After weeks of preseason practices, the Essex Chargers are ready to kick off their Northern Vermont Youth Football League regular season.
The Chargers got their first look against other teams when they participated in the annual NVYFL Jamboree last week.
“We had a really good week of practice heading into the jamboree,” said Chargers coach Tony Arcovitch. “The jamboree is always a good way to spot where your team needs work.”
The team scrimmaged five teams during the jamboree.
They went up against South Burlington, Bradford, Chittenden East, Chittenden South and Burlington.
“Overall I was pleased with all of the scrimmages,” said Arcovitch. “Our players stepped up and showed what they were capable of.”
The Chargers have 45 players throughout the program on their seventh- and eighth-grade team and fifth- and sixth-grade team, which is a little down compared to their average roster of 50 players.
However, the Chargers have 21 returning players to the program on the older team alone.
Key players will include Sam Foster, Rob Meslin and Jackson Baker at running back, Chris LaBonte and Grady Corkum at quarterback and Tim Yandow, Brandon Charles and Hayden Beattie on the line.
“We have a good amount of players that have come up through the ranks of our program,” said Arcovitch. “We have a good core of running backs coming back, which will really help us throughout the year.”
The Chargers are coming off a 4-3 season that earned them the fifth seed in the NVYFL playoffs. After knocking off the fourth-seeded South Burlington Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs, they ended up losing to the Burlington Seahorses, who went on to win the championship.
They will look for a little payback on Saturday when they open up their season at Burlington.
“We’ve been working hard so far this preseason,” said Arcovitch. “We know we have a lot of work to do before Saturday, but we will be ready.”
The Chargers will open up their home play with a home game on Sept. 6 against Newport at Maple Street Park. Games will begin at 10 a.m.
“The coaches are looking forward to another season of Charger Football,” said Arcovitch. “It’s always fun to watch how the players develop as a team over the course of the season.”
2014 Chargers schedule
5th and 6th grade games begin at 8 a.m. with 7th and 8th grade games following
Essex home games played at Maple Street ParkAug. 30 – Essex at Burlington Sept. 6 – Essex vs. Newport Sept. 13 – Essex at Colchester Sept. 20 – Essex at St. Albans Sept. 27 – Essex vs. Chittenden South Oct. 4 – Essex at Chittenden East Oct. 11 – Essex vs. South Burlington