The Thunder football team kicked off its season on Saturday, Sept. 4, with a 56-0 victory over the University of Northwestern (Minnesota). It was the first time spectators had been allowed inside McCully Stadium to watch the Thunder compete since the fall of 2019. The 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The game also featured some special guests during halftime. President Ryken was there to induct Mike Swider into the Wheaton Athletics Hall of Honor. Swider coached the team for 24 seasons before retiring at the end of the 2019 season. Tor the Mastodon also made an appearance on the field, supplying fans with some of the joy they missed last year.