MAU grads thrilled to be playing at home

BENNINGTON — Before Storm practice on Thursday, players were excited to discuss the music playlist for Saturday's New England Football League matchup against the Connecticut Gamblers.

For the first time this year, the Storm are finally playing a true home game.

The Storm were originally going to play a pair of games in Bennington, but the Franklin County Greyhounds forfeited their game on August 12. While that game was going to take place at Mount Anthony Union Middle School, on Saturday, the Storm will play at Mount Anthony Union High School.

On Thursday at practice, a handful of Mount Anthony graduates, guys who played their formative football years on Spinelli Field, reminisced about playing at MAU as high school students.

"When I was a junior in high school I had a game-winning interception against South Burlington in the last two minutes of the game when they were driving down to score," said 2010 grad Nate Sweet, an honorable mention all-state pick in his senior season. "It feels good going back there and playing again. It is always nice to see so many fans come out. Playing at home is a lot easier on the mind. When you have played there for so many years, it feels natural to be playing there."

Sweet isn't the only one who believes MAU feels like home. Out of more than 40 guys on the roster, more than half are Mount Anthony graduates.

Co-captain Gary Hewson graduated from Mount Anthony in 2009 and is excited to be back playing on his home turf.

"It is always fun since it is the one game we get in town," Hewson said. "It feels good to be a part of it. It is comforting knowing you don't have to go anywhere to do your warm-ups. You're already ready and hopefully everyone is focused."

So far this season, the Storm have been traveling to Tamarac High School in Troy, N.Y., to play home games. Even though they have outscored opposing teams 70-13 (not including an forfeit by the Greyhounds) in those matchups, they are excited to be playing at

Mount Anthony Union High School for the first time.

Head coach Guy Changa, who is from Troy and coaches at Tamarac High School, understands how excited his team is to play at their home field.

"We're chomping at the bit for this game," said head coach Guy Changa. " We have been waiting a month and a half for this."

On Saturday night, the Storm, who are currently on a three-game winning streak, welcome the 0-5 Connecticut Gamblers to Bennington. Kick-off for the game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"It feels great to be back playing in front of the people we grew up with," said 2011 MAU graduate Sean Willette, whose teammates call him Cheeseburger. "We give the fans something different. Semi-pro football is a little more competitive than high school football so it should be a lot of fun."

Kick off for Saturday's game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the gate and kids under 8 are free.


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