One of the things I look forward to most during the end of summer is the arrival of football season. For many, it is just a sport they watch on the TV each Sunday in the fall and winter, but to me football means much more. It is a group of some of my closest friends who, in my opinion, are a second family and a set of brothers I have here at school. Every September during the week preceding the start of school, the football team hosts a preseason for incoming and returning players. On the surface, it is a week of hard practices and grueling work, but in reality, it is much more than that. Preseason is less of a week of practice and work and more of a week of bonding and building friendships.
I remember last year, which was my first year, I arrived on campus not knowing a soul. During registration, a senior on the football team noticed I was new and approached me. He introduced himself as Jake Kissel, but everyone called him Kiss or Kissel. This surprised me at first because I was used to school environments in which seniors tend not to interact with underclassmen. I expected to come to the school and have a hard time learning the basics, the rules, and meeting all the students. That was the exact opposite of the case. From the moment Kissel introduced himself to me, he never left my side. He toured me around the school and the Athletic Center, teaching me the ins and outs of what life on the Circle truly is. He introduced me to everyone on the team and everyone we passed, making sure to help me feel at home.
Soon after meeting Kissel, I thought that the treatment I was receiving was one of a kind, but I could not have been more wrong. Every person on the football team welcomed me into their friend groups with open arms and open minds. The same can be said about the other teams that were on campus for their own preseasons. It was the people in the Groton community that made me feel at home when I transferred here. The overwhelming amount of hospitality and friendliness made the transition easy and enjoyable.
After going through the transition to the Circle myself last year, I came into this preseason even more excited than ever before. I was excited to see my friends and brothers on the football team once again, and I was even more excited to meet the new members of our family. Over the week of preseason, I grew close with many of the new students and even closer with those I already knew.
It has been a couple weeks since preseason ended, and football just keeps getting better with each passing day. The team has been working hard day in and day out. In my honest opinion, football season is one of my favorite times on the Circle. Each Saturday I get to play the game I love with the family I love. Nothing could be any better than that. ROLL ZEEBS!