1009_rhspt_CastleonAnnaMariafootball1.jpg (copy)

Castleton University running back Moe Harris (24) keeps driving after Anna Maria’s Jude Sampson (72) attempts a tackle during a game at Castleton’s Dave Wolk Stadium.

Get ready for some extra traffic in your store and at your diner in Castleton next week, John and Pam Rehlen. You’ll be selling more pizzas and wings next door, Andrew Breting.

Castleton gets a little more lively when 115 Castleton University football players report to camp on Thursday.

It will be the same in Northfield where the Norwich University players converge on campus.

Football is here, and there is a lot to sort out before the Spartans and Cadets take the field for their season openers Sept. 7.

A big item for Castleton coach Tony Volpone and his staff will be finding the successor to Moe Harris, as decorated a player as the Spartans have had since starting football in 2009.

Harris rewrote the record book and is the program’s all-time leader in rushing yardage and all-purpose yardage.

Determining the next guy to be the featured back will be a focus of the camp.

“When you are replacing someone like Moe Harris, you have got to take your time and find the right guy,” Volpone said.

The Spartans are trying to rebound from a 2-8 season when Volpone played a lot of young players along both lines.

An emphasis of camp will be to add depth to the offensive and defensive lines.

“We have some young players who played last year and some brand-new players who will be fighting for spots in the line,” Volpone said.

The preseason camp will have a freshness to it with both coordinators new this season — Brian Grady being the offensive coordinator and Anthony Marsella the defensive coordinator.

“They bring new ideas to the table, which is what you want to happen,” Volpone said.

There is also some new blood transferring from other colleges that has Volpone excited.

Andrew Genier is a Whitehall High product who played at Utica College last season. He is one of those who could contribute significantly on the defensive line.

“We recruited him out of high school. We liked him then, and we like him now. We have expectations for him,” Volpone said.

Sam White is a graduate student who played basketball at Lasell College.

Before that, he scored 1,139 points on the basketball floor for Poultney High School, where he also played tight end.

The Spartans will only have him for one season so rather than asking him to learn all the intricacies of the passing game, Volpone is having him come to camp as a defensive lineman.

“He’s got one year and he knows exactly what we are trying to get out of him. He is big, athletic and strong,” Volpone said.

The Spartans will hold their Green & White Game at Dave Wolk Stadium on Aug. 24 and travel to St. Lawrence University for a scrimmage on Aug. 31. The opener is at home on Sept. 7 against Plymouth State.

Norwich University coach Mark Murnyack and his Cadets begin preparations next week for the opener Sept. 7 on the road against Salve Regina.

Middlebury College does not open until Sept. 14, when Williams comes to town so the Panthers’ first practice is Aug. 25.

QUICK KICKS: When Plymouth State opens the season at Castleton, it will be celebrating its 50th year of football. ... Castleton and Norwich will meet in Castleton on Oct. 28 with the Maple Sap Bucket at stake. ... Castleton has only nine games this season and only four at home because the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference is down to six teams with the exit of Husson University, which jumps to the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The ECFC gets back up to seven teams in 2020 with the addition of Keystone College, a school that has been without football since 1947. They are the Keystone Giants because baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson played football at Keystone from 1895 through 1897. ... When the ECFC’s Mount Ida College closed its doors, it left head football coach Mike Landers without a job. He is back in the game as the wide receivers coach at Framingham State.

tom.haley

@rutlandherald.com

Follow Tom on Twitter: @RHSportsGuy

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