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(J.R.H. 97)

Offered by: Representatives Kreitzer of Rutland City, Alberico of Rutland City, Carmolli of Rutland City, Mazzariello of Rutland City and Moore of Rutland City.

Whereas, the Rutland Red Raiders Football Team kicked off the 1997 season with a strong squad that was determined to be crowned the Division I Champions for a second consecutive year, and

Whereas, throughout the regular season, the Red Raiders consistently met every gridiron challenge, starting with a 20-0 shutout of their counterparts from Essex High School, and ultimately entering the playoffs with an impressive tally of nine victories and no defeats, and

Whereas, having scored an easy victory over their initial post-season opponents from Mount St. Joseph High School, they enthusiastically awaited the Division I Championship game against a powerful team from Middlebury Union High School, and

Whereas, the Red Raiders met their ultimate test, defeating Middlebury 24-14 and capturing the 1997 Division I Title and extending their undefeated streak to 20 victories, and

Whereas, in 1997, the Red Raiders compiled an amazing array of scoring statistics, accumulating a total of 317 points and averaging 31.7 points per game while only allowing their opponents to earn a far smaller total of 73 points and an average of 7.3 points per game, and

Whereas, the New England Sports Network, recognizing the Red Raiders' stupendous performance, ranked them as the sixth best high school football team in New England, and

Whereas, many members of the squad were honored for their superb efforts, including All League Division I First Team nominees Jake Eaton, Matt Daley, Ben Brown, Chris Dupuis, Josh Symanski, Bill Sargent, Jesse Baker and Bill Moran and Burlington Free Press First Team All Star Jeff Whitmer, and

Whereas, seniors Joe Caliguiri, Angel Shannon, Mike Blanchette, Brian Hackett, Fred Miles, JB Smith, Mark Blanchette, Alfred Cary, Micah Kinsler, John Levancier, Shawn Towne, Casey Clifford, Don Gilligan, Jason Johnson, Hunter Brown and Ted Gillenmagnificently contributed to the team's remarkable year, and

Whereas, head coach Mike Norman, and assistant coaches Mickey Caliguiri, Ron Sabataso, Brian Bettis and Bruce Wing deserve very special recognition for their superb leadership and guidance of these fine athletes, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the players and coaches of the 1997 Rutland High School Red Raiders for winning a second consecutive Division I Football Championship, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Rutland High School Athletic Director, Glenn Olson.