High school football preview: Essex Hornets

High School Huddle

Coaching change bringing new energy to EHS this season

The Marty Richards era has begun for the Essex football team.

Richards, a 1984 Essex graduate, spent nearly two decades at the helm of the Mt. Mansfield football team. His Cougars coaching tenure culminated with the team’s first-ever state title win in 2018. Richards stepped down from his post following that season, but the opening at his alma mater was two appealing to pass up.

“I’m excited,” Richards said. “Being back at Essex where I grew up, it’s nice that live has gone full circle.”

EHS fell in the D1 semifinals in 2019, and as the Hornets return to tackle football, they believe Richards is the perfect option to help the team break through.

“He’s the most committed coach I’ve ever seen,” Essex senior Ben Serrantonio said. “He’s always here and wants to be here as much as he can. He teaches at MMU, and still gets here on time every day and works around his schedule.”

It’s not just Richards’ commitment to the team that players have noticed. He also brings a completely different level of energy to practice.

“Coach Richards’ intensity is unmatched,” Serrantonio said. “The past couple years we’ve been more laid back as a program. It’s probably showed. This year, they’ve really ramped it up. This senior class is really committed, and we bring it every day in practice, and we try to be as intense and as physical as possible.”

Essex begins the season on Friday, Sept. 3 when the Hornets travel to Rutland for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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