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Tuesday August 25, 2015 Edition
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Is Tiger Football Ready For 2015?

photo by Mike Cameron

Tuesday August 25, 2015

By Mike Cameron

The Division 1 Vermont High School Football Season begins in earnest on Friday night August 28th, 2015.  Locally, Middlebury will host Mount Anthony Union High's Patriots out of Bennington.  It will be the official season opener for both teams.  One team will be riding a twenty-two game winning streak with two successive Division 1 Titles in the trophy case.  The other will be coming off a successful bid to remain in Division 1 competition after some had suggested they move down to Division 2.    This would be a very tough sell in Bennington, a town like Middlebury, with a long and successful sports history.  The Patriots winning wrestling legacy is known throughout the country.  Their kids are tough and they like to compete.   Expect the Pats to be ready when they visit Doc Collins this year.Tiger Grads Leave Big HoleLast year Middlebury 'lit up' the league, on both sides of the ball.  Their wide open 'option check' offense made defenses second guess all season long.  Third and fourth quarters were played in running time in many of their games as opponents were left out of breath and out of contention.    Graduation could change some of that.  The smart coaches around the league however, know better.The big scores of 2014 also gave more Tiger players an opportunity to grab some game time, who under tight game conditions would most likely not have gotten in a close game as often.    The Tigers are about tomorrow and always have been.  Win or loose, the Tigers seem to always be asking the question “what did we learn.”  There will be different faces looking out from the helmets for the most part but they will still continue be a load to contend with. Youth Football and Fundamentals Middlebury has a solid football program in the lower grades that allows younger kids to nurture a desire and skill level that will prepare them to play better and safer when they are in High School.  It's a great program for youngsters who love the sport, have a desire to learn, and is run by volunteers who love the game and think 'safety first.'     At a time when potential football head injuries are being given a very high level of study and discussion, Middlebury has an excellent track record of maintaining both safety and sustainable interest by youth who enjoy the game of football.  Attitude and AltitudeGetting a group of young men to agree  on anything in this day and age is anything but easy outside of the military  Ask any parent.  Successful High School Football Teams have a unity of purpose and a clear understanding of what the team’s goals are.  It's more than win,win,win.  At the High School level it's learn,learn,learn.    What are you willing to do for the kid next to you?  What are you willing to share with the kid across from you after a hard contact practice?  In the end can we all try to help elevate the integrity of the game for our team, school, and community?  A winning attitude makes winning much more attainable.Cliche' intended.    The Tigers winning tradition will continue.  Coach Smith and his staff will see to that.  The Team will be supported.  Friends of Middlebury Football will see to that.  Alumni will talk about their time under the helmet and how it was back in the day.  We in the press will remember Ziggy, Dick and Dave now gone but never forgotten.  Enjoy the games.  This is a special time of the year.

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