RARING TO GO: Players on the Princeton University football team about to burst on the field for their season opener against Butler in September 2019. Princeton, which didn’t get to play last fall as the Ivy League canceled competition due to COVID-19 concerns, starts preseason training for the 2021 season this Saturday. The Tigers, whose last regular season game was a 28-7 win at Penn on November 23, 2019, kick off the upcoming season by playing at Lehigh on September 18. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
While August 21 is about four months away from the holiday season, it will seem like Christmas morning for Princeton University football head coach Bob Surace.
With Princeton not getting a season last fall as the Ivy League canceled competition due to COVID-19 concerns and having limited practices this spring, the Tigers will be hitting the field this Saturday to start preseason practices for the 2021 campaign.
“I just had a lunch with a player and one of his advisers,” said Surace.
“I told the adviser, you don’t understand how excited we are. It is hard to put into words. We got a tease of it in the spring but it wasn’t the same.”
With a number of veteran players not enrolling in Princeton for the 2020-21 school year, the spring sessions had a smaller turnout than usual.
“The hard part was that the numbers were lower, not everybody came back to school,” said Surace.
“Everybody had their individual decision and nobody knew how it was going to go. We had 53 players and we usually have about 75, so it was a much lower number. At times, it limited the full 11-on-11 certain days.”
While there were limits, Surace believes that a number of younger players still made progress. more