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ADDISONINDEPENDENT

Section C

WINTER 2013–2014

sports

FEATURING • team rosters • schedules • pictures and stories


PAGE 2C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

MIDDLEBURY

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Boys’ basketball key will be team cohesion By ANDY KIRKALDY MIDDLEBURY — A year ago, eight seniors helped lead Coach Chris Altemose’s Middlebury Union boys’ basketball team to a 15-win season and the No. 4 seed in Division I, the best season in recent program history. Of course, those eight seniors have taken their talents and diplomas elsewhere, and this edition of the Tigers will look very different, with five new starters. And, as Altemose noted, even the team’s returners saw only limited minutes last winter. Still, he also noted some similarities between last year’s Tigers and this year’s squad. “This group of guys are kind of picking up where we left off in terms of effort and attitude,” Altemose said. “We’re having fun, and we’re getting better every day.” Altemose also pointed out that four of his projected starters — senior center Sam Usilton, junior point guard Bobby Ritter, and junior forwards Connor Quinn and Cullen Hathaway — were members of the Division I champion Tiger football team. They have helped spark what has been the basketball team’s solid chemistry and work ethic, he said. “They’re a very cohesive team. They get along very well. They’re willing to work hard and do what it takes to get better … they know what

success feels like, and they’re very motivated,” Altemose said. The team’s fifth projected starter in the preseason was senior guard Aaron Smith. The first subs in the backcourt will probably be juniors Joe Hounchell and Bryce Burrell, with senior swingman Zach Flint, junior Jerry Staret and sophomore Jack Hounchell also in the mix. Senior Zach Stagg and junior Sam Holmes will back up the post players, and sophomore Oakley Gordon will come off the bench to spell the wing players. Altemose said he would be keeping an open mind about his lineup. “There could be lots of changes as we progress,” he said. As team strong points, Altemose pointed to speed that the Tigers will use to pressure opponents defensively and try to use offensively with ball movement. “They’re athletic. We’ve got some nice athletes. We’ve got some good guard play. As the season progresses we hope to get our shots going,” he said. Team rebounding and defense will be critical with no projected starters topping six feet. “Clearly the challenge is our height. We’re very limited there,” Altemose said. “That impacts us offensively and defensively … and on the boards especially.” Altemose said because of the

Tigers’ chemistry, quickness and work ethic, they should be competitive, especially as the season wears on. “My expectations are that these guys are going to improve every day, and we’re going to be a tough team come playoff time,” he said. “I’m well aware it is going to take a little time. But because they work so hard and they are very coachable kids, I think it is very doable.”

Middlebury Union High School Boys’ Varsity Basketball 1/24 @ BFA-St. Albans Date Opponent/Event Time 1/29 Missisquoi 12/17 Fair Haven 7 p.m. 2/1 Milton 12/23 Colchester 7 p.m. 2/4 @ Vergennes 12/28 @ Montpelier 2:30 p.m. 2/7 Mt. Abraham 1/2 @ Rutland 7 p.m. 2/10 BFA-St. Albans 1/4 Harwood 12:30 p.m. 2/13 @ Missisquoi 1/7 @ Burr and Burton 7 p.m. 2/15 @ South Burlington 1/10 @ Otter Valley 7:30 p.m. 2/18 @ Mt. Abraham 1/13 @ Fair Haven 6:30 p.m. 2/21 Vergennes 1/18 Burr and Burton 12:30 p.m. 1/21 @ Milton 7 p.m.

7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

Middlebury Union High School Boys’ Basketball Team Coach: Chris Altemose Assistant Coach: Keith Collins Name Grade Zach Flint 12 Aaron Smith 12 Zachary Stagg 12 Sam Usilton 12 Bryce Burrell 11 Cullen Hathaway 11 Samuel Holmes 11 Joseph Hounchell 11 Connor Quinn 11 Bobby Ritter 11 Jerald Staret 11 Oakley Gordon 10 Jackson Hounchell 10

Middlebury Union High School Dance Team Coach: Jessica Martorella Name Grade Samantha Cherrier 12 Leila Kiernan 12 Samantha Duncanson 11 Samantha Foote 11 Andie Guran 11 Carolyn Balparda 10

Brynna Riche Jennie Staret Alexandra Whipple Anne Garner Dace Eaton Shelby Monica Lauren Turner Hannah Williams

Middlebury Union High School Varsity Dance Team Date Opponent/Event Time 1/11 Burr and Burton 1 p.m. 1/25 Middlebury Host 7 p.m. 2/1 South Burlington 1 p.m. 2/15 NVAC Champs. @ Mt. Mansfield TBA 2/22 State Champs. @ Vergennes 4:30 p.m. 3/15 New Englands @ Bellows Falls TBA

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Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 3C

MIDDLEBURY

UNION

HIGH

Boys’ hockey boasts experience and depth By ANDY KIRKALDY MIDDLEBURY — Depth, talent and a return to Division II could put the Middlebury Union boys’ hockey team in the title hunt this season, said Coach Derek Bartlett. There are uncertainties, including the loss of a few key seniors and unfamiliar opponents, but Bartlett has faith in the Tigers. “Back in D-II, we’re seeing everybody again, more or less, for the first time,” Bartlett said. “But the group I’ve got, I expect them to contend at the end of the season.” It also helps that seven seniors return, almost all of whom will play key roles for MUHS this winter. “We have seven seniors on the team this year. Between the captains and the seniors in the locker

room, they provide a lot of leadership,” Bartlett said. The Tigers made the switch to the Middlebury College two-forward, three-back system during the preseason, and two of those seniors, captains Keenan Bartlett and Jordan Stearns, plus junior James Ploof, are the top defensive trio. Juniors Justin Stone and Nathan Lalonde and freshman Andre Gleason are the No. 2 group, and Bartlett and Stone take the draws for each. Another senior, Sean Goodell, will spot in on defense, and sophomores River Payne and Morgan Huestis and freshman Eric Sherman are also available on the back line. Two more seniors, Nick Audet and Devin Dwire, are the top forward pair. Senior Rio McCarty and

sophomore Tyler Crowningshield will also work together up front, as will senior Kevin Galenkamp and sophomore Colton Leno. Sophomore Jerry Niemo and freshman Brett Viens could see time as a pair, and sophomore Ken Caul and Seamus Egan and freshman Eli Tucker will also look for time. Sophomore Sawyer Ryan is the mainstay in goal, with freshman Doug DeLorenzo backing him up. Bartlett believes he will be able to go deep into the bench in most games. “I like what we’ve got. I like our lineup,” he said. The opening part of the schedule is as challenging as any part, and the Tigers will have to be ready to play hard from the start, Bartlett

said: Effort will be as important as talent. “What we have on paper right now I’m really excited about,” he said. “It’s just whether we … compete and whether we win battles. That’s the bottom line, having that drive within to win the puck to win the battles. That’s going to be the difference, I think.” In all, Bartlett expects the many varsity veterans to show the way for the Tigers. “There are 10 guys who have a lot of varsity experience, which is good. I think that’s going to go a long way,” he said. “Hopefully the younger guys can just learn from them and get on their coattails, so to speak, and learn what the varsity level is all about.”

forwards Sara Boe, Timi Carone, Rachel Howlett and Heather Selleck — would set the tone for the Tigers. “They’re just the heart and soul up front and in the back. When you have leaders like that, the others just tend to fall in,” he said. Boe and Carone will be the top pairing up front in the team’s twoforward, three-back system. Junior Harper Smith and freshman Molly Wetmore (who scored in her first varsity game) are the next pairing, followed by Howlett and junior Alli White and then junior CareyAnne Howlett and freshman Monroe Cromis. Selleck and sophomore Mikayla Humiston will spot in. Brush said he expects production

from up and down the lineup this season. “We’re going to have a lot more balanced scoring. I think it’s going to be harder to find only one or two people to stop,” he said. In the back, the coaches will rely on two trios, Viens, junior Angela Carone and sophomore Sara Kelly, and sophomores Lauren Bartlett and Tajah Marsden and freshman Julia Carone. Junior Erika Carroll will back them up. “We’re certainly fortunate to have six players back there who play as strong as they do,” Brush said. Junior goalie Baily Ryan returns between the pipes, and talented freshman Rowan Hendy will also

see action, the coaches said. “This is the best goaltending situation I’ve seen,” Howlett said. In all, the coaches expect good things from the Tigers this winter. “I think we’re very much in the hunt for home ice when we get to the playoffs,” Howlett said. “That’s a very realistic goal.”

SCHOOL

Middlebury Union High School Boys’ Varsity Ice Hockey Date Opponent/Event Time 12/4 @ Mt. Mansfield 8:45 p.m. 12/7 Rutland 7 p.m. 12/11 Woodstock 7 p.m. 12/18 BFA-St. Albans 7 p.m. 12/21 @ Lyndon 4:15 p.m. 12/27 Midd. Tournament vs. Northfield 7 p.m. 12/28 Midd. Tournament Consolation 3 p.m. 12/28 Midd. Tournament Championship 7 p.m. 1/4 Brattleboro 7 p.m. 1/8 @ Burr and Burton 5:30 p.m. 1/11 U-327 7 p.m. 1/22 @ Harwood 6 p.m. 1/24 Burlington 7 p.m. 1/29 @ Milton 6:25 p.m. 1/31 Stowe 7 p.m. 2/4 @ Peoples 5:45 p.m. 2/7 Lake Placid Tournament TBA

MUHS Boys’ Hockey Team Coach: Derek Bartlett Assistant Coaches: Jim Derosia & Chase Goodrich Name Grade Nick Audet 12 Keenan Bartlett 12 Devin Dwire 12 Kevin Galenkamp 12 Sean Goodell 12 Gabrio McCarty 12 Jordan Stearns 12 Nathan Lalonde 11 James Ploof 11 Justin Stone 11 Ken Caul 10 Tyler Crowningshield 10 Seamus Eagan 10 Morgan Huestis 10 Colton Leno 10 Jerry Niemo 10 River Payne 10 Sawyer Ryan 10 Douglas DeLorenzo 9 Andrew Gleason 9 Erik Sherman 9 Eli Tucker 9

Girls’ ice hockey has lots of potential

By ANDY KIRKALDY MIDDLEBURY — This past winter, the MUHS girls’ hockey team compiled a solid 13-9 record and reached the Division II semifinals. Only two starters graduated from that squad, and even with the preseason loss of high-scoring sophomore Emma Best to a season-ending injury, the Tiger coaching trio of Tim Howlett, Matt Brush and Derek Bartlett believes the Tigers are a good bet for another strong campaign. “We think we’ve found the right ingredients,” Howlett said. “I’m very pleased with what our potential is.” Brush said the team’s veterans have picked right up where they left off, while the newcomers are coming off years of successful youth league play and are making quick impacts. “Our top two groups really know how to play the game, so we’re starting from a better place than we were last year, with our veterans coming back and understanding what our expectations are. And I think the new kids coming in have a pretty good hockey IQ,” Brush said. Howlett added the team’s five seniors — defender Paige Viens and

Coaches: Derek Bartlett, Matt Brush & Tim Howlett Name Grade Sara Boe 12 Timothea Carone 12 Rachel Howlett 12 Heather Selleck 12 Paige Viens 12

Middlebury Union High School Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey 1/4 Spaulding Date Opponent/Event Time 1/8 @ Rice 12/4 @ Colchester 4:30 p.m. 1/13 @ Stowe 12/7 Missisquoi 4:45 p.m. 1/22 @ Woodstock 12/11 Rutland 4:45 p.m. 1/24 Brattleboro 12/14 @ Brattleboro 4:45 p.m. 1/29 @ Hartford 12/18 Hartford 4:45 p.m. 1/31 U-32 12/21 @ Burr and Burton 5:45 p.m. 2/5 @ CVU 12/27 Midd. Tourn. vs. Northfield 5 p.m. 2/8 @ Mt. Mansfield 12/28 Midd. Tourn. vs. Mt. Mansfield 5 p.m.

Middlebury Union High School Girls’ Hockey Team Angela Carone 11 Erika Carroll 11 CareyAnne Howlett 11 Baily Ryan 11 Harper Smith 11 Allison White 11 Lauren Bartlett 10 Emma Best 10

Mikayla Humiston Sarah Kelley Tajah Marsden Julia Carone Monroe Cromis Rowan Hendy Molly Wetmore

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PAGE 4C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

MIDDLEBURY

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Wrestling program’s got good numbers By ANDY KIRKALDY MIDDLEBURY — At the 2013 state wrestling meet, Coach Ethan Raymond’s Middlebury Union team earned a local-best sixth-place finish, with five Tigers taking podium spots ranging from second place to fifth place. Although only two of those wrestlers return — senior Jake Trautwein, who took fourth at 182 pounds, and sophomore Nate Gebo, fifth at 106 — an influx of new talent, improvement by other returners, better weight-class coverage and what Raymond called a strong work ethic had him feeling positive in the weeks leading up to the season. “We’re looking really good. We had a really good start to the season,” Raymond said. “We started with preseason, we had a lot of kids coming in every day, working hard.” Trautwein and James Mason, who returns to MUHS after two years in Peru, N.Y., and should contend at 152, are the only seniors. But Raymond sees many of his younger wrestlers as ready to take a step forward, including the seven sophomores. “The sophomores are a real hardworking group. They’re all really close. They push each other really hard,” Raymond said. “We’re leaps and bounds above where we were last year.” Last winter, the Tigers had logjams at several weight classes, but this year, barring injuries or other attrition, his 13 wrestlers should cover 11 weight classes, compared to eight a year ago. Gebo returns at 106, and Raymond thinks he could be ready to move up the ranks. Sophomores Kyle Desabrais and Alexander Sheldrick are back at 120 and 126, respectively. Sophomore James Whitley, who missed the state meet due to a school trip, could contend at 132 this year,

Raymond said. Mason slots in next at 152, and sophomore Cortland Fischer, a transfer from Maine who is a newcomer to the sport but looks promising, according to Raymond, will go at 160. Sophomore Nick Beauchamp is set at 170 and Trautwein at 182, where junior Asa Vessa will also spot in. Junior Chris Gobbi, one of a quartet of 195-pounders a year ago, has the job to himself this winter, and sophomore first-year wrestler Wyatt Laberge is alone at 220. Competition will rule at 285, where junior veteran Benn Lussier and talented freshman Dawson McGrath will vie for the No. 1 position. While Raymond can point to some

wrestlers he can expect to fare well, he also expects others to emerge in the course of the season. “That’s the nice thing about wrestling, and all sports, it’s all about the work you put into it. If you outwork other people, hard work beats talent,” Raymond said. In all, he anticipates good news for the program. “We’ll be a much stronger dual meet team,” Raymond said. “Tournament-wise, we’ll have about the same amount of placers, I’m just hoping to bump them up a couple more seeds, and hopefully move from sixth last year to, my goal would be, right around the top four.”

Middlebury Union High School Wrestling Team Coach: Ethan Raymond Assistant Coaches: Jon Ashley & John Whitney Name Grade James Mason Jakob Trautwein Christopher Gobbi Benn Lussier Asa Vessa Nicholas Beauchamp Kyle Desabrais Cortland Fischer Nathan Gebo Wyatt Laberge Alexander Sheldrick James Whitley Dawson McGrath

Middlebury Union High School Varsity Wrestling

12 12 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9

Date Opponent/Event Time 12/19 @ Spaulding 6 p.m. 12/21 Granville Lions Invitational 10 a.m. 12/27 Hubie Wagner Invitational 2:30 p.m. 12/28 Hubie Wagner Invitational 10 a.m. 1/3 Peru Invitational TBA 1/4 Peru Invitational TBA 1/8 @ Colchester 6:30 p.m. 1/11 NAC Livermore Invitational TBA 1/21 Vergennes 6:30 p.m. 1/23 Mt. Anthony 6:30 p.m.

1/27 @ Enosburg Falls 6 p.m. 2/1 Corinth Invitational 10 a.m. 2/5 @ Otter Valley 6 p.m. 2/7 @ Essex 7 p.m. 2/11 Essex 6:30 p.m. 2/15 NVAC Duals Champs. @ 10 a.m. Vergennes 2/28 State Champs. @ Mt. Anthony 6 p.m. 3/1 State Champs. @ Mt. Anthony 10 a.m.

Let’s Go Tigers!


Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 5C

MIDDLEBURY

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

New coach seeing hard work, good attitudes By ANDY KIRKALDY MIDDLEBURY — For the second straight season, the Middlebury Union girls’ basketball team has a new coach: Jen Heath, a 2001 Castleton State College graduate who played the sport there, assumes the reins this winter. Heath, a paraeducator at West Rutland High School, also brings experience to the position — she led the Green Mountain College women’s team for nine years after assisting the program for three years, and has also coached at the high school age level for the past two springs with an AAU program. Heath takes over a Tiger team that has a total of 12 wins over the past two winters, five this past season, and will this year participate in the Division II playoffs after being bumped up to D-I for two years. In the preseason, her first impression was favorable of an MUHS team with six veterans — four seniors and two juniors — and four newcomers — a sophomore and three freshmen. Heath said she was “happy with everybody’s talent level” during scrimmages and pleased with their attitude and chemistry. “They work hard and they’re positive, and they seem very eager to learn,” Heath said. “They seem pretty excited about what we’re trying to do, and they seem to get along well.” At least to begin with, the starting lineup will probably consist of veterans. Senior point guard Hannah Hobbes will start for the third year, while senior forward Julia Cluss and senior guard Olivia Carpenter have each started games in the past two years. Senior guard Carsyn Buxton and junior forward Lejla Mahmuljin, both of whom saw significant minutes a year ago, are likely to join them in the early going. The team’s other veteran is junior forward Krisandra Provencher, and

the newcomers are sophomore guard Makayla Foster and three freshmen, guard Payton Buxton and two players who could line up at either guard or forward, Riley Fenster and Ally Larocque. All will see plenty of time, Heath said, and could work their way into starting jobs — she will keep an open mind with her lineup. “We all know (the lineup) sometimes changes as time goes on depending on who picks up more on the offense and on the defense and what we’re trying to do,” Heath said. “Right now I think … we don’t lose

anything (with substitutions), which sometimes happens with teams, but we gain something different.” Offensively, Heath is installing a motion offense with new principles she said the Tigers are picking up, and she will ask them to play a mix of man and zone defenses depending on opponents and matchups. She will ask the Tigers to be “a little more aggressive,” especially on defense. “I think that we need to be a little more physical on defense, and I think that will help us as time goes on,” Heath said.

Her focus will be not on the Tigers’ record, but on their play. “(Our expectations are) getting better every day at practice, and each game trying to improve things,” Heath said. “That’s something we have talked about. And I will say every day at practice we have gotten better … We’re just trying to improve every day knowing that in February that we’ll look better than we look now. That’s the biggest thing that I as a coach am looking for. And with that is going to come some wins.”

Middlebury Union High School Girls’ Basketball Team Coach: Jen Heath Assistant Coach: Laura Emilo Name Grade Carsyn Buxton 12 Olivia Carpenter 12 Julia Cluss 12 Hannah Hobbs 12 Lejla Mahmuljin 11 Krisandra Provencher 11 Makayla Foster 10 Payton Buxton 9 Riley Fenster 9 Ally Larocque 9

Middlebury Union High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Date Opponent/Event Time 12/14 Winooski 12:30 p.m. 12/16 Mill River 7 p.m. 12/20 Burr and Burton 7 p.m. 12/23 @ Winooski 7:30 p.m. 12/27 @ Mill River 7 p.m. 12/30 Fair Haven 7 p.m. 1/3 South Burlington 7 p.m. 1/11 Mt. Abraham 12:30 p.m. 1/18 @ Colchester 1:45 p.m. 1/20 Milton 7 p.m. 1/22 Mt. Mansfield 7 p.m. 1/25 @ Vergennes 11:30 a.m. 1/28 @ South Burlington 6 p.m. 1/31 Missisquoi 7 p.m. 2/3 @ Mt. Abraham 7 p.m. 2/5 Colchester 7 p.m. 2/8 @ Milton 11:30 a.m. 2/11 @ Mt. Mansfield 7:30 p.m. 2/14 Vergennes 7 p.m.

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PAGE 6C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

MIDDLEBURY

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Young Tiger Nordic team shows promise By ANDY KIRKALDY “The skiers who have skied beMIDDLEBURY — Coach Matt fore, they’re off and running. And Trueheart’s Middlebury Union the new skiers, we’ve been able to Nordic ski team will have a new work with them and get them right look this winter. Due to graduation on track and developing the baland attrition, including top skiers ance, the body position and techopting for the club route rather than nique, all the nitty-gritty things you high school, only three athletes re- can’t do unless you’re skiing.” turn who scored points as the Tiger The Tigers’ fitness and motivaboys’ and girls’ teams tion should translate earned third-place fininto scoring balance ishes in Division II a “We’ve been this winter, he said. able to ski year ago. “A group of strong They are senior Max since the skiers, when it comes Livingstone-Peters and first week to scoring, that’s where Kate DaPolito and juit counts. We’re not nior Julia Rosenberg. of practice, going to be winning a Another four skiers which is … state championship this who were on the seven- fantastic. year, but I think we’re member Tiger boys’ and going to have a strong There’s no girls’ teams at the state showing overall,” classic and skate meets better way Trueheart said. are also back in the to teach The team will also fold: senior Nathalie In- somebody to host one half of the gersoll and juniors Emtwo-part state champiily Kiernan, Bob Avery ski than on onship meet. skis.” and Bo Tran. “That’s going to be Behind them, True- — Matt Trueheart fun, and it’s always heart said, are a group great to race at home,” of skiers who are relatively new to Trueheart said. the sport, but have been knocking And he believes younger athon the varsity door, plus some tal- letes will soon join his current rapented newcomers. idly developing athletes to form a “The returning skiers, only a few strong program. of them have been on the team for “There’s a big group of kids in more than a year or two, so in that middle school right now who have sense it’s a young team. But there’s been doing Frost Mountain (youth talent there,” he said. Nordic club) since they were eight And because of the new snow- years old,” Trueheart said. “We’re making capabilities at Ripton’s hoping to get a couple of them Rikert Ski Touring Center, they and coming through the high school the rest of the team are improving the next few years and have a real more rapidly than in past years. powerhouse.” “We’ve been able to ski since the first week of practice, which is … fantastic. There’s no better way to teach somebody to ski than on skis,” Trueheart said, adding,

Middlebury Union High School Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Nordic Skiing Date Opponent/Event Time 12/18 Rutland Free Sprints 2:30 p.m. 12/21 So. Burlington Free 10 a.m. 1/2 CVU/Colchester Classic 3:30 p.m.

Middlebury Union High School Nordic Ski Team Coach: Matt Trueheart Assistant Coach: Will Mathis Name Grade Kate DaPolito 12 Nathalie Ingersoll 12 Max Livingstone-Peters 12 Zoe Parsons 12 Matias Pyle 12 Sophie Ryan 12 Robert Avery 11 Emily Kiernan 11 Yeweon Kim 11 Michelle Peterson 11 Julia Rosenberg 11 Bo Tran 11 Claire Armstrong 10 Tsering Chopel 10 David Dregallo 10 Gretta Groves 10 Signi Livingstone-Peters 10 Kelsey Smith 10 Haven Tate 10 Julia Vorsteveld 10 Brittany Baker 9 Parker Castle 9 Ross Crowne 9 Henry Ganey 9 Ronan Howlett 9 Amelia Ingersoll 9 Kate Oster 9 Harlow Punderson 9

Let’s Go Tigers!

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Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 7C

MIDDLEBURY

UNION

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SCHOOL

Six senior veterans lead Tiger gymnastics By ANDY KIRKALDY MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Union gymnastics coach Terri Phelps enters the second year of her second tenure leading the program with a slightly smaller team than this past winter, but she believes that condition is just temporary. “It’s encouraging. We have three freshmen. Last year we had only one, and he was a male,” Phelps said. “And the middle school team is looking big. There’s mid-20s on the middle school team … I think our numbers are going to start to grow.” Phelps said she is also encouraged by the athletes “It’s encourwho showed aging. We up, including six returning have three veterans: sefreshmen. Gabrielle Last year we niors Ingenthron, had only one, Anneke Jewand he was ett, Lindsay and a male. And Wells Christopher the middle Ryan; junior school team Hannah Stoll; is looking and sophobig. There’s more Edward mid-20s on Eagan. Ryan’s and Eagan’s the middle efforts won’t school team in what … I think our count is, per Vermont numbers are Principals’ Asgoing to start sociation rules, a girls’ sport. to grow.” “We’ve got — Terri Phelps four seniors. Three of them are (eligible), and they’re all capable all-around scorers, as is Hannah Stoll,” Phelps said. “We’re expecting strong scores from them throughout the year.” Phelps said junior Emma SnyderWhite also looked good in the preseason after a year away from the sport, and she is excited about the

talent of three freshmen, Leah Raymond, Mikayla Robinson and Isabella Williams. “I think they all have strong potential,” she said. One challenge for the Tigers — and other Vermont high school gymnastics teams — this winter is a rules change. Phelps said every four years the coaches’ association sits down and evaluates the state rules. After little or no change in 2009, 2013 brought significant new rules, she said. Overall, the sport will be judged on a lower level, Level 8, rather than Level 9 with modified rules. The bottom line for the gymnasts is that some

elements in their routines for which they received more credit have been downgraded. Now, they must be replaced with new elements, or “skills,” in the sport’s language, in order for gymnasts to receive similar scores. Especially for a team’s veterans, Phelps said, the change has meant a major adjustment, although she believes in the long run the change will be better for gymnastics at the high school level, especially in judging consistency. “Many of those skills have been taken away now. They’ve been devalued,” she said. “The kids have had to rework entire routines to try to come

up with new skills.” Despite the challenge, she said the Tigers should remain competitive with the other smaller teams around the state who are not populated with year-round club gymnasts. “I think we can be,” Phelps said. “We have kids with experience and some good basic skills, and they’re ready to move on. They have some new tricks already, and they’re excited about that.” And she believes a team with strong chemistry and good attitudes will enjoy the winter. “They’re a good group, good kids, and they want to learn,” Phelps said.

Middlebury Union High School Gymnastics Team Coach: Terri Phelps Assistant Coach: Meg Harris Name Grade Gabrielle Ingenthron Anneke Jewett Christopher Ryan Lindsay Wells Emma Snyder-White Hannah Stoll Edward Eagan Leah Raymond Mikayla Robinson Isabella Williams

12 12 12 12 11 11 10 9 9 9

Middlebury Union High School Varsity Gymnastics Date Opponent/Event Time 12/14 So. Burlington Holiday Invit’l Noon 12/18 Randolph 6 p.m. 12/27 @ CVU 1 p.m. 1/4 @ South Burlington 2 p.m. 1/11 @ St. Johnsbury 1:30 p.m. 1/18 U-32 1 p.m. 1/22 Milton 6 p.m. 1/29 Essex 6 p.m. 2/10 @ Harwood 7 p.m. 2/22 State Champs. @ Essex 2 p.m.

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PAGE 8C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

MT. ABRAHAM

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Mount Abraham Union High School Cheerleading Squad Coach: Cricket Emmons Name Grade Samantha Cousino 12 Demitra Potter 12 Michaela Alexander 11 Jordan Cota 10 Danielle Morse 10 Layla Paine 10 Paige Parker 10 Mercedez Shackett 10 Arianne Wilson 10 Calista Sargent 9

Wrestlers to include podium contenders By ANDY KIRKALDY BRISTOL — By the time the 2013 state wrestling meet rolled around, attrition left only two Mount Abraham Union wrestlers ready to compete for Coach Pete Lossman. One reached the podium, and the other, Josh Roy, a junior this winter, returns to lead a group that Lossman believes could increase last season’s podium presence at the state meet. “I think we have real potential for two and an outside shot at a third one,” he said. “It all depends on where the competition is.” Joining Roy, who Lossman projects to wrestle at 126, as the team’s top prospects are junior Josh Russin, projected at 138; and sophomore Thomas LoPinto, expected to compete at 145. “Thomas LoPinto is back, and hopefully … he’ll do OK. Josh Roy will I think will be in the thick of things this year as a junior, and Josh Russin is going to be on the edge. He’s got to get some mechanical stuff worked out, and then things

will come together for him,” Lossman said. Also looking to break through will be junior first-year wrestler Shane Bowen at 182, junior Gary Brown at 285, sophomore Josh Johnson at either 160 or 152 and freshman Dylan Little at 145; all are most likely to spend most of their time competing at the JV level, however, Lossman said. Although the varsity numbers appear only slightly better this winter than last, Lossman is hopeful the program will get a boost from strong turnout at the middle and elementary school levels. Seven 7th- and 8thgraders signed on, four of them experienced wrestlers and the younger level boasts 30 or 40 wrestlers, he said. “I’m very happy to have seven (in the middle school), because we were only expecting two,” Lossman said. “We sent out the word early on they needed to recruit more wrestlers, and they actually did … So we’ve got something coming, hopefully.”

Mount Abraham Union High School Varsity Wrestling Date Opponent/Event Time 12/14 Early Bird @ St. Johnsbury 10 a.m. 12/18 @ Spaulding 6 p.m. 12/27 Middlebury Tournament 2:30 p.m. 12/28 Middlebury Tournament 10 a.m. 1/4 @ Otter Valley TBA

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Mount Abraham Union High School Wrestling Team Coaches: Peter Lossman Name Grade Shane Bowen 11 Gary Brown 11 Josh Roy 11 Josh Russin 11 Josh Johnson 10 Thomas LoPinto 10 Dylan Little 9

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Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 9C

MT. ABRAHAM

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Boys optimistic for better results By ANDY KIRKALDY BRISTOL — Even with the graduation of six seniors from last winter’s three-win team, Mount Abraham Union boys’ basketball coach Mike Estey is optimistic the Eagles will hold their own this season, in part thanks to good chemistry and attitude. “They’ve come in and they’re working. I think this group is going to be a good group,” Estey said. “They seem to have gelled already a little better together than in the past, and I’m looking forward to being competitive every night. And I think we can be.” Estey also points to his team’s three seniors — guard Sawyer Kamman, small forward Travis Bachand and post player Mark Jipner, all of whom Date Opponent/Event 12/14 @ BFA-Fairfax 12/17 Mill River 12/19 @ Randolph 12/21 @ Winooski 12/28 Randolph 12/30 Otter Valley

will start this winter — as players who showed they could put the ball in the basket last season. “We’ve got some scorers coming back,” he said. Joining them in the starting lineup will be junior guard Whit Lower and one of two other junior guards, Tyrus Keith or Joey Payea, with the other sure to see significant minutes off the bench. Junior guard Tyler Willey will also spell the starters in the backcourt. Three more juniors, Ernie Brouillard, Ty Combs and Michael Jerome, will rotate into the frontcourt. Estey sees team speed as a strength that the Eagles will try to take advantage of, while he will at the same time ask them to maintain discipline.

“We’re pretty quick. We’re looking to get out and run more and get some opportunities,” he said. “In the same token we need to make sure we’re taking good shots.” Estey will also be seeking improved dedication to defense and rebounding. “It’s got to start defensively. We have to make a conscious effort defensively, every one of us,” he said. “That’s something we’ve been needing to do.” Estey believes the Eagles have the makeup to buy into the program, and that more wins could be the result. “We’re definitely hoping so,” he said. “But I guess the main thing is that we’re competitive every night.”

Mount Abraham Union High School Boys’ Varsity Basketball 1/2 Winooski 7 p.m. 2/1 1/4 BFA-Fairfax 12:30 p.m. 2/4 1/7 @ Mill River 7 p.m. 2/7 1/11 @ Otter Valley 2:30 p.m. 2/10 1/21 @ Vergennes 7 p.m. 2/13 1/24 Missisquoi 7 p.m. 2/18 1/29 Milton 7 p.m. 2/21

Time 3:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 12:30 p.m. 7 p.m.

Vergennes BFA-St. Albans @ Middlebury @ Missisquoi @ Milton Middlebury @ BFA-St. Albans

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Mount Abraham Union High School Boys’ Basketball Team Coaches: Mike Estey and Chad Estey Name Grade Travis Bachand 12 Mark Jipner 12

Sawyer Kamman Ernie Brouillard Ty Combs Michael Jerome

12 11 11 11

Tyrus Keith Whit Lower Joey Payea Tyler Willey

Eagle girls seeking D-II repeat

Mount Abraham Union High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball 1/20 @ South Burlington 5:30 p.m. 1/22 @ Missisquoi 7:30 p.m. 1/25 Milton 7 p.m. 1/28 @ Vergennes 7 p.m. 1/30 @ Colchester 7 p.m. 2/3 Middlebury 7 p.m. 2/5 @ Mt. Mansfield 7 p.m. 2/8 South Burlington 12:30 p.m. 2/11 Missisquoi 7 p.m. 2/14 @ Milton 7 p.m.

Date Opponent/Event Time 12/17 @ Otter Valley 7:30 p.m. 12/20 CVU 7 p.m. 12/23 @ Fair Haven Tournament TBA 12/27 @ Fair Haven Tournament TBA 12/30 @ CVU 6:30 p.m. 1/3 Mill River 7 p.m. 1/6 Vergennes 7 p.m. 1/11 @ Middlebury 12:30 p.m. 1/17 Mt. Mansfield 7 p.m.

Mount Abraham Union High School Girls’ Basketball Team Coach: Connie LaRose Name Grade Sam Driscoll 12 Ashlie Fay 12 Meghan Livingston 12 Hailey Sayles 12 Megan Wetter 12 Isabel Brennan 11 Ashley Boise 11 Angela Dupoise 11 Jen Gordon 11 Keegan Jackman 11 Gabby Ryan 11 Steph White 11

By ANDY KIRKALDY In addition to high school play, BRISTOL — Last winter Coach the Eagles are rich in AAU and Connie LaRose’s Mount Abraham summer league experience. Union girls’ basketball team had a “I feel good about where we’re dream season, compilat in terms of our game ing a 23-1 record on the “I feel savvy, things like that. way to the perennially The kids have played contending program’s confident in a lot of ball,” LaRose first Division II title since our starting said. five. I think 1997. A big question in The Eagles will no the season LaRose’s mind as the question be one of the may be Eagles seek to repeat is preseason favorites determined by how well her bench will again: Four of the five perform. players who were on the who can come “I feel confident in floor when the Eagles off the bench our starting five. I think clinched their semifinal and get the the season may be deterand final wins return: do- job done.” mined by who can come it-all senior Ashlie Fay, — Connie off the bench and get the speedy and skilled senior LaRose job done,” LaRose said. guards Meghan Livings“I think we can match ton and Sam Driscoll, and six-foot up, with the possible exception of junior center Isabel Brennan, who CVU, with any team on our schedplayed her best in Barre. LaRose ule with our starters.” projects senior forward Meg WetOn that bench, senior guard Haiter, who saw action off the bench a ley Sayles is the only other player year ago, to join them in the starting with varsity experience; she and lineup. junior Ashley Boise could be the

first two guards to spell the starters, with junior Gabby Ryan also available. Juniors Jen Gordon, who has the height, and Steph White, who LaRose said is not as tall but jumps well, will be key frontcourt reserves, with junior Angela Dupoise also in the mix. Junior Keegan Jackman will back up the wing players in the frontcourt and backcourt. LaRose believes her bench will be capable of stepping up. “We’ve got athletes there. It’s a matter of adjusting to the varsity pace, to how quickly you have to make decisions, how relentless you have to be on defense,” she said. “Their greatest education is going to come every day in practice when they have to go nose to nose with those starters.” Overall, LaRose said the Eagles should be able to answer any of their questions. “We should (contend if we’re) injury-free … especially with that starting group,” she said.

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PAGE 10C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

OTTER VALLEY

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Otter Valley wrestling continues to rebound

Otter Valley Union High School Varsity Wrestling 12/28 Hubie Wagner Tournament 9 a.m. Date Opponent/Event Time 12/31 @ Fair Haven 9 a.m. 12/13 St. Johnsbury Early Bird 3 p.m. 1/4 Otter Valley Tournament 9 a.m. 12/14 St. Johnsbury Early Bird 9 a.m. 1/8 @ Fair Haven 6 p.m. 12/18 Rutland 6 p.m. 1/11 Mt. Anthony Tournament 9 a.m. 12/21 Granville Tournament 9 a.m. 12/27 Hubie Wagner Tournament 3 p.m.

Otter Valley Union High School Wrestling Team Coach: Steve Mitchell Jared Felkl Name Grade Evan Perry Joseph Palmer 12 Tyson Cram Eric Manning 11 Neiko Desabrais Jacob Scarborough 11 Dustin Manning Adam Sherwin 11 Sean Martin Marcel Denis 10 Matthew Munson Nathan Doty 10

10 10 9 9 9 9 9

By LEE J. KAHRS BRANDON — In 2010, there were six boys on the OV wrestling team. In 2011, that number dropped to three, and there was concern that the program would not survive. But as the 2012 season began under new coach Steve Mitchell, a healthy group of 10 varsity and seven JV wrestlers made up the team, and that trend has continued, ensuring another quality OV wrestling season in 2013-2014. Last season was a rebuilding year under Mitchell, who took over after longtime coach Bob Bathalon stepped down. This year, Coach Mitchell’s got 13 wrestlers, plus two eighth-graders and three seventhgraders. The steady numbers are a result of a robust youth wrestling program that feeds the middle school and high school teams. And even though this year’s squad is a bit younger, that doesn’t worry Coach Mitchell. “We have gotten younger, but we’ve gotten stronger,” he said confidently in preseason. That’s because his veteran wrestlers are back and ready to compete, including Adam Sherwin and Jacob Scarborough (who both placed fifth at last year’s state meet as sophomores) plus fellow junior Eric Manning. Plus, some notable former

varsity wrestlers have come back to help with the team this year, including Mitchell’s son George (a threetime state champ), Jesse Bilodeau, Alex Ramage and Eric Becker. Together, the four bring the experience of seven state wrestling titles to the mat. Coach Mitchell said the experience of those four former wrestlers is invaluable, and he is optimistic that some of his wrestlers will be able to go to the next level. “The future looks really bright,” Mitchell said. “With the veterans back that we had last year, plus the younger kids, we are able to fill 12 of 14 weight classes, so that’s a big boost for the program.” The coach has raised the bar of performance for this year’s squad, saying maturity has helped raise his expectations. “Our goal is to wrestle to our potential,” he said. “We’ve gotten over the scary part. The fear factor is going away with the more seasoned veterans. That will help us place higher as a team.” Mitchell said his wrestlers all have the same mindset: to place in every tournament. “That’s our goal,” the coach said. “We’re a team on the climb and we understand it will take a lot of hard work to get there. We’re trying to create momentum here.”

OVUHS Nordic builds from a young base By JOHN S. McCRIGHT BRANDON — Look for youth to lead the way on the Otter Valley Nordic skiing team this season — it will have to, there are no seniors. Also, Nate Mylott, who was one of the most talented juniors last year, moved away. Nevertheless, Coach Brian Jerome sees a bright spot in the number of athletes he has coming to practice this year. Unlike last year, when the Otters didn’t always have the required four finishers to garner a team score in big meets, this year they will. “It’s a pretty young team; we don’t have single senior. Most of these kids are in 9th and 10th grade,” Jerome said. “A unique thing is we have enough girls and boys to score as a team. “What’s kind of fun for us is we can be competitive with big schools like Brattleboro and Rutland and Burr and Burton,” he added. “We’ll be able to do relays at states. We haven’t been able to do that for a couple years.” Juniors Isaac Roberts, Andrew Jerome and Brenna Coombs all return with experience skiing in the state meet last year, with Roberts and

Jerome skiing in both the skate and classic styles. With snow making at the Rikert Ski Touring Center in Ripton this year, the Otters got to practice on snow in December, in addition to dryland training. They will race three times this year at their home course — Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden, which also opened in December this year — including co-hosting the state meet with Rutland. (It’s not too early to volunteer to help out, Jerome said.) Coach Jerome has set his expectations for the season knowing that it is a young team, one on which some of the members will ski the shorter JV courses rather than the longer varsity ones. “My goal (is) to get everyone skiing that longer distance by middle of season,” he said. And he looks forward to a lot of fun mixed in with the hard work. “It’s a team effort,” Jerome said. “I’d measure success by everyone improving their ski technique and their times. “What’s great about it is each kid, no matter their ability, they can compete on the same course; everyone covers the same distance.”

Otter Valley Union High School Varsity Nordic Skiing 1/24 @ Burr and Burton 2:30 p.m. Date Opponent/Event Time 1/29 @ Brattleboro 2:30 p.m. 12/18 @ Rutland 2:30 p.m. 2/6 @ Rutland 3 p.m. 12/21 @ Mt. Anthony 10 a.m. 2/12 @ Mt. Anthony 3 p.m. 1/2 @ Burr and Burton 2:30 p.m. 2/17 @ Woodstock 3 p.m. 1/6 Otter Valley (at Mt. Top) 2:30 p.m. 2/20 States @ Middlebury 10:30 a.m. 1/10 @ Woodstock 6 p.m. 2/25 States @ Mt. Top 10:30 a.m. 1/20 @ Middlebury 10:30 a.m.

Otter Valley Union High School Nordic Skiing Team Coach: Brian Jerome Name Grade Brenna Coombs 11 Andrew Jerome 11 Isaac Roberts 11 Emma Cijka 10 Jonna Keith 10 Bridgid Enright 9 Benjamin Jerome 9 Josh Kingston 9 Maria Wiles 9 Sophie Wood 9

Otter Valley Union High School Cheerleading Squad Coach: Sara Donnelly Name Grade Lindsey Howard 12 Marissa Colburn 11 Randi Fjeld 11 Makayla Hatch 11

Margaret Santell Cloey Bell Katelyn Houle Shana Houle Kika Johnson Ann Manning

11 10 10 10 10 10

Callista Perry Nikkitta Powell Alyssa Sweatt Kaitlyn Anderson Kira Simonds

10 10 10 9 9

Good Luck Otter Valley

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Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 11C

OTTER VALLEY

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Girls’ basketball aims to improve every week By LEE J. KAHRS BRANDON — For a new coach, ending the first year at .500 isn’t bad. That’s what Otter girls’ basketball coach Steven Keith did last year, going 10-10. This season Keith is trying to focus on skills and drive, not wins and losses. “We don’t have an actual number goal,” Keith said when asked in preseason what kind of record he’d like to see at the end of the season. “Personally, our goal is to win every day, and get better every day.” That goal will be aided by the return of eight players, including five seniors: Taylor Aines, Olivia Bloomer, Brittany Bushey, Jessica Frazier and Courtney Poljacik. The team is complemented by juniors Kylee Bessette and Laura Beth Roberts, sophomores Maia Edmunds and Amy Jones, and freshman Sophie Bloomer. But the seniors do not necessarily comprise his starting five, Keith said. “We’re trying a lot of different starting combinations and we’ll see what we do as the season gears up,” he said. One thing this team has is speed, and Keith said the goal is to build on that. “We’ll try and keep an up-tempo game,” he said. “We definitely have

speed and athleticism, and we’ll try to maximize that. We’ll try to play high intensity the whole game, and we’ll try to defend with vigor.” That effort will be aided by what Keith said is an increased strength and endurance in his players this year. He also plans to work on spreading the ball around and creating turnovers whenever possible. “The more times you can reverse the ball, the better,” Keith said. Those are smart strategies for a team that is big on speed, but not tall in stature. And what they lack in height, the coach said, the Otter girls will make up for with that vigorous defense he mentioned. “We are working on how we’ll defend against bigger teams, because we will be up against them,” Keith said. “But we have players who are more than capable of defending the post.” Keith is looking forward to the 2013-14 season, where it seems anything could happen for a scrappy, never-say-die Otter Valley team laden with veterans. But he’s cautiously optimistic. “Last year was a good start,” Keith said, “and we’re just trying to get better.”

Otter Valley Union High School Girls’ Basketball Team Coach: Steve Keith Cortney Poljacik Assistant Coach: Dave Fitzgerald Kylee Bissette Name Grade Laura Beth Roberts Taylor Aines 12 Maia Edmunds Olivia Bloomer 12 Amy Jones Brittany Bushey 12 Sophia Bloomer Jessica Frazier 12

12 11 11 10 10 9

Otter Valley Union High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Date Opponent/Event Time 12/17 Mt. Abraham 7:30 p.m. 12/19 @ Proctor 7 p.m. 12/23 @ Springfield 7 p.m. 12/27 Arlington 7 p.m. 1/3 @ Windsor 7 p.m. 1/7 Mill River 7 p.m. 1/9 @ Rutland 7 p.m. 1/11 @ Poultney 2:30 p.m. 1/16 Mt. Anthony 7 p.m. 1/18 @ Fair Haven 2:30 p.m. 1/20 Brattleboro 7 p.m. 1/23 @ Hartford 7 p.m. 1/27 @ Leland and Gray 7 p.m. 1/30 Fair Haven 7 p.m. 2/1 Burr and Burton 2:30 p.m. 2/4 Windsor 7 p.m. 2/6 @ Mill River 7 p.m. 2/11 Hartford 7 p.m. 2/13 Leland and Gray 7 p.m. 2/14 Springfield 7 p.m.

Boys to depend on athleticism By LEE J. KAHRS BRANDON — For a guy without a single senior on his squad, OV boys’ basketball coach Greg Hughes is feeling pretty good about the coming season. That’s because he has a team of all-around athletes who, in his eyes, will only improve as the season goes on. “It’s going to be a growing year,” Hughes acknowledged during preseason. “We’re setting small goals for each other, nothing too specific. We’re a pretty well-rounded team.” Hughes said he is running a lot of skill drills and team scrimmages. “We’re getting used to each other,” Hughes said. The Otters lost four key leaders to graduation in Jim Winslow, Ryan Kelley, Thomas Roberts and Jackson Smith. But Hughes said his five returning junior players — John Winslow, Connor Gallipo, Derek Bassette, Emmett Thurston and Josef Scarborough — learned from the experience of playing with those leaders. “It’s going to be a different season, because we’re a different team,” Hughes said, “but a lot of that leadership rubbed off on these guys.” John Winslow is the starting quarterback on the OV football team, and one of his regular targets was sophomore running back

Carson Leary, who is now playing varsity basketball. Sophomores returning to the squad include Tyler Allen and Collin Eugair. Last season, the Otter boys went 9-13 after a rough 0-8 start. Coach Hughes said he would be very happy if the team finished at .500 this season. The 2013-2014 squad is not necessarily tall, all of the boys range between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-1. But Hughes said they have the athleticism and the speed to win basketball games.

“We’ll try to put in a press and take out the big guys,” Hughes said of his defensive strategy. “Even given my team’s height, they can get in there and work the boards.” Overall, Hughes said he is excited to see what this team is capable of, as it may be more than people think. “The expectation is to be better than last year,” Hughes said. “And I think we have a team that is more than capable. I’m feeling pretty good about this year.”

Otter Valley Union High School Boys’ Varsity Basketball 1/21 Green Mountain Date Opponent/Event Time 1/24 @ Leland and Gray 12/14 MSJ Tip-Off Tournament TBA 1/28 Proctor 12/17 MSJ Tip-Off Tournament TBA 1/31 Bellows Falls 12/23 @ Artlington 7 p.m. 2/3 @ Woodstock 12/30 @ Mt. Abraham 7 p.m. 2/5 @ West Rutland 1/2 Mill River 7 p.m. 2/10 Leland and Gray 1/8 @ Poultney 7 p.m. 2/13 @ Proctor 1/10 Middlebury 7:30 p.m. 2/18 @ Bellows Falls 1/11 Mt. Abraham 2:30 p.m. 2/21 Woodstock 1/16 @ Twin Valley 7 p.m. 1/18 @ Mill River 2:30 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

OVUHS Boys’ Basketball Team Coach: Greg Hughes Name Grade Derek Bassette 11 Connor Gallipo 11 Josef Scarborough 11 Emmett Thurston 11 John Winslow 11 Tyler Allen 10 Collin Eugair 10 Carson Leary 10 Keenan Pratt 10 MacGregor Shannon 10 Lucas Tremblay 10 Kai Norwood 9


PAGE 12C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

VERGENNES

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Wrestling veterans are core of team By ANDY KIRKALDY VERGENNES — Like many Vermont high school wrestling coaches, Vergennes Union’s Nate Kittredge would like a team that could fill all the weight classes — not that he doesn’t like the quality of the 10 wrestlers that did sign up. “You deal with the numbers to fill the squad, and like in other years, we’re challenged to do that,” Kittredge said. “But for what I do have, all these kids, one way or another, have proven themselves … So the hopes are high for these kids to step up.” Four of the 10 Commodore wrestlers reached the state meet podium this past winter: senior Harwood transfer Kaegan Pearsall was a runner-up, sophomore Ethan Reardon took a fourth, sophomore Ryan Paquin earned fifth, and sophomore Jeb Hodsden finished sixth. Meanwhile, two freshmen were middle school state champions, Kyle Kingsley and Brandon Cousino. Injuries held back two other wrestlers, junior Luke Stinchfield and sophomore Kyle Dow, while sophomore Troy Provencher took a year off and freshman Trevon Smith is a member of a family with a strong wrestling pedigree. If all duplicate their success or bounce back from injury, Kittredge can foresee a solid season. “They all need to do what they did last year or better, hopefully keep moving up that ladder,” Kittredge said. Kingsley will slot in at 106, with Reardon at 113 or 120. Provencher

will move into 120 if Reardon does not move from 113, and Stinchfield and Smith could duel for the 132 slot. Hodsden could also move down into that weight or battle at 138. Cousino looks like a possibility at 152 or maybe 160, and Pearsall at either 160 or 170. Dow looks to be ready to compete at 170, Kittredge said, and Paquin could go at 180 or 170. Ideally, the weights will sort out

to give the Commodores the deepest lineup possible, but Kittredge acknowledged there could be battles. “When it comes to tournaments … if I’ve got two kids in that weight and they only let me enter one, then they’re wrestling off for that spot,” he said. Ultimately, he expects good results from whoever emerges. “Whoever is standing here at the end, I’m expecting to place at the

state tournament. If I can get nine kids standing at the end, nine place finishers, we’ll be right in the pack,” he said. Kittredge is also taking a long view. “This is a really young team,” he said. “This is a two- or three-year process here. If I can keep these kids all wrestling for these three years, and whoever I can gain between now and then, these guys will be winning tournaments.”

Vergennes Union High School Wrestling Team Coaches: Nate Kittredge, Scott Bissonette Name Grade Kaegan Pearsall 12 Luke Stinchfield 11 Kyle Dow 10 Jeb Hodsden 10 Ryan Paquin 10 Ethan Reardon 10 Brandon Cousino 9 Kyle Kingsley 9 Troy Provencher 9 Trevon Smith 9

Vergennes Union High School Boys’ Varsity Wrestling Date Opponent/Event Time 12/14 Bronco Invitational @ Alvirne HS 9 a.m. 12/19 @ Milton 6 p.m. 12/21 Granville Tournament 10 a.m. 12/27 Middlebury Invitational 2:30 p.m. 12/28 Middlebury Invitational 10 a.m. 1/4 Keene Invitational 9 a.m. 1/9 Host Spaulding, Harwood 6:30 p.m. and Randolph 1/17 Essex Classic 3:30 p.m. 1/18 Essex Classic 10:30 a.m. 1/21 @ Middlebury 6:30 p.m. 1/25 Colchester Invitational 9 a.m. 1/29 Host Mt. Anthony, CVU, Mt. 5 p.m. Mansfield and St. Johnsbury 2/1 Mt. Mansfield Invitational 10 a.m. 2/11 @ Enosburg 6 p.m. 2/15 NVAC Championships 10 a.m. 2/28 State Champs. @ Mt. Anthony 3 p.m. 3/1 State Champs. @ Mt. Anthony 8 a.m.

Vergennes Union High School Cheerleading Squad Coach: Jenny Johnson Name Grade Ericka Delisle 11 Kelsey Coleman 10 Kira Johnson 10 Emily Lalumiere 10 Megan Martin 10 Paige Quesnel 10 Madison Ask 9 Taylor Bresnick 9 Emma Duprey 9 River Hoffman 9 Courtney Morgan 9 McKenzie Warden 9

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Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 13C

VERGENNES

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

Small track squad seeking D-II medals

By ANDY KIRKALDY ing off podium finishes at this past VERGENNES — The Vergennes spring’s D-II meet. Union indoor track team is not Kauffman placed in the 400 and large, but coaches Jeff Kauffman two relays, Stolen was fifth at 800 and Brad Castillo believe all nine meters, and Stearns was sixth in members could contribute points the shotput. Coach Kauffman exeither individually or as members pects his younger sister Alix to exof relay teams by the time the sea- cel at 300 meters indoor and fare son-ending meet rolls around. well in the 55, Stolen to stretch out “They’re all top-notch, I think,” to 1,000 meters and be competitive Kauffman said. there, and Stearns, who placed in Two top returners are a number of meets this juniors Sebastien Crowpast winter, to build on ell and Chris Castillo, “I think it’s that success. members of the Com- the best “I expect her to have a modores’ championship great She’s put in a training plan lot of year. four-by-100-meter Ditraining in the offvision II relay team this that we’ve season,” Kauffman said. past spring. put together Kauffman added Stea“We’re going to rely in the last six rns is not alone in her on the guys’ side on dedication: Mount AbraSebby and Chris Cas- years. And ham independents Chris they’re just tillo,” Kauffman said. Carter and Natalie May As well as competing eating it up are joining with the nine at 55 meters, Castillo right now.” Commodores in workshould fare well in the ing hard this winter, and long and triple jumps ­­— Jeff Kauffman he expects VUHS freshand be a mainstay on the man Alyse Beauchemin VUHS indoor 4X200 and 4X400 to step right in and be competitive relay teams. Crowell will run at 55 in the girls’ 300 meters. and 300 meters, will 300 possibly “I think it’s the best training plan being his best bet individually, and that we’ve put together in the last join Castillo on the relays. six years,” Kauffman said. “And Junior Christopher Leach will they’re just eating it up right now.” also sprint and be a relay candidate, The Commodores can also realwhile junior Evan Meyers will fo- istically expect to take home more cus at 600 meters and could also hardware this winter: Unlike in run relays. Senior Matteo Palmer past indoor track seasons, Division will run at 1,000 meters and is also I and II teams will be scored sepaa possibility in the 4X400, Kauff- rately at the season-ending meet. man said. “When they go D-II, (they) are On the girls’ side, senior Alix going to be very competitive,” Kauffman and juniors Paige Sto- Kauffman said. len and Ally Stearns are all com-

Vergennes Union High School Varsity Indoor Track and Field Date Opponent/Event 12/14 @ UVM 12/21 @ UVM 1/4 @ UVM

Time Noon 9 a.m. 1 p.m.

1/11 1/18 1/25 2/8

@ UVM 3 p.m. @ Norwich 9 a.m. @ Norwich 9 a.m. State Champs. @ Norwich TBA

Vergennes Union High School Indoor Track Team Coaches: Jeff Kauffman Sebastien Crowell and Brad Castillo Christopher Leach Name Grade Evan Myers Alix Kauffman 12 Allyson Stearns Matteo Palmer 12 Paige Stolen Christopher Castillo 11 Alyse Beauchemin

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PAGE 14C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

VERGENNES

UNION

HIGH

SCHOOL

VUHS girls looking to take step forward

By ANDY KIRKALDY omores, Nikki Salley and Tamara VERGENNES — Vergennes Aunchman, will start with her in the Union girls’ basketball coach Billy frontcourt, and both will see plenty Waller can list a number of reasons of time, with juniors Paige Coyle and why he expects his team to take at Jane Russell spelling the starters. least a modest step forward this winWaller said the Commodore ter after a four-win campaign a sea- guards are not tall, and the forwards son ago. will have to take care of To start with, even “The last two most of the board work. though forward Taylor weeks of our “We really need TaPaquette and guard Bre- season last mara and Taylor and anna Lapan are the only year were Nikki to rebound,” he seniors on the team, they said. are among eight veterans the best The other starters at who saw significant min- we played guard will be junior vetall year … utes last winter. eran K.C. Ambrose and “It looks like we’re Coming into freshman Shay Pouliot, young, but I actually re- this year I who Waller expects to turn a lot of kids with varwith the ballhanenvisioned at help sity experience,” Waller dling. Sophomore Brianleast starting na Gebo, who Waller said said. The Commodores also at that level, is a strong defender and played their best down the and it’s been improved ballhandler, stretch this past season, a little better will probably be the first and almost all committed than that.” guard off the bench, and to playing the sport in the — Billy Waller along with sophomore offseason. Waller said he Sarah Poirier-Thayer, a saw more confidence and shooting threat, and jubetter ballhandling and teamwork nior April Ambrose. during the preseason. Waller said his team will be work“The last two weeks of our season ing on its shooting, but its improved last year were the best we played all speed should play well both offenyear … Coming into this year I envi- sively and defensively. sioned at least starting at that level, “I think we’re a little quicker than and it’s been a little better than that,” we were last year,” he said. Waller said. “These two weeks of Waller hopes the experience, speed practice feel a lot different than the and offseason efforts will pay off. first two weeks of last year.” “These kids have all put some Waller will deploy a three-guard time into it,” he said. “Realistically, lineup, with Paquette one of the two we’d like to see a little jump up in post players. Either one of two soph- the wins.”

Date Opponent/Event 12/14 @ Harwood 12/17 @ Montpelier 12/20 @ Mill River 12/23 Mt. Mansfield 12/30 Colchester 1/3 Winooski

Vergennes Union High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball 1/6 @ Mt. Abraham 7 p.m. 1/30 Time 1/8 @ Milton 7 p.m. 2/1 12:30 p.m. 1/17 Missisquoi 7 p.m. 2/3 7:30 p.m. 1/20 Harwood 7 p.m. 2/5 7 p.m. 1/22 @ South Burlington 6 p.m. 2/8 7 p.m. 1/25 Middlebury 11:30 a.m. 2/11 7 p.m. 1/28 Mt. Abraham 7 p.m. 2/14 7 p.m.

Milton Montpelier @ Colchester @ Missisquoi @ Mt. Mansfield South Burlington @ Middlebury

7 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

Vergennes Union High School Girls’ Basketball Team Coach: Billy Waller Name Grade Breanna Lapan 12 Taylor Paquette 12 K.C. Ambrose 11 April Ambrose 11 Paige Coyle 11 Jane Russell 11 Tamara Aunchman 10 Brianna Gebo 10 Sarah Poirier-Thayer 10 Nikki Salley 10 Shay Pouliot 9

Boys following title with new-look team

Vergennes Union High School Boys’ Basketball Team Coach: Peter Quinn Name Grade Josh Benning 12 Jamie DeVries 12 Brendon Huestis 12 Jarret LaFleche 12 Dana Ambrose 11 Jacob Dombek 11 Liam Hayes 11 Zachary Gebo 11 Wesley Miedema 11 Lucas Paquin 11 Dylan Raymond 11 Josh Dam 10 Aaron Gaines 10

Vergennes Union High School Boys’ Varsity Basketball Date Opponent/Event 12/17 BFA-Fairfax 12/19 @ South Burlington 12/21 Montpelier 12/23 @ Burr & Burton 12/28 Peoples Academy 12/30 @ Harwood

1/2 1/4 1/6 1/17 1/21 1/24 1/29

Time 7 p.m. 6 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 7 p.m.

@ BFA-Fairfax @ Montpelier Fair Haven @ Fair Haven Mt. Abraham @ Milton @ BFA-St. Albans

7 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

2/1 2/7 2/10 2/13 2/18 2/21

@ Mt. Abraham @ Missisquoi Milton BFA-St. Albans Missisquoi @ Middlebury

12:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

By ANDY KIRKALDY VERGENNES — Of course, last March Coach Peter Quinn’s Vergennes Union boys’ basketball team made history, capping the program’s first undefeated season with the Division II title. And, as most Commodore fans also know, that team consisted almost entirely of seniors who had been playing together for a decade: Eleven graduated in June. So, yes, Quinn, who has 11 years of head coaching experience and three state titles between the VUHS girls’ and boys’ teams, acknowledged in the run-up to this season there was some uncertainty in the Commodome. “Each year I’ve been predicting in my head how many wins I would think we’re going to get, and I’ve never been off by more than one,” Quinn said. “This year I really don’t have a clue. I think we might win eight games and we might win 14 games depending on how we come together and how we play and how intensely we play.” It’s not like the cupboard is bare. “We have some ability. We’ve got some shooters. We have some quickness,” Quinn said. The questions are how well the Commodores — a group with four seniors, seven juniors and two sophomores — mesh as a unit and how hard they work, he said. “That’s a real challenge for us, because we have classes that aren’t as used to playing together, so I think that it will take us a little while to gel

as a team, understand each other, develop trust, those kids of intangible things,” Quinn said. To start with, Quinn probably will start junior Liam Hayes at the point, senior Wesley Miedema at center, and three wing players: senior guard Brendon Huestis and two swingmen, senior Jarret LaFleche and junior Dana Ambrose. Another senior, Josh Benning, was projected to start at forward but is ineligible for the Commodores’ first five games. Quinn expects him to work his way back into the lineup quickly. Two forwards should see ample minutes, sophomore Josh Dam and junior Dylan Raymond, and senior Jamie DeVries could spell Miedema in the middle. Juniors Lucas Paquin and Zachary Gebo provide more depth in the frontcourt. Junior Jake Dombek and sophomore Aaron Gaines will come off the bench, at least to start, and spell the starters in the backcourt. Quinn said the Commodores will rely on ball movement and quickness on offense, and on that quickness on defense in both man and zone defenses in the halfcourt and full-court presses. “I think we’ll play with pressure. That will be a big part of our game,” he said. Overall, Quinn believes the Commodores should at least be competitive. “I think we’ll be able to play with most teams,” he said. “But I’ll go back to the same thing. We have to play hard.”

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Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013 — PAGE 15C

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PAGE 16C — Addison Independent, Thursday, December 19, 2013

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