The University of Maine football team reached the semi-finals of the football championship division for the first time in the history of the program a year ago.
The 14 seniors who will play their last Saturday home game against the University of Rhode Island have the opportunity to create another impressive feat this season.
With wins over Rhode Island and the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire on November 23, the Black Bears could evolve from a 2-5 team that lost its first three games of the Colonial Athletic Association to a qualifying match for the playoffs of the FCS.
"I do not know if anyone came back from 0-3 at the conference [win five straight and playoff]," said Earnest Edwards, senior receiver.
Like other seniors, Edwards said the time spent at UMaine was fast.
"I still remember my first year when I broke my hand and missed the Connecticut game [which opens the season]," Edwards said. "The first time I touched the ball [two weeks later] against [James Madison], I scored. I'm going to shed tears on Saturday. "
The pre-game ceremony in the honor of the elders is perhaps not the only time Edwards is moving this weekend.
Edwards is 90 yards away from receiving the school's reception leader's title. He has 2,523 yards and continues the 2,612 of Sergio Hebra.
"I did not envision that. I never thought it was going to happen. [If that happens], I could shed another tear after all that I've experienced, "said Edwards.
Since the slow start of UMaine, players knew that the only way to maintain their hopes of playing in the playoffs was to win.
"We never lost faith, even at 2-5 years old. We knew we had to play one game at a time and play at the right time. We knew that if we all clicked, we would be a tough team to beat, "said Jaquan Blair, senior receiver. "At the moment, we are on the same level as in the series of six consecutive victories. If we play in the playoffs, anything can happen. "
Senior defensive end Kayon Whitaker, one of four captains from UMaine. said with each victory the competition instincts have elevated.
"We want to attack this week even more," he said.
UMaine head coach Nick Charlton said his elders were a special group.
"They played football a lot for us," said Charlton. "They are very, very good players and they are great people. They have been great ambassadors of the University of Maine and are trying to change the culture. I am proud of what they have done and they must continue to dig.
We're still in the middle, so I can not think about it, but they changed that program. "
Quarterback Joe Fagnano, a freshman, said he admired the seniors.
"They went through [a lot]. They know what it takes to win, "he said.
Edwards, Blair and running back Joe Fitzpatrick and Buffalo transfer, Emmanuel Reed, are Whitaker's regular offensive players, forward tackle Charles Mitchell, tackle Alejandro Oregon, linebacker Taji Lowe and defenseman Josh Huffman. Punter Derek Deoul is also a senior.
Pre-American cornerback Manny Patterson saw his career finish prematurely with a knee injury.