The South Burlington Dolphins Youth Football program honored its players and support staff while celebrating their 52nd season at South Burlington High School. Players exhibited the usual Dolphin spirit and PRIDE, which is the team acronym for “Personal Responsibility for Individual Daily Effort.”
Trophies were awarded to each player at all three levels of Dolphin football, first through fourth grade, fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth grade, as well as to the cheerleading team. Players also received certificates of participation and CDs of their division’s action produced by team photographer Eric Schwaigert. On hand to share their appreciation and reflections of the players’ participation were coaches Rene LaBerge, Jeff Arnold, Jerall Sinclair, Ernie Bragg, Sam Jackson, Mike Kelly, Dom Poquette, Greg Worman, and Nicole Moody.
“This is an awesome team with great team leaders,” said Coach LaBerge. “The saying ‘one for all, all for one’ is what happened. There was no quitting on this proud team. One play at a time, doing their best each time. The result was that, day by day, you could see PRIDE coming out in each player. They were awesome; magic was happening, they were believing in themselves. I have been in 25 championships, but never have I been more proud of a team than this one.”
The eighth grade team captains, who move to the high school next year, spoke to the crowd about their personal growth from being part of the team. They shared with an appreciative audience the fun experiences and friendships gained during their Dolphin career.
Rebecca Poquette, “Team Mom,” was cheered and thanked for her contributions including her efforts to keep records up to date, preparing lunch bags after each game, and filming games for Monday night reviews. In addition, Anna Gilchris and Cathy Wisloski were acknowledged for their help and support of the Dolphin’s Earthmovers, the first through fourth grade flag football team.
The Ricky Crouch Award was presented to Liam O’Connor, Isiah Gomez, Ken Fontaine, Ben Cutroni, Lincoln O’Connor, and Orrin Mead, who were acknowledged for their competitive spirit. The award is named in honor of Ricky Crouch, a former player who lost his life just prior to graduating.
Raffle sales awards, reflecting funds raised for the program, were given to Caleb Merrill, Orrin Mead, Ken Fontaine, Bryce Gilcris, Taysean Metz, Conor Anderson, and Alec LeClair. Harry Poquette and Hunter Johnson received special recognition for attaining the $1,000 club status.
“They are awesome, and I expect great things from them in the future,” LaBerge said of the entire Dolphin team. “These admirable young people with so much persistence will be successful. This team did their very best on every play never giving up PRIDE, personal responsibility and individual daily effort - always.”