Lakers look to make the leap
Colchester hoping to go from playoff regular to title contender in 2021
COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Colchester Lakers are one of many teams looking to make a splash in Division 1 this year. The Lakers were back in shoulder pads Thursday for the first time in nearly two years, and like most teams around the state, they’re relying on the upperclassmen to teach the younger kids what tackle football at the varsity level is all about.
Colchester has been one of the better programs in the state’s top division over the last few years, qualifying for the playoffs six consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2019. But despite consistently finding themselves playing late into October, the Lakers have just one playoff win to their name in that time: a quarterfinal victory over Rutland when the current seniors would have been just ten or eleven years old.
An interesting note though: Colchester thrived in the 7 on 7 format a year ago, claiming the Burlington area title with a road win over CVU. The Lakers graduated a large class of seniors this Spring so fans will have to wait and see how well that translates in a return to full contact 11-on-11, but players are confident the lessons they learned a year ago can help them make the leap from playoff regular to title contender.
“Yeah, for sure, we definitely have a pretty close team this year so far and it seems like everybody out here wants to win and they show up ready to play every day,” said senior quarterback Alex Rublee. “Obviously we lost a huge group last year in the seniors, but I think everybody that was there for last year is ready to do it again.”
“It was nice to win a championship, seeing how fierce people can be in playoff situations and just that situation where you have to learn something new and put it into use,” added senior lineman Jake Perrotte. “That might be helpful this year because we’ve got a lot of newcoming freshman and the whole system is going to be new so it will help us a lot when we’re learning a new system.”
The Lakers won’t have to wait long to see how they stack up against the state’s best: Colchester opens its season at home on September 3rd against defending D1 champ Burr and Burton.
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