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Tigers, Eagles meet in preseason

— Bright sunshine, temp in the 80s seems like the perfect scenario for finding a nice shady spot to kick back in a hammock or hitting the beach.

Members of the Middlebury Union and Mount Abraham Union High football teams may have done just that this past Saturday. But the fun stuff had to wait until after they met in a preseason scrimmage this past Saturday, Aug. 20.

For the third year in a row the two programs capped off the first week of practice meeting in Middlebury. If nothing else it gave players from both teams someone else to look at across the line of scrimmage.

“For our guys I think it was good to have the chance to hit someone else after a week of two a days,” said Middlebury Union High Coach Dennis Smith.

The start of the 2011 season brings some interesting challenges for both teams. Last fall Middlebury went undefeated until falling to Rice Memorial in the Division II state finals played at Castleton State College.

That success along with increased numbers in the program had the Tigers being moved back into Division I. They along with Colchester High, Champlain Valley Union and Mount Mansfield Union will be part of an expanded division that will feature 14-teams and an 8-team post season play-off format.

While, Middlebury faces the challenge of playing in what many feel if the primer league in the state, Mount Abe will look to establish itself as a competitive program at the Division III level. The last couple years have been tough for the Eagle program with just one win in two seasons.

But a new season brings a new hope, and while a veteran Middlebury team controlled the scrimmage for the most part on Saturday, the Eagles showed plenty of promise as well.

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