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October 15, 2012
Franklin Pierce University became the eighth team to play in the varsity Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) this season, joining Army, Cornell, Mansfield, Navy, Penn, Post, and Princeton. Dubbed an expansion team this year under the same one-year probationary period through which Mansfield University and Post University joined in recent years, the Franklin Pierce Ravens are proving to be a formidable addition to the sport with their recent win against Princeton.
Sprint football (formerly known as “lightweight football”) is played like traditional heavyweight football, but there are a few key differences. Sprint football is played faster, with an emphasis on speed and agility rather than body weight and strength. Players have a weight limit of 172 pounds and must maintain five percent or more body fat in order to discourage players from losing excessive weight in order to play. The recruitment process for sprint football varies greatly from typical heavyweight football programs in that coaches are not allowed to go off campus to recruit players, and practices differ in that only 16 days of official practice are allowed in the fall before the first game, with no practice allowed in the spring. Finally, the league championship title is given to the team with the best record during the regular season, which heightens the sense of competition for each game.
Five teams have been playing in the CSFL since 1957, and two others have joined since 2008 in addition to Franklin Pierce (Mansfield and Post). While sprint football does not often share much of the limelight with heavyweight football, many notable players have come from the sport, including Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, (Columbia University); President Jimmy Carter, (Navy); and Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense, (Princeton).
Head coach Peter Ewald has guided the Ravens well in their opening games. The Franklin Pierce University Ravens nearly beat long-established Cornell University in their inaugural sprint football game on Sept. 22 before ultimately falling to Cornell 26-21. The Ravens second game was played on Sept. 30 against Penn, another close game in which Franklin Pierce fell behind in the last seconds of play to lose to Penn 24-20. On Oct. 12, Franklin Pierce won their first game in program history at Princeton Stadium, defeating the played Princeton Tigers with a final score of Franklin Pierce 21-14.
The Ravens have one more away game on Oct. 27 at Mansfield, and a final home game on Nov. 3 against Post. Because Franklin Pierce is in a probationary expansion period, they do not play all of the CSFL teams this year. Franklin Pierce home games are played at Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham, Mass. For more information on Franklin Pierce sprint football, please visit the team's page at: athletics.franklinpierce.edu.
FRANKLIN PIERCE UNIVERSITY
An education that matters.
Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.