MANCHESTER >> Trying to repeat as Division II state champions is the ultimate goal for the Burr and Burton football team, but that's long term. On a day-to-day basis, the Bulldogs are focused on what they can control and are taking things day by day.

"Our team goal is to take care of today," said BBA coach Jason Thomas. "We talk about winning the day and trying to get better each day. We're not looking in the past or looking far into the future. We're focused on today and what we can control."

Coming off winning the program's first state championship since 1947, the Bulldogs are primed to do the same again this season.

Returning under center for the Bulldogs is all-state quarterback Griff Stalcup.

The dual-threat senior quarterback is expected to have another outstanding season for the Bulldogs and be one of the best quarterback in the state.

Flanking Stalcup on the outside at the wide receiver positions are seniors Carter Vickers and Sean Apps.

The wide receiver duo and Stalcup have a great rapport and are a combination that will be hard to stop for opposing defenses.

Adding to the Bulldogs' dynamic offense is, according to Thomas, "BBA's best overall player," in junior Jay McCoy.

The junior will play a variety of positions on offense and will be the leader of the Bulldogs defense at the middle linebacker position.


Joining Stalcup in the backfield again this season is senior running back Taber Ameden and coming back up front on the offensive line for the Bulldogs are seniors Dylan Kapusta and Carson Hunter.

"We have a great core group of guys coming back from the team last year and they understand what it takes to win a championship," Thomas said. "We have a lot of talented ball players on this squad that can make plays and do a lot of things that can help the team win."

As most of the talk about BBA surrounds their offense, the same can be said about their defense.

The Bulldogs gave up an average of only 11 points per game last season and can be just as good this season, said Thomas.

Returning on defense for BBA is junior Connor Simonds, another very versatile player for the Bulldogs who can play linebacker or play on the defensive line.

Senior Ryan Duddy is expected to fill a key spot for BBA at linebacker, after a great showing in training camp and very talented sophomore Jake Baker is expected to be an impact player for the Bulldogs in the secondary.

On the defensive line, senior Obrian Ellis has really stepped his play since last season in camp and can be a force at the nose guard position for the Bulldogs this season.

BBA junior Jay McCoy catches a pass during the team’s practice on Wednesday afternoon. BBA went undefeated in 2015 and will look to keep their run of
BBA junior Jay McCoy catches a pass during the team's practice on Wednesday afternoon. BBA went undefeated in 2015 and will look to keep their run of success going in 2016. (STEVEN BASSIN — BENNINGTON BANNER |

Hunter, Kapusta, Vickers and Stalcup will all be key players on defense as well as two-way players.

"We're very excited to see what we can do on both sides of the ball from what we have seen in camp," Thomas said. "A lot of ours guys have worked hard all offseason and you can see them getting better and better each day. We definitely have the players to be good all-around football team."

As their first game of the season approaches, the Bulldogs continue to focus on taking things day by day, but coach Thomas does admit he has been very impressed by how well his team has performed during camp and especially happy with the play of his offensive live.

"I was very pleased with the play of our offensive line during camp," Thomas said. "To win football games, you have to control the line of scrimmage and if our offensive and defensive lines can do that with the talent we have at the skill positions, we're going to be a very tough team to beat."

BBA's title defense begins on Saturday when the Bulldogs host Mount Mansfield to open up the season.