Practice for this year’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl won’t begin until July 28, but what was already a steep climb for Vermont has become even steeper.
Vermont, which hasn’t beaten New Hampshire in the all-star football game since 2000, recently had two players opt out of the game: wide receiver Mike Triller (Rutland) and wide receiver Mike DiMambro (Essex).
Triller won’t participate because he’s scheduled to play baseball at Clemson next season, and DiMambro accepted a track and field scholarship from the University of Rhode Island.
“I guess [DiMambro] was getting a little bit of heat [from Rhode Island] about playing in the game,” Vermont coach Jim Provost said. “We’d like to have both of them, but we had replacements within half an hour, so we’re at 36 strong.”
DiMambro caught 39 passes for 609 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. His 19 career TD receptions rank second in school history. Ben Price (St. Johnsbury) has replaced DiMambro on the Vermont roster.
Triller caught 37 passes for 630 yards last fall. Lance Elithorpe (Mount Anthony) has replaced Triller.
This year’s game will be played Aug. 6 at Macleay-Royce Field in Windsor, Vt. New Hampshire stretched its winning streak to 10 games by posting a 34-20 victory last summer and leads the series 42-13-2.
Provost served as the head coach at Rice Memorial for 14 seasons, and completed his third season at Champlain Valley Union last fall. His Redhawks lost in the 2009 Division II championship game, and reached the Division II semifinals in 2010.
Provost also served as Vermont's head coach for the 1990 Shrine Game. New Hampshire posted a 35-0 victory that year.
“I’ve tried to run the ball against them and that didn’t work,” Provost said. “Whatever the plan is it boils down to mistakes and turnovers. It would help if we could find a way to keep New Hampshire from scoring a lot of points.
“I don’t see us playing a lot of kids two ways, but we do have a couple kids we’d like to see on both sides of the ball at some points.”
New Hampshire has scored 34 points or more in six of the last 10 contests, and at least 23 points in all 10.
Lebanon’s Chris Childs will serve as New Hampshire's head coach. Childs guided Lebanon to an unbeaten season and the Division IV state championship last fall.
Each team’s offense is allowed to operate out of five formations, and each defense must play a four-man front with no blitzing.
"I told the guys you’re not responsible for the last 10 years,” Provost said. “It’s just one game that we have to play. What happened in the past has no bearing on this year.
“New Hampshire has more schools to draw from, but in any given year the stars could align.”
STATE OF LACROSSE
This year’s all-state lacrosse teams:
Attack: Lawrence Dee, CVU senior; Tory Chouinard, Spaulding senior; Nick Schmell, Woodstock senior. Midfield: Jake Marston, CVU senior; Travis Elliot-Knaggs, Brattleboro senior; Mike Maloney, Essex senior; Owen Walsh, Essex senior. Defense: David Barrett, South Burlington senior; Bea Teasdale, CVU senior; Jon Sullivan, Rutland senior. Goalie: Eric Palmer, CVU senior.
Attack: Lance Elithorpe, MAU senior; Ben Adams, Essex senior; Nathaniel Wells, CVU senior. Midfield: Jeff Lawler, BFA-St. Albans senior; Marty Harrison, Essex senior; Josh Cassarino, South Burlington senior; Hayden Hoelscher, Rutland junior. Defense: Cavan Little, Woodstock senior; Tyler Jarvis, Burlington senior; Lucas Zelazny, MMU senior; Dillon Robinson, Middlebury junior; Connor DeVarney, South Burlington senior. Goalie: Marty DiVenuti, MMU senior.
Attack: David Sartorelli, Rice senior; Harry Foreman, Rice senior; Noel Kerr, Montpelier senior. Midfield: Abel Warden, Lamoille senior; Brendon Malone, Rice senior; Deagan Goodman, Montpelier junior; Tim Bryan, Rice senior. Defense: Martin Chandler, Lamoille, senior; Jesse Burke, U-32 senior; James Bean, Colchester senior. Goalie: Mike Flynn, Rice senior; Nathan Smith, St. Johnsbury senior.
Attack: Mack Yandow, Rice senior; Hans Halvorsen, GMVS junior; Ben Nussbaum, Harwood junior. Midfield: Kyle Mackenzie, Burr and Burton junior; Myles McGowan, Mount Abraham senior; Mitch Grimmer, GMVS junior; Jake Jansen, Rice junior. Defense: Derrick McGrath, Burr and Burton junior; Kyle Paganelli, Rice senior; Max O’Leary, Burr and Burton junior. Goalie: Sam Polis, Hartford junior; Dan Bell, GMVS senior.
Attack: Mariah Lesure, Brattleboro, senior; Kate Kurchena, Rutland, junior. Midfield: Alyssa Amos, Mount Anthony, senior; Kim Liberty, Mount Mansfield, senior; Halley Fisher, Mount Mansfield, senior; Olivia Steimke, Burlington, senior; Katie Ritter, Middlebury, senior; Chrissy Ritter, Middlebury, junior; Lis Kelley, Middlebury, senior; Amanda Kinneston, Champlain Valley, senior; Anne-Marie Farmer, South Burlington, sophomore; Allie Flaherty, South Burlington, sophomore; Jamie Panton, Essex, senior; Melissa Gfeller, Rutland, senior; Grace Wright, Rutland, junior. Defense: Amber Legacy, Mount Anthony, senior; Brooke Panton, Essex, senior. Goalie: Ashley McDonald, South Burlington, senior.
Attack: Linnae O’Neil, Essex, junior; Emma Oliver, Mount Mansfield, senior; Paige Levesque, Mount Anthony, junior. Midfield: Molly Higgins, South Burlington, junior; Mattea Ringey, South Burlington, senior; Annie Barker, Burlington, senior; Madison Davis, Burlington, senior; Mercedes Godin, Essex, senior; Kaleigh Heath, Mount Mansfield, senior; Kate Raszka, Champlain Valley, sophomore; Brandi Whittemore, Middlebury, junior. Defense: Tess Bugbee, Mount Mansfield, senior; Erin LeBlanc, Brattleboro, senior; Dana Nelson, Rutland, senior. Goalkeeper: Maria Ploof, Middlebury, junior.
Attack: Ashlyn Raymond, Harwood, senior. Midfield: Michelle Upham, Chelsea, senior; Whitney Ladd, Chelsea, junior; Jasmine Braman, Chelsea, junior; Kasey Flynn, Rice, senior; Reilly Johnson, Oxbow, junior; Meghan Hart, Oxbow, junior; Willow Smith, Oxbow, junior; Mckenzie Garone, Oxbow, senior; Kate Murphy, Woodstock, senior; Aria Robinson, Woodstock, junior; Brooke Sabol, Burr and Burton, junior; Sawyer DeVries, Burr and Burton, senior. Defense: Casey Snyder, Rice, senior. Goalie: Emma Cummings, Harwood, junior; Paxton Boyer, Lamoille; Sara Till, Rice, senior.
Attack: Emily Speck, Oxbow, sophomore; Piper Perrone, Burr and Burton, senior; Haleigh Carbone, Green Mountain Valley, senior; Susan Campbell, Green Mountain Valley, junior; Chelsea Stanclift, Harwood, junior. Midfield: Sarah Reid, Harwood, senior; Machaela O’Brien, Harwood, sophomore; Katy Ranaldo, Rice, sophomore; Christine Skeffington, Rice, senior; Maya Tracey, Woodstock, senior; Felicia Neuhof, Woodstock, senior; Rory Halligan, Burr and Burton, sophomore; Kate Montague, Burr and Burton, senior; Amanda Bowen, Randolph, senior; Mariah Palmer, Hartford, freshman; Leilani King, BFA-St. Albans, freshman; Kate Dillon, BFA-St. Albans, sophomore. Defense: Courtney Sanford, Chelsea, senior. Goalie: Morgan Tullar, Chelsea, senior.
SOFTBALL’S SPLIT DECISION
Offense carried the South all-stars to victory in the 25th Annual North-South softball series at Castleton State College.
A 14-hit attack helped the South post an 8-3 victory in the third game of the best-of-three series.
The North all-stars posted a 6-5 victory in the first game, but the South forced a third game by winning the second contest 12-3.
Rutland’s Taylor Kresconko earned the win in the deciding game by pitching four innings of relief.
Mount Abraham’s Allison Hayes led the South offense with three hits. Brattleboro’s Taylor Kerylow and Ashley Watson each collected two hits. Poultney’s Rainey Paquette hit a two-run home run.
Lyndon’s Hannah Ruede had two of the North’s seven hits.
The Vermont Softball Coaches’ Association presented Lamoile’s Jillian Emery with the inaugural MacKenzie Pratt scholarship during the series.
There will be a high school hockey doubleheader Saturday at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Vermont girls will face New Hampshire at 4 p.m., and the Vermont boys will take on New Hampshire at 6:30 p.m. in the All-Star Hockey Classic. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with threatening medical conditions.
The boys game is in its 19th year, and this will be the 14th time the Vermont girls have skated against New Hampshire. Both games feature players who graduated from high school earlier this year.
Tickets will be available at the door and are $10 for adults (18 and over) and $5 for students (ages 7-17). Those ages 6 and under will be admitted free.
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.