WESTMINSTER, VT – “Football, just like many other sports, is a game of inches and that’s what that boiled down to was just a matter of inches,” said head coach Bob Lockerby.

The Bellows Falls Terriers are preparing for the 2023 season coming off a devastating loss, their first defeat since before COVID-19, in the championship game, in overtime to the Mt. Anthony Patriots.

“It’s been on my mind almost every day, it’s awful,” said senior captain Jesse Darrell, Terriers tailback.

“It made me feel like I don’t want to feel that again, so let’s not lose again,” said senior captain Walker James, Terriers running back.

It won’t be easy having graduated 12 members of last year’s regular season undefeated squad, but head coach Lockerby isn’t worried.

“I feel very comfortable and very confident with our three captains this year, Cole Moore, Jesse Darrell and Walker James and the nucleus of my seniors,” said Lockerby. “I think they’re going to provide the leadership that we need to get back there. Now it’s just a matter of getting out and putting it on the field.”

So what can we expect from the Terriers on the gridiron this fall?

“I’d say we have more speed than last year. Last year was more like we had bigger kids that would just hit people. We got speed and we’re just gonna keep running,” said senior captain Moore, Terriers tight end and linebacker.

“We had veterans that played varsity for three years on our line last year. But this year it’s all young kids, new freshmen coming up,” said Darrell. “But our backfield is strong just like last year… I think we’re still gonna be pretty good.”

“It’s when you get out there on the field and you’re facing your opponent and see how much they’ve improved…you find out what you’re capable of,” said Lockerby. “All I look for is I want us to get better every day, I want us to get better every week.”

“I can already feel the team coming together today, so that’s a good sign,” said Darrell.

The Patriots team that beat Bellows Falls in the championship has been moved up to Division I so the Terriers won’t get a chance for revenge.

Bellows Falls kicks off its season at home against Springfield on September 1.