Like No Other…

After a football season like no other, St Johnsbury Academy will host a football banquet like no other… 

On Thursday, December 10 at 6pm, we will host our banquet virtually.  

The annual banquet is more than just an opportunity to hand out awards and varsity letters.  It is a time for our football family to gather before the Holidays, to celebrate a season, to recognize our seniors, and to encourage our student-athletes to have a strong finish to the Fall semester.  With the start of winter sports on hold, so many of our athletes who enjoyed football and were looking to the start of winter athletics are experiencing a void in their lives.  As coaches, we hope the positive words shared through Zoom serve as an inspiration to our team to finish strong in the classroom just like we do on the field or in the weight room.

Other than not being present with each other, the banquet will be conducted as usual.  We will screen share our highlight video (and there are a lot of highlights from an 11 game 7v7 season). We will announce those players who earned a varsity letter, We will recognize our seniors (personally my favorite part of the banquet, because I get to sit back and listen to our assistant coaches talk about their position players and the bonds they forged over their four years together.)  Lastly, we give our individual awards.  Those recipients will have their names listed in our gymnasium amongst those who have received them from past generations.  Those awards are as follows:

  • Most Improved Player.  The person who made himself into a good player through hard work and commitment to the program.  
  • Outstanding Lineman:  Games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage by young men who seldom if ever receive any recognition.
  • Outstanding Back:  While this award obviously dates back to a time when teams just ran the ball with two and three back sets, we have expanded it to all offensive ball handlers as well as Linebackers and Defensive Backs.
  • Most Valuable Player:  Seems self-explanatory but we bring it beyond a players contribution to our offense, defense and special team and include what he means to the team and his teammates.
  • Hilltopper Award:  The person who most exemplifies who we are and how we want to be represented on the field, in the classroom and out in the community.
  • Coaches Award:  The player who is most coachable.  The one you wish you had 11 of so that you could play him at every position.  

We trust the announcing of these awards will serve as an inspiration to our returning players. Each, who when he or she walks through the gym this spring and next fall, sees the names of those who went before and set examples of character, sportsmanship, teamwork, and performance. While seasons end, tradition never graduates, and the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of all it means to be a Hilltopper is renewed once again.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!  

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