Boston High School: Nicky Elderton

New England Roundup: Vermont

June, 17, 2011
Wednesday’s Division I baseball championship game was all about finishing strong.

VermontFourth-seeded Rice held a four-run lead after two innings, but faded after that. Mount Anthony Union, the tournament’s seventh seed, scored the game’s final 10 runs – including eight in the last three innings – to post a an 11-5 victory.

Mount Anthony took control by scoring four runs with two outs in the fifth. Nicholas Lloyd’s three-run home run was the big blow in the inning.

Tony Baldic struck out seven in four innings to earn the win. Mount Anthony received three scoreless innings from Tyler Kinzeman.

Rice, which was trying to win its first state championship since 1964, built a 5-1 lead through two innings. Rice’s biggest hits were Nicky Elderton’s two-run home run in the first, and Joe Boardman’s two-run double in the second.

Rice committed six errors in the loss.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

April, 21, 2011
Athletically, the 2010-11 school year has been an exceptional one at Rice Memorial High School.

The Green Knights won the Division II championship in football last fall, and the boys and girls basketball teams each won the Division I title during the winter.

“It’s an exceptional senior class, both athletically and academically,” Rice athletic director Lloyd Hulburd said. “They’ve been a joy to watch. It’s quite an accomplishment because we have 365 kids and we’re competing against some schools with more than 1,000 students.”

Rice will be shopping for another state championship this spring. The school’s baseball team returned seven starters – all seniors  from a team that finished 16-3 last season, when the Green Knights lost to Essex in the Division I semifinals.

“Talent-wise this is our year,” Rice coach Lloyd Bachand said. “We’re pretty optimistic.”

Rice also returns its top six hitters from a year ago. That group includes center fielder Christian McCormick, who hit .500 with four home runs and 22 RBIs last season; and pitcher/infielder Nicky Elderton, who hit .478 with four home runs last spring.

McCormick and Elderton are two of the four players on the baseball team who also played varsity football and varsity basketball during the current school year.

“McCormick has tremendous power, but he also hits for average,” Bachand said.

Elderton, who posted a 4-1 record with a 1.81 ERA last season, is the team’s No. 1 starter. He pitched a complete game and struck out nine when Rice defeated Burlington 6-1 in the opener for each team last week.

Pitcher/first baseman Zac Poland was 4-0 on the mound and hit .586 last spring despite missing some of the season with an injury.

“McCormick, Nicky and Zac – those are our three studs,” Bachand said.

The pitching staff has been bolstered by 6-foot-7 junior Tim Rensch, who missed last season with a broken thumb. Bachand said he also expects a significant contribution from sophomore pitcher Will Conroy.

“Rensch throws really hard and he’ll be our No. 1 reliever,” Bachand said. “He’s a battler. We’re expecting big things from him.”

Rice won five games in 2008 and 10 in 2009 before posting 16 victories last spring.

“We can play defense, but pitching and offense is definitely our strength,” Bachand said. “We look good on paper, but we have a lot of work to do.

“This is our best opportunity [to win a championship] in the four years I’ve been here. The senior class is special.”


Castleton State College assistant coach Jeff Cassarino has been hired as the head football coach at Mount St. Joseph Academy, and Williamstown athletic director Brian Divelbliss has been hired to replace Mike Law as the head football coach at U-32.

Cassarino, who coached defensive linemen at Castleton State, was an assistant coach at MSJ in 2008. He served as the head coach at Mill River for five reasons.

Cassarino replaces Torrey Allard, who spent one season as MSJ’s head coach. It was the Mounties’ first season in Division III.

Divelbliss said he plans to resign from his AD position at the end of the current school year and will accept a teaching position at U-32. Law served as U-32’s head coach for 17 seasons.


Lamoille Union’s Chelsea Dunham, a 6-foot-1 senior, will continue her basketball career at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., next season.

Southern New Hampshire is a Division II program that competes in the Northeast-10.

Dunham averaged 17.3 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks per game as a senior, when she helped Lamoille win its second consecutive Division II championship.


Cory Payson was recently hired to coach the Milton girls soccer team.

Payson, who teaches at Milton Elementary School, spent 14 seasons as the boys soccer coach at Winooski, but resigned from that position to accept the Milton job. Payson guided Winooski to the Division III championship game in 2009.

Payson replaces Stephanie Hurley, who steered Milton to the last three Division II championship games The Yellowjackets have won 10 Division II state championships, most recently in 2009.


The Twin-State Basketball Classic, an annual all-star game between seniors from Vermont and New Hampshire, has been discontinued after 30 years. The decision was made primarily for financial reasons.

The New Hampshire boys and girls each won 18 of the 30 games played between the two states. New Hampshire’s interest in the game dwindled in recent years, when the game was held at the University of Vermont.

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
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.

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.
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.