Colchester High School's Lauren Bernard was selected as Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for girls' soccer when she was a junior. She may have been an even easier selection for the award following her senior season.
It was announced last week that Bernard, a senior forward, was named the state's top girls soccer player for the second consecutive year.
“She’s very strong technically and her left foot is deadly,” Vergennes coach Dwight Irish said. “If she has a little bit of room and she’s anywhere near the goal, she’s going to change the game.”
Bernard collected 24 goals and five assists last fall, when she led Colchester to the Division I quarterfinals. She is a two-time All-American (selected by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America), a former member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Under-15 Girls National Team and is currently in the USAF's Under-18 player pool.
Bernard has signed a national letter of intent to play soccer at Boston College.
By winning at the state level, Bernard became a candidate for the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year Award, which will be announced in May.
Previous winner of the award include Brittany Pfaff (2009-10, Rice), Natalie LeClair (2008-09 and 2007-08, Essex), and Emily Milbank (2006-07, CVU).
MCCORMICK, HOLBROOK SELECT SCHOOLS
Former Rice quarterback Christian McCormick and Milton lineman Jamie Holbrook have each decided where they will play football next season.
McCormick, who is currently spending a year of prep school at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., accepted a preferred walk-on spot by the University of New Hampshire. Holbrook signed a national letter of intent to play at Southern Connecticut University.
"What really stood out is the campus reminded me of being at home, but with football," McCormick said. "I'm excited about UNH. I know it's the right place for me."
McCormick was named Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior season, when he threw for 2,619 yards and 37 touchdowns and led Rice to the Division II state championship. He was also Vermont's quarterback in last year's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.
McCormick helped Rice win state championships in basketball in his sophomore and senior seasons.
He also had an opportunity to join UNH as a walk-on last year, but opted for a year of prep school instead.
"Neither me or my dad thought I was ready for college academically," he said. "Holy Cross showed some interest and Wagner did too. There were also some Division III schools interested, but I wanted to try and compete at the highest level I can. [UNH] felt like a winning atmosphere."
Holbrook, who plays on both sides of the ball, also looked at UNH and several prep school options before he chose SCSU, a Division II school that competes in the Northeast-10 Conference.
ESSEX WINS SHOWDOWN
Second-period goals by Steve Morse and Steve Jurkiewicz helped the Essex boys' hockey team extend its regular-season unbeaten streak to 29 games (27-0-2) by beating South Burlington 4-2 Saturday in a battle between the state's two best ice hockey teams.
Essex raised its record to to 14-0-1. The Hornets haven't suffered a setback since they lost to Champlain Valley in last year's Division I championship game.
South Burlington, which entered the contest with a 13-game unbeaten streak, fell to 14-2-0.
After Pat Abbott handed Essex a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal, South Burlington responded with goals by Eric Craig and Sam Finkelstein. Essex regained the lead on goals by Morse and Jurkiewicz, and then J.T. Begnoche added an empty-net goal to complete the scoring.
Essex received 17 saves from Pat Campbell. South Burlington's Nathaniel Young stopped 29 shots.
Winooski point guard Devon Rollins and Lake Region point guard Kylie Atwood each scored the 1,000th point of their varsity careers recently.
Rollins reached 1,000 points when Winooski defeated Northfield, 67-41, on Feb. 1. Atwood tossed in her 1,000th point during Lake Region's 44-32 triumph over BFA-Fairfax on Monday night.
Rollins, a senior, entered the game six points shy of 1,000, and reached the milestone when he connected on a 3-pointer in the first quarter. He finished the game with 22 points.
Atwood needed 16 points against BFA-Fairfax to reach 1,000. She finished with 17, 13 of which came in the second half.
Roger Brown has been reporting on high school sports in New England since 1992. He publishes the New Hampshire Football Report, and covers high school football recruiting in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.