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Football is one of the main fall events and attractions of almost any college campus, and the University of Northwestern–St. Paul is no different. In past years, UNW students packed the stands and cheered on the Eagles’ football team. However, there was a different atmosphere this previous fall. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no football played in the fall season, and it was rescheduled for an adapted spring season.

The Eagles are preparing for their upcoming season, which starts in just over a month, and players are starting to get excited about their return to the field. 

Sophomore defender Tate Bounds was very vocal about what he expects from the season. “I think I’m most excited about getting a chance to play some real games and get better for next fall,” Bounds said. He realized that even though it is not a traditional season, it is better than not getting to play at all. 

Many of UNW’s teams experienced updated rules or altered seasons because of COVID-19, and the football team is no exception. 

“I think it will be interesting trying to adapt to a different type of season than a normal fall season,” said Bounds. “It’s going to change the things we’re allowed to do as a team.” 

Because of the team’s size, traveling is already difficult during a normal season. COVID-19 restrictions add another layer of difficulty. The team must use several buses to avoid crowding the players, and they must avoid hotels to prevent exposing the players to unnecessary risks.

Despite the added difficulties, Bounds is enthusiastic about the upcoming season: “I am really excited about getting the chance to grow as an individual, but also the chance to grow as a team together.” 

“Like I said, it will be good to get some real games under our belt against real opponents,” said Bounds. “Playing scrimmages is a good way to practice, but nothing beats the real thing.”  

With the first game just over a month away, players and fans alike are excited for the return of college football. While it will not be exactly like a typical football season, it will give fans and players something to look forward to. The UNW Eagles’ football team will enjoy a month of practices, and then they begin their real contests. The Eagles will travel to Dubuque, Iowa, on March 27, 2021, to challenge Loras College at 6:00 p.m.