With preseason game looming, Storm preparing

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BENNINGTON — With about a month of practices under their belt, the Southern Vermont Storm semi-pro football team is knee-deep into preparation for their season, which begins with a preseason tilt on June 22 at 4 p.m. against the Plattsburgh North Stars.

"Overall, it's been good so far, and I'm excited about the guys we have," said Storm general manager Chris Cipperley. "We're still working on getting some of the guys here, but we have a talented team that will compete and once we put all the pieces together, we should win a lot of football games."

The Storm move up to Double A this season for the first time since 2012 and Cipperley said the change has been a boon for his team.

"It changes the travel and it gives us some regional matchups we didn't have before," Cipperley said. "We didn't have enough games last year."

In Single A, teams get eight games a season compared to 10 in Double A.

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As general manager, Cipperley has had the task of mixing local players who have been with the Storm for years with new players from the Capital District and so far, things have gone well.

"It's a good mix, we have guys from Mount Anthony and the Bennington area and a lot of talent from outside the area," Cipperley said. "For example, we have Jordan Wilcox from Springfield College, who was a finalist to win the [Gagliardi Trophy, the Division III Heisman] and Lavante Wiggins, a Dalton, Mass., native who led Endicott in all-purpose yards.

"We have a lot of skill position guys and the talent is definitely there," Cipperley said.

The game on June 22 will open the second season of having the Storm play all its games at Lower Willow Park.

"We have about four or five practices until the preseason game," Cipperley said. "It's about getting plays installed, getting guys where they don't have to think about what they have to do, they can just play. That takes time, but it's the goal."

The team's first regular season game is a rival matchup with the Brunswick Bearcats on July 20 at Storm Stadium.


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