year and will hopefully gain some valuable game experience. It will be interesting to see which freshmen and sophomores make the biggest jump in the spring.
Post by fillfittonfield on Dec 4, 2021 18:52:49 GMT -5
Great memories! I will cherish them all and hope you will as well. Beating UCONN on the road (and avenging our loss down there a few years back). Beating Yale at the Bowl (a big deal for me as this is something we haven’t done very often). The Polar Park game under the lights. Clinching the PL at Fordham. Playing football into December on a national stage.
Just as important, seeing our team improve as the season progressed and watching them “enjoy the ride” throughout this magical season. A wonderful group of players and coaches that made us all proud.
I’ll admit, I am one who doesn’t “look ahead” very often. For me, “the past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift, that’s why the call it The Present.’”
With that said, I will admit that I have a curiosity about what lies ahead for HC football that I haven’t had before. Some of it has to do with a topic that we haven’t talked about very often: depth.
I think one of the best parts of our team is the depth it showed this year, particularly at key positions. We had depth at RB (Oliver and Purdy were a strong 1 and 2, but Forrest impresses me as well). We had depth at WR (we lost Gilliam midway through the season and didn’t really miss a beat). The O Line played more players than I have ever seen a D 1 team play and performed well overall.
Depth is critical because when you play an FBS school, you need more than a few great players if you want to pull the upset. Otherwise, you will just get worn down come the 4th Q.
The “bonus year” that players are granted by the NCAA will provide HC and the PL something they never truly have had before: 5th year players. Yes, I know we’ve had 5th year players in the past, but that’s when those players got a medical redshirt.
If we are able to keep some of our special talent for an additional year, I think we will be in a better position to compete with the FBS teams on our future schedules, as well as any CAA schools we run into in the coming years (like URI).
Perhaps experiencing success with inspire TPTB at all the PL schools to reconsider our terrible league rules on roster limits and redshirting….
Post by cruskater31 on Dec 6, 2021 13:41:48 GMT -5
After the "this is not a Patriot League Team" comment from the Villanova game, what are the chances we leave the PL for football (at least). We have conquered the mountain (or side hill) that is PL football and are ready for another challenge which could help recruit players necessary to go deep in the FCS playoffs.
1. CAA not going to call. What? Based on 1 game or even 3 championships? Nope. 2. We are an academics first institution and not going to leave the PL in the lurch. 3. The HC TPTB like what their perceive as like-minded institutions, most of whom are about the same size.
Post by cruskater31 on Dec 6, 2021 15:06:09 GMT -5
I like the idea of a conference with say some of the following: UNH, Maine, UMass, UConn, Albany, URI, SBU, Fordham, Colgate, Monmouth, Villanova, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, maybe Bryant. We could play the Ancient 8 like-minded institutions for non-conference games. Play an FBS game each year. Love to get Army on the schedule. I think the aforementioned conference is stronger than both the NEC and PL and might be just a step below the CAA at it's peak, but could be the best in the East.