/notables/2011/09/middlebury-tackles-mother-nature

Middlebury tackles Mother Nature

More news about: Middlebury
Middlebury sandbags
Middlebury players found a lot of work awaiting them when they returned to campus in September.
Middlebury photo

This past week featured the first day of classes at Middlebury College, but on the first full day of football activities back on Sept. 1, the Panthers were asked to tackle their first opponent: Mother Nature. The remnants of Hurricane Irene tore a devastating path through New England days before the football team arrived on campus for preseason practices.

On the afternoon of Sept. 1, the football team was in the weight room prepping for the next day’s inaugural practice. Word got to the coaching staff that the usually tranquil waters of the Otter Creek were rising to record heights in downtown Middlebury due to the torrential rain and ensuing run-off from the remnants of the hurricane.

The team mobilized and gathered at the banks of the swollen creek adjacent to a restaurant with a fretting owner desperate for help to prevent the inevitable rise of the creek into his business. Within minutes, using borrowed shovels, hundreds of sandbags were filled, passed down the line in bucket-brigade style, creating a secure buttress against the fast-rising creek.

Later in the day, the Panthers were called into action once again, breaking up an evening team meeting. Two homes on the edge of the rising creek were in desperate need of sandbag assistance. The squad made quick work of the pile of sand, packing hundreds more  sandbags to the delight of the local residents.

The team practiced for the first time the following day, a three-hour session ending at noon. After the inaugural practice, the team was summoned to assist in several challenging clean-up projects in the worst-hit parts of the region. Players and coaches were digging out several feet of mud from numerous homes, removing destroyed furniture and debris. It was a sullen scene, as the team saw families deal with the devastation. Tears, hugs and thanks were all that several residents could muster in the wake of the destruction.

Even before playing their first game of the season, in the eyes of the community, the football team already won their home opener against Mother Nature.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Photos Video Recap Photos Box Score
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats