Football Returns, Unofficially
First home game for Boston Terriers
It’s been 13 years since Boston University students have had a chance to experience what has become an autumn ritual on many campuses: cheering on their classmates at a football game.
But this weekend, gridiron fans have something to cheer about.
The Boston Terriers Football Club, BU’s new unofficial football team, plays its first home game, against the University of Maine Football Club, on Sunday, October 3, at MIT’s Henry G. Steinbrenner Stadium.
The football club, in its inaugural season, operates as a limited liability corporation unaffiliated with BU. It plays in the Yankee Collegiate Football Conference, a new college-level offshoot of the New England Football League (NEFL). The Boston Terriers Football Club marks the first organized football movement at BU since the University’s official football program was disbanded in 1997 for financial reasons.
Anthony Morgante (SMG’87), the team’s head coach, founded the team with Nikki Bruner (SHA’13, SMG’13), now president of the club, after she answered an ad he placed in the Daily Free Press last fall looking for help with a local sports team.
Morgante, an avid pigskin fan who played and coached in the NEFL, wanted to see football return to BU. “Practically every high school in the country can field a football team—could it really be impossible for a school with 30,000 students?” he asks.
The work of launching a team began a year ago. Morgante and Bruner first started a Facebook page and quickly attracted more than 1,600 followers. Last spring they began recruiting players, setting up informational meetings, and holding tryouts. The team now has 30 BU male students, as well as a staff of student interns, including a sports journalist and a videographer.
Starting quarterbackJoe Tiano (CGS’11) has high hopes for the season. “I feel we have both the heart and the talent to have a winning record and compete for a playoff spot,” the Massachusetts native says. “I would like to see our efforts translate to an official affiliation with the school and for us to become a positive addition to campus life here at BU.”
This Sunday is the team’s first home game, but its second game of the season. Last week the Boston Terriers beat the Northeastern Connecticut Warriors, a club team of Eastern Connecticut State University students, 18-8.
Because of limited space on campus, the club practices at Sartori Stadium, a turf field near Logan International Airport in East Boston.
Bruner hopes the club will soon become a mainstay on campus. “We’re trying to get students to feel as if we’re their team,” she says.
The Boston Terriers Football Club plays the University of Maine Football Club at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 3, at MIT’s Henry G. Steinbrenner Stadium, adjacent to 120 Vassar St., Cambridge. Tickets are $3 for BU students and children and $5 for adults and can be purchased at the gate (cash only).
Brendan Gauthier can be reached at email@example.com Comments