Southern Vermont Storm announces 2020 schedule

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BENNINGTON — The Southern Vermont Storm have called Bennington home since 2017.

This year, the semiprofessional football team, which competes in the New England Football League (NEFL), will have their home base in Keene, N.H. home. The Storm will play their home games at Keene High School.

With Vermont guidelines currently only allowing two hand touch football, the storm decided to find a temporary home for the 2020 season in New Hampshire, where football is currently allowed.

The Storm typically play their home games at Storm Stadium at Lower Willow Park.

The Storm released their schedule on Thursday. This year, all NEFL members will play a condensed four-game regular season. The Storm's first game will be played on the road versus the New Hampshire Bullies in Sandown, N.H on Sept. 5.

The team's first home game will come two weeks later, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m versus the Mass Mercenaries.

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Despite being away from Bennington for this season, the team just reached an agreement that will keep them at Willow Park until 2025.

"This will allow the team to continue to invest into the field for years to come," said Storm co-owner and defensive coordinator Chris Cipperley. "We hope to continue to build something we can all be proud of."

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The Storm didn't have a permanent home until 2017 when they first came to Lower Willow Park. Cipperley is thrilled to call Willow Park the Storm's home.

"The ability to get another five years to continue to build something is exciting," said Cipperley.

The Storm made it to the championship game in 2019, falling to the Worcester Wildcats 45-22. It was the Storm's first season competing in the North Atlantic (AA) Conference, moving up from the Maritime (A) Conference where they competed for a number of years.

They finished 2019 with a 8-3 record.

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The Storm have been practicing once a week this summer since June, following state guidelines in regards to social distancing.

They bolster a full 55-man roster. Cipperley said the players have been locked-in during practices.

"Practices have been great," Cipperley said. "It kind of gives them a release that they definitely need."

With the season approaching quickly, Cipperley and the Storm have their eye on the prize.

"The goal is to win a championship," said Cipperley.


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