Observer photo by Marianne Apfelbaum
Williston firefighter Sean Soper shows Landon Baker, 6, how to use a fire extinguisher during Williston Safety Day on Saturday at Allen Brook School.
Aug. 28, 2008
On Sunday, the Williston Armadillos’ bats sprung to life as the team pounded out 20 hits, six for extra bases, in a 17-5 victory over Mad River Valley.
With the win, the Dillos’ record improved to 11-3 in the Vermont Senior Baseball League. With one game left in the regular season, the team sits in fourth place.
The offensive charge was led by left fielder Dann Van der Vliet (3-3, BB, 2 2B, 3B, 3 runs), outfielder Billy “Vegas” Daw (3-3, BB, run, 2 RBIs), pitcher Bill Supple (3-4, BB, 2 RBI) and first baseman Dennis Johnson (3-4, 2B, 3B, 4 runs, 2 RBIs).
“With the playoffs starting in two weeks, we need to end the season on a high note. The team is waking up at a good time,” said shortstop Greg Bolger.
On the mound, Supple shut out Mad River through the first three innings, giving up five hits and walking none. Supple was relieved by Ken Freeman, who pitched for the Dillos in 2006, but had not played since due to injury. Over the final six innings, Freeman allowed five runs on 11 hits and one walk, while striking out three.
The Dillos jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first when center fielder Ray Danis (0-2, 2 BB, run, RBI) and Supple walked, Bolger (2-5, RBI) singled and right fielder Darby Crum (0-5, RBI) hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Danis.
Four more Dillos scored in the second. Van der Vliet doubled, moved to third on third baseman Roberto Seals’ (1-4, run) single and scored on Johnson’s fielder’s choice, as Seals was thrown out at second. After Joel Klein (2-2, 2B, 2 BB, 3 runs, RBI) doubled, Freeman (2-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) singled to score Johnson and Klein, moved to second on the throw home and scored on Daw’s single.
While Mad River cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth when they touched up Freeman for four singles and a walk, the Armadillos bounced back for four more runs in the bottom of the frame. Van der Vliet tripled and scored when Seals reached base on an error. Johnson doubled to score Seals, Klein walked and Daw singled to load the bases. Danis brought home Johnson with a sacrifice fly and Supple singled to score Klein.
After Mad River scored a run in the fifth, the Dillos scored three more in the sixth to up the lead to 12-3. Van Der Vliet doubled, moved to third on Johnson’s single and scored on Klein’s single. Freeman reached on a throwing error, with Johnson scoring, and Daw singled home Freeman.
The Dillos picked up another run in the seventh on singles by Supple, Bolger and the Bambino (1-4, RBI).
They scored their final four runs in the eighth as Johnson tripled, Klein walked, Freeman singled home Johnson, Daw and Danis walked, the latter bringing in Klein, and Supple and Bolger hit into consecutive fielder’s choices, with a run scoring in each instance.
The Dillos were scheduled to conclude their regular season by playing a make up game against 11-2 Colchester on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at Williston Central School. Playoffs are set to start on Sept. 7.
Redhawks head to Bradford
Aug. 28, 2008
By Mal Boright
“We have depth,” said new Champlain Valley Union High head football coach Jim Provost on Sunday, the day after his team scrimmaged Rice Memorial High at the CVU gridiron.
Observer photo by Pogo Senior
Senior Quin Gilbert of Champlain Valley Union High grabs a pass during Saturday’s scrimmage against Rice Memorial High School.
“Overall, I was pleased with the effort,” the coach added. “Physically, we held up well on a warm day and the execution was good. I like where we are going into the first game.”
That initial outing of the new campaign is at 1 p.m. on Saturday, in Bradford against Oxbow High, a school going into its second varsity campaign. This will be CVU’s fourth varsity level season.
Asked about emerging team strengths, Provost first mentioned some of the defensive work.
“We were attacking and going to the football rather than having it come to us,” he said. “Plus, our depth should be a strength. We have kids we can rotate in and out so our key players can remain fresh.”
Provost thought his offense moved the ball and that the blocking for the running game improved.
“We have to be able to run,” he emphasized.
With sophomore Ian Solomon at quarterback, Provost thinks the passing game will do well once the timing improves. He also praised the pass blocking of the line and the backs.
Elected captains by their teammates were seniors Robert Charland (halfback, defensive back), Zeph Desormeaux (halfback, linebacker) Tommy Powers (halfback, linebacker) and Matt Gault (offensive and defensive line).
In the one downer Saturday, the veteran Charland injured an elbow on one of the last plays of the scrimmage and is expected to be out of action for up to a month.
“These are the guys the coaches had in mind for captains,” said Provost. “They all play at a high level.”
Senior receiver and defensive back Michael Bonfigli, along with defensive ends Matt Long (junior) and Tyler Hulbert (senior), have also caught the coaches’ eyes for good work.
Provost said he is in awe of the CVU maintenance experts.
“The condition of the field is great. This is one of the nicest fields around,” he said.
The first home game on that field is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6, when Bellows Free Academy of Fairfax drops by.
Aug. 28, 2008
By Mal Boright
The Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team opens its quest for a seventh straight state Division I crown on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 at Burlington High, and as one rival coach said recently, the Redhawks “do not rebuild each year, they just reload.”
File photo by Greg Duggan
Champlain Valley Union High sophomore Tino Tomasi controls the ball during a playoff game against South Burlington High last year. Tomasi moves to the midfield this year for the Redhawks.
Third year coach T.J. Mead noted this weekend that despite the loss of 13 players by graduation from last year’s championship team, “things are looking pretty good,” adding angst to rival coaches’ outlooks for the upcoming autumn clashes.
“We have a young squad, but it is a hardworking one,” Mead said of his 22-player unit. “A majority on the team have not won a title so they have something to work toward.”
Mead’s philosophy is to build teams from the back (defense) to the front (attack), and this year will be no different.
Led by juniors Chris Beaton and Andrew Blake, Mead considers his back line, “pretty strong.”
“We are probably not going to be scoring a lot of goals,” Mead said. “We’ll be in a lot of scoreless or 1-0 games.”
Sophomore Tino Tomasi, whose quickness was an offensive weapon last year despite a mid-season injury, has been moved to midfield “so we can take better advantage of his great vision and playmaking.”
As for the scoring, Mead believes the points will spread around, with no one individual racking up the goals.
“We have some young talent coming in,” he said, pointing to six sophomores up from last season’s undefeated freshman team, and a freshman.
Competing for the goaltending job held for three years by the graduated All-State choice Andreas Varsakopoulos are senior Chris Howard and junior John Milbank.
“They are pushing each other hard,” Mead said.
After the opener in the Queen City, the Redhawks travel to Hartford High on Wednesday before their home opener on Friday, Sept. 5 against Missisquoi Valley Union High.
Aug. 28, 2008
By Mal Boright
With just five seniors on the 17-girl squad, the Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team nevertheless has an optimistic outlook going into the season-opener.
The girls start the regular season at 4 p.m. on Thursday at home against Route 116 neighbor Mount Abraham Union.
“We feel good about the preseason,” coach Kate McDonald said over the weekend. “We have a smaller squad than usual but we have five starters back and nine who played last year.”
Among the returnees are senior captains Lucy Barrett, Katie Longshore and Danielle Michael, who were members of the 2007 team that played its way into the Division I state semifinals before losing in overtime at Middlebury Union High.
In preseason scrimmages, the Redhawks last Thursday popped a young Mount Mansfield Union outfit 3-0 after previously winning one and deadlocking twice in a short game, round robin affair on a soggy Mount Abraham field.
Among the pre-season standouts have been two juniors who blossomed last season, Kelsey Jensen and K. K. Logan, both expected to be in midfield positions.
Two other juniors, Emmaleigh Loyer and Kathryn Powell, have looked good, as have sophomores Gillian Shelley and Louise Gibbs.
Instead of the traditional junior varsity and freshmen teams this season, McDonald said CVU will field Jayvee A and Jayvee B teams. She noted that no players had to be cut during tryouts.
McDonald expects the Metro Division to once again be highly competitive and the Eagles to bring a solid team to the Redhawks’ nest on Thursday.
The home opener will be followed by two more contests in the friendly confines at CVU: Wednesday against Mount Mansfield and Friday, Sept. 5 against South Burlington High.