Fans, players stay optimistic

Castleton University 2019 football season opener against Plymouth State at Castleton University, Castleton Vermont on September 07, 2019 Photo: Todd Poole

This season has been a long grueling one for the Castleton Spartan football team.

The team, with three games left to play is sitting with an 0-7 record and time running out to avoid a winless season.

The process has been frustrating for players who have been putting the work in since early August and the offseason before it.

Senior nose guard Nick Fecteau said the team simply isn’t that bad, which makes it more frustrating that they have fallen short.

“We are a much better team than our record shows. In every game so far there has been a handful of big plays that we gave up that change the outcome of the game,” Fecteau said.

When a team is struggling on the field, some players may be on the verge of giving up.

Despite the record, however, players like senior linebacker Lukas Carlson say there is no quit in this team.

“We have all kept a positive mindset throughout this whole season,” Carlson said. “We’re embodying the underdog mindset and just doing everything right on and off the field with practice or classes all aspects of life correlate to how we play on Saturdays.”

Castleton head coach Tony Volpone is trying to keep his guys ambitious for the last stretch.

“Our guys do a good job of keeping themselves motivated. We have competition periods in practice that serve as motivating pieces but if they don’t have it within themselves it is hard to get it out,” Volpone said.

Volpone believes his group are still capable of great things and wants to prepare them for each week that way.

“Through preparation we want to build their confidence so when the time comes they are able to execute and ultimately enjoy success,” he said.

The members of team aren’t the only ones disappointed with the results thus far, it’s been tough for die hard Spartan football fans as well.

Long-time CU football supporter Karly Paquette recognizes just how close they have been to grasping that elusive victory.

“It’s been tough because you know the amount of potential they have to be a great team. If you look at some of the teams they played last year and how they’ve done against them this season, they are improving and that’s all you can ask of them,” Paquette said.

Senior Aliyah Edmonds has attended almost every home game in her four years at Castleton.

Despite the heartbreaking losses she hasn’t given up on her team.

“I will continue to go support them for the rest of the season. You can’t lose faith, but some seasons just aren’t good ones but I love being a part of the family here at Castleton. I just keep hoping for the best for the team,” said Edmonds with a smile.

Paquette stated it best about the no-quit attitude of these Spartan football fans.

“I’m proud of the team, you need to be there for their losses if you’re going to celebrate their wins,” Paquette said.

The focus for the rest of the season is all about finishing strong for this unit and especially for its seniors playing the last few games of the sport they love.

Senior offensive linemen Joe Saraiva wants to finish on a high note not only for the season but his career.

“My goals are to win the last three games of the season and continue to be a leader on this team,” Saraiva said. “The mindset I have is to keep fighting, there isn’t many games left so you need to make them count!”

This team may be down right now but players say they certainly aren’t going to roll over for the count.

“We are still going into every game with the expectation of winning. I want us to finish our season going 100% every practice and game no matter what our record shows,” Fecteau said.

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