NO. R-53.  JOINT concurrent resolution congratulating the Vermont Ice Storm football team on winning the 2002 New England Football League’s North Atlantic AA Conference championship.

(H.C.R.24)

Offered by:  Representatives Myers of Essex, Brennan of Colchester, Dakin of Colchester, Endres of Milton, Hunt of Essex, Kirker of Essex, Metzger of Milton, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Rogers of Castleton, Sweeney of Colchester and Sweetser of Essex.

     Whereas, Vermont for many years was the only state in the nation without a semiprofessional football team, forcing Vermonters interested in playing competitive football at this level to travel across Lake Champlain to suit up with the Plattsburgh Northstars, and

     Whereas, in the fall of 2000, in response to the New England Football League’s advertisement for an individual to establish a local semiprofessional football team, Vermonter Northstars Dave Baldwin and Matt Timney persuaded several other Northstar alumni, including their former coach, Doug Perez, a professor of sociology and criminology at Plattsburgh State University, to serve as the nucleus of a new team, and

     Whereas, in the summer of 2001, the Vermont Ice Storm premiered as the newest entry in the New England Football League’s North Atlantic Conference, which plays at the AA level, and

Whereas, on July 27, 2002, the Ice Storm commenced its second season against the New England Stars with great enthusiasm, and

     Whereas, despite their recent vintage as a semiprofessional football team, the experience the Northstar veterans brought to the squad, combined with a level of determination not exceeded on any rival team, enabled the Ice Storm to compile an impressive 7-1 regular season record, and

     Whereas, in playoff competition, the Ice Storm proved its football prowess as the team overwhelmed the first-round opponent, Nashua Predators, 20-0, and then demonstrated invincible field superiority as the Vermonters convincingly defeated the New England Stars, 18-0, in Boston, for the 2002 North Atlantic Conference title, and

     Whereas, Ice Storm fans have appreciated the superb football talent for which they have cheered at home games in Milton, and

     Whereas, the entire Ice Storm player roster, Head Coach Doug “Doc” Perez, Offensive Coordinator Mike LaBarre, Defensive Coordinator Paige Levack, trainers Steve Foley and Brian Miller, and Doc Perez’s helpful wife, Dr. Betsy Perez, who serves as the team’s physician, deserve a round of applause for their contribution to the Ice Storm’s rapid ascendancy in the New England Football League, now therefore be it

     Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

     That the General Assembly congratulates the Vermont Ice Storm on winning the 2002 New England Football League’s North Atlantic AA Conference championship, and be it further

     Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Douglas Perez in South Hero.