Photo – Holy Cross Athletics
At this point, we’re running out of things to say about the Crusaders.
After an impressive road win against Harvard last Saturday, Holy Cross is still unbeaten at 5-0 (for the first time since 1991) and now ranked nine and 10 respectively in the two most recognized FCS polls.
The Crusaders are back to Patriot League play this week with matchup against Bucknell, but this isn’t just your usual league matchup. For the second year in a row, Holy Cross will be playing a home game at the home of the WooSox, Polar Park. While it technically is a home game, Chesney has his team looking at it as a neutral site bowl game of sorts, which is helping the guys stay focused on the task at hand.
Top 10, top five or not ranked at all, Chesney and the Crusaders simply don’t care. This program has done an excellent job of focusing on the next day and the next day only.
“Our guys deserve credit for being able to play the schedule they’ve played,” Chesney said on Tuesday. “To fight like they have and win like they have, you hope people would notice that, but at the same time, it doesn’t change anything we’re doing here.
“I’m glad we have things to cover and talk about and for the alums to get excited about, but if it changes anything we’re doing on a day-to-day basis, we’ve missed the point. We’ve just got to be able to go right back to work. Chop wood, carry water and just continue what we’re doing. Don’t take a minute to think about those things, because we’ll have time at the end of the year to celebrate all those things.”
The Polar Park experience is unquestionably one the team has been looking forward to, but there’s also a sense of “been there, done that” having already done this a year ago. When you’re a team that thrives on routine, that can’t be overstated.
“Very much so,” Chesney said. “The whole thing of on the same sideline, players being able to travel to the other side if it’s going to be a substation when the ball gets inside the 20 if the other team subs…there’s a lot in there. The surface I thought was great, I thought the atmosphere was great. In the end, I think it’s all positives. Last year, I was worried about it and there wasn’t a whole lot to be worried about. Playing on the same sideline wasn’t that big of a deal.”
The novelty of the game may be cool for the fan base and those of us in the media covering it, but this week – like every other week so far – is nothing but business for the surging Crusaders.
“When we rolled over there (last year) and got off the buses, it was game day,” Chesney added. “I don’t think of it as a home game necessarily even though it is, you want to think of it as a bowl game to some level and it’s an exciting game for everyone involved. When you get off that bus, you’re just so locked in.
“It’s so awesome for the community, it’s so awesome for the town, it’s so awesome for the families and it’s such a fun, exciting atmosphere, but at that same time, when we walk off that bus, we have a job to do.”