New coach, new challenge for Bulldogs
MANCHESTER — New Burr and Burton football coach Thomas McCoy is one of seven new head coaches in Vermont.
But out of the seven, McCoy has the most unique situation — his team is moving up to Division I for the first time and they are the defending Division II champions.
"It's exciting to get started," McCoy said. "We feel we're in a pretty good place right now."
McCoy was the defensive coordinator and wide receivers coach under former coach Jason Thomas. Thomas took a head coaching job at the Flint Hill School in Virginia earlier this year, affording McCoy the opportunity to move up to the head coach spot.
"Coach Thomas has been incredible, we talk almost daily, definitely weekly," McCoy said. "He's been a great inspiration for me and been very helpful in this transitional phase, I'm very appreciative of him."
Coaching players on both sides of the ball over the past few years will be an advantage for McCoy.
"I feel comfortable with the offense, I paid a lot of attention when [Thomas] was coaching the kids up and he's shared a lot of what's been successful for him to me," McCoy said. "Hopefully we can just continue on that path."
All of the coaches that were on Thomas' staff have come back to work with McCoy.
"They've agreed to come back and that's unbelievably supportive on their end," McCoy said.
He's also hired a couple of new assistants as well and others are volunteering their time. Overall, there's about 10 coaches on McCoy's staff.
"I have young guys and guys that have coached for 40 years," McCoy said. "They have been giving me lots of insight."
After finishing 10-1 last season and a Division II championship with a 63-14 drubbing of Fair Haven, McCoy has a new challenge to take on: leading his charge into their first Division I campaign. The schedule starts with a tough opponent right off the bat, as BBA travels to Burlington to take the Burlington-South Burlington contingent, which went 5-4 last season.
McCoy said when all is said and done, they should go into the season with more than 40 players.
"We're happy. We have 10 solid seniors that played key role positions for us last year, and we also have 18 freshman," McCoy said. "We have some talented new kids that I've known coaching other sports that are excited about coming out and I think they are going to help us for sure."
Quarterback Joey McCoy is back for his senior season, many consider him to be one of the state's top signal callers. At receiver, John Morgantini returns as McCoy's top target, and in the backfield, Logan Morgan will be a workhorse.
A handful of lineman return as well, but the team graduated some of the top defensive players from a year ago.
"We certainly have some seniors that have played football for a long time," McCoy said. "I coached them back at the youth level. We also have some young, strong talented linemen, sophomore and juniors. Depth is always a concern. Our three big challenges are staying healthy, staying eligible and not to break training rules. If we can those things, we'll have some success."
BBA starts the season on the road against the Seawolves on August 30 and have their home opener on September 7 against Hartford.
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