WORCESTER – The Holy Cross football team ended their Friday afternoon guided tour of Polar Park at around 4:20 a.m., and at the same time on Saturday, the Crusaders will be back on the beautiful baseball field turned into a grill, in their purple jerseys and helmets, black pants and leggings, and warm up for their highly anticipated game against Colgate.
Kick-off between enemies of the Patriot League at the home of the Worcester Red Sox is 5:00 p.m.
âBeing here and knowing at that precise moment (Saturday) that we will be walking the field for the start of the game is something that gets us all excited,â said Holy Cross coach Bob Chesney.
The Crusaders arrived at Polar Park at 2 p.m., took a quick tour of the grounds, then dispersed for position meetings inside the park suites. At around 3:15 p.m., they returned to the field, which features the purple shield of the Holy Cross at the 50-meter line, for a walkthrough.
“It was normal procedure like every Friday at Fitton Field, except we do it here,” said junior linebacker Jacob Dobbs. âThere are always things you change, adjustments from Thursday’s practice or something (the opponent) shown on film that we maybe saw later in the week. You just need to consolidate everything and put the finishing touches on the game plan and make sure we’re all on the same page for tomorrow. “
The team went through some logistical details, like where they will enter the park, check the changing rooms and get from there, through the tunnel and onto the field. Player nameplates are on the lockers.
âToday was super advantageous for what we’re going to do (Saturday),â said junior wide receiver Ayir Asante. âIt’s good for us to be here and to really have an idea. It’s really unbelievable. “
The park’s capacity will be the same – 9,508 – for football as it will for baseball, and on Friday only a few hundred general admission tickets were left.
âWe look forward to everyone coming out,â Asante said. “We’re all really excited for this.”
After the walkthrough, some players spent around an additional 15 minutes on the pitch, having fun, throwing balls, and planning their pre-game rituals and mentality.
âWe want everything to be routine even though it’s a different place,â Chesney said. “It’s a pretty cool setup here, and I know everyone’s excited about it, but at the end of the day there’s a football game to play, and we have to be able to run and block that. Both teams will be excited about this, but running, playing hard, playing our physical brand of football is what is a necessity and a must, no matter the venue.
Colgate held their guided tour at Polar Park on Friday evening.
Holy Cross (4-2, 1-0) comes off a 48-14 victory over Georgetown in its league opener. Colgate (2-5, 2-0) has PL wins over Georgetown and Lehigh.
HC won the last meeting between the teams, 31-10, in 2019 to end a seven-game losing streak against the Raiders.
Saturday’s game, titled “The EBW Classic” in memory of prominent Holy Cross alumnus Edward Bennett Williams, is one of the highlights of HC’s Family Weekend, and the first ever football game at Polar Park is a major event for the college, football program, Polar Park and the City of Worcester.
âWhen you walk into the pitch and see it from the pitch, you’re like ‘Wow’,â Dobbs said. âYou’re kind of blown away when you’re on the pitch and see it all for yourself. It’s a wonderful stadium and we are delighted to play here tomorrow.
âContact Jennifer Toland at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @JenTandG.