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Football Returns, Unofficially

First home game for Boston Terriers

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The Boston Terriers Football Club took on the New Hampshire Wolfpack at Sartori Stadium in East Boston in the season’s first scrimmage September 21. Photo by Lauren Thayer (CAS’11)

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 btgauth@bu.edu.

4 Comments

4 Comments on Football Returns, Unofficially

  • James R on 10.02.2010 at 6:19 pm

    Official recognition

    I am not sure why the Club Sports Council is having a problem recognizing the Football Club. Established surveys suggest that college football is ranked as the 4th most popular sport among all college and professional sports. I am sure most of the 34 sports clubs already recognized by BU are very worthwhile, I support all club sports, but surely they are no more popular than football! The U of Vermont, the U of Maine and Clarkson University has already recognized their club teams and their SGAs provide a small amount of financial support to the teams. It is my understanding that the prospect for official recognition looks promising at Eastern Connecticut State and the club at Northeastern University also has a fair chance at it. The financial burden of a club is minimal, most support will come from donors and the members of the club. Why is the Atheletic Department being so stubborn about it? Do they really have an open mind and undertand the issues? If BU officially recognizes the club, believe me, a lot of alumni support and donations will flow to the University. There is no logic to their refusal. Best of luck to you kids and your dedicated coaches. Nikki too of course!

  • gary capehart on 11.18.2010 at 9:37 am

    If you read anything

    If you read anything about BU and football you see the only real connection the university has with the game is in its studies of football head injuries. This is a needed study. Football has gone to far with helmets no longer considered protective equipment but used “by some” as weapons. Please note the recent NFL fines levied on head to head contact. Also the findings of a suicide on a U. of Pennsylvania football player revealed disturbing findings on brain trauma. That said, most deaths in automotive accidents are because of head trauma too. So let’s stop driving automobiles.
    I have a bias. Boston University not only saved my life but also fully enriched it. I played football at BU. We of classes 70, 71, and 72 played in the Pasadena Bowl. Freddy Barry, Pat Hughes,, and Bruce Taylor would all start that next season in the NFL. San Diego State had Brian Sipe and Dennis Shaw who too started in the NFL. BU’s gridiron history is steeped in its own stars, opponents, and great games. But more so, people, through football at BU became good and important citizens. That was the result. Learning, virtue, and piety, entered and reinforced us. But some saw little value in an aspiring lower middle -class.
    Some too came to BU with biases, to exterminate football. After many false starts the Junta did so in 97. I’m sure they now parley the head traumas as a sign of their enlightenment. But football can be safe and good. It is the homecoming event! It can be done right. The football club fills my lungs as BU once did. Thanks.

  • Anonymous on 12.06.2010 at 10:15 am

    Abandon Title IX

    I always found it rather odd that the financial reasons cited involved funding a womens’ hockey team instead of football.

  • Harold Hecuba on 03.13.2011 at 1:56 pm

    Sport-funding priorities

    The first comment brings an important issue into this discussion. The “inclusion” problem detracts from many things. Even very liberal countries like Sweden and historically non-sexist nations like Russia aren’t going out of their way to fund women’s hockey like Canada and the U.S. have been doing. The decreasing North American talent base in the NHL is indicative of this problem, while the European content has been rapidly increasing. It’s not GETTING ridiculous; it IS ridiculous. This is yet another area in which we, as a society, are catering too much to a cause (radical feminism) that hates us. Football at BU might not be on the level of football at Notre Dame, or basketball at Georgetown, but it is a tradition that is worthy of continuing far more so than over-funding of women’s hockey.

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