As new students arrive on campus they are bombarded by an entirely new lexicon. Old words take on new meanings—“I live in the Butts!”; new words are introduced—“Did he just say Ze?”; and some acronyms are entirely indecipherable—“NESCAC?!”

In order to make the transition to Wes that much easier, your friends at the sports section are going to break down the need-to-know vocabulary. After reading articles in the section, you might have some questions. What is the NESCAC? What is the Little Three? Why am I sitting in my dorm room alone reading the sports section right now? If you seek the answer to any or all of these questions, fear not, young freshman, for you have come to the right place. Read further and you should have enough of a working knowledge of sports at Wesleyan to hold your own in any discussion, and maybe even impress all your new friends at DKE.

NESCAC stands for the New England Small College Athletic Conference, and it contains 11 schools across five states in the Northeast. The NESCAC historically has been one of the most competitive Division III conferences, and has produced Division III national champions in a variety of sports. The 11 colleges—Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Williams, compete in 27 varsity sports, often capping the season with a Conference Championship, with the notable exception of football, which also holds the distinction of not playing any games out of conference.

Consistently, Amherst, Williams, Middlebury, and Trinity field competitive teams in most of the sports, and stand in Wesleyan’s way of attaining the NESCAC glory we have all been waiting for.

Within the NESCAC is the “Little Three,” made up of Wesleyan and its two despised rivals, Amherst and Williams. Maybe you applied to those schools. Maybe your parents went there. It no longer matters–as a Cardinal you are obligated to despise the Lord Jeff’s of Amherst (lame!) and the Purple Cows of Williams (even lamer). We encourage you to come out to every home game, but if you have to choose a couple to go to, these are guaranteed to be the most dramatic.

Each year the three schools compete for the Little Three Title in every sport, and at the end of the year the school with the most titles is unofficially crowned Little Three Champion. Within recent memory this honor has not been bestowed on Wesleyan, but if you read the 2010-11 Sports in Review, you know that Wesleyan sports are on the ascendancy, and Little Three domination is not a laughably lofty goal. So, now that you are armed with this vast sports knowledge, go forth into the community and impress your new friends with acronyms and stats, and remember, GoWes!

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