U-32 looks for bounceback campaign

Raiders look to improve after 1-8 2022 season
Raiders look to improve after 1-8 2022 season
Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 11:52 PM EDT
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EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The high school football season kicks off in less than two weeks, with three games in the state of Vermont on Thursday, August 31st. One of those games will be played in East Montpelier, with the U-32 raiders opening up their 2023 campaign against Colchester.

Now U-32 is a proud program, with four state titles to their name and eight consecutive playoff appearances from 2013-21. But last year was tough on the Raiders, as they sputtered to a 1-8 season, the lone bright spot a one-point win over rival Spaulding to avenge the previous year’s playoff defeat.

U-32 head coach Kevin Richards has the additional challenge of drawing kids from seven different schools and trying to meld them in to one cohesive unit. But with a young group, there is reason for optimism that this year will be better for the boys on Gallison Hill road.

“Well last year was as bad as it can get,” said senior running back and defensive back Daniel Yaeger. “So we know there’s no really pressure on us to perform, and just prove the haters wrong.”

“We’re really clicking this year,” said sophomore quarterback Charlie Fitzpatrick. “We’re really having good bonds, the receivers are really on the same page, especially in the backfields, and it’s gonna be huge for us.”

“We were so young last year,” said Richards. “That’s part of the struggle. The good part of that is we’re all back. So we actually only have four seniors, and we’re lucky that they’re some of our most productive players. You know, obviously we need to stop the run, we need to be able to run the ball a little bit better, and put some points on the board. But it’s nice to have those productive guys back and then have our younger guys step up and just have another year under their belts.”