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Monday, January 2, 2012
New England Roundup: Vermont

By Roger Brown

Having lost to New Hampshire in each of the last 11 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowls, Vermont turned to one of the few coaches who has beaten New Hampshire in the annual all-star football game.

Vermont“Rutland High School's Mike Norman has been selected to coach Vermont in next year's game, which will be played Aug. 4 at Dartmouth's Memorial Field.

“I'm excited about the opportunity and looking forward to the challenge,” Norman said.

Norman coached Vermont to a 21-13 victory in the 1998 Shrine Game, and also served as Vermont's head coach when it dropped a 21-0 decision to New Hampshire in the 2001 game.

New Hampshire won last year's contest 45-21 and holds a 43-13-3 edge in the all-time series.

Souhegan High School's Mike Beliveau was selected to coach the New Hampshire team. Beliveau has guided Souhegan to three of New Hampshire's last four Division III championships.

Like Norman, Beliveau has also been a head coach in the Shrine Game before. He was New Hampshire's coach in 2000, when Vermont posted a 47-40 victory. It was the highest-scoring contest in the game's history.

Norman, who graduated from Norwich University, took over as Rutland's head coach in 1994. He has guided Rutland to seven state titles in the last 18 seasons. He is also Rutland's athletic director.

Norman has also coached at the college level as an assistant at Norwich and Dartmouth.

The 36-player roster for each state will be announced in February. Practice for the game will begin July 26 at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H.

The game has raised more than $4.5 million for the Shrine Hospitals. GOING TO COURT
Notes from early in the basketball season:

Missisquoi won last year's Division II championship, but the program's move to Division I got off to a rough start. Missisquoi dropped its first two games before it beat North Country 59-53. Junior Matt St. Amour scored 40 points in the victory. He made 22 of his 23 free throw attempts.

Twinfield, last year's Division IV champion, is off to a 4-0 start. Senior Chad Copleland, a 6-foot-6 center, is among the best players in the state. Copeland averaged 19 points per game last season, and collected 32 points and 16 rebounds during the victory over Danville in the Division IV championship game. Copeland began his senior season 146 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Mount Mansfield is 3-0 and has allowed 94 points in its three victories.

Rice returned three starters from a team that went 22-2 and won last year's Division I championship. The Green Knights opened the season with a 45-32 loss to Mount Mansfield, but rebounded to beat Spaulding 48-32.

Rice beat CVU in last year's Division I girls championship game and lost Reagan Jewell – last season's Miss Basketball – but has won each of its first three games. The Green Knights opened the season with a 61-58 victory over Mount Anthony, a team that returned five starters.

CVU LOSES TOP PLAYER
Champlain Valley's Sophia Steinhoff, who was named Miss Hockey following the 2010-11 season, is not playing for CVU this season, but will continue to play hockey for the 802 Shamrocks, a 19-and-under select team.

Steinhoff collected 19 goals and nine assists last season, when CVU finished 13-9 following a loss in the Division I semifinals. Her offensive totals would likely have been higher had she not been shifted from forward to defense midway through the season because of injuries on the blue line.

Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.