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Inaugural Barton College football season postponed until at least the spring

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 7:05 PM EDT
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WILSON, N.C. (WITN) - The Barton College football team will have to wait until at least the spring to kickoff its inaugural season.

Last Friday, the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) announced it would be postponing the fall sports season until at least the spring.

You can read the SAC’s announcement, here: https://www.thesac.com/general/2020-21/releases/20200807j0fkht

That decision directly impacted Barton College’s brand new Division II football team. The Bulldogs typically compete in the Conference Carolinas, but will be playing their football games in the SAC.

Barton College was hoping fans would be sitting in the stands for its inaugural college football season. They were hoping to see the Bulldogs take the field for the first time in 70 years.

Instead, head coach Chip Hester and his Barton College football team will have to wait until at least the spring to play a down of football on their beautiful new field.

At this point, all you can do is laugh.

“A lot has gone on,” Hester said with a smile Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m disappointed with where we are right now for the student-athletes,” Barton College Director of Athletics Todd Wilkinson added.

“There’s some things that our beyond our control,” said Hester. “We try to control the controllables.”

Being a first-year program, Hester is making sure he keeps his focus on the positives.

“All of us are disappointed we aren’t playing this fall, but we also understand,” added Hester. “Life’s not always going to be smooth, and so this is again another opportunity to learn and get ourselves better.”

If this global pandemic never happened, the Bulldogs would be in the middle of training camp right now. Instead...

“We’re going to make the best of it,” said Hester. “What we talk about with our team all the time is try to be the best version of ourselves, and so we’re going to figure out the best way to move forward and then roll from there.”

Wilkinson agrees.

“I get a sense of gratefulness,” said Wilkinson in regards to talking with some student-athletes. “Not taking for granted anymore what means a lot to them.”

The South Atlantic Conference did indicate playing football this spring, but none of that is set in stone.

“To provide 100 percent clarity would not be possible at this time, but you know, if that’s what we have to do to play Division II athletics, and provide the experience we want, then we’re going to figure out a way to do it,” Wilkinson added.

Despite all of the negatives, some positives do come out of this situation. The press box and home stands should be completed by the spring. Plus, Hester told WITN Sports this period will give his new program more time to prepare for their inaugural season.

In regards to Barton College’s other fall sports, they all compete in the Conference Carolinas, which announced Wednesday it will continue deliberating about playing sports this fall. Another update is expected to come next week.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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