Boston High School: St. Johnsbury

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

March, 29, 2013
3/29/13
5:10
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March was a pretty good month for Missisquoi Valley Union's Matt St. Amour.

VermontAfter 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).

WINTER RECAP
Scores from the championship games in basketball and hockey:

Boys' basketball
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

Girls' basketball
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

Boys' hockey
Division I: South Burlington 4, Champlain Valley 2
Division II: U-32 5, Burr & Burton 2

Girls' hockey
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.

New England Roundup: Vermont

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
2:55
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When it comes to success, no New England high school athletic program can match resumes with Mount Anthony Union wrestling.

VermontThe Patriots won the New England Wrestling Championship last weekend, one week after the program captured its 25th consecutive state title. It was MAU's seventh New England title, but its first in nine years. Timberlane (Plaistow, N.H.) entered the New England tournament seeking its sixth consecutive championship.

Senior Miguel Calixto (132 pounds) and junior Jesse Webb (heavyweight) each prevailed in their weight class to propel the Patriots to the championship. MAU earned 109 points. Timberlane was second with 69.5.

"People keep asking me how it feels and it's awesome,” MAU coach Scott Legacy told the Bennington Banner. "Ending [Timberlane's] streak isn't as important as the fact that we won one. I'm just ecstatic for this group of kids. "

MAU's Troy Gassaway was the runner-up at 113 pounds, and teammate Austin Price finished fourth at 182 pounds.

Gassaway, Calixto and Webb were the first Mount Anthony wrestlers to reach the finals since Corey Greene won a New England title in 2006.

Webb, who improved his record to 53-0 this season, became the first heavyweight in Mount Anthony history to win a New England championship.

Calixto's run to the title improved his record to 60-0 this season. It was his 218th career victory.

"It's a proud moment for the program, school and town," Legacy said.

DIVISION I FINAL SET
Top-seeded St. Johnsbury (23-0) and third-seeded Rice (19-4) each posted victories in Tuesday's semifinals and will meet in the Division I boys basketball championship game Thursday night (7) at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium.

Rice received 17 points from Marcus Willingham during its 55-40 triumph over third-seeded Rutland. Rice ended the game on a 26-5 run to earn its sixth trip to the championship game in the last seven years.

St. Johnsbury advanced with a 55-39 triumph over 12th-seeded Burlington. St. Johnsbury reached the championship game for the first time since 1997.

ST. AMOUR JOINS ELITE GROUP
The final home game of Matt St. Amour's senior season turned out to be bittersweet. St. Amour became the sixth boys basketball player in the state to score at least 2,000 points during his high school career, but his Missisquoi team dropped a 71-64 decision to Vergennes.

St. Amour scored 33 points in the loss. He entered the contest 22 points shy of 2,000. He also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

St. Johnsbury's Bruce Dalrymple, BFA-St. Albans' Matt Johnson, Rice's Bernie Cieplicki, Bellows Falls Josh Allbee and Rice's Keith Cieplicki are the other Vermont players who reached the 2,000-point mark.

PARKER STEPS DOWN
Brad Parker resigned as Champlain Valley Union's girls soccer coach in late February.

Parker guided the Redhawks to 11 state championships and 16 appearances in the Division I title game during his 25-year coaching career at CVU. He leaves with a career record of 340-45-42.

Parker, who played soccer at the University of Vermont, was named the national coach of the year in 1997. CVU defeated Essex in overtime to win last year's Division I title.

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

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.

New England Roundup: Vermont

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
12:00
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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

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
1:59
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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

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
1:55
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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

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
5:47
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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

October, 20, 2011
10/20/11
12:36
PM ET
After a three-year absence, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will return to Dartmouth College's Memorial Field next summer.

VermontThe all-star football game between high school players from Vermont and New Hampshire has been held at Dartmouth 48 times, but was played at Windsor High School in each of the last three years because of construction to the stadium surrounding Memorial Field. The 2012 game will be played on Aug. 4.

"I'm very excited about the revival of Dartmouth's half-century tradition of hosting the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Game," Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim said. "We're proud to make our facilities available to Vermont and New Hampshire high school athletes in recognition of their dedication to such an excellent cause as the Shriners Hospitals for Children."

Of the 30 Shrine football games played across the country every year, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl ranks third in terms of money raised for the Shriners Hospitals. The event is sponsored by the three Shrine Centers of New Hampshire and Vermont -- Bektash (Concord, N.H.), Cairo (Rutland) and Mt. Sinai (Montpelier) – and has raised more than four million dollars since it was first played in Nashua, N.H., in 1954.

"The Board of Governors of the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Football Game is sincerely grateful to Dartmouth College for agreeing to host the 2012 game at their beautiful stadium at minimal cost to us," said Jerry Mason, president of the Board of Governors of the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. "This will certainly help to increase our contribution to Shriners Hospitals for Children."

New Hampshire won last year's game 45-21 and stretched its winning streak to 11 games. New Hampshire leads the all-time series 43-13-2.

Coaches for next year's game will be announced later this year. The teams from each state will be announced in February.

New Hampshire has 57 high schools that play varsity football. Vermont has 34.

The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl was first played at Dartmouth in 1958. The game has also been held in Burlington, and four other New Hampshire locations: Holman Stadium (Nashua), Athletic Stadium (Manchester), Plymouth State University (Plymouth) and Cowell Stadium (Durham).

"We are pleased and proud to host the Shrine Bowl again, as we understand the importance of the event to the entire Twin States region," Dartmouth athletic director Harry Sheehy said. "We are grateful for President Kim's leadership in making it financially feasible for the game to return to Memorial Field and generate as much support as possible for Shriners Hospitals.”

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New England Roundup: Vermont

October, 5, 2011
10/05/11
11:11
PM ET
One of biggest questions when the Vermont high school football season began remains unanswered: Can anybody beat Hartford?

VermontThe Hurricanes, who won last year's Division I title, are off to a 5-0 start even though they played without starting quarterback Tucker Stone (suspension) for the last two games. Hartford is averaging 40 points per game and has allowed 52 points in its five contests.

Any thought of Champlain Valley Union (4-1) challenging Hartford this season seemed to disappear following last weekend's 48-0 loss to BFA-St. Albans.

CVU, which moved from Division II to Division I following the 2010 season, committed five turnovers and allowed 451 yards on the ground in the loss. BFA-St. Albans received 177 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Sam Rose, and 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Doug Saffo.

BFA-St. Albans (4-1) lost to Hartford in last year's Division I championship game and dropped a 21-0 decision to Hartford earlier this season.

Other than Hartford, Middlebury (5-0) is the only unbeaten teams in Division I. Middlebury, which will not play Hartford during the regular season, will face BFA- St. Albans on Friday night.

The Vermont Principals' Association released its first official football standings this week. Each team's win-loss record and Quality Point Rating (QPR) appears in parenthesis. The QPR determines playoff seedings for each division:

Division I
1. Hartford (5-0, 8.500)
2. BFA (4-1, 8.500)
3. Middlebury (5-0, 7.625)
4. Champlain Valley (4-1, 6.250)
5. South Burlington (4-1, 6.000)
6. Rutland (3-2, 4.250)
7. St. Johnsbury (3-2 4.000)
8. Colchester (3-2, 3.750)
9. Brattleboro, 1-4, 1.500)
10. Essex (1-4, 1.250)
11. Mt. Anthony (1-4, 1.250)
12. Burlington (0-5, 0.000)
13. Mt. Mansfield (0-5, 0.000)
14. Spaulding (0-5, 0.000)

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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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New England Roundup: Vermont

July, 14, 2011
7/14/11
2:15
PM ET
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).

VermontTriller 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.”

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Football, Vermont, Lacrosse, New England Roundup, Ice Hockey, Softball, Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, Mount Abraham, Brattleboro, Montpelier, Hartford (Vt.), Colchester, Mount Anthony, South Burlington, Essex (Vt.), Mike DiMambro, Middlebury, Champlain Valley Union, Jim Provost, Rice Memorial, Burlington (Vt.), BFA-St. Albans, Ashley McDonald, Sarah Reid, Lance Elithorpe, Chris Childs, Mariah Lesure, Mike Triller, Burr and Burton, Jamie Panton, Brooke Panton, Eric Palmer, Josh Cassarino, Jesse Burke, St. Johnsbury, Katie Ritter, Whitney Ladd, Chelsea (Vt.), Nathaniel Wells, Kim Liberty, Sawyer DeVries, Michelle Upham, Alyssa Amos, Morgan Tullar, Tory Chouinard, Lawrence Dee, Nick Schmell, Abel Warden, Jake Marston, Travis Elliot-Knaggs, Mike Maloney, Owen Walsh, David Barrett, Bea Teasdale, Jon Sullivan, Jeff Lawler, Marty Harrison, Hayden Hoelscher, Cavan Little, Tyler Jarvis, Lucas Zelazny, Dillon Robinson, Connor DeVarney, Marty DiVenuti, David Sartorelli, Harry Foreman, Brendon Malone, Deagan Goodman, Martin Chandler, James Bean, Mike Flynn, Nathan Smith, Mack Yandow, Hans Halvorsen, Ben Nussbaum, Kyle Mackenzie, Myles McGowan, Mitch Grimmer, Jake Jansen, Derrick McGrath, Kyle Paganelli, Max O'Leary, Kate Kurchena, Halley Fisher, Olivia Steimke, Chrissy Ritter, Lis Kelley, Amanda Kinneston, Anne-Marie Farmer, Allie Flaherty, Melissa Gfeller, Grace Wright, Amber Legacy, Linnae O'Neil, Emma Oliver, Paige Levesque, Molly Higgins, Mattea Ringey, Annie Barker, Madison Davis, Mercedes Godin, Kaleigh Heath, Kate Raszka, Brandi Whittemore, Tess Bugbee, Erin LeBlanc, Dana Nelson, Maria Ploof, Ashlyn Raymond, Jasmine Braman, Kasey Flynn, Reilly Johnson, Meghan Hart, Willow Smith, McKenzie Garone, Kate Murphy, Aria Robinson, Brooke Sabol, Casey Snyder, Emma Cummings, Paxton Boyer, Emily Speck, Piper Perrone, Haleigh Carbone, Green Mountain Valley, Susan Campbell, Chelsea Stanclift, Machaela O'Brien, Katy Ranaldo, Christine Skeffington, Maya Tracey, Felicia Neuhof, Rory Halligan, Kate Montague, Amanda Bowen, Mariah Palmer, Leilani King, BFAS-St. Albans, Kate Dillon, Courtney Sanford, Taylor Kresconko, Allison Hayes, Taylor Kerylow, Ashley Watson, Rainey Paquette, Hannah Ruede, Jillian Emery

New England Roundup: Vermont

May, 19, 2011
5/19/11
3:46
PM ET
It was April 27. That’s when Tom Perry raised the expectations for his Colchester High School baseball team.

VermontJunior Zach Tandy tossed a complete-game two-hitter that day to help Colchester defeat a Rice Memorial team that some called the favorite in Division I this season. Tandy’s performance answered some of the questions about Colchester’s pitching.

“I think if you’re a Vermont baseball fan you probably felt we were going to be pretty good, but our preseason concern still remained at that point and that’s pitching,” said Perry, who is in his fourth season as Colchester’s head coach. “We had lots of arms, but not many were proven at the varsity level.

“Coming into the season we knew Tandy had the best stuff on the team, but we didn’t know what he could do consistently [at the varsity level]. We had seen some control problems from him in the past, but we haven’t seen any of that this year.”

Pitching hasn’t been much of a concern since the victory over Rice. Tandy has teamed with senior Matt Ravey to give the Lakers two strong starters at the front of their rotation.

Colchester stretched its winning streak to nine games and improved its Division I record to 10-1 by beating St. Johnsbury 11-6 Tuesday. Either Tandy or Ravey has been the winning pitcher in eight of the team’s 10 wins.

“I knew we would hit,” Perry said. “I didn’t expect us to pitch like this. I’m surprised with where we’re at, but not shocked.”

Catcher Ryan Crowley, one of two team captains, is batting close to .500. Perry called him one of the best players in the Metro Division.

“He’s just a phenomenal player,” Perry said. “He has a good chance to be the Player of the Year in our league.”

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New England Roundup: Vermont

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
1:44
PM ET
Rice Memorial guard Reagan Jewell and Essex guard Ben Ferris have been selected as Vermont’s Miss Basketball and Mr. Basketball, respectively, for the 2010-11 season.

VermontThe awards, which are given to the top boys and girls player in the state, are determined by the Burlington Free Press.

Jewell helped Rice win last season’s Division I championship by beating Champlain Valley Union 45-36 in the title game. The Green Knights completed the season with a 19-5 record and won the program’s first state championship since 2001.

Jewell led Rice in scoring (14 points per game), rebounds (10.0), assists (4.2), steals (3.0) and blocked shots (3.0).

She will continue her basketball career at Holy Family University, a Division II school in Philadelphia.

Ferris helped Essex win the 2009-10 Division I title. He was the only returning starter from that team and averaged 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest last season.

Essex finished the season with an 11-10 record after it won eight of its last 11 games. The Hornets were one of two teams to defeat Division I champion Rice during the regular season.

Ferris became the fifth player in the program’s history to score more than 1,000 career points in high school. He will play college basketball for Division III Tufts University.

Ferris was also selected as Vermont’s Gatorade Player of the Year following the 2010-11 season.

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