CASTLETON, Vt. – For the fourth consecutive year, Castleton University is honored to host the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, an all-star football game between recently graduated student-athletes from Vermont and New Hampshire, with the 65th annual game taking place Saturday, Aug. 4, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.
The players and coaches arrived Sunday, July 29, for a weeklong training camp leading up to the contest. New Hampshire leads the overall series 47-15-2, but Vermont has won the last two games: 50-2 in 2016 and 19-0 in 2017. The players from the Granite State will be looking for their first victory since a 24-12 win in 2015, the first time the game was held at Spartan Stadium.
For seven student-athletes, this will not be the first time they plan to participate in a football game on the Spartan Stadium turf, as they will be returning to campus in one week to begin preseason camp as a member of the Castleton football team. Two of those players will play for New Hampshire Saturday: fullback/linebacker Ben Kimball from Bow High School and offensive lineman Nick Stone from Stevens High School.
The Vermont Shrine team includes five players who plan to play for the Spartans starting in the fall 2018 season: defensive tackle/tight end Austin Ellis and defensive tackle/offensive lineman Seth Park, both from Fair Haven Union High School, defensive end/offensive lineman Tucker Gaudette from BFA St. Albans, linebacker/running back Hunter Nunes-Wales from Missisquoi Valley Union High School, and defensive tackle/tight end Brody Snow of Burlington High School, who also plans to play lacrosse in the spring for the Spartans.
In addition, defensive back/wide receiver Drew Eddy and defensive tackle/offensive lineman Steve Cadieux plan to attend Castleton starting at the end of August. Finally, Greg Balch, the head coach of this year's Vermont Shrine team as well as the head coach at Windsor High School, graduated from Castleton in 1995.
In addition to the use of the facilities, the Shrine teams are receiving assistance from Castleton employees throughout the week. Spartan athletic trainer Edward Wozniakewicz is working with the Vermont players, and fellow Castleton athletic trainer Tegan Hinaman is overseeing the treatment needs of the players from New Hampshire.
All net proceeds from the game benefit Shriners' Hospital locations in Springfield, Mass., Boston, Mass., and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In the first 64 years of this annual event, 4.5 million dollars has been raised towards medical care of children up to 18 years old.
The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Game wraps up a busy summer within the Spartan Athletic Complex. In the past two months, Castleton has hosted the Vermont High School Softball Championships, the Twin State Soccer Cup Matches, and the Vermont American Legion Baseball Tournament, as well as several camps in a variety of sports for young people.
Before the game Saturday, the players will participate in a parade down Main Street in Castleton beginning at 3 p.m. Ticket prices for the game are $10 for Shriners, $12 for advanced sales, and $15 for day-of-game tickets. For more information, visit the website at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com/index.html.