For Nick Bainter, being able to compete for a team that “celebrated tradition, commitment, and brotherhood” is what he will miss the most when he graduates from Springfield College later this spring.
The East Bridgewater, Massachusetts native, who was spotted at the center position, played 39 games for the Pride and helped the team conclude its most recent campaign atop the NCAA National Rankings for Division III in rushing offense. Springfield’s rushing attack averaged 357.4 rushing yards in ten contests last fall, which was the third-highest average among all college football programs (FBS, FCS, D-II, and D-III) behind Harding University (373.0) and Navy (360.5).
Named a 2019 D3football.com Preseason All-America First Team honoree, Bainter was honored months later by the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) for the third time in his career, while being recognized by the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society earlier this month.
We recently spoke with Bainter, who is studying criminal justice, to discuss his final season with the Pride’s football program.
What will you remember most about your final season with the Pride?
All the laughs. There are so many different personalities on my team from coaches to players, who made me and my teammates laugh. But in addition to the laughter, there were so many great moments, too, and I consider myself lucky that I was able to surround myself with the best group of men this world has to offer.
As for what I will remember most from this past season is how our team grew from defeat. This team battled every week and we learned that when adversity hits you can either melt or come out like steel.
Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they?
The first one would be my first season with the program when we played WPI. Both I and quarterback Chad Shade started that particular game. We ended up winning the game and had a lot of fun.
The second game would be beating our local rival Western New England two years ago. We came out of the gates playing fast, physical football, and had a lot of fun. I remember watching the film of the game the next day and being amazed by the physicality we displayed.
What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team/program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation?
Competing for a program that celebrates tradition, commitment, and brotherhood. Springfield College is an incredibly special place. We have a character-driven culture at our school and on our football team.
I will miss being around the guys and the coaches. I will forever miss hearing “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money after victories. I will also miss hearing my teammates chant, “Roll Groups, roll.” And of course, I will miss spending time together with this brotherhood.
Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future?
I absolutely plan to stay involved in football. This is a special game that has had a massive impact on my life as well as an impact on many other lives.