Boston High School: Alec Kozlowski

New England Roundup: Vermont

July, 29, 2012
7/29/12
9:00
PM ET
All-Star football players from Vermont and New Hampshire have been butting heads in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl since 1954, and you could argue that Vermont has never needed a victory more than it does this year.

VermontNew Hampshire leads the series 43-13-2, and has won the last 11 meetings – many by one-sided scores. New Hampshire's recent dominance has some concerned about the game's health.

“There's no question there's pressure on Vermont,” said Rutland coach Mike Norman, who will coach this year's Vermont team. “For every athlete we have, they probably have one-and-a half or two. Hopefully we'll be coached up well enough to compete and get after New Hampshire a little bit.”

This year's game will be played Aug. 4 at Dartmouth College. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Practice for this year's game began Thursday at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden.

This is Norman's third tour of duty as Vermont's Shrine coach. He also served as Vermont's coach in 1998 and 2001. Vermont won 21-13 in 1998, and New Hampshire prevailed 21-0 in 2001.

Norman, who has led Rutland to seven state championships, said Fair Haven's Robert Coloutti will likely be Vermont's starting quarterback. Hartford's Tucker Stone, the other quarterback on the roster, is penciled in to start in the defensive backfield. Each quarterback led their team to a state championship last season.

“[Coloutti] is from a spread offense,” Norman said. “He'll play basketball at Castleton State. He was recruited to play football too. He can use his feet. He's an athlete.”

Stone, who is expected to be a defensive back at St. Lawrence, is one of nine Hartford players on the roster. Hartford has won the last two Division I state championships.

“We're gonna have to rely on the Hartford kids,” Norman said. “There's a bunch of them on the team, and they've had some success. In order for us to be successful it will have to be those guys leading the way.”

Mike Beliveau, the head coach at Souhegan High School in Amherst, N.H., is New Hampshire's head coach. Beliveau was New Hampshire's head coach in 2000, when Vermont posted a 47-40 victory. It was the highest-scoring game in the event's history.

New Hampshire has prevailed by using a power running game the last few years, but Beliveau said New Hampshire fans can expect to see his team throw the ball often in this year's contest.

“We will be different than the last few New Hampshire Shrine teams, when their were 60 snaps and maybe five or six passes,” Beliveau said. “We'll be way more balanced than that.”

The game will feature 15-minute quarters, and Norman said he plans to use a two-platoon system as much as possible.

“We'll be on the turf, it'll probably be hot and it's a long game,” Norman said. “We'll try to get as many people involved as possible. It's a matter of not panicking early, and getting into the flow of the game.”

VERMONT SHRINE MAPLE SUGAR BOWL ROSTER
Tucker Stone (Hartford), Matt Rafus (Windsor), Kyle Kelly (Rutland), Levi Ellis (Fair Haven), Marshall Hastings (Middlebury), Sam Kelly (Oxbow), Zach Devoid (Bellows Free), Jayson Collette (Milton), Jakob Oliver (Burr and Burton), Rob Coloutti (Fair Haven), Dillon Robinson (Middlebury), Owen Newton (Hartford), Soren Pelz-Walsh (Brattleboro), Alec Kozlowski (Colchester), Mike Schreiner (Bellows Free Academy), Travis Wilson (Hartford), William Thompson (South Burlington), Ryan Flemming (Champlain Valley), Alex Cross (Mount Anthony), Troy Bell (Hartford), Miles Latham (Hartford), Taylor Raftery (Bellows Free Academy), Dylan Raymond (Champlain Valley Union), Robert Murray (Hartford), Mack Shea (Rutland), Cody Collins (North Country), Steven Ladka (Hartford), Bobby Annis (Hartford), Adam Fortin (North Country), Austin Quesnel (Middlebury), Joseph Johnson (Hartford), Mathew Keir (Mount Anthony), Parker Lamoureux (Mount Anthony), Jamie Holbrook (Milton), Ben Thieken (Bellows Free Academy), Ryan Ragosta (Rutland).

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and publishes the New Hampshire Football Report. He has been reporting on high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
3:38
PM ET
In recent years Vermont's head coach for the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl has looked like someone about to start a fistfight wearing handcuffs.

VermontNew Hampshire has nearly twice as many schools with varsity football as Vermont, and that usually translates into more talent on the field. Rutland's Mike Norman, Vermont's head coach for this summer's game, will be trying to end New Hampshire's 11-game winning streak.

“Having done this a couple times, I know we're not gonna have as many big kids or skill kids as New Hampshire,” Norman said when the Vermont roster for this year's game was announced last week. “You have to have kids who are willing to stand up to New Hampshire during the game.”

This year's contest will be played Aug. 4 at Dartmouth College. New Hampshire leads the series 43-13-2.

Norman, who has guided Rutland to seven state championships, coached the Vermont Shrine team in 1998 and 2001. Vermont won 21-13 in 1998, and New Hampshire prevailed 21-0 in 2001.

“We're gonna try to do what we do – and what that is remains to be seen,” Norman said. “I know we'll have to defend the run, have a solid kicking game and be able to run the ball enough to make them defend it.”

Mike Beliveau, the head coach at Souhegan High School in Amherst, will be New Hampshire's head coach. Believeau was New Hampshire's head coach in 2000, when Vermont posted a 47-40 victory. It was the highest-scoring game in the event's history.

Beliveau has led Souhegan to four state championships and 14 championship game appearances in the last 14 seasons.

“For me the priority was to put together a quality offensive line,” Beliveau said. “The second thing I was looking for was a couple of quarterbacks who would be able to pick up the offense quickly.”

New Hampshire has prevailed by using a power running game the last few years, but Beliveau said New Hampshire fans can expect to see his team throw the ball often this summer.

“We will be different than the last few New Hampshire Shrine teams, when their were 60 snaps and maybe five or six passes,” Beliveau said. “We'll be way more balanced than that.”

Hartford's Tucker Stone, a three-year starter, and Fair Haven's Robert Coloutti will be Vermont's quarterbacks. Each led their team to a state championship last season.

“A lot of this game is gonna be determined by who your quarterbacks are,” Norman said. “We think we have two pretty good ones.”

Practice for this year's game will begin July 26 at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden.

“I like the overall athleticism of the group,” Norman said. “We have kids who will compete, and that's important against New Hampshire.”

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