Castleton University celebrates its last homecoming before the merger with its football team ready to go. The Vermont State University name will take on the task next year of providing a weekend of family fun.
This weekend, Castleton Football was looking for their first win after dropping their opening game to Plymouth State.
The team blocked last week’s results from memory and focused on what they needed to focus on for Fitchburg State. Every week is always different.
Practice was intense as players and coaches were not impressed with last week’s execution. They were ready to go to work through any circumstances.
Late night practices were greeted by Mother Nature downpouring rain each night, but it didn’t matter. At all costs, it was time to show the true potential of what Spartan football is about.
The tensions were high going into the game as each player waited in the locker room preparing to go to war.
Each player wearing the signature green and white, with eyeblack painted on, and headphones blasting music.
This week’s goal was to focus on one thing which was to get a win.
Players in the locker room locked in as the clock struck noon.
Dawson Pierson could only think about starting the game off strong. After only scoring one touchdown last week, the offense is looking for an early spark.
“It’s a bounce back week. We must go 1-0. We haven’t proven anything yet. Took a tough loss to Plymouth and I think that woke us up a little bit,” said Captain Jacob Griggs.
Other players like Andrew Genier, Colin Ellsworth and Jarret Valdez all agreed upon bringing intensity to all three phases of the game.
It was time to fight back.
Coach Volpone led the team to Dave Wolk Stadium where they were met with a packed crowd.
The stadium recorded its second largest attendance for a contest with 4,112 fans, which was 5 fans shy of breaking the record. This crowd was ready to go.
The crowd roared with energy which the Spartans fed off of all game.
Scoring 21 points in the second quarter, and 20 more in the third, there was no shortage of action throughout the game.
Jordan Wright and Pierson explain that all three phases of the game were meshing incredibly well from all of the energy.
Caden Lockwood and Griggs gave lots of credit to the defense for stepping up and making huge plays.
The Spartans defense recorded seven tackles for loss, two sacks and one fumble recovery setting up the offense to have great field positioning.
What was most remembered was Caezar Williams’ punt return touchdown in the third quarter. it was the first punt return touchdown in school history, making his mark in the Spartan history books.
It was a huge moment for the Spartans to come out on fire in the second half.
After the game was over, the Spartans met with their family and friends on the field, living in the moment of homecoming weekend.
The one question we had left was will VTSU be able to replicate this type of event in the future?
Players have full confidence within the community that homecoming will not change. The Spartans give lots of gratitude to the people of Castleton for coming to support their games.
From the tailgate, and the events during the day right up to the action, the community was together living in the moment.
The values and traditions of old will live on through the people that make up such an amazing environment.