Last Saturday was a special day for the Williams College football team.
The Ephs capped their 2021 campaign with a hard-fought 24-19 victory over Amherst College to clinch a perfect season and become the first squad in program history to win nine contests in a single season.
Williams has finished previous campaigns with 8-0 records — seven, to be exact — but to win nine New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) games is no easy feat.
“Being the first Williams team to finish 9-0 is a testament to not only how hard our team has worked these last two years, but also to the leadership and growth of our program under coach Mark Raymond,” explained senior quarterback Bobby Maimaron, who completed 11 of 16 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday.
“Coach Raymond is truly one of the greatest coaches I have played for, and I am so happy that my teammates and I were able to clinch a perfect season for both him and the assistant coaches.”
Maimaron, who has played for Raymond since his first season in 2017, has guided the Ephs to at least five wins or more in all four seasons under center. Williams won six games during his initial season in 2017 after concluding their 2016 campaign with an 0-8 record, including their final contest against Amherst in overtime.
We recently caught-up with Maimaron to discuss his final season with the Ephs, as well as what he will remember from his time in Williamstown.
How exciting was it to take a knee and celebrate a hard-fought win against one of your rivals last week?
I still don’t think it has sunk in yet, but I just couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved. Every single player and coach have worked so hard so I’m just happy we were able to finish it off the right way last weekend.
We know you (and your teammates) will have time to reflect on this particular season over the next few days, weeks, and months, but what will you remember most from the 2021 season? And we presume it was worth it to come back for one more season to compete with your friends and classmates, right?
More than anything, I’ll remember all the hard work that went into our championship season. So many people sacrificed a lot for us to win the league and I’ll forever be grateful for that. To work so hard on a goal that’s been in our minds for five years and to finally achieve it is something special.
From a personal perspective, tell us how you improved from game one against Middlebury College to your team’s final contest against Amherst.
Coach Raymond asked every member of this team to give six seconds of relentless focus and effort at a time. Our focus was on one play — not the next, but the one we were executing — and we never looked past our opponents each week. To go 9-0, you must be at your best every week, and even though our team endured some injuries during the final few weeks, we received some tremendous effort from different players on both sides of the ball that filled those voids by making some important plays when needed.
With this being your final season with the Ephs, tell us one – maybe two? – memories you will always have from competing for Williams since your first season in 2017?
Talking “The Walk” at the conclusion of my freshman season in 2017 after our team beat Amherst in overtime – the win allowed us to cap the season with a 6-3 record. And my second memory is from last week when I took a knee at the end of the game – again, against Amherst – to complete the 9-0 season. Once the game with Amherst was final, I sprinted to the sidelines, hugged my coach, and thanked him for everything.
Finally, do you plan to return to campus next fall to support the team as an alum?
Yes. I can’t wait to come back and see some of my best friends play and coach next season.