Who to watch, some key numbers and a Did You Know? — a compilation of items to read prior to Saturday’s trio of high school football state championship games:
DID YOU KNOW?
While Bellows Falls and Rice will meet for the third time in the Division II championship game and first since 1988, the schools have an interesting historical tie that traces back decades.
Teammates at Bellows Falls in the 1930s, Bill Landers and Larry Hadley were standout athletes who returned to the high school ranks as coaches and athletic directors.
Landers was a legendary coach and AD at Cathedral and Rice while Hadley served similar roles at Bellows Falls and married Landers’ sister. The football fields at Rice (Landers) and Bellows Falls (Hadley) are named after the two men.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Here’s a list of 10 potential players who could make the difference in Saturday’s trio of state championship games:
Darren Callan, BFA-St. Albans: A hard-hitting outside linebacker who is the quarterback of a Bobwhites defense that has yielded 14.3 points per game. Also can roam and play safety.
Michael Dulac, Patrick McGrath, Hartford: Perhaps the state’s best lineman, Dulac paves the way for Hartford’s bevy of backs to slice up opponents’ defenses. McGrath is a key defensive lineman for the Hurricanes.
Will Gault, James Morgan, Woodstock: A key phase in the Wasps’ success is their kickoff coverage, which takes pride in pinning opponents deep in their own territory. Front and center with this special-teams unit is Gault and Morgan.
Billy O’Brien, Tommy Fitzgerald, Rice: While Casey Tipson is the team’s top rusher, O’Brien’s offensive production shouldn’t be overlooked and might be the necessary balance in delivering Rice a second crown in three years. Fitzgerald has shown a big-play capability for the Green Knights.
Ethan Amidson, Tyler Holmes, Bellows Falls: The duo are key players on both sides of the ball for the Terriers, especially on the defensive side where the unit has allowed just 149 points.
Kris Wehner, BFA-Fairfax: Part of an attack-by-committee, Wehner is the leading rusher for the Bullets’ option offense.
BY THE NUMBERS
0: The number of losses for the three top seeds playing in Saturday’s trio of title games.
1: As in the first finals appearance for BFA-Fairfax.
3: If Hartford wins, it will be the first team to win three straight Division I titles since the Vermont Principals’ Association began statewide tournaments in 1970.
25: Hartford’s winning streak, which started after a lopsided loss to BFA-St. Albans during the 2010 season.
54: The number of points Rice has yielded this season, the lowest total in any division.
507: The number of points Woodstock has scored this season, the highest total in any division.