The Middlebury Tigers are 5-0 through the first five weeks of the Vermont high school football season, and Tyler Buxton has been a key contributor to the perfect record.
Buxton has been playing flag football in Middlebury since fourth grade, and it’s no coincidence he’s been playing alongside many of his current teammates since their days in flag football.
The Middlebury senior captain said he plays running back and safety, but one look at his stats shows his versatility goes far beyond his fixed positions.
Through the first five games of the season, Buxton has chalked up 141 yards on eight catches for two touchdowns, along with 683 yards on 38 carries for eight touchdowns.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, he’s a menace on defense and special teams. Buxton has made 57 tackles to go with three interceptions, two of which he’s returned for touchdowns.
His coach was quick to expand on Tyler’s talent and work ethic.
“I’m glad he’s on my team just because of how good he is, being a receiver or being a running back, and so on,” Middlebury football head coach Dennis Smith said. “When he gets done with a game, his body is all red. He’s just beat up because he’s working so hard.”
Tyler expressed a strong competitive nature, which he attributes to growing up with two athletic older sisters.
“I’ve always wanted to stand out from my sisters because they would always knock me down and I would try to get back up,” Buxton reflected.
“I’ve always looked up to them, but I’ve always wanted to leave my own mark outside of just them, outside of the ‘Buxtons,’ so that’s really fostered that competitive spirit.”
Along with his competitive drive, he also impresses as a leader and team player.
“Good sportsmanship, definitely,” teammate Ian Ploof said of Buxton’s style of play. “That’s our number one thing I’d say; play hard every game no matter what the score is.”
Tyler hopes to bring the Tigers back to the state championship and win it all, while chasing some personal goals along the way.
“I just want to be remembered, to be honest. Remembered from this school, with my peers, for younger generations coming up, and also just by the state.”