Boston High School: Essex

New England Roundup: Vermont

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
2:34
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The playoff pairings for Division I football were released this week, and there was no surprise at the top.

VermontHartford, which punctuated an unbeaten regular season by defeating Rutland 47-37 last weekend, earned the No. 1 seed. The Hurricanes own a 23-game winning streak and have won four of the last five Division I titles.

Hartford, which went 8-0 during the regular season, has outscored its opponents 284-100 this year. The Hurricanes will face eighth-seeded South Burlington in Friday's quarterfinals. It will be the fifth time in the last six years that the teams have met in the postseason. Hartford is seeking its third consecutive state championship.

Friday's quarterfinals, (all games at 7 p.m.):

No. 8 South Burlington (4-4) at No. 1 Hartford (8-0)
No. 7 Champlain Valley (5-3) at No. 2 BFA-St. Albans (7-1)
No. 6 Colchester (5-3) at No. 3 Essex (6-2)
No. 5 Middlebury (5-3) at No. 4 Rutland (5-3)

The six teams that did not qualify for postseason play will play consolation games this weekend:

Friday:

Spaulding at Mount Anthony, Friday (7 p.m.)
St. Johnsbury at Burlington, Friday (7 p.m.)
Brattleboro at Mount Mansfield, Saturday (1 p.m.)

Note: The Division II and Division III playoff pairings will be released next week.

TOURNAMENT TIME
The playoffs in each of the state's four divisions for boys' soccer, girls' soccer and field hockey begin Tuesday. A look at the contenders in each division, by sport:

Boys' soccer: Middlebury earned the No. 1 seed in Division I, but second-seeded Champlain Valley (12-1-1) may be the team to beat. CVU's Shane Haley scored 20 goals during the regular season. … Montpelier and Burr and Burton were the preseason favorites in Division II, and both will enter the postseason unbeaten (14-0-0). Burr and Burton, which won last year's championship, is the top seed. … Defending champion Peoples Academy (10-2-2) earned the No. 1 seed in Division III, and didn't allow a goal in eight of its 14 regular-season contests. … Proctor (12-1-1) is the No. 1 seed in Division IV, but lost to second-seeded Twin Valley (11-3) earlier this season.

Girls' soccer: Top-seeded Essex (13-0-1) is the first Division I team to enter the postseason unbeaten in seven years. Second-seeded Champlain Valley (12-1-1) returned many key players from the team that won last year's Division I championship. … Montpelier is the top seed in Division II. The Solons (10-2-0) earned a first-round bye. … Peoples Academy (13-0-0) will be attempting to win its fifth Division III title in the last seven years. The Wolves have outscored their opponents 75-4 this season. … Proctor (13-0-1) is the top-seeded team in Division IV, and is one of three unbeaten girls teams in the state. The Phantoms allowed eight goals in their 14 games.

Field hockey: Top-seeded South Burlington (12-1-1) lost to Middlebury in last year's Division I championship game, and will be looking to take another step forward this year. … Division II might be the most competitive of the three divisions. Windsor (13-0-2) and U-32 (13-1-0) are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded teams, respectively, but third seeded Mt. Abraham (9-4-1) is the only team that beat Division I South Burlington this season. Harwood (9-4-1), the No. 4 seed, won last year's championship. … Top-seeded Rice (12-0-1) is the clear favorite in Division III. The Green Knights won 11 of their 12 games by shutout, and have allowed one goal during the regular season.

WEBB SIGHTING
Mount Anthony Union junior Jesse Webb earned himself another trophy Sunday when he won the 285-pound (heavyweight) wrestling championship at the Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, N.C.

Webb won the title by posting a 9-4 victory over Pennsylvania's Luke Fleck in the 285-pound final. He became the first Vermont representative to win a championship at the event, which featured wrestlers from 26 states.

Webb earned state championships in his weight class as a freshman and a sophomore. He had a bye Saturday, and won three matches Sunday to earn the title.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.
This morning, ESPNHS and Gatorade announced the Gatorade Players of the Year for baseball across each of the 50 states and District of Columbia. Milford's Shannon Smith took the honors in Massachusetts; below are the winners for the five other New England states.

CONNECTICUT: KELLI CONNORS, WATERFORD
The 5-foot-9 senior right-handed pitcher led the Lancers to a 24-1 record entering the Class M state semifinals, scheduled for June 5. A two-time returning Class M All-State selection as named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, Connors owned a 20-1 record in the circle with a 0.87 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 137 innings-pitched entering the state final four. Also the returning All-Area Player of the Year, she batted .379 with one home run and 19 RBI through 25 games. A member of Waterford’s 2009 and 2010 Class M state championship teams, she entered the state tournament with a 67-4 career pitching record.

Also a volleyball standout, Connors has maintained a 3.04 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a youth softball instructor, she has volunteered as a physical education teacher’s assistant at The Friendship School and on behalf of The Colby Sousa Scholarship Fund.

“She’s a hard-working kid,” said Kate Peruzzotti, head coach at rival Fitch High. “What I admire most about her is how well she’s done over the past four years—just the growth has been amazing, how she’s dominated in the circle over her entire high school career. It says a lot about her. She’s been remarkable.”

Connors has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Florida Southern College this fall.

MAINE: JULIA GEAUMONT, THORNTON ACADEMY
The 5-foot-6 senior right-handed pitcher led the Trojans to a 14-2 record entering the Class A state quarterfinals, scheduled for June 7. Geaumont posted a 14-2 record in the circle along with a 0.84 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 96 innings-pitched. A two-time First Team All-State selection, she is batting .679 with 10 home runs and a 1.509 slugging percentage through 16 games.

Geaumont has maintained a 4.09 GPA in the classroom. The vice president of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally as a student tutor, a youth softball coach and on behalf of fundraiser walks to benefit cancer research.

“Student athletes like Julia Geaumont are the reason we go into the coaching profession,” said Thornton Academy head coach John Provost. “After just two years in our program, she was voted team captain because of her ability to lead, her dedication to the program and her outstanding contributions during game play and at practice.”

Geaumont has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on an athletic scholarship at Bowdoin College this fall.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: TAYLOR CARBONE, ALVIRNE
The 5-foot-10 senior right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Broncos (16-4) to the Division I semifinals, scheduled for June 5. Carbone posted a 13-2 record in the circle along with a 1.02 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 96 innings-pitched through 20 games. Also the 2010-11 Gatorade New Hampshire Softball Player of the Year, Carbone owned a .581 batting average with three home runs, 28 RBI and a .951 slugging percentage entering the state final four.

Carbone has maintained a 3.35 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation and has donated her time collecting baseball equipment for needy youth players in Nicaragua.

“Taylor Carbone is one of the most complete players that we have faced,” said Jimmy Clavette, head coach at Timberlane High. “She is a consistent hitter, a solid pitcher and plays multiple positions very well.”

Carbone has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst this fall.

RHODE ISLAND: LINDSAY MAYER, LINCOLN
The 5-foot-4 junior pitcher and shortstop led the Lions to a 19-0 record and a berth in the Division I winner’s bracket semifinals, scheduled for June 4. At the time of her selection, Mayer owned a 16-0 record and a 0.67 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 104 innings-pitched. At the plate, the 2011 First Team All-State honoree hit .467 with three home runs, 23 runs scored, 24 RBI, a .657 on-base percentage and a .911 slugging percentage through 19 games.

Mayer has maintained a 3.72 GPA in the classroom. An accomplished piano player, she has volunteered locally as a youth softball coach and mentor.

“Lindsay Mayer is the best all-around player in the state,” said Chris Luppe, head coach of rival Westerly High. “She is as close to a dominant pitcher as there is in the state. She is also a very good defensive shortstop as well as an excellent hitter.”

Mayer has made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Virginia on an athletic scholarship beginning in the fall of 2013.

VERMONT: ALEXIS PERRY, ESSEX
The 5-foot-8 senior right-handed pitcher led the Hornets to a 17-0 record entering the Division I semifinals against Missisquoi, scheduled for June 6. Perry owned a 14-0 record and a 0.43 ERA in the circle, and a .511 batting average with 21 RBI at the plate through 17 games. A two-time First Team All-Metro selection, she recorded 173 strikeouts against just 15 walks in 98 innings pitched.

Perry has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of youth softball programs.

“Perry has just been lights out,” said Leslie Dunn, head coach at North Country High. “She’s using different pitches, hitting her spots more often and her pitches are moving more. I feel like she’s even more dominant than she was in the past.”

Perry has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Merrimack College this fall.

New England Roundup: Vermont

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
5:00
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It’s been quite a school year for Rice Memorial seniors Christian McCormick and Austin Robinson.

VermontMcCormick and Robinson helped Rice win the Division II football championship last fall, and each player tossed in a game-high 19 points as Rice won the Division I boys basketball championship Saturday by beating Rutland 55-49 at the University of Vermont’s Patrick Gymnasium.

“So far it’s been a fun year,’ McCormick said. “We’ll see what happens during baseball season.”

Robinson scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when Rice outscored Rutland 22-12.

“Never thought I’d win two titles in my senior year,” Robinson said. “Might have to play a spring sport now.”

The victory handed Rice (22-2) its 12th title overall, and third in the last five years.

Alex Snyder, a 6-foot-7 center, led Rutland with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Tre Hysell added 10 points for Rutland (20-3), which was trying to win its first state championship since 1967.

Rutland outscored Rice 19-10 in the third quarter and led 36-33 entering the fourth, but lost to Rice in the postseason for the third consecutive year. Rice beat Rutland 61-58 in overtime during the regular season.

(Read full post)

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 1, 2011
1/01/11
2:10
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The Vermont boys' high school hockey season isn’t even three weeks old, but Champlain Valley Union may have already established itself as the team to beat in Division I.

VermontCVU raised its record to 5-0 by defeating Rice 8-1 Thursday night.

“From what I’ve read it does seem like we have that bulls-eye on us,” first-year CVU coach Mike Murray said. “We’re an explosive club and we’re eight deep in defensemen. That gets overshadowed by our offense.”

Forward Robbie Dobrowksi is an early favorite to be named Vermont’s Mr. Hockey. Dobrowski, who led team with 31 goals and 22 assists last season, collected nine points in CVU’s first two games – victories over Waterville (Maine) and Scarborough (Maine). He had three goals and two assists in the 6-0 triumph over Waterville, and added a goal and three assists in the 9-2 victory over Scarborough.

Dobrowski, who has 20 points in five games, has been a starter since he was a freshman.

“He’s a quick skater,” Murray said. “He’s got a very accurate shot and he sees the ice well. This year he’s figured out that he has to play at the other end of the ice as well.

“He’s also a 4.0 student. I know Middlebury is very interested in him.”

CVU’s Kyle Logan and Derek Goodwin are also among the top offensive players in the state. Goodwin, Logan and Dobrowski each scored twice in Thursday’s victory over Rice.

Goodwin has 10 goals through five games.

Eric MacLean is the team’s only senior defenseman. If there’s a question mark it’s in goal, where junior Jason O’Brien is a first-year starter.

“We’ll probably go where he takes us,” Murray said.

CVU will enter the new year as one of four unbeaten teams in Division I. St. Albans, Essex and Rutland are the others.

Although it was the No. 7 seed last season, CVU advanced to the Division I championship game, where where its improbable run ended with a 4-1 loss to Spaulding. The Redhawks, who won the Division I state title in 2009, have reached the Division I championship game in each of the last three seasons.

BOYS BASKETBALL: ZABILI CARRIES BURLINGTON

Bodel Zabili scored nine of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead Burlington to a 51-46 victory over Essex last Thursday in a matchup of programs that met in the 2010 Division I championship game.

Curtis Rodgers added 12 points for Burlington.

Senior guard Ben Farris tossed in a game-high 22 for Essex, which beat Burlington 44-37 to win last season’s title. Essex was within a point, 45-44, after Farris made back-to-back 3-pointers, but Burlington hung pulled away after Farris was called for an intentional foul with 29 seconds to play.

In other action, Rutland made 9 of 11 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter and improved its record to 6-0 by defeating Spaulding, 51-41, in the Fran Pinard Holiday Tournament’s championship game.

Alex Snyder led the Rutland offense with 19 points. Troy Davine added 17.

Rutland overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Mount Mansfield 58-55 in the tournament’s opening round. Rutland has won the Pinard Tournament in each of the last four years.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: STOWE’S SEASON ENDS EARLY

After one game, the Stowe administration had seen enough and brought a premature end to the school’s girls basketball season.

After a meeting that included parents, players and Stowe athletic director Joanna Graves, the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the 2010-11 season because of lack of players.

Stowe had five players eligible for games scheduled before the holiday break, and one of those five players was nursing an injured knee.

FOOTBALL: HILL REPLACES PERRY

Jim Hill has been in charge of the Otter Valley football team’s defense for the past nine seasons, but he’ll have a lot more to worry about this fall.

Hill, 34, was recently named Otter Valley’s head coach. He replaces Dennis Perry, who retired after serving as the program’s head coach for six seasons.

Hill was a captain and an all-state linebacker at Rutland. He graduated from high school in 1994 and played football for one season at Dean Junior College.
Hill will remain in his position as Otter Valley’s boys lacrosse coach.

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.

New England Roundup: Vermont

November, 24, 2010
11/24/10
2:37
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Quarterback Christian McCormick produced a season’s worth of highlights during the final week of his high school football career.

VermontA week after he led Rice Memorial to the Division II state championship, McCormick guided the North to a 74-48 victory over the South on Saturday in the 10th Annual Vermont Senior All-Star Game.

McCormick completed 19 of 28 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns in the victory, even though he played a little more than half of the game. The teams set a record for points scored in the all-star game (122).

“I had a lot of weapons and that made it a lot of fun,” McCormick said. “There were a lot of guys out there who can make plays. It makes it a lot easier when you can just throw it up there and you have guys who can go get the ball.”

The North also received a strong performance from Burlington quarterback Grady Breen, who completed 9 of 17 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Burlington’s Ben Vachereau caught five pass for 98 yards and three TDs.

The North’s Mike DiMambro (Essex) and Nicky Elderton (Rice) each had two TD receptions.

South running back Tyler Wood (Hartford) rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, but the South had five passes intercepted, including four in the second half.

South quarterback Troy Davine completed 16 of 32 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Fair Haven’s Nick Bruno, the South’s other QB, was 20 of 34 for 170 yards and two TDs.

Mac Stannard (Fair Haven), Lance Elithorpe (Mount Anthony), Mike Marino (Burr and Burton), and Brendan Hacket (Bellows Falls) each had a TD catch for the South.

The North has a 6-4 edge in the series.

FOOTBALL REWIND
Highlights from Vermont’s three state championship football games:
  • Division I: Second-seeded Hartford claimed its third championship in four years by posting a 33-0 triumph over top-seeded BFA-St. Albans. Jackson Young (181 yards) and Wood (158 yards) led Hartford’s rushing attack. Each scored two touchdowns. Hartford (9-2) controlled the ball for nearly 38 minutes. BFA-St Albans (10-1) didn’t get a first down until the third quarter. The game couldn’t have been more different from the regular-season contest between the teams. BFA-St. Albans won that matchup 42-0. Hartford turned the ball over nine times in the loss. The Bobwhites were trying to win their first state championship since 1960.
  • Division II: McCormick passed for 303 yards and four touchdowns to lead third-seeded Rice to a 38-20 victory over top-seeded Middlebury. Austin Robinson caught seven passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns for Rice, which had 403 yards of total offense. Rice (10-1) has 19 seniors on its roster. Middlebury (10-1) trailed 16-14 at halftime, but surrendered the first 22 points in the second half. Robison caught two touchdown passes in the third quarter. Marshall Hastings scored two touchdowns for Middlebury.
  • Division III: Ryan Hayward scored four touchdowns to help top-seeded Bellows Falls (8-3) defeat second-seeded Windsor 39-22. Hayward rushed for 104 yards on 17 carries, and returned the second-half kickoff 92 yards for a score. The Bellows Falls program has won 10 state championships. Mount St. Joseph is the only Vermont program with more. Windsor (9-2) turned the ball over four times in the first half (three interceptions). Running back Matt Rafus ran for 177 yards and three touchdowns for Windsor, which won last year’s Division III title. Bellows Falls beat Windsor 20-0 during the regular season.
GROWTH AT THE TOP
The Champlain Valley, Colchester, Mount Mansfield and Middlebury football programs will move from Division II to Division I next season. Division I will have 14 teams and will expand its playoff format from four to eight teams.

Each Division I team will play an eight-game schedule to determine the playoff field. The six teams that do not qualify for the playoffs will meet in Week 9, when the Division I quarterfinals will also be played.

Divisions II and III will each have 10 teams, four of which will advance to the postseason.

Bellows Falls and Springfield will also change divisions next season. Each program will move from Division III to Division II.

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.

New England Roundup: Vermont

November, 10, 2010
11/10/10
2:51
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Vermont will hold its three state championship football games Saturday at Castleton State College. It will be the first year all three games will be played on the same day at the same location.

VermontThe schedule:

Division I
No. 1 BFA-St. Albans (10-0) vs. No. 2 Hartford (8-2), 2 p.m.

Division II
No. 1 Middlebury (10-0) vs. No. 3 Rice Memorial (9-1), 5 p.m.

Division III
No. 1 Bellows Falls (7-3) vs. No. 2 Windsor (9-1), 11 a.m.

Windsor will be trying to avenge its only loss – a 20-0 setback to Bellows Fall on Oct. 9 – in the Division III matchup. Another shutout seems unlikely, since Windsor running back Matt Rafus gained 437 total yards and scored six touchdowns in last weekend’s 55-28 semifinal victory over BFA-Fairfax.

Rafus gained 375 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, and caught a 62-yard TD pass from quarterback Austin Soule. Rafus has rushed for 1,701 yards and scored 28 touchdowns this season.

“Matt is probably one of the two fastest kids in the state,” Windsor coach Jim Taft said. “He’s a track guy, but he’s really a football guy who does track. A lot of his runs have been for 40 yards or more.”

“If you don’t get (Rafus) right away he’s gone,” Bellows Falls coach Bob Lockerby added. “They have other weapons, but it all starts with him.”

Windsor, last year’s Division III champion, is playing in the Division III title game for the fourth consecutive year.

(Read full post)

New England Roundup: Vermont

October, 27, 2010
10/27/10
9:50
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Vermont will wrap up its high school football regular season this weekend. Among the big games: a Division I matchup between Essex and South Burlington that will earn the winner a playoff berth.

VermontEssex (4-2) and South Burlington (4-3) will enter the weekend third and fourth respectively in the Division I standings. The winner will secure the No. 3 seed, but the loser will drop to the fifth spot. Four teams qualify for the playoffs in each of Vermont’s three divisions.

“It’s pretty complicated to figure out because we don’t all play the same number of league games, but I think there’s a scenario where Rutland can finish in the third spot,” South Burlington coach Joe McDonald said.

“We’re running the same offensive system (as Essex) and pretty much the same defense too. Both teams have good passing attacks and we’re playing at home on turf, so weather is not an issue. Who’s favored? I suppose that depends on who you ask. It should be interesting. It should be a good game.”

Rutland will conclude the regular season with a game against Division II Mount Mansfield. Because it’s not a league game, the outcome of that contest will not factor into Rutland’s Quality Point Rating, the formula Vermont uses to determine playoff teams.

Both Essex and South Burlington are coming off losses. Essex, which won last year’s Division I championship, dropped a 35-14 decision to Rutland last weekend. South Burlington lost to BFA-St. Albans 26-14.

BFA-St. Albans (8-0) and Hartford (5-1) have already clinched Division I playoff berths.
  • Middlebury (6-0), Champlain Valley Union (6-1) and Rice (5-1) have earned Division II playoff berths, but four teams will enter the weekend with a chance to finish as the No. 4 seed. Fair Haven, Milton, Colchester and North Country are all 3-3. One of the four will complete the Division II playoff field.
  • Bellows Falls (5-1), Windsor (7-1) and BFA-Fairfax (5-1) have clinched postseason berths in Division III. Woodstock (5-2) can extend its season by beating Windsor on Friday night. A Woodstock loss would open the door for Oxbow (4-2).
BOYS SOCCER: U-32 REACHES HIGH GOAL
Offense wasn’t a problem for top-seeded U-32 in the first round of the Division II boys' soccer tournament.

U-32 received four goals and an assist from Jack Shea and three goals from Carter Austin-Bradley in an 8-0 victory over 16th-seeded Fair Haven on Tuesday.

Elsewhere Tuesday, Ricky Carroll collected three goals and Keegan McDonnell contributed two goals and an assist to help top-seeded Proctor defeat Craftsbury 6-0 in the Division IV tournament.

Top-seeded Champlain Valley (Division I) and top-seeded Leland & Gray (Division III) each earned a bye and will begin postseason play on Friday. Here are Friday’s playoff pairings by Division:
  • Division I: No. 1 CVU vs. No. 8 Harwood; No. 4 Rutland vs. No. 5 South Burlington/No. 12 Mount Mansfield winner; No. 2 Brattleboro vs. No. 7 Colchester; and No. 3 Burlington vs. No. 6 Essex.
  • Division II: No. 1 U-32 vs. No. 9 Hartford; No. 4 Springfield vs. No. 5 Green Mountain Valley; No. 2 Mississquoi vs. No. 7 Woodstock; and No. 3 Milton vs. No. 6 Rice.
  • Division III: No. 1 Leland & Gray vs. No. 8 Enosburg; No. 4 Thetford vs. No. 5 Stowe; No. 2 Peoples vs. No. 7 Northfield; and No. 3 Winooski vs. No. 6 BFA-Fairfax.
  • Division IV: No. 1 Proctor vs. No. 9 Rochester; No. 4 Rivendell vs. No. 5 Long Trail; No. 15 Black River vs. No. 10 Danville and No. 3 Sharon vs. No. 6 South Royalton.
GIRLS SOCCER: VIEW FROM THE TOP
CVU (Division I), Montpelier (Division II), Mill River (Division III) and Rivendell (Division IV) are the top-seeded teams for the girls soccer tournament, which begins Wednesday.

CVU, which has won nine games in a row and outscored its opposition 37-2 during that span, drew a first-round bye, and will meet either No. 8 Spaulding or No. 9 Burlington on Saturday.

Montpelier, which is unscored upon in its last seven victories, also earned a first-round bye and will face either No. 8 Lamoille or No. 9 Woodstock on Saturday.

Mill River and Rivendell will each play first-round games Wednesday. Mill River will meet No. 16 Winooski, and Rivendell will face No. 16 Craftsbury.

FIELD HOCKEY: PERFECT ENDING?

South Burlington (14-0-0) and Hartford (13-0-0) are the only field hockey teams that finished the regular season unbeaten. The teams could meet in the Division I tournament’s championship game.

South Burlington is the tournament’s top seed. Hartford is seeded No. 2.

Harwood (Division II) and Missisquoi (Division III) are the other top-seeded field hockey teams. All three will begin tournament play with quarterfinal-round games this weekend.

South Burlington, which had a first-round bye, will face either No. 8 Mount Mansfield or No. 9 Mount Anthony on Saturday. Harwood, which also had a first-round bye, will meet either No. 8 Spaulding or No. 9 Mount Abraham on Saturday, and Missisquoi will play No. 8 Bellows Falls on Friday.

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.

New England Roundup: Vermont

September, 15, 2010
9/15/10
12:27
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It may be too early in the season to make any definitive statements about Vermont high school football, but after two weeks it sure looks like Hartford High may have the best team in the state.

VermontHartford got off to a 2-0 start by posting victories over Colchester (27-13) and Mount Anthony (63-28). Of the 10 teams in Division I, Hartford and Bellows Free Academy are the only teams still unbeaten.

“It’s pretty early to figure out who’s where,” Hartford coach Mike Stone said. “A lot of people lost a lot of seniors from last year. We lost three players. Our strength is we are very deep for the first time in a long time and that’s mostly because we have almost everybody back.

“We’ll be able to throw a little bit more than we usually do. How good we are defensively remains to be seen.”

The game against Colchester may have been the more impressive of Hartford’s two victories. Colchester won last year’s Division II championship and hadn’t lost a game since the 2008 season.

Hartford running back Trevor Wood rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns in that win. Wood missed most of the 2009 season with a hamstring injury.

“He passes the eye test,” Stone said. “He’s 6-foot, 207 pounds and he’s our fastest kid.”

Colchester rebounded by beating South Burlington, 48-21, last weekend. Running back Devon Grammo rushed for 235 yards and four touchdowns in that victory.

Hartford will face South Burlington (1-1) at home Friday, and then will get what may be its stiffest test of the season when it faces Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) at home on Sept. 24. Catholic Memorial (1-0) is ranked eighth among Massachusetts teams in the latest ESPN Boston poll.

After winning back-to-back Division I titles in 2007 and 2008, Hartford did not qualify for the playoffs last season.

“After two more games we should have a better idea of where everybody is settling in,” Stone said.

Essex beat Rutland in last year’s Division I championship game. Stone said he expects both of those teams to be battling for two of the four Division I playoffs spots this season.

“I expect South Burlington Essex, Rutland and BFA to be right there,” he said. “Hopefully, we’re in there somewhere too.”

VSSA HONORS PFAFF, DIMAMBRO
The Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association selected Rice Memorial multi-sport athlete Brittany Pfaff and Essex High decathlon standout Mike DiMambro as the state’s female and male athletes of the month for July.

Pfaff competed against New Hampshire all-star teams in the Twin State senior all-star soccer and basketball games in July. She was named the Most Valuable Player in the soccer contest after she scored two goals to help Vermont post a 3-2 victory.

Pfaff is the first person in the history of the Vermont Athlete of the Month competition to win the award in back-to-back months for separate sports. She was named the VSSA’s Athlete of the Month for June for standout performances in track and field.

DiMambro, who is entering his senior year at Essex, finished eighth in the nation at the USATF National Junior Olympic decathlon championship on July 28 in Sacramento, Calif. He earned 5,976 points, which was his highest total in the three decathlons he competed in during the summer.

KICKING THINGS AROUND
Vermont high school sports fans didn’t have to wait until October to see tournament soccer.

The Harry Loyzelle Tournament began Tuesday night at Rutland High School’s Alumni Field. The four-team event features the boys’ teams Mill River, Rutland, Fair Haven and Middlebury and attracts some of the biggest soccer crowds of the year.

Harry Loyzelle was a longtime educator, athletic administrator and official who played a large role in promoting soccer in the state. He died in 2009.

Middlebury beat Mill River, 2-1, in overtime and Rutland earned a 2-0 victory over Fair Haven in Tuesday’s semifinals.

Middlebury and Rutland will meet in Thursday night’s championship game. That contest will follow the consolation game, which will begin at 5 p.m.

Rutland beat Middlebury 2-0 in the 2009 championship game.

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.

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