On Saturday, November 9, in front of a packed stadium at Rutland High School, our BFA Fairfax/Lamoille Union cooperative football team faced Poultney High School in a gritty, exciting, and hard-fought Vermont Division 3 state championship game. It was the ultimate in title games: two extremely talented and well-coached teams, with identical records, and similar styles of play facing off for the thrill and honor of bringing a state championship home to their communities. In these situations, it is unfortunate that there has to be a winner and a loser, and on this day, it was Poultney who took home the title with a 17-8 win. Although their disappointment was visible, our Bullet players demonstrated admirable class and poise as they accepted their runner-up trophy and medals, and congratulated the Poultney team.
Some would gauge victory and success on the number of titles won, a win-loss record, or postseason accolades. For Fairfax/Lamoille football, however, the cooperative team journey has proven to be the ultimate victory. This team of 35 players and managers, representing two counties, four different schools, and multiple communities has become a shining example of the power of athletic participation. Fairfax, Lamoille, Stowe, and Peoples Academy are rivals in most sports, but when it comes to football, these four communities have bonded together and become one team and a shining example of pride and sportsmanship.
US Women’s Soccer team member and Olympic champion Alex Morgan once said, “Winning and losing isn’t everything; sometimes, the journey is just as important as the outcome.” For Fairfax/Lamoille football, the cooperative team experience has been the ultimate victory, and will continue to be the standard of success. When the sadness of Saturday’s loss is a distant memory, what will remain is the impact of four communities whose pride, passion and support have helped build a truly positive education-based athletics program and culture.
Congratulations on an amazing season, Bullets! You made ALL your communities proud!