The 2020 Fall high school athletic season is like no other in the history of Vermont sports. When school athletic programs began practices on September 8th, it became immediately apparent that, whether watching a cross country running practice, a soccer technical session, or an on-field football workout, COVID-19 and the accompanying safety precautions and guidelines had significantly altered the student-athlete experience. After careful consideration and analysis by Governor Phil Scott’s medical experts and School Sports Task Force, as well as the implementation of specific guidelines and safety-related changes, all traditional fall sports were given permission to compete.
Although most sports are taking place with little to no change to the rules of the game, one sport, football, had to be significantly altered to ensure the health, safety and well being of all participants. The 2020 version of football in Vermont high schools involves a low contact, one-hand touch, 7v7 format. Passing is the name of the game, and whether a large offensive lineman, or speedy running back, any player is able to contribute to the scoring and defensive success of their team.
In a typical season, our Fairfax/Lamoille Cooperative team would participate in Division 3, which is Vermont’s smallest school division. With this year’s schedule moving to a regional format, the team has faced a schedule of mostly Division 1 teams (the largest in Vermont), and is currently making a name for themselves in the Vermont 7v7 football landscape. Wins over traditional football powerhouses BFA St. Albans and Colchester, a 1-point overtime loss to CVU, and a mere 5-point loss to the Burlington/SBHS Cooperative team have demonstrated that Fairfax/Lamoille is a force to be reckoned with, and will be an extremely tough draw for any team, of any school size, in the playoffs.
The Fairfax/Lamoille football team and staff have fully embraced this new style of football, have approached it as a new challenge, and are thrilled to simply have the ability to compete during this unprecedented fall season. This positive approach is leading to success on the field, and well-deserved recognition in the Vermont football community. They are great role models for fellow student-athletes and athletic programs, and continue to make us proud every day.