They walked off Schoellkopf Field for the very last time as Cornell football players Saturday, and while they didn’t leave victorious, the 26 seniors on the Big Red team left with a feeling of accomplishment.
This class has laid the foundation for future success.
“These [seniors] have pushed us to where we’re a competitive a football team right now,” Head Coach David Archer said to the Cornell Sun after the Penn game. “That’s not easy, you have to be a true believer and you have to put in so much extra work to go from non-competitive to competitive.,” Archer said.
The seniors know they’ve played an important role in turning around the program.
“You come into a place like Cornell and you want to win a lot of football games, you want to win Ivy League championships,” senior linebacker and captain Jackson Weber told the Sun, “but over that, you want to leave the place better than you found it. … Like the classes that came before us, we’ve been laying the bricks, we’re continuing to build.”
“We had guys fighting all four years,” senior receiver and fellow captain Ben Rogers said to the Sun, “but this fifth year it was not, ‘Alright I’m just going to give it my best effort and see what happens.’ It was ‘I’m going to give it my best effort and we’re going to go win this game.’”
That’s the type of mentally the Cornell football senior class has displayed throughout their four years—a reason why the seniors will be missed when the team next takes the field to prepare for the 2017 season. It’s also why there was a degree of sadness in seeing this group huddle with their teammates for the final time.
“It just hits you and emotions start flooding the system, the tears start to roll down your face,” Weber said to Sun. “There was a lot of blood, a lot of sweat put into this program. It’s a tough day. But you know it’s coming and you just kind of hope you make the most of it and not look back on your four years with any regrets.”