U-32 looks to extend playoff streak under new head coach

Kevin Richards takes over for Raiders
Kevin Richards takes over for Raiders
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 11:52 PM EDT
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EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - There are a handful of high school football programs breaking in new head coaches in 2022, but only a couple of those teams are riding an 8-year playoff streak.

The U-32 Raiders have been one of the most consistent programs in the state over the last decade. The boys from East Montpelier, together with a collection of kids from Montpelier and Harwood, ended their term in D3 with four consecutive playoff appearances and followed it up with 4 more after jumping to D2.

Now after two years as an assistant to Brian Divelbliss, Kevin Richards is stepping into the head coaching role as the Raiders look to keep that streak going.

U-32 has a lot of key personnel to replace, with guys like Cam Comstock and Hank Beling moving on. But even with a new head coach, the Raiders are confident they can keep chugging along and once again do some damage in D2.

“Real good,” said senior receiver Ismael Cruz on how the team is shaping up. “We’re doing a whole bunch of different stuff. Our whole format is different, so it’s kind of getting new to us, but I like it a lot.”

“I mean, football’s football, you know, so it’s pretty much all the same,” said junior linebacker Daniel Yaeger. “If you’re running under one play, it’s almost the same with other play. So it’s pretty much the same as what we had last time.”

“We’ve got a great legacy,” Richards said of the program. “These seniors, they they’ve been through a lot, so kind of leaning on those guys.”

U-32 opens its season at home against Fair Haven on September 2nd.