Burr and Burton prepares for challenge of D-I

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MANCHESTER — Change is common in high school sports and the Burr and Burton football team has experienced its fair share of it over the offseason.

Between the promotion of BBA coach Tom McCoy from assistant to the head gig to a move up to Division I, the Bulldogs have a whole new challenge on their hands as they head into the 2019 season.

The defending Division II state champions have a whole new set of opponents to contend with this fall and BBA gets its season started against Burlington/South Burlington this Friday on the road.

After a long offseason preparing for the kickoff on Friday, the Bulldogs are itching to get on the field and go.

"They've been working hard and two-a-days is a grind," McCoy said. "I think they're fired up and excited to get up to Burlington. We want to make sure we're prepared the best that we can be and it's a short week this week with the Friday night game, so it's just about making sure we get the work done over the next couple nights."

BBA lost a handful of crucial seniors from its championship campaign, among them running back Jake Baker, wide receiver Jake Nicholson and lineman Will Frank and Olivier Cazaudumec.

Even with those losses, the Bulldogs are confident in their ability to compete this season. A lot of that confidence comes down to the senior leadership they possess, especially at the skill positions.

Dual-threat quarterback Joey McCoy returns under center, following an all-state campaign, where he threw for more than 20 touchdown passes and rushed for more than 500 yards. His favorite target, wide receiver John Morgantini, returns on the outside and running back Logan Morgan takes over as the main cog in the backfield.

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"The offense is fairly involved because it's no huddle and we signal everything in from the sidelines," Tom McCoy said. "Having those guys returning at the skill positions is hard to even put a price on how important that is for a head coach. They're making my job a lot easier this year and they're showing some great leadership and doing their own coaching on the sidelines."

The offensive and defensive lines are led by senior Ethan Simonds, who is crucial as the center for BBA and is one of three team captains, along with Morgan and Joey McCoy.

Sophomores David Keyes and Kevin Morris are two other critical pieces of the Bulldogs' line and plays both ways. They highlight a young core that figures to be a strength for BBA.

"Our guys up front are good, strong, young kids that have really been putting in the work," Tom McCoy said. "I'm happy with the effort that they've been putting in and I think we'll have some success up front."

Tom McCoy loves the mix of guys he has on his roster and expects big things out of the group.

"The kids are putting in the work and I'm real happy with the progress that they're making," Tom McCoy said. "It's a fun group of kids to coach because they really love each other and they really love football."

Kickoff for Friday's contest is set for 7 p.m. in Burlington.

Roster: Joey McCoy, Logan Morgan, Ethan Simonds, Will Addington, Matthew Blake, Jakob Bombis, Liam Bradley, Gabriel Brenner, Nate Brenner, Nevaeh Camp, Mark Carthy, John Cowperthwaite, Michael Crabtree, Jakob Crossman, Dominic DeRita, Michael Duddy, Tyler Fela, Joseph Harrington, Carson Herzfeld, Vincent Hoffman, Carter Jasinski, Dustin Joseph, Miles Kaplan, David Keyes, Sean Lam, Carl Lavallee III, Warren McIntyre, Conor McMahon, Dylan McMahon, Joseph McNealus, Will Moore, John Morgantini, Kevin Morris, Jack Morrison, Jakub Mulac, Eric Mulroy, Ethan Senecal, Shepard Siegel, Nathan Smilko, Mason Snide, Patrick Szkutak, Jamie Tudor, Alex Vigue, Jack Waller, Devon Withington, Noah Woods, Stephen Woods, Dylan Wright.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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