WESTWOOD, Mass. – Competing in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) for the first time in 2017, the Norwich University football team was projected to finish fourth out of eight teams according to the league's annual Coaches' Preseason Poll.
The Cadets will begin their 121st season with three non-conference games before opening NEWMAC play against Coast Guard on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. in the rekindled "Battle for the Mug" at Sabine Field. The non-league season opens Saturday, Sept. 2 at Morrisville State College.
Joining the NEWMAC affords the Cadets an opportunity to restart rivalries against several schools from the Freedom Football Conference – Norwich was a founding member in 1992 and competed in the FFC until its disbandment in 2003, playing current NEWMAC members Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, WPI and Springfield on a regular basis.
Norwich trailed first-place Springfield, who received six first-place votes, and second-place Merchant Marine, who earned the final two first-place votes. WPI, whom Norwich has enjoyed a regular non-conference rivalry with, was slated third. Following the Cadets in fifth is MIT and tied for sixth is Catholic and Coast Guard. Maine Maritime was projected to finish eighth.
Norwich concluded its 120th season of varsity play with a 5-5 overall record in 2016 alongside a 5-2 mark within the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. The Cadets concluded ECFC play with a 44-10 record since the league's inception in 2009, the far-and-away leader among member institutions.
In total, the Cadets will compete for three different trophies in 2017. Norwich looks to retain the Maple Sap Bucket in its annual showdown with Castleton on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. before facing-off against Coast Guard on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Battle for the Mug.
2017 NEWMAC Football Preseason Poll
Rank (First Place Votes)
2. Merchant Marine (2)
T6. Coast Guard
8. Maine Maritime