Boston High School: Mount Mansfield

New England Roundup: Vermont

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
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The Rochester girls’ softball team was outscored 50-2 on May 4, when it lost both ends of a doubleheader against West Rutland. Rochester dropped the first game, 27-1, and lost the second contest, 23-1.

VermontA 19-2 loss to Rivendell Academy on Monday dropped the team's Division IV record to 0-7, but the news hasn't been all bad.

The doubleheader against West Rutland marked the first time Rochester had played a game at home since Hurricane Irene ruined the school's softball field in 2011.

“It was awesome to be out there,” Rochester coach Lisa Blair told The Burlington Free Press. “The players were just so excited to finally play there. The girls get a better field.”

Rochester, which won the Division IV state title in 2011, traveled to each of its games last season while a new field was constructed. Rochester's field now features a new electronic scoreboard.

LAMOTHE RETURNS TO HOME FIELD
Former Lyndon Institute pitcher Buddy Lamothe was honored before Lyndon's baseball game against Montpelier last week.

Lamothe, who led the Vikings to the Division II state title in 2009, suffered a spinal cord injury during a swimming accident two years ago that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Lamothe was playing for San Jacinto College in Texas when he was injured.

Lamothe had a 0.77 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings for San Jacinto. He was drawing interest from professional teams before the injury, and the Houston Astros picked Lamothe in the 40th round that year after the accident occurred.

MOVING UP
Girls’ lacrosse will likely have a new look next season.

The Vermont Principals' Association has proposed that BFA-St. Albans, Burr and Burton and Rice move from Division II to Division I starting in 2014. Rice and U-32 were both unbeaten after six games this season. Rice was 4-1-1.

If the proposal is approved, those three teams would join Brattleborough, Burlington, Champlain Valley Union, Essex, Middlebury, Mount Anthony, Mount Mansfield, Rutland, South Burlington and Spaulding in Division I.

Division II would have 15 teams: Chelsea, Colchester, Green Mountain Valley, Hartford, Harwood, Lamoille, Montpelier, Oxbow, Randolph, St. Johnsbury, Stowe, Stratton, U-32, Vergennes and Woodstock.

REPEAT PERFORMANCE?
The Essex softball team won the 2012 Division I state championship, and may be the team to beat again this season.

At 7-0, Essex is the only unbeaten team in Division I. The Hornets have outscored their opponents 83-17 in their seven victories.

TOUGH TO HIT
"Kayla Wood didn't allow a hit through nine innings of the Brattleborough softball team's season opener against Hartford, but the scoreless game was suspended in the 10th inning. Wood will try to complete her no-hit pitching performance when the suspended game resumes on May 29.

"Randolph Rachel Johnson had thrown two no-hitters through her team's first four games this season. Johnson, a sophomore, didn't allow a hit in victories over South Royalton and U-32.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

April, 24, 2013
4/24/13
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There was no shortage of candidates to replace Brad Parker as Champlain Valley Union's girls' soccer coach.

VermontAccording to a story in the Burlington Free Press, a five -person search committee narrowed the field to five individuals – four of whom were interviewed – before selecting former CVU boys' soccer assistant coach Stan Williams.

Williams graduated from CVU in 1989, and was an assistant coach with the CVU girls program in 2001, 2003-04 and 2010. He also served as the program's co-head coach with Parker in 2002.

Parker, who resigned in February, guided CVU to a 340-45-42 record and 11 state championships in his 25 seasons as head coach. He was selected as the national coach of the year in 1997.

“It's a program with pressure, but also a program that anybody would want to coach,” Williams told the Free Press. “It's obviously an exciting position. This job has always been something I've held out there as a job I've wanted.”

CVU has won the last two Division I titles. Fifteen players are eligible to return from last year's team.

Williams has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the CVU boys soccer team. He also coached the CVU girls basketball team from 2002 to 2009.

MMU BASEBALL ADDS FAMILIAR FACE
The Mount Mansfield Union baseball team posted a 9-2 triumph over Milton in its first game under interim coach Bob Slayton, who agreed to a one-year commitment to the program when head coach Brian Chandler decided not to coach the team this spring after the birth of his second child.

Mount Mansfield appears to be in capable hands since Slayton, 66, guided MMU to four Division I state championships and 356 victories in 34 seasons before he retired in 2008.

Chandler was an assistant under Slayton for nine seasons before he became head coach when Slayton retired.

GOAL-ORIENTED
Rice Memorial's Emily Cutting recorded her 100th career varsity goal in a season-opening lacrosse victory over St. Johnsbury.

Cutting collected five goals in last year's Division III title game, a 13-11 triumph over BFA-St. Albans. She also scored five goals in Rice's second game of the season, a 10-9 loss to BFA-St. Albans. Kate Dillon scored with one second remaining to give BFA-St. Albans the victory.

ALL-STAR BASKETBALL GAMES RETURN
The Twin-State Basketball Classic, two all-star games between players from Vermont and New Hampshire, will be held July 13 at Essex High School. The girls game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., and the boys game will follow.

The Twin-State Basketball Classic was once a must-see event for high school basketball fans in each state, but was discontinued in 2010 after a 30-year run. The New Hampshire boys and girls each have an 18-12 edge in the series.

The rosters and coaches for each team are expected to be released in May.

WILLINGHAM HEADED TO PREP SCHOOL
Rice Memorial forward Marcus Willingham announced that he will attend Tilton (N.H.) Prep next season. Willingham had 17 points and 14 rebounds when Rice defeated St. Johnsbury in last month's Division I championship game.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 25, 2013
1/25/13
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The Hartford High School football team won the Division I state championship last season, but the team's accomplishments didn't end there.

VermontUSA Today High School Sports recently crowned Hartford as the People's Champion – the top high school football team in the nation for 2012.

The competition began Jan. 7 with 64 schools vying for a $500 prize and the chance to be named the top high school football team – as chosen by fans – of 2012. Each state, plus Washington D.C., had a representative in the competition. The highest-ranked champion in each state, as determined by the Massey computer rankings, automatically qualified for the contest. In addition, the USA Today High School Sports editorial staff chose 13 at-large teams.

Sixteen teams advanced to the second round. Hartford received 43 percent of the votes in the final round, which ended Jan. 18.

Maine Endwell (Endwell, N.Y.) finished second, Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) was third and Jordan (Sandy, Utah) ended up fourth.

"When you look at the numbers, you had to do well enough to get to the next round and once that happened, everyone’s imaginations started taking off," Hartford athletic director Joe James told USA Today High School Sports. "I was sending out regular email updates to folks and trying to rally the troops. The comments on the website were from all over the country. We’re such a small town and a close-knit community. There's a tremendous amount of pride."

Hartford went 11-0 last season and won their third consecutive Division I title. The Hurricanes beat Middlebury 42-6 in the championship game to cap a season in which they outscored their opponents 508-112. Hartford has won five of the last six Division I championships.

"There was a lot of buzz all over the community," James said. "We live on the border between Vermont and New Hampshire, and really, in this whole Upper Valley, there was buzz about this."

MANWARING REACHES MILESTONE
Jason Manwaring, a 6-foot-1, junior forward, became the latest Vermont player to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he tossed in 24 points during a 73-5 triumph over Rochester on Jan. 15. Manwaring also had 11 rebounds and blocked four shots in the victory.

Manwaring was averaging 18.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks through 11 games this season. Williamstown, last year's Division III champion, got off to an 11-0 start.

Manwaring became the sixth player in the program's history to score at least 1,000 points.

U-32 LOOKS LIKE A CONTENDER
The U-32 girls basketball program is coming off three consecutive losing seasons, but that streak will end this year.

U-32 opened the season with a loss to Division I Hartford, but has won nine in a row since then. Junior Madison Bennett tossed in a game-high 18 points in the team's most recent victory, Monday's 52-13 triumph over Randolph.

U-32 is one of two Division II teams with one loss. Mt. Abraham (10-1) is the other. BFA-Fairfax (10-0) is in sole possession of first place.

FAST TRACK
The South Burlington girls indoor track 4x800 relay team set a state record at the Dartmouth Relays earlier this month.

Anne-Marie Farmer, Allie Flaherty, Kayla Gilding and Katherine Cook posted a sixth-place finish in 10 minutes, 2.38 seconds. Mount Mansfield set the previous record (10:07.97) in 2011.

WOODSTOCK'S WANNOP RESIGNS
Wendy Wannop announced that she was stepping down as Woodstock's field hockey coach on Jan. 15.

Wannop had a 198-76-16 record in 30 seasons as Woodstock's coach. She guided the Wasps to three state championships, and four runner-up finishes.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and has been covering high school sports throughout New England.

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 9, 2013
1/09/13
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When Jason Thomas became Burr and Burton Academy's head football coach in 2008, the Bulldogs had suffered through nine consecutive losing seasons. Four years later he guided Burr and Burton to the Division II championship game.

VermontThomas will face a similar challenge this summer, when he coaches Vermont's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team.

New Hampshire has won the last 12 meetings with Vermont, and has outscored Vermont 433-145 in those 12 games. New Hampshire set a record for points in a game last summer, when its posted a 62-24 victory and increased its lead in the series to 44-13-2.

“I'm a Vermonter, and I have a lot of pride in our state,” Thomas said. “We're small, but we have some really good football players here.

“When you look at the size difference we don't have the linemen to line up and pound it at New Hampshire. I want to play at a tempo New Hampshire is not used to.”

Thomas, who played football at the University of Massachusetts, said he learned the basics of his fast-paced offense while he was an assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire, and current Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was UNH's offensive coordinator..

“Chip really laid the foundation for me in terms of offense and what I wanted to do,” Thomas said.

Mascoma Regional's Ray Kershaw will be New Hampshire's head coach. Mascoma, which began playing varsity football in 2008, had never posted a winning record until last season, when the Royals lost to Franklin in the Division VI championship game. Kershaw became Mascoma's head coach in 2010.

“Being named New Hampshire's Shrine coach was very exciting for me,” Kershaw said. “It's a great honor because of what the game is all about [raising money for the Shriners' hospitals].”

This year's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will be played Aug. 3 at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. The Vermont and New Hampshire rosters will be released later this month.

One of the first players Thomas selects will likely be quarterback Jake Stalcup, a three-year starter at Burr and Burton. Stalcup was named Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, following his junior season.

Stalcup passed for 2,613 yards and 31 touchdowns (nine interceptions) last season. He also threw 31 touchdown passes as a junior.

“He's as steady as they come,” Thomas said. “He doesn't really get rattled. He's 6-2, 200 pounds and has a live arm. He has 'it' as a quarterback.”

Practice for this year's game has been shortened from nine days to seven. There have also been added restrictions placed on how New Hampshire must select its roster. New Hampshire's initial roster before any injuries) must feature six players from each of the state's six divisions. In past year's New Hampshire was allowed to take more players from its larger schools.

New Hampshire has 57 schools with varsity football. Vermont has 34.

“To be honest I don't care about their selection process,” Thomas said. “I want their best against our best. This seems like it gives them an excuse if we do beat them.”

ROBERE NETS 1,000TH POINT
Brianna Robare became the second Winooski girls basketball player to score 1,000 career points when she tossed in 20 during a 53-42 loss to BFA-Fairfax on Saturday.

Robare reached the milestone when she made a 3-pointer with 2:06 left in the first quarter. Robare's sister Bobbi also scored 1,000 points for Winooski.

Chace Carpenter (17 points), Kayla Baczewski (15) and Meghan Bochanski (11) scored in double figures for BFA-Fairfaix, which improved to 6-0. The Bullets trailed by two points entering the fourth quarter, but outscored Winooski 17-4 over the final eight minutes.

The loss dropped the Spartans to 5-2.

TOOF REACHES CENTURY MARK
Mount Mansfield-South Burlington girls hockey coach Mickey Toof earned his 100th career coaching victory when MMU-SB defeated Colchester last week.

Toof is in his ninth season as a head coach. He was Burlington's head coach for four years, and is now in his fifth season with South Burlington.

Toof has an overall record of 100-64-15 in nine seasons.

VERGENNES BOYS OFF TO STRONG START
The Vergennes boys basketball team made 26 of 29 two-point field goal attempts during an 87-59 triumph over U-32 during the first round of the Fran Pinard tournament on Dec. 28.

Vergennes, which lost to Mount St. Joseph in last year's Division II championship game, is off to a 10-0 start this season. The Commodores picked up victory No. 10 by beating Montpelier 53-43 Saturday.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
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So much for all of the hype. The marquee high school football game played in Vermont last weekend was decided before halftime.

VermontWoodstock, last year's Division III state champion, built a 40-point lead in the first half and breezed to a 47-6 road triumph over Poultney.

Each team entered the contest with a 4-0 record, but the game was so one-sided running time was used in the fourth quarter. Poultney was coming off a 55-34 victory over Division II Fair Haven, an outcome that had many believing the Blue Devils could upset the Wasps.

Woodstock fullback Ed Doton rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries – all in the first half.

Poultney's lead grew to 47-0 when Tom Bauman returned the second-half kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown and Hunter Schmell added the point-after kick.

Woodstock has scored at least 42 points in each of its five victories, and is averaging 43 points per game.

“We have to put it behind us,” Poultney coach Dave Capman told the Rutland Herald. “We know we are a good team, but once it started pouring we couldn't stop it. And Woodstock is a very good team.”

Poultney fullback Tyler Rice rushed for 111 yards on 16 carries. Rice ran for four touchdowns and had a touchdown catch in Poultney's victory over Fair Haven.

Vermont High School Football Standings
Each team's record and Quality Point Rating (QPR), which determines playoff seedings in each division, is listed in parenthesis.

Division I
Hartford (5-0, 8.750)
Rutland (4-1, 7.750)
BFA-St. Albans (4-1, 7.750)
Essex (4-0, 7.000)
Champlain Valley (3-2, 4.500)
Colchester (3-2, 4.500)
South Burlington (3-2, 4.500)
Middlebury (3-2, 4.375)
Mount Mansfield (1-4, 2.250)
St. Johnsbury (1-3, 1.500)
Burlington (1-4, 1.500)
Mount Anthony (1-4, 1.500)
Brattleboro (1-4, 1.500)
Spaulding (1-3, 0.875)

Division II
Rice (5-0, 6.222)
Lyndon (5-0, 5.222)
Bellows Falls (4-1, 4.667)
Milton (3-2, 3.222)
Fair Haven (3-2, 2.778)
Burr and Burton (2-3, 2.111)
Otter Valley (2-3, 1.778)
U-32 (1-4, 0.778)
North Country (0-5, 0.000)
Springfield (0-5, 0.000)

Division III
Woodstock (5-0, 5.667)
BFA-Fairfax (4-1, 3.556)
Mill River (4-1, 3.556)
Poultney (4-1, 3.556)
Mount Abraham (3-2, 2.333)
Windsor (2-3, 1.333)
Oxbow (1-4, 0.778)
Winooski (1-4, 0.778)
Mount St. Joseph (1-4, 0.556)
Montpelier (0-5, 0.000)

TEAM EFFORT
The Colchester boys' soccer team won its first eight games, and balanced scoring was one of the main reasons for the team's early success.

Through those eight games nine different players had scored at least one goal, and there were 14 played who had collected at least one point.

The team's balanced attack was never more evident than when seven different players scored in a 7-1 victory over Mount Mansfield.

'CAT WOMAN
Camille Rainville, a senior on the Missisquoi field hockey team, has committed to play field hockey at the University of Vermont. The Catamounts are a Division I program that competes in the America East Conference.

Rainville finished the 2011 season with 21 goals and 14 assists. She helped Missisquoi win the Division III state championship. She is also a member of Missisquoi's girls' ice hockey team.

When Missisquoi defeated Stowe 2-1 in last year's Division III championship game it gave the school its first Division III championship in any sport.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader. He has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
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It’s been a long time since David Ball has heard the roar of the crowd at Spaulding High School’s Pendo Field, but he’s hoping the home fans will have plenty to cheer about Saturday.

VermontBall, a three-sport athlete at Spaulding who went on to a record-setting football career as a wide receiver at the University of New Hampshire, was hired as Spaulding’s varsity football coach in July.

Spaulding was winless in 2011, but Ball guided the Crimson Tide to a 28-16 season-opening victory over North Country last Friday. Up next: Saturday’s home opener against Colchester in Barre.

“I knew I would coach, but I didn’t know when,” Ball said. “And I didn’t know I would start as a head coach. Some top candidates fell through, and some other candidates were in the picture, but [the school] wanted more. They knew I was there – I was in town.

“I haven’t coached anywhere but camps. My experience has been my coaching 101.”

His experience includes a four-year career at UNH, where he broke Jerry Rice’s FCS (I-AA) record for career touchdown receptions. Ball, 28, left UNH with 304 career receptions, 4,655 receiving yards and 58 touchdown catches (Rice’s record was 50).

UNH wasn’t on Ball’s radar when he graduated from high school in 2002. In addition to playing football at Spaulding, Ball was a 1,000-point scorer in basketball and a record-setting high jumper on the track and field team. He planned to participate in those three sports at Division III Worcester State College until a few of his friends persuaded him to join them for a year of prep school at Worcester Academy.

His time at Worcester Academy – former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was his QB there -- led him to UNH, where he earned a scholarship from head coach Sean McDonnell after his second practice.

Ball spent time with the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and three Canadian Football League teams before he turned his attention to teaching, and landed a physical education position at Spaulding. A short time later he added “varsity football coach” to his resume.

Spaulding is running a spread, no-huddle offense similar to the one Ball played in at UNH. Quarterback Jon Kilian scored four touchdowns – three rushing and one on an interception return – in Spaulding’s victory over North Country.

“The heart my boys went out there with was impressive,” Ball said. “It was one of the top highlights of my career.”

Ball, who has two assistant coaches, said among his biggest challenges is convincing more students to join the football team. Spaulding, a Division I school, currently has 46 players on its roster (JV and varsity). Of course it helps when the head coach played in the same program and is one of the most famous athletes the state has produced.

“I have players come up to me and say, ‘Do you remember signing an autograph for me when I was 11?” Ball said. “There’s no doubt it helps when you’ve had a lot of success inside those walls.

“It’s our job to put a team on the field that can compete.”

BIG-GAME HUNTING
Week 2 of the high school football season could provide two of the best matchups of the year. Hartford, which has won the last two Division I championships, will face BFA-St. Albans, and Middlebury will meet Essex. Both games will be played Friday night.

These are the top four teams in the state, as ranked by the Burlington Free Press.

Hartford had a scare in its opener, but posted a 13-7 victory over Colchester. The Hurricanes will be facing a BFA-St. Albans team that received two rushing touchdowns from Doug Saffo in a 26-6 triumph over St. Johnsbury Academy last weekend. These programs met in the 2010 Division I state championship game.

Quarterback Tyler Provencher passed for two touchdowns to lead Middlebury to a 28-6 victory over Mount Mansfield last Friday. The Tigers will be up against an Essex team that performed well in the Northeast 7-on-7 tournament in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in June. Essex opened its season by beating Brattleboro, 48-7.

CHAMPIONSHIP SITE MOVED
Vermont's three state championship football games will be played at South Burlington High School this year.

The championship games have been held at Castleton State College in each of the last two years, but the Castleton State football team has a home game scheduled for Nov. 10, which is when the football tripleheader is also scheduled to be played.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
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The North got the best of the South in Saturday's North-South Senior All-Star Classic at Windsor High School.

VermontNorth teams won three of the four games at the event, which is sponsored by the Vermont Basketball Coaches' Association and featured some the state's top senior boys and girls players. Scores and highlights from each contest:

Division I-II Boys: Mill River's Nate Salgo scored 13 points and Springfield's Kurt Perham added 10 in the South's 80-69 triumph. Mount Mansfield's Tom Lacy led the North with 17.

Division III-IV Boys: Rivendell's Dylan Pelletier, Blue Mountain's Eddie Soucie and Websterville's Andrew Shuman each tossed in a team-high 11 points as the North prevailed 97-77.

Division I-II Girls: Burlington's Kaylah Jones led all scorers with 11 as the North edged the South 61-59.

Division III-IV Girls: Twinfield's Brianna duPont tossed in 10 points in the North's 82-63 triumph.

DISPLAY OF POWER
South Burlington's Chris Weinheimer scored a power-play goal midway through the third period to give the Austin Conference a 2-1 triumph over the Harris Conference in the Rotary All-Star Hockey Classic held Saturday at Essex High School.

Stowe's Hunter Grosvenor gave the Austin Conference a 1-0 lead with 3:20 left in the second period, but Northfield's Billy Whaley tied the game 39 seconds later.

South Burlington's Nate Young (10 saves), Rice's Ian Koupash (12) and Spaulding's Kevin Avery (seven) were the Austin Conference goaltenders. Essex's Pat Campbell (14), U-32's Mike Bresette (six) and St. Johnsbury's Chris O'Donnell (17) played in goal for the Harris Conference.

Montpelier's Mary Cain made 24 saves to highlight the Harris Conference's 4-2 triumph in the girls game, held March 17.

Middlebury's Maria Ploof scored twice for the Harris Conference, which also received goals from Rutland's Erin Kiernan-Reilly and Hartford's Bethany Bouthillier.

The Rotary games are used to select Vermont's teams for the Make-A-Wish Twin State Classic. Vermont will face New Hampshire's all-stars July 14 at the University of Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse.

GATORADE HONORS ST. AMOUR
Gatorade selected Missisquoi Valley Union's Matt St. Amour as its boys basketball Player of the Year in Vermont for the 2011-12 season.

St. Amour, a 6-foot-3-inch junior guard, is the first boys basketball player from Missisquoi to receive the award, which is based on athletic excellence, academic achievement and character.

St. Amour averaged 26.6 points. 12.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 points per game for the Thunderbirds, who lost in the Division I tournament's opening round. Missisquoi won the Division II title last season.

“He plays under control and can finish on either side of the basket, and he's also got great range,” Vergennes coach Peter Quinn said. “You have to defend him as soon as he gets one or two dribbles over half-court.”

St. Amour holds Missisquoi's record for career point scored (1,388).

GRIBBIN SELECTS DARTMOUTH
South Burlington's Mollie Gribbin has announced that she will continue her track and field career at Dartmouth College.

Gribbin, who holds the state record in the long jump (18 feet, 5.5 inches), the triple jump (40-9.5) and the 100 meters (12.24 seconds), was also considering Virginia, Columbia, Illinois and Oregon. She also played soccer for South Burlington.

Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been reporting on high school sports in New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
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Defense carried the BFA-St. Albans boys hockey team to this year's Division I championship game, and it was defense, more than anything else, that allowed the Bobwhites to claim the program's 16th state title.

VermontJunior goaltender Andre Morin made 20 saves as third-seeded BFA-St. Albans defeated fifth-seeded Colchester 5-1 in the Division I final played Tuesday night at the University of Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Bobwhites (19-4-0) allowed three goals in their three tournament games, which included victories over Rice (6-0) and North Country (3-2).

Taylor Raftery, Mike Schreiner and Peter Dukas provided the offense for BFA-St. Albans, which beat Colchester (15-8-1) for the third time this season.

Ryan Francis scored for Colchester, which needed five overtimes to defeat Essex in the semifinals.

Second-seeded U-32 dominated Tuesday's Division II championship game and skated to a 5-1 triumph over top-seeded Northfield.

Andrew Danyew, Forrest Smith, Kyle Ferguson, Colvin Rice and Kyle Elliott scored for the Raiders (18-3-2), who spit two regular-season games against Northfield.

Billy Whaley scored for Northfield (20-3-0).

ESSEX, BURR & BURTON FINISH ON TOP
Vermont's girls hockey season ended Monday night, when Essex and Burr & Burton each won a state title at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Fifth-seeded Essex earned the Division I championship by beating third-seeded South Burlington 2-1; and top-seeded Burr & Burton won the Division II title with a 4-1 triumph over third-seeded Stowe.

Essex (13-8-2) and South Burlington (15-5-4) were tied entering the third period, when Melissa Moldovan collected what turned out to be the game-winning goal shortly after an Essex power-play opportunity had expired.

Freshman goaltender Victoria Gibson made 15 saves for the Hornets, who beat South Burlington in two of three regular-season meetings. All three Essex wins came by one goal.

Julia Hudson scored South Burlington's goal.

Freshman Abby Marmer scored twice in Burr & Burton's victory. Marmer finished the season with a team-high 23 goals.

Junior Erin Thompson and freshman Jordan Harmon also scored for the Bulldogs, who raised their record to 21-1-0. Burr & Burton received 16 saves from junior goaltender Meg Chandler.

Sam Haab scored for Stowe (18-4-1).

LOTS OF HOOPLA
Recaps of Vermont's four boys basketball championship games:

Division I: Tom Lacy scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as top-seeded Mount Mansfield defeated second-seeded Rice 41-34.

Mount Mansfield (23-1) also received nine points from Troy Springer – all in the second half – and eight points and eight rebounds from Eric Suder.

Casey Tipson scored a game-high 16 points for Rice, which led by five at halftime. Tim Rensch added nine points and 14 rebounds for Rice, which won last year's title.

Mount Mansfield took control by outscoring Rice (22-2) 16-4 in the third quarter.

Division II: An 18-6 run in the the third quarter helped top-seeded Mount St. Joseph defeat top-seeded Vergennes 56-48.

Shannon Murray tossed in a game-high 13 points for MSJ, which won its first title since claiming the Division I championship in 1999. John Dewey (12) and Matthew Sanborn (10) also scored in double digits for MSJ (22-2).

Shep Carter led Vergennes (21-3) with 15.

Division III: Fifth-seeded Williamstown capped a strong postseason run with a 66-42 upset victory over second-seeded Rivendell (16-7).

It was the second title in three years for Williamstown, which won the Division IV championship in 2010. Williamstown made 27 of 43 free throw attempts in the victory.

Seth Atherton (18) and Jason Manwaring (16 points, seven rebounds) were Williamstown's leading scorers. Dylan Pelletier (16) led Rivendell (21-3).

It was the third meeting between the teams. Rivendell won both regular-season meetings.

Division IV: David Codling scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as top-seeded Twinfield beat third-seeded Danville 61-52.

Twinfield (22-2) also defeated Danville (18-6) twice during the regular season, and in last year's championship game.

Avery Whitcomb scored 15 points for Twinfield, which also received 12 points and 10 rebounds from Chad Copeland.

Tony Burrington (20) and Kyle Johnson (14) led Danville.

ILLINGWORTH WINS GATORADE AWARD
Hartford's Sarah Illingworth, a 6-foot-1 senior center, has been selected as Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for girls basketball. She is the first girls player from Hartford to win the award, which is based on athletic excellence, academic success and high character.

Illingworth averaged 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals during the Division II regular season. She will continue her basketball career at UMass-Lowell next season.

Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
12:33
PM ET
The first two meetings between the Mount Mansfield Union and Rice Memorial boys basketball teams probably left fans hoping there's a third.

VermontAfter suffering a 13-point setback to Mount Mansfield on opening night, Rice strung together nine consecutive victories and won each of those nine games by at least 10 points. Rice then stretched that winning streak to 10 games by handing Mount Mansfield its first loss, 53-51, last Thursday.

“The game could have gone either way,” Rice coach Paul Pecor told Vermont Scoreboard. “They hit big shots and we hit some big shots. I would love to play that one again – very exciting.”

Rice trailed 51-50 with five seconds to play, but junior guard Casey Tipson made two free throws to give Rice the lead for good. Jake Maynard stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled. He made one of two free throws to cap the scoring.

Tipson finished the game with 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half. He made each of his 3-point attempts. Jake Maynard also scored 16 points,and Tim Rensch added 14 points and 14 rebounds.

The loss dropped Mount Mansfield's record to 11-1. The Cougars beat the Green Knights 45-32 in the previous game between the teams this season.

Rice, last year's Division I champion, improved its record to 10-1.

Rice led 24-17 at halftime, but a 10-0 run handed Mount Mansfield a 33-30 lead – its first lead of the game – in the third quarter.

Rice led by five with 1:58 left, but Mount Mansfield used a 6-0 run to regain the lead. Tom Lacey's 3-pointer capped the 6-0 spurt and made it a 51-50 game.

Tipson's free throws followed, and then Maynard sealed the victory.

Lacey led all scorers with 19 points. He also grabbed six rebounds. Mount Mansfield received a 14-point performance from Eric Suder.

If the teams meet again it will be in the Division I tournament at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium.

“Even after we beat them earlier I still felt Rice would be the team to beat,” Mount Mansfield coach Jeff Davis said. “Rice is a much better team [now] than the first time we played them. We held serve in our gym and they held serve in theirs. Maybe we'll play Round 3.”

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New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
1:55
PM ET
The Mount Mansfield boys' basketball team raised its Division I record to 7-0 by beating Spaulding 63-39 Friday night. Anyone looking for the secret to the Cougars' success this season need only look at the defensive end of the court.

VermontThe Cougars are allowing an average of 31 points per game through their first seven contests. Six of Mount Mansfield's seven opponents have failed to score more than 39 points.

“Right now I'm very happy with how we're doing things defensively,” Mount Mansfield coach Jeff Davis said. “We're doing things very well in that end.

“We don't do a lot of trapping and gimmicky stuff. We just play solid man to man. The guys realize that playing good defense is as important as executing in the offensive end.”

Mount Mansfield reached the Division I semifinals last season, and returned seven of the top eight players – including four starters – from that team. There are seven seniors on this year's roster, five of whom start.

The leaders are forward Tom Lacy and 6-foot-8 center Eric Suder, both of whom have started since their freshman season. Lacy is averaging a team-high 13 points per game – no other player is averaging more than seven – and Suder is averaging three-and-a-half blocks and eight rebounds per game.

The other starters are point guard Troy Springer, guard T.J. Wesson and guard Cody Sharrow. Springer and Wesson shared a starting job last season. Davis, who is in his 13th season with the Mount Mansfield program, called Sharrow the best defender he's ever coached.

“He's a great athlete – he's going to play baseball at South Dakota State next year – and if size allows it we always put him on the other team's best player,” Davis said

Rutland entered the week as the only other undefeated team in Division I, but Davis said he considers Rice Memorial – last year's Division I champion – the team to beat. Mount Mansfield beat Rice, 45-32, in the opener for each team.

“In Vermont it's such a short preseason,” Davis said. “We have a veteran team, which has helped, and Rice was at a point where they were still figuring things out. We felt pretty good about things coming into the year because of what we had coming back and going to the Final Four last year.”

Davis said as well as his team has been playing, he does have some concerns. Chief among them is the team's lack of height.

“We're small, so if Eric [Suder] gets in foul trouble that would be a problem,” he said. “That's my biggest concern. Also, we're not a team that's going to score in the high 70s or 80s, but we do need to score more.”

The Cougars won back-to-back state championships in 2004 and 2005, when they allowed an average of 37 and 45 points per game, respectively. It appears defense could earn Mount Mansfield another state title this year.

“It's a group of tough kids who like to defend,” Davis said. “They enjoy it.”

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New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 2, 2012
1/02/12
12:33
PM ET
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.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
5:47
PM ET
Woodstock Union High School football coach Jim McLaughlin won the 200th game of his coaching career Saturday, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

VermontMcLaughlin guided top-seeded Woodstock to a 27-7 victory over third-seeded Windsor in the Division III championship game at Castleton State College. It was the eighth state title McLaughlin's teams have won in his 30 years as a head coach.

Junior fullback Ed Doton did most of the damage for Woodstock, which began the season with back-to-back losses before winning nine in a row. Doton rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

“If you look at it as a puzzle, the pieces really came together for us as the season went along,” McLaughlin said.

Woodstock, which led 14-0 at halftime, held Windsor running back Matt Rafus to 40 yards on 14 carries. Rafus finished the season with 1,881 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns.

Windsor's only touchdown came on a blocked field goal attempt that Ethan Hill returned 75 yards. Windsor completed its season with a 7-4 record.

In Saturday's other championship games top-seeded Hartford beat third-seeded Middlebury 42-6 to win the Division I title; and third-seeded Fair Haven outscored fourth-seeded Burr and Burton 57-34 to win the Division II title.

Hartford 42, Middlebury 6
Hartford dominated on both sides of the ball and won its fourth championship in the last five years.

Miles Latham rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and Troy Bell ran for 109 yards to help the Hurricanes completed an unbeaten season (11-0). Hartford scored four second-half touchdowns.

Middlebury (9-2) played without quarterback Dillon Robinson, who was injured in the team's semifinal victory over BFA-St. Albans. Middlebury's only touchdown came when Marshall Hastings returned a kickoff 79 yards for a score.

Hartford, which had a 444-88 edge in net offense, outscored its opponents 508-112 this season.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

November, 3, 2011
11/03/11
1:54
PM ET
Fair Haven Union quarterback Robert Coloutti made a mistake that could have haunted him for the rest of his life.

VermontColoutti was called for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and was ejected following a touchdown during last Saturday's game against Otter Valley. An ejection often results in a one-game suspension, which meant Coloutti could miss his team's Division II semifinal at Milton on Friday.

The Vermont Principals' Association ruled Tuesday that Coloutti will not have to serve a suspension, however, and will be allowed to play in Friday night's playoff game.

“Based on the information that was gathered, there will be no further suspension,” VPA associate director Bob Johnson told the Burlington Free Press. “When there’s an ejection, if a school wants to contest, they notify me. This happens routinely; not a new case. In soccer this year, we’ve had at least eight and of those eight times, at least half of those decisions were changed.”

Second-seeded Milton (7-2) sacked Coloutti five times during a 28-19 victory over third-seeded Fair Haven (7-2) during the regular season. Coloutti completed 19 of 41 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. He also ran for a touchdown.

The Milton/Fair Haven winner will face either top-seeded North Country (9-0) or fourth-seeded Burr and Burton (6-3) in the Division II championship game.

North Country received two rushing touchdowns from Nick LeClair and beat Burr & Burton 36-26 during the regular season. Burr & Burton quarterback Jake Stalcup completed 23 of 37 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
12:03
PM ET
Many coaches and media members identified North Country as the high school football team to beat in Division II this season. So far, the Falcons have done nothing to prove those people wrong.

VermontNorth Country passed its toughest test of the season and raised its record to 3-0 by defeating Fair Haven 28-26 Saturday.

North Country trailed 26-16 at halftime, but took its first lead when fullback Adam Pothier scored on a 6-yard run with 4:48 to play. The loss dropped Fair Haven's record to 2-1.

“Our expectation were high,” North Country coach Bob Davis said. “We felt this was going to be a very good season. We start mostly seniors, and for a Vermont high school team we are pretty big.”

North Country finished with a 5-4 record and missed the playoffs last season. Tailback Nick LeClair and quarterback Tre Sanville are among the 22 seniors on this year's roster. LeClair and Sanville are both three-year starters. LeClair rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, and Sanville missed half of his junior season with a knee injury.

The team's first two games ended in lopsided victories: 50-0 over Spaulding and 73-6 over U-32.

“We play option football,” Davis said. “When it gets rolling you can really tear up the yardage.”

LeClair, Sanville and Pothier operate behind a veteran offensive line that includes Adam Fortin, Cody Collins, Riley Simoneau, Ben Bonneau, Jason Webster and Lance Buffi.

North Country hasn't won a state championship since 1997, when it captured the third of three-consecutive titles. North Country hasn't played in a championship game since 2004, when it lost to South Burlington.

Davis will likely know even more about his team following Saturday's game at Rice (2-1), which won last year's Division II championship.

“Things are still evolving [in Division II], but I think Rice is definitely a contender,” Davis said. “They're a spread team and our defense is still evolving so the key will be our ability to establish the run.

“I've heard people mention Fair Haven, Milton and Burr and Burton as contenders. I think at the beginning of the year we we viewed as a strong contender as well. Hopefully they'll keep thinking that way.”

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New England Roundup: Vermont

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
4:22
PM ET
Super conferences may be the thing of the future in college football, but the concept is getting a test drive at the high school level in Vermont this fall.

VermontFour teams – Champlain Valley Union, Colchester, Middlebury and Mount Mansfield – moved from Division II to Division I in the offseason, which created a 14-team league at the top of Vermont's three-division format.

“In the past we always tried to have an even number of teams in each division,” CVU coach Jim Provost said. “What was happening is there were schools in Division II that started to do well and belonged in Division I.

“In the last two years, from top to bottom, there was more parity in Division II than there was in Division I. I think there's better balance across the division now.”

The following alignments will be in place through the 2012 season:

Division I:
Essex; Champlain Valley; BFA-St. Albans; Rutland; Mount Mansfield; Colchester; Middlebury; Spaulding; Mount Anthony; Hartford; Burlington; Brattleboro; South Burlington and St. Johnsbury.

Division II:
North Country; U-32; Lyndon; Milton; Springfield; Bellows Falls; Burr and Burton; Fair Haven; Rice Memorial and Otter Valley.

Division III:
BFA-Fairfax; Windsor; Mount Abraham; Mill River; Woodstock; Poultney; Montpelier; Oxbow; Winooski and Mount St. Joseph.

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