North Central College and Mary Hardin-Baylor vie for Division III championship

“Come on, cardinals” were the unspoken words at 5:15 am on Friday, December 17, when the North Central College marching band, cheers and dance teams performed before two buses left for the division football championship. III of the NCAA in Canton, Ohio. The Cardinals aim to increase their number of titles to “41 National Championships”.

In case the winning season of North Central College football has escaped your notice, on Saturday, December 11, the Cardinals met the Mount Union University Purple Raiders in the semi-finals of the football playoffs in NCAA Division III at Mount Union Stadium at Alliance University, Ohio. North Central College was victorious, 26-13.

This week, the undefeated team – and the 2019 NCAA Division III soccer champion – faces another undefeated team, Mary Hardin-Baylor, for the NCAA Division III soccer championship. Mary Hardin-Baylor is a private Christian university located in Belton, Texas. The Division III title match will be played in Canton, Ohio.

On Tuesday night, the North Central Football Cardinals returned to Ohio to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton for Stagg Bowl XLVIII to face the Crusaders.

At 5:15 a.m. on Friday, December 17, North Central College hosted a media cheer rally in the Gregory Arena at Merner Fieldhouse. The North Central College group is led by Sean Kelley.

After their performance and interviews, the band, pep team, fans and chaperones, many dressed in spirit clothing provided by North Central College alumni, boarded two buses, ready to depart for Canton in 6:45 am.

Arrival time is 4 p.m. at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The game starts at 6 p.m. Buses will be returning to Naperville late this evening.

North Central College’s football program is led by coach Jeff Thorne. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 2018 NCAA Division III National Champs, is coached by Pete Fredenburg.

Please note: Photos from the start of December 17, 2021 are not in any particular order. Click on any photo to enlarge. The final photo is a Century Walk sculpture titled “College, Community and Country,” a tribute to World War II football player and veteran William Shatzer II.

‘Watch Games’ takes place in downtown Naperville

Fans and friends are encouraged to gather to watch evenings at a table near a big screen TV at a local sports bar, including downtown locations such as Empire Burgers & Brew, Hizemans, Features and Quigley’s Irish Pub (Please note that no audio games will be available at Quigley’s due to an already booked group.).

The Championship game will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 17.

The North Central College Cardinals football team are scheduled to return to Naperville late on Saturday, December 18.

This message will be updated.

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