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The Chargers will host their annual offense vs. defense scrimmage this Sat­urday.
Hannah Cote | Col­legian

Hillsdale College football fans will get their first oppor­tunity to watch Charger football this fall at the inter­squad scrimmage on Sat­urday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. at the Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium.

Although this scrimmage nor­mally takes place during the team’s spring season, it was moved to the fall in order to work around COVID-19 schedule restruc­turing.

With the G‑MAC deciding to postpone all games to the spring of 2021, this will be the only fan event for the football team this year. The official season begins on Mar. 13, 2021, when the Chargers will host the Uni­versity of Findlay at 4 p.m.

Although this has been an unprece­dented season, head football coach Keith Otterbien said he is proud of the way his team has been han­dling the many changes.

“They’ve been unbe­lievable,” Otterbien said. “We had no idea whether or not they would come back and practice, and they have been phe­nomenal in their ability to adapt and adjust to the dif­ferent changes throughout the fall.”

Unlike recent sporting events, the scrimmage has not yet been can­celled and is open to all stu­dents and their fam­ilies. 

“It’s our typical spring game,” Otterbien said. “It’s a cul­mi­nation of 14 pre­vious prac­tices. We’re just going to take sit­u­a­tions as they come. We’re cov­ering a lot of sit­u­a­tions cur­rently, in practice. We’re hitting some third downs, we’re hitting some red zones. It’s about getting the flow of playing the game in front of fans.” 

As special as it will be for Otterbien and the rest of the staff to do some game-sit­u­ation drills, this will be the closest players will come to an actual game this fall. Junior tight end Joey Brenner spoke on the adjustment to a new season and the impor­tance of the scrimmage. 

“It’s been weird adjusting to things like not being able to share waters and wear masks, but it’s def­i­nitely worth it to play football,” Brenner said. “We’ll get pretty com­pet­itive, and playing against your friends is a lot of fun. Usually the grad­uated seniors are gone, but we have freshmen and fifth years.”

Junior offensive lineman Jack McCarthy also touched on the impor­tance of this type of scrimmage to the team. 

“In the spring it’s more so for the young guys to learn to learn the offense and defense because in the fall they don’t get to learn as much during scout practice,” McCarthy said. “In our case, we haven’t played football since last fall, so having the team to get back in the swing of things, as well as fixing things from last season, is super ben­e­ficial.” 

As the Chargers head into the end of fall prac­tices, they cur­rently look forward to a six-game con­ference-only schedule in the spring, with home games against Findlay, Lake Erie College, and Tiffin Uni­versity.