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Dartmouth football returns to the field

Big Green will begin holding spring practices on Saturday
Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:56 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Dartmouth football team is back.

The Big Green have been cleared to hold outdoor conditioning sessions for the past couple of weeks, and this Saturday, the team will hold its first official spring practice, gathering together as a team for the first time since the end of the 2019 college football season.

Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens says about two thirds of his current roster is on hand for these spring practices, but with so many of his players having spent so little time on campus since the pandemic began, it certainly creates a new teambuilding challenges.

“There are guys that haven’t seen each other going on two years.”, says Teevens. “Our sophomore class, in some cases, the last time what they were (on campus) was the fall of 2019. We had the seniors and the freshman this past fall, and sophomores and juniors at different times, there hasn’t been any overlap and I had forgotten that.”

“The other day I had our freshman stand up and they had never met some of the older guys. Everything that we do is about developing a culture and that’s gonna be a challenge. And then we have an incoming freshman class (this fall), so they’ll be people the next preseason that have never worked together, don’t know each other, and in a compressed time, getting ready for season...but at least we’re getting ready for season.”, says Teevens.

Continuity from one season to the next is very important in team sports, especially in football. Although Teevens and his coaching staff have stayed in regular contact with his players and held regular meetings with the team and individual players remotely over the past year, it’s not the same as being together on the field.

Teevens says he hopes his players can take something positive from this challenging last year and use it to help bring everyone back together when the new season begins in the fall.

“It was a different world, hopefully we know never go back there, but we did learn from it a little bit.”, says Teevens. “Maybe the appreciation for our families, for our relationships, our friendships, our sport is going to holdover. We do a pretty good job if identifying guys who are unselfish, that work for each other, and I think that quality of the individual, coming in, is going to help us get to where we want to be maybe a little bit quicker than some others.”

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