NEW YORK—Columbia Football will host its 2018 spring game Saturday at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. followed by the team’s annual spring barbecue. Admission to the spring game is free.

 

The spring game is the culmination of 12 days of practice during the months of March and April. Spring practices began on March 20.

 

In addition to the Football Spring Game at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, a variety of other Columbia athletics events are taking place on Saturday at Baker Athletics Complex. Baseball hosts Princeton for a doubleheader beginning at 11:30 a.m., Softball hosts Princeton in a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m., Women’s Lacrosse hosts Brown at Rocco Commisso Soccer Stadium (1 p.m.) and Women’s Tennis plays Brown at Dick Savitt Tennis Center (1 p.m.).

 

FOOTBALL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Robert K. Kraft Scholar Reunion, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m, Campbell Sports Center (invitation only)

Spring Football Game, 11 a.m., Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium (free admission)

Annual Spring Football/Columbia Football Players Club Alumni Barbecue, after spring game, Lawrence A. Wien Stadium complex (invitation only)

 

ROBERT K. KRAFT SCHOLAR REUNION

 

Columbia Athletics and the Columbia Football program will honor graduate and New England Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft ’63 with a reception prior to Saturday’s spring game. The event will celebrate the support that Kraft has provided countless Lions football players over the years. The invitation-only event begins at 10 a.m. at Campbell Sports Center. A number of former players and alumni, including current New York Jets defensive lineman Josh Martin ’13, have been invited to celebrate Kraft’s lasting impact.

 

BONE MARROW DRIVE ON FRIDAY

 

On Friday afternoon, Columbia will host a Be The Cure Bone Marrow Registration Drive from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET. The event is scheduled to be held on the Morningside Heights campus outside Dodge Fitness Center on Friday, April 20. More details are available at this link.

 

POSITIONS TO WATCH IN SATURDAY’S SPRING GAME

 

Quarterback

 

In 2018, Columbia must replace graduated quarterback Anders Hill. Five players—first-year Dillon Davis, first-year Josh Bean, junior Ryan Suitt, sophomore Matt Dame and junior Daniel Hong—have seen action at quarterback during spring drills. Bean and Davis have taken the majority of the snaps. Bean rushed for eight touchdowns, threw one touchdown pass and ran for 13 yards on 22 carries in eight games played last year as Columbia’s short yardage specialist. The strong-armed Davis contributed last year as a signal caller and traveled to several away games. Suitt served as the backup quarterback last year and also contributed as the Lions’ holder.

 

Defensive Line

 

Columbia lost three starting defensive linemen from last year’s team—All Ivy League selections Lord Hyeamang and Dominic Perkovic, along with Connor Heeb. All three started the majority of games and at first glance it seems that the Lions have little experience returning. Junior Mike Hinton is the lone returning starter, but the Lions return a host of players who saw action last year including sophomore Daniel DeLorenzi, sophomore LinDon Harris, sophomore Arman Samouk and first-year Cooper Wilson. All five of those players saw extensive action in 2017. In addition, a younger group of talented defensive linemen are challenging for playing time.

 

Punter

 

Columbia must replace 2017 First Team All-Ivy League punter Parker Thome, who will become the third punter at Columbia in the last two years to play a graduate year at a Southeastern Conference school (Vanderbilt). First-year Drew Schmid and senior Chris Alleyne have taken the majority of punts during spring drills. Schmid did not see any action last year, while Alleyne has been one of the nation’s top kickoff specialists.

 

Cornerback

 

The Lions must also replace two-time All-Ivy League cornerback Cameron Roane, one of the best cover-corners to ever play at Columbia. Though sophomore starter Benjamin McKeighan returns to the mix, a group of players are vying for playing time including sophomore Justin Hill and first-year Will Allen.

 

Running Back

 

Columbia lost Chris Schroer to graduation. Vying for playing time include sophomore Tanner Thomas, sophomore Lynnard Rose, sophomore Van Neils, first-year Marquavious Moore, first-year Jalen Allen and first-year Alexander Filacouris. Thomas and Rose have the most experience.

 

SEASON TICKETS ON SALE!

 

2018 Football season and 2018-19 True Blue ticket packages are now on sale. Designed for our most loyal fans, the package includes a season ticket to Columbia football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball at a discounted rate. The True Blue package is your gateway to all of the great football and basketball action plus our interactive in-game fan experiences and enhanced game day atmosphere. Click here or call 888-LIONS-11 to purchase your 2018 season tickets or True Blue package today!

 

PLAYERS RETURNING

 

Columbia returns 15 of 22 starters (eight on offense and seven on defense) and 58 total letterwinners to a program that experienced its best season in 21 years. The 2017 Lions finished with their best season since 1996 as they posted an 8-2 regular season, a second place finish in the Ivy League and a 5-2 Ivy League record. In addition, Columbia began a season with six straight wins for the first time since 1945, put together the school’s longest win streak (seven games) for the first time since 1935 and its five-win turnaround from 2016 to 2017 ranked among the top-five best yearly comebacks in the FCS.

 

Six All-Ivy League picks return in First Team wide receiver Josh Wainwright (78 catches for school-record 1,001 yards and 8 TD), Second Team safety Landon Baty (66 tackles, 4 INT, 1 FR, 2 FF) and Honorable Mention picks wide receiver Ronald Smith (31 catches for 437 yards and 4 TD in only 7 GP), linebacker Michael Murphy (42 tackles, 6.0 TFL, 2 FR in 8 GP), offensive lineman Markham Paukune (10 consecutive starts) and kickoff returner/defensive back Will Allen (507 yards on 21 KOR).

 

Returning offensive starters also include wide receiver Kyle Castner (24 catches, 286 yards, TD), tight end Rory Schlageter, left guard Charlie Flores (23 career starts), center Tyler Schonewolf (20 consecutive starts), right guard Parker Coogan (10 consecutive starts) and on defense, right end Mike Hinton (18 career starts, 25 tackles), linebacker Jalen Williams (32 tackles, 2.0 sacks), linebacker Sean White (48 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 2 INT), defensive back Ryan Gilbert (team-leader with 95 tackles) and defensive back Ben McKeighan (37 tackles, 2 INT). In addition, a variety of other key players who saw extensive action in 2017 return.

 

FALL SCHEDULE

 

Columbia’s 2018 fall schedule was released on April 5. For more information on the 2018 schedule, click here.