WINDSOR, VT — Greg Balch, the head coach of the Windsor Yellowjackets, likened the team’s anticipation for the upcoming season to a continuous celebration: “It’s like Christmas for us but we get to do it day after day after day.”
When pondering about dominant teams in their respective divisions, the Windsor Yellowjackets stand out as a formidable force. With consecutive undefeated seasons and two state championships under their belt, boasting a remarkable 22-0 record, the school’s football program has secured its legacy with four out of the last six Division III Championships.
However, despite this string of accomplishments, both the experienced coach and players remain intently focused on the challenges that lie ahead. Balch emphasized the ongoing journey: “This team hasn’t accomplished anything. Right, you know sometimes, I think when you’re coming off a successful season, people can walk around feeling as though they’ve been successful this season.”
Avery Bean, a senior offensive tackle, echoed the sentiment that each week brings a fresh start: “We’re always zero and zero on Monday. Every single week, we’re zero and zero.”
Brody Osgood, a senior running back, emphasized the team’s commitment to maintaining their performance level: “We want to keep the trend and stay on our guard.”
Paradoxically, the Yellowjackets’ recent triumphs have only heightened the target on their backs. Avery Bean pointed out the competitive edge: “Everybody wants a piece at Windsor. That’s what they all want. They want that chip. They might lose all their games but if they stay with us or beat us that one week, that makes their season.”
Despite their dominance, the team has experienced the departure of key players, including last year’s star quarterback Mason Fortin, who represented Windsor in the Shrine Maple Superbowl game, a showcase of the best players from Vermont and New Hampshire. Bean acknowledged Fortin’s contributions: “He brought mental and physical toughness and that’s what it takes to win games.”
The Yellowjackets also faced a significant shift in their offensive line, with nearly the entire unit graduating. Now, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the lone returning member, who is entrusted with upholding the team’s standards. Bean reflected on the legacy of leadership: “Last two or three years, it started from the seniors from those two, three years, and we started all the way back from COVID and those seniors really pushed us—the juniors, the sophomores, the freshmen—and so on, and so forth. The next seniors pushed the rest of them down.”
While winning back-to-back state championships is nothing new for Windsor, having achieved this feat in 2016 and 2017, the prospect of a three-peat presents an exciting challenge for this dominant program. Bean acknowledged the thought while maintaining focus: “It has been on my mind. I try not to. I don’t like to look too far down the road and once that week is over, we’ll go to the next week.”
The most recent high school team to achieve a three-peat was Woodstock, accomplishing the feat in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Windsor’s quest for this historic achievement will commence on September 2nd as they kick off their season at home against Oxbow.