Oh so close for Spartan football

The Castleton football team went 5-4 this season and finished second in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference and only plans to get better.The Spartans finished the season at 5-2 in the ECFC, a vast improvement from last year’s record of 3-6 overall and 1-5 in conference play.

Castleton missed a postseason bowl bid by one game. Castleton was tied for second along with Mount Ida and Norwich. But the Spartans were left out when both the Mustangs and the Cadets received ECAC bowl bids. Castleton beat Mount Ida during the regular season but lost to Norwich by nine points in the annual Vermont Maple Sap Bucket Championship.

Going into the season Castleton was looking to close in on the rest of the conference and one of the biggest keys to doing so was experience. In 2009 the preseason camp featured roughly 100 players who had never experienced college football. This season the team featured 40 veterans to help guide the new players.

The Spartans even exceeded Head Coach Rich Alercio’s expectations. Alercio said experience was the key factor in the team’s success this season and he was very pleased and surprised with his team.

“It went a heck of a lot better than I thought it was going to go,” said Alercio. “We were much more experienced. We had guys who understood what college football was all about.”

Alercio believes if his team continues to take steps in the right direction and just maintain what they’ve been doing there is no doubt in his mind the outcome of next season will be much different.

“If we make the strides into year three like we did into year two I think we will be playing in the postseason,” Alercio said.

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