Lily Ives ‘23
After an intense and sweltering preseason under the fiery Hartford summer sun, the Trinity College football team stands ready to furiously storm into the 2022 season to reclaim the top spot in the NESCAC league. For the Trinity Bantams it all kick-offs in Medford, Massachusetts, with the first game of the season versus NESCAC foe Tufts University.
Unlike other fall sports teams at Trinity, the majority of which began competition within the first week of September, the football team had to anxiously wait until September 17th for their first contest. While training and preparing, the football Bants were also able to find time to watch and loudly cheer on their fellow Bantam fall sports teams with great enthusiasm. Now, finally, it’s their turn, as their great wait to compete has arrived. Bantam football fans are gearing up for an entertaining and successful season ahead in the highly competitive NESCAC league.
Having watched other fall sports begin competition weeks ago, senior offensive lineman Matthew Almansi exclaimed, “though it sometimes almost makes me impatient to see other sports teams already competing, I think the wait makes our team even more energetic and hungry this season to begin competing for a NESCAC title.” The Trinity College football team ended their 2021 campaign with an 8-1 record, leaving them in second place in the NESCAC rankings. Their one loss came against the Williams College Ephs, who went on to claim the NESCAC title. The Bantams clinched the NESCAC title three years in a row in 2016, 2017, and 2018—and have claimed the title an impressive 15 times in total. But you know what they say, the most rewarding win is always the next one, and, to that point, the Bants are hungry to claim their 16th title and add it to their belt this season.
Seniors Matthew Almansi, Ryan Wiley, and Joseph Lepore all spoke of the high hopes the team has for this season, building on the immense talent, grit, and energy that the squad brings to the field. Lepore discussed the depth and experience that this year’s roster has when he said, “we have tons of returners coming back, including graduate students, so leadership and experience have been a strong suit of the team.” The Bantams have five graduate students competing this season, as well as 21 returning seniors, which makes for an extremely deep and experienced roster. The Bantams are not only armed with experience but great talent as well, as they return an impressive seven All-NESCAC First Team honorees, featuring graduate students Noah Glantz, Aidan Kennedy, Brian Casagrande, and Devante Reid, as well as seniors Kyle Woodring, Rob Mihaly, and Spencer Fetter. Senior quarterback Spencer Fetter returns following a standout 2021 season; in his first collegiate season, he led the nation in completion percentage, and led the NESCAC in pass completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and pass efficiency.
Senior offensive lineman Ryan Wiley reflected on the team’s preseason which started in late August, stating, “You could feel the energy on the first day of practice. Everyone came back to campus ready for another great season. There is certainly unfinished business from last season, which makes practice just that much more intense, hype, and exciting.” Almansi added to Wiley’s enthusiasm, stating, “We came into preseason with extremely high expectations of ourselves to compete for a NESCAC title. The talent, experience, and grit are promising, and we are getting better every day!”
The Trinity College football team has certainly put in the work this preseason on and off the field as well as in the weight room with head strength coach Bill Delongis. With the immense depth, talent, and drive that this team possesses, the Bantams have one thing on their minds: another NESCAC title.
The incredible talent across the NESCAC league presents a tremendous challenge to all teams. The Trinity College football team certainly has their work cut out for them this season, but their talent, focus, and intensity should give Bantam fans everywhere high hopes for a tremendous season ahead. After the opener at Tufts, the first home game for the Bantams takes place during Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, September 24th at 1:30 p.m. on the Jessee/Miller Field at the Tansill Muldoon Stadium. Roll Bants!