March was a pretty good month for Missisquoi Valley Union's Matt St. Amour.
After being selected as Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for boys basketball, St. Amour finalized his college plans by choosing to continue his basketball career at Division III Middlebury College. St. Amour's other options included walking on at the University of Vermont.
"I've always been a Vermont kid and I felt I always wanted to continue to play in front of my Vermont fans," St. Amour told the Burlington Free Press. "UVM would have been a great opportunity, always been one of my dreams to play for them, but I feel Middlebury was a better fit."
St. Amour, a 6-foot-3 guard, was also named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. He averaged 30.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game as a senior, when he helped the Thunderbirds (13-9) reach the Division I quarterfinals. He completed his high school career as the No. 3 scorer in state history (2,064 points).
Middlebury has qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament in each of the last six years. The Panthers reached the quarterfinals this season, and finished with a 25-4 record.
"Middlebury told me I was their No. 1 option all along,” St. Amour said. “I know I can be an important role on their team. I felt they were interested in wanting me to play there," St. Amour said. "Middlebury doesn't like to lose that much and that's something that I enjoy.
"I plan on having a successful career and win a national championship -- that's definitely a goal."
TWIN-STATE GAMES MAY RETURN
After the Vermont boys and girls played New Hampshire in the 2010 Twin State All-Star Senior Basketball Classic, many thought the event was dead and buried.
The games lacked interest – primarily on the New Hampshire side – and sponsors became hard to find. Vermont recently received a commitment from the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches' Association, however, and the event may return as soon as this summer. Representatives from each state are scheduled to meet in April in an attempt to bring the games back to life.
The Twin State Classic has always been a doubleheader with the top girls basketball players from each state facing one another before the boys game. The games were last held at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium.
The New Hampshire boys and girls teams each hold an 18-12 edge in the series.
SHRINE ROSTER RELEASED
There are still three spots to fill on the Vermont Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team, but a preliminary roster was released in mid-March. Vermont will play New Hampshire on Aug. 3 (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth College's Memorial Field. It will be the first night game in the event's history.
Jason Thomas of Burr & Burton Academy is Vermont's head coach. Mascoma Regional's Ray Kershaw is coaching New Hampshire's.
New Hampshire won last summer's game 62-24 to extend its winning streak to 12 games. New Hampshire leads the series 44-13-2.
Vermont roster: Zachary Rawling (Bellows Falls), Zachary Tarvit (Bellows Falls), Darren Callan (BFA-St. Albans), Dylan Callan (BFA-St. Albans), Lucas Kelsey (BFA-St. Albans), Doug Saffo (BFA-St. Albans), Ryan Wimble (BFA-Fairfax), Tyler Higley (Brattleboro), Billy Katon (Burlington), Chris Redding (Burr & Burton), Jake Stalcup (Burr & Burton), Alec Distler (Champlain Valley), Harvey Ottinger (Champlain Valley), Bobby Brigante (Colchester), Noah MacGillivary (Essex), James Olsen (Essex), Joey Picard (Essex), Joseph Ramada (Essex), Cody Bradish (Fair Haven), Dakota Euber (Fair Haven), Josh Claflin (Hartford), Nolan Frechette (Hartford), Taylor Potter (Hartford), Walter Odell (Middlebury), Wade Steele (Mount Abraham), Carter Glenn (Mount Mansfield), Dan Warnecke (Poultney), Billy O'Brien (Rice), Matthew Hock (Rutland), Jon Kilian (Spaulding), Ed Doton (Woodstock), Travis Gault (Woodstock), Jalen Peterson (Woodstock).
Scores from the championship games in basketball and hockey:
Division I: Rice 48, St. Johnsbury
Division II: Vergennes 62, Burr & Burton 49
Division III: Williamstown 63, Thetford 39
Division IV: Rochester 68, West Rutland 43
Division I: Champlain Valley 47, Rice 42
Division II: Mount Abraham 44, BFA-Fairfax 28
Division III: Winooski 52, Williamstown 48
Division IV: Proctor 55, Arlington 38
Division I: South Burlington 4, Champlain Valley 2
Division II: U-32 5, Burr & Burton 2
Division I: BFA-St. Albans 3, Essex 0
Division II: Harwood 1, North Country 0
Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.