MONTPELIER, VT – The U-32 Raiders can only get better following the 2022 season when the team went 1-8. With several of their top performers back for this season, the team is hopeful they can improve.

“We have our most productive players back. We got our quarterback back, our leading receiver back, running backs, the guys that scored touchdowns are back. Who couldn’t be excited about that,” said head coach Kevin Richards, on the impending season.

But in 2023, it’s still going to be an uphill battle. “We’re still really young, so we need guys to step up,” said Richards. “Really the energy needs to come from the players and they are doing a good job of that in every facet we have been asking them to do.”

Quarterback Charlie Fitzpatrick is learning to be a leader. “As a quarterback I try to a very positive guy, [a] very easy guy to talk to especially for younger receivers and running backs,” said Fitzpatrick.

This youth on the football field is not keeping the optimism away from practice. “We are definitely young but I think we are ready to come out, fly around and win some games. We just all have to unite and work together as best we can,” said wide receiver Hunter Bove.

Raiders teammates were clearly supportive of each other on the field whether it be after a good play or a mistake.

“Really what we need [is], you don’t need me yelling stuff,” said Richards, addressing his team. “We need you guys [acting] like you did at the end there because that was awesome.” He’s referencing the positive support.

“Ultimately we just have to worry about U-32,” said Richards. “I always say that to the guys. [The] only people that matter are the guys in our program. If we can do that, we will take care of business.”

The Raiders kick off their season on the road against Colchester on Thursday, August 31.