Cardinals Open Football Season with High Hopes

Lauren RubensteinSeptember 18, 20142min
Coach Whalen, players feel that "this is the year at Wesleyan"

With the football season officially opening Saturday at Middlebury, The Hartford Courant profiled Wesleyan Head Football Coach Michael Whalen and the football team.

According to the article, this year’s senior players, one of the first classes recruited by Whalen, was envisioned as the class “that could forever change the program. The class that would nearly double in size any other in his time at Wesleyan or his six years as coach at Williams. The class he envisioned being at the heart of the Cardinals’ first NESCAC championship and first perfect season since 1969. Freshmen in 2011 and seniors today, the players who make up that class have grown together over three years and now find themselves surrounded by the highest of expectations. Wesleyan returns just about every key player — 47 letter winners, 29 seniors, 19 starters — and, one would think, has a chance to put together one of the best seasons in program history.”

“Coming in as freshmen, we always had this year in mind,” said Donnie Cimino ’14, a first-team All-NESCAC defensive back last season. “Last year ended up being a success in many ways. We don’t want to take a step back now. This is what we came here for. When Whalen was recruiting us, it was really about this season. He was selling the turnaround, turning a corner, changing history.”

Watch a live stream of the game against Middlebury, Sept. 20 at 12:50 p.m., here.