MAU, BBA kickoff fall season


BENNINGTON >> As the second day of football practice in Vermont came to a close on Tuesday, Mount Anthony coach John Martin had his players doing extra up-downs as punishment for things like being late (one up-down for every minute late) and using profanity (one for each letter).

But at the end, Martin gave his team eight up-downs for his own offense.

The accountability is a major point for Martin as he enters his third season leading the Patriots.

"Going into my third year, the kids know us and what we expect. The stuff at the end, they know what we want and they need to be accountable," Martin said. "It's a big thing for us. Eleven different guys are doing 11 different things, if one messes up, we all suffer. The older kids are pushing that and there's a lot of self-policing. They help the younger guys figure it out."

Mount Anthony finished 3-6 for the second straight year, but made its first playoff appearance since 2010.

"[Player] numbers are important, the guy holding the bag is just as important as the guy taking the reps," said Martin, who had about 45 players on Tuesday. "We have a low number of seniors, just six, but we'll lean on the junior class and some of the younger guys."

In Manchester, Burr and Burton held its second day of practice on Tuesday and the entire Bulldogs team were happy to be back on the gridiron.

"It's exciting to get to playing some football," said BBA coach Jason Thomas, leading practice on Taylor Field. "The first two days we have being doing a lot of mental stuff, going over the playbook and coaching the players up on the basics on the field."

The defending Division II state champions will depend more on their team speed and athleticism this year to win games, Thomas said.

So far the Bulldogs' speed and athleticism has really stood out to the coaching staff through the first two days of practices.

"We're very athletic at every position and we a lot of talented kids across the board," Thomas said. "We might not be a team that has a lot of size, but we have a lot talented football players on this team and most of our in great shape conditioning wise, which will be huge late in games for us."

Worth ethic is another huge qualities about the Bulldogs that Thomas believes will help the succeed this season, last year's team's great worth ethic has carried over to this year.

Still, Thomas said are not harping on what they did last year as this is a new year and a new team.

"This team is trying to blaze their own platform," Thomas said. "Last year is irrelevant. We're focus on what we can accomplish this season."

Right now, BBA's sole focus is trying to get better through each practice the rest of the week.

"We want to continue to get better at knowing our system and repping it to perfection," Thomas said. "Also these next two days were going to get the pads on, so were going to see who is going separate themselves from the pack to be starters and who wants to compete the most. We're really looking forward to seeing how these kids compete these next few days."


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