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.