The stands are filled, a sea of blue and gold. The student body of Rollins is electrified with excitement about the return of its football team. Indeed, the future of Rollins football speaks to the school’s motto, Fiat Lux, brimming with an expanse of bright positivity. Although many students commented that they were frustrated about the game’s many interceptions and various mistakes, and Rollins is no longer “undefeated since 1949,” the Tars’ loss against Webber International was a beacon of hope for those who wish to reestablish an official football program.
“There have been many ups and down through the process of reestablishing a football program at Rollins, and many times it seemed we weren’t going to make it at all. But we have persevered and we played the first football game for Rollins in 62 years,” said quarterback Jeff Hoblick ’14.
Hoblick, who was born and raised here in Winter Park, states that his familiarity with Rollins athletics influenced him to reinstate the football program here at Rollins.
Members hope to establish a dominant club football program; however, it must first establish a strong foundation for a future program, including recruiting. As the club’s current president, Hoblick gained sponsors and generated media buzz. The game also drew attention from students who were prolific football players in their respective high schools.
“After watching that game, I want to be out there helping the team. [It] does not matter if the attention was negative or positive; they truly garnered campus-wide attention,” said Sean Fredericks ‘15.
The team sports a 29-man roster, most of whom have never had any formal football experience. But success in the following years may eventually translate into expansion to the NCAA. Hoblick explained that funds, approval from administration, a proper conference, a Title 9, updated facilities and three full time coaches would be necessary for this expansion.
Although the margin of defeat was large in the game against Webber International at 48-17, not all was lost. The Tars now look forward to the future of a football program and its ability to invite new found school spirit to the Rollins campus.
The next game will be Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. against Clemson Club Football at Bishop Moore High School. The Student Government Association will once again be providing free transportation to the game from 12 to 6 p.m. and admission will be free.