The New Hampshire Wildcats have opted out of the remainder of the spring 2021 football season, the school announced Tuesday.
“I am so proud of our guys for working their tails off to be prepared to play football this spring and to compete the way they did when we faced Albany on March 5,” head coach Sean McDonnell said. “We followed the safety protocols to the best of our abilities, dealt with the starts-and-stops that come with COVID, and never wavered in our commitment to play football.”
“But like so many other programs around the country, the virus took its toll on us,” McDonnell added. “I am constantly reminded that the virus controls us, we don’t control it. While I am very disappointed for the team, their families, and our staff, I know in my heart that sometimes the right decision is the hardest decision.”
“Despite the incredible efforts of Coach Mac, the entire football staff, athletic training and, most of all, our student-athletes, we are left with no other choice but to forego the remainder of the spring season,” UNH Director of Athletics Marty Scarano said. “This is not the outcome we hoped for, but unfortunately, we could not get on the right side of the COVID numbers, and we will never forsake the health of our students. This is incredibly heartbreaking, but I am so proud of how hard everyone fought to give themselves a chance to get back on the field. This should be a reminder that this pandemic is still very much a part of our lives.”
“We will now concentrate on getting clear of the virus, getting stronger, getting better, and the ‘Cats will be ready to go full-bore this fall,” McDonnell added.
UNH had managed to play just one game in the spring schedule, a 24-20 loss to UAlbany in the aforementioned season-opener. The Wildcats’ last three games had been affected by COVID protocols, and the CAA has declared their final two outings (Apr. 10 vs. Stony Brook and Apr. 17 at Maine) no-contests following today’s announcement.
The next scheduled game for the Wildcats will take place Sept. 18, as the team travels to Lafayette.