July 21, 2019

Sports Notes1/29/09

Jan. 29, 2009

CVU gymnasts meet defending champs Friday in Essex

With recent solid performances in their portfolio, the Champlain Valley Union High gymnasts will go into Essex High at 7 p.m. on Friday for a test against the defending state champion Hornets.

The Redhawks are coming off a Saturday victory at Harwood Union High in which Ashley Bachand swept to victories on the vault, the beam, the bars, floor exercise (tie for first) and all-around.

CVU’s Kiley Bourdeau took second on the vault. Bethany Karstens was third on the beam and Sidney Hilker third in floor exercise.

Willistonian makes All-Canadian lacrosse team

David Pinckney, a Williston resident and December 2008 graduate from Montreal’s McGill University, earned All-Canadian honors from the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. The 2003 Champlain Valley Union High grad was a midfielder on McGill’s lacrosse team. He was one of five McGill players to receive All-Canadian honors.

Pinckney majored in physiology at the university, and his father, Gary Pinckney, said his son hopes to attend medical school in the fall.

Williston youth wrestling

Williston Youth Wrestling for grades two to six begins on Monday, Feb. 2. The program will teach basic wrestling techniques and provide wrestlers with the option of competing at several regional tournaments.

The program runs through March 19, and takes place on Mondays and Thursdays at All American Fitness, located at 1881 Williston Road in South Burlington. The one-hour sessions begin at 6:15 p.m. Cost is $45 and includes a t-shirt and facility use. For more information, contact Coach Jonathan Rodd at 879-0543.

Vermont Lightning basketball tryouts

The Vermont Lightning AAU girls basketball tryouts will be held at University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse on Feb. 7 and 15 for under-10 to under-13 teams. Schedules, forms and more information is available online at www.vermontlightning.org or by calling 865-7900.


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Girls hockey faces big test in Hartford1/29/09

Jan. 29, 2009

They have not gone into the eye of the Hurricanes since the opening night of the season.

But on Saturday, the Champlain Valley Union High girls hockey team will motor down Interstate 89 to Hartford for a 2 p.m. session with the tough Hartford High Hurricanes, who bumped off the Redhawks 4-1 back on Dec. 3 at Cairns Arena.

CVU took a 6-5-2 mark into Wednesday’s scheduled contest against 4-9 Burlington High at Cairns.

“Hartford will be a test for us,” CVU coach Tom Ryan said Monday.

The latest victory for the Redhawks came Saturday night, a 9-1 bopping of 2-12 Middlebury Union High.

Amanda Armell paced the CVU assault with three goals to lift her season total to nine. Molly Howard netted two tallies and assisted on three others. Howard now has 11 lamplighters over the campaign.

Maggie Ryan notched her eighth tally, while net minder Nicole Bonneau posted 19 stops.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


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Nordic skiers enjoy rivalry against Mount Mansfield Union1/29/09

Jan. 29, 2009

In an eight team meet at Sleepy Hollow in Huntington on Tuesday, the Champlain Valley Union High Nordic teams continued their rivalry with Mount Mansfield Union High.


    Observer photo by Ben Sarle
Skiers from Champlain Valley Union High’s Nordic ski team line up at the start of Tuesday’s race, held at Sleepy Hollow in Huntington.


    Observer photo by Ben Sarle
Nordic skiers push off from the start line in Tuesday’s girls race.

The boys finished second to Mount Mansfield, but John Dixon won the division by 29 seconds over Peter Hegman of MMU. Sam Hughes finished eighth.

The girls won their division 13-51 over Mount Mansfield. Danika Frisbie won the meet with teammate Molly Hebert second and Johanna Fehrs fourth, Abby Stoner sixth and Virginia Farley eighth.

In a 12-school meet last weekend at the Ethan Allen Biathlon Center, the Redhawks’ girls Nordic team captured a victory, while Dixon continued to give the boys team a top two finish.

The girls, led by winner Frisbie and third place finisher Fehrs, took first place honors 25-49 over the runner-up host, Mount Mansfield Union High. Stoner also hit the top 10, taking ninth place.

Dixon came in second in the boys division, 5 seconds behind winner MMU’s Hegman (20:20).

The Cougars swept the following four places to take the team triumph, 13-70 over the second place Redhawks.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


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Redhawks carry four-game win streak into Rice rematch1/29/09

Boys hoops team survives scare vs. MMU

Jan. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With a long Monday night trip to Newport and North Country Union High behind them, coach Scott Bliss and his Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball combine are looking forward to Thursday night’s home rematch with Rice Memorial High, one of the masters of Vermont’s 2008-09 Division 1 universe.

In late December, the Redhawks gave the 12-2 Green Knights a load of heartburn before bowing 50-47 at Rice. Bliss is hopeful of a better outcome at the Hawks’ cozy nest.

The journey to the Northeast Kingdom was a success, CVU nudging the Falcons, 44-37 behind John Donnelly’s 17 points. The victory, their fourth straight, hiked the Redhawks’ season mark to 8-5.

In their last outing before the homefolks Friday night, the CVU quintet discovered that the cat family, even those members with a 2-11 record coming in, can be fiercely independent and averse to bowing to expected outcomes.

The Mount Mansfield Union High Cougars were the particular cats appearing at Bremner Gymnasium and, despite being down by 12 points late in the fourth quarter, bounced back to within three counters of the Redhawks with just under a minute to go, putting CVU on edge and no doubt adding some gray to Bliss’ head.

It was not until Jake Donnelly made three of four free throws to put the Redhawks up 57-51 in the closing seconds that Red and White nerves could settle down.

Even then, Mount Mansfield nailed a shot at the buzzer to close the final gap to 57-53.

The leader in the Mount Mansfield comeback was swift backcourt junior Conor Leland, whose 20 points for the day included a pair of successive treys that pulled the Cougars from a 54-43 deficit to within 54-49 with just under a minute left. Two free throws by Mike Estes at the 51-second mark made it a tricky three-point game.

Trailing 25-22 at the half after a chilly 3-for-15 shooting performance in the second quarter, in which they were outscored 11-6, the Redhawks turned up the face-to-face defense in the third period and rolled to a 44-33 lead moments into the final reel.

It was the old faithful players leading the CVU charge — John Donnelly bagged seven points, Jake Donnelly six and Jack Jesset with six points, plus three of his six steals as the Redhawks forced the Cougars into 11 turnovers. MMU got off only five shots in the period, hitting but a pair, and was outscored 20-8.

John Donnelly added another seven of his team- high 19 in the fourth quarter, which helped CVU to its apparently secure 12-point edge before the mountain men uncorked their closing blitz.

The Redhawks opened well, in a strong opening stanza, grabbing a 16-14 lead thanks to a trio of threebie pops by Ryan Poirier, a long-range specialist. John Donnelly also cranked up a three and a deuce.

CVU fell on tough times in the second period, as Bliss cleared the bench in an effort to find a hot hand. The Cougars slowly opened as much as a five-point lead before the Redhawks’ Robert Russ nailed a jumper just before halftime to cut the MMU advantage to three at the buzzer.

Mount Mansfield, troubled by 25 turnovers, hit over 50 percent from the field, knocking in 20 of 39 shots.

CVU snapped the cords on 22 of 49 shots, but went just 8-of-17 from the charity stripe.

The Cougars, fueled by their late effort at CVU, racked up a 64-47 win at Colchester High Monday, Leland notching 27 points.

Mount Mansfield (53)

Lacy 2 2-4 6, Estes 1 2-2 4, Suder 1 3-6 5, Leland 8 0-0 20, Lecours 2 0-0 4, Wright 2 0-0 4, Wilcox 3 2-2 8, Bristol 1 0-0 2, Brown 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 9-14 53.

CVU (57)

Jesset 6 0-6 12, Ja. Donnelly 3 4-6 10, Jo. Donnelly 7 3-3 19, Poirier 4 0-0 11, Russ 1 1-2 3, Beaton 1 0-0 2, Bunbury 0 0-0 0, Duke 0 0-0 0, Nigh 0 0-0 0, Rensch 0 0-0 0, Lambert 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 8-17 57.

MMU    14    11    8    20 – 53

CVU    16    6    20    15 – 57


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After stinging Hornets, CVU girls look to Rice1/29/09

Redhawks hoopsters end losing streak

Jan. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

They emerged victorious Tuesday night after a visit to the Essex Junction Hornets’ nest, and now the 7-6 Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team will roll into the South Burlington castle of the Rice Memorial High Green Knights at 7 p.m. on Friday for another road session with a substantial foe.

Rice handed the Redhawks their first loss of the season, 35-33 on Dec. 22 at Bremner Gymnasium.

The prospects appeared difficult for coach Stan Williams’ combine when the girls took the floor Tuesday in Essex, with a three-game losing string in tow. Essex was rumbling along with a heady 10-2 mark.

But Williams had done some scouting and came up with a 2-1-2 zone that shut down the Hornets for the first half while the Redhawks worked up an 18-9 advantage by halftime. The lead proved decisive.

“The girls played well tonight,” Williams said after the game.

The coach admitted that zones are not usually in his bag of defensive schemes. The zone, with pesky guards out front trapping and harassing Essex ball handlers, limited the Hornets to but four hoops in 23 first half shots while forcing 11 Essex turnovers. After falling behind 4-0 early, CVU, with a balanced scoring effort, went on an 18-5 run through the end of the second period.

First half help came from the entire roster. Leading the point production was Allison Gannon with seven tallies, including five from the free throw line as her inside moves to the basket drew fouls. A solid contributor off the bench was sophomore Shae Hulburt with two points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Essex turned up the defensive heat with its trapping press in the second half, but after the Hornets drew to within five points (19-14) early in the third period, CVU got its cool back and slowly added to its lead, going ahead by a game high 14 points when Kate Bashaw buried a three-pointer after a nifty inside-out pass from Renick Lalancette with 1:49 left in the quarter.

With guard Whitney Elliott (14 points for the game) leading the way, Essex pulled to within 36-29 with 4:01 remaining in the game. Just as it appeared the Hornets’ full court pressure defense was wearing down the Redhawks, Hulbert found a speeding Gannon by herself at the payoff end of the court and the CVU junior veteran nailed the layup and resulting free throw to restore a 10-point lead and the outcome.

“That was a big play,” Williams acknowledged.

Gannon led the winners with 21 points and nine rebounds, hitting 11 of 14 free throws. Kendal Kohlasch chipped in with seven points and six rebounds plus at least two assists.

The Redhawks were 17-of-23 from the charity stripe while Essex went 5-for-7.

In gaining the triumph, CVU was able to bury the sour taste of a 67-39 defeat at the shooting hands of Burlington High on Saturday afternoon.

Burlington put the game into the victory column in a second period in which the Seahorses outscored the Redhawks 23-7 by going 9-for-9 from the floor, despite eight turnovers produced by an aggressive CVU defense. In the perfecto from the field, the Seahorses nailed three three-pointers and at least three layups under serious defensive pressure.

Burlington went 21-for-40 for the game while the Hawks, led by Gannon’s 13 points and Lalancette’s nine, were 15-for-46.

CVU (44)

Kohlasch 2 3-4 7, Lalancette 2 1-1 5, Gannon 5 11-14 21, Russ 0 1-2 1, Evans 0 0-0 0, Berry 1 0-0 2, Bashaw 1 1-2 4, Kinneston 1 0-0 2, Hulbert 1 0-0 2, Giles 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 17-23 44.

Essex (35)

McNamara 1 0-0 2, Armstrong-Laird 0 0-0 0, Elliott 5 2-4 14, Panton 2 0-0 5, Tremblay 0 0-0 0, Visker 2 0-0 5, Hetling 2 3-3 7, Greene 1 0-0 2, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Barford 0 0-0 0, Broughton 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 5-7 35.

CVU    7    11    14    12 – 44

Essex    4    5    12    14 – 35


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Rice Memorial and BFA next up for Redhawks

Jan. 29, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

As the remaining home games dwindle down to a precious few, the Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team will square off against 2-12 Rice Memorial High at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Cairns 1 Arena.


    Observer photo by Ben Sarle
Brady Dehayes, a Champlain Valley Union High senior, celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during Saturday’s game against Essex.


    Observer photo by Ben Sarle
Champlain Valley Union High junior Nate Lacroix (front) goes up against an Essex High player during Saturday’s game.

On Wednesday, 8-6-1 Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans will drop by for a 5:30 p.m. tilt.

The Redhawks hold 5-2 and 6-0 victories over Rice. They played to a 3-3 tie with BFA Dec. 30 in St. Albans.

CVU took an 8-3-3 record into Wednesday night’s contest against Burlington High at Leddy Park. It was the Redhawks’ second appearance in three days at the Burlington frost factory, where they nipped Colchester High 3-2 on Monday afternoon as Robbie Dobrowski slammed home a pair of goals and assisted on the third.

The 7-7 Lakers, perhaps catching CVU thinking back on Saturday’s drama-filled, 2-2 deadlock with defending Division 1 champion Essex High, grabbed a 1-0 first period lead before Dobrowski, Kyle Logan (goal) and Peter Levack (two assists) got cracking.

The Redhawks outshot Colchester 32-22 with goalie Mark Albertson coming up with 20 saves.

This piece of work came two days after Albertson survived one of his busiest single periods of the year to preserve CVU’s tie with Essex. With the Redhawks leading 2-1 going into the third stanza at Cairns 1, Essex came out with sticks whacking rubber. Just 47 seconds into the period, the Hornets’ senior captain Stevie Mone scored on a three-on-one rush to forge the deadlock.

After that, the blue and gold clads peppered the CVU cage, Albertson making 17 saves, several of the o-my-gosh variety. One of the most dramatic was the 17th, which came just before the buzzer. A high Essex slap shot appeared ticketed for the right corner of the net when Albertson’s handy glove appeared out of thin air to grab the speeding puck a moment before the buzzer sounded.

Albertson had 30 saves in the game while his Essex counterpart, Evan Russell, had 15.

At the offensive end, Brady DeHayes launched the CVU goals in the first and second periods. Logan and Ben Soll assisted on the first while Sam Spencer and Owen Smith had helpers on the second, a power play opportunity.

CVU outshot Essex 4-2 in overtime, although Albertson was called on for some of his magic to stop a two-on-one Essex breakaway.

On the CVU medical front, veteran defenseman Eric Robinson is out with a bruised thigh. Trainer Tony Lora estimates the junior will be back “in a week or two.”

Senior forward Tim Reichert, recovering from a season-long ankle injury, is dressing with the team and doing some skating. He is expected back in action soon.


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Frameworks Committee hones in on configuration1/29/09

Parent forum to be held in February

Jan. 29, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

The Williston Conceptual Frameworks Committee is closing in on how the school district’s configuration will look in the future, and is hoping for public input early next month.

In a recent meeting, the Frameworks Committee narrowed the building configuration options from four to two. One option is to keep the building configuration structure that is currently in place at both Allen Brook and Williston Central schools. The other option would place kindergarten through third grade at Allen Brook, with pre-kindergarten and fourth through eighth grade at Williston Central.

Now the committee has begun to figure out how the grade span and grade grouping structures could look in each of the building configurations. Mary Jane Shelley, the committee’s facilitator, said the group was divided to develop specific grouping structures within the two building configuration options. Shelley said she asked members to consider joining configuration discussion groups they were “least enthusiastic about” in order to have the widest range of perspectives presented within each group.

Group members will then develop a rationale for each specific configuration option, taking into account their top 10 criteria and community and staff input from the first round of forums. The committee will finalize these options in its next meeting on Feb. 4. The options will then be presented to the community and teachers at their respective forums on Feb. 9 and 10 for further input.

Shelley said a handout explaining the rationale for each of the various configuration options will be available for parents and teachers at the forums. These are due to be posted on the school Web site, www.wsdvt.org, on Feb. 6.

As was the process with the first round of forums, the committee will ask for pros and cons on the specific configuration options presented. The information will be used by the committee as it develops final configuration recommendations for the Williston School Board, Shelley added.

The parent forum is scheduled for Feb. 9 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the Williston Central cafeteria. The teacher’s forum is scheduled for Feb. 10.


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CVU School Board makes tough budget choices1/29/09

No increase for taxpayers

Jan. 29, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Although it was a meeting of disagreements and tough decisions, the Champlain Valley Union High School Board approved a $21.03 million budget for the 2009-2010 school year on Monday night. It is an increase of 1.52 percent from last year’s budget, up from the 0.96 percent quoted two weeks ago.

The percentage hike came from an unexpected increase in special education costs. Despite the percentage increase, the board came up with a plan to avoid passing the additional costs on to taxpayers, who will see no tax increase from the previous year.

From the school’s reserve fund of existing money, called the “current fund,” the board will use $70,000. That money will be tacked onto $365,000 the board had planned to use to renovate the school’s auditorium.

Furthermore, the board’s plan will take another $70,000 from the auditorium project to cover the remaining budget increase and offset taxes, leaving $295,000 for auditorium improvements.

This change comes on the heels of recent speeches by Gov. Jim Douglas in which he called for schools to keep budget increases to a minimum and not change tax rates based on school funding. While residents may see increases in their taxes coming from their local school districts and towns, CVU will not factor into this equation.

CVU School Board Chairwoman Jeanne Jensen called the avoidance of a tax increase a “good gesture” in trying to keep costs down in an uncertain economy.

“It’ll show people that we’re doing our share,” Jensen said.

Board members were split on how to deal with the 1.52 percent increase. Some believed it was already a low increase compared to other high school budgets in the state, while other board members wanted to see the increase kept below 1 percent.

Board member Mike Bissonette, who reiterated his opposition to the addition of two instructional coaches and a part-time Chinese teacher, said the 1 percent goal had to be achieved, even this late in the game. Board member Jonathan Milne agreed, and said funding for the auditorium had to be just as important.

“If we can get (the budget) under 1 percent and get money for the auditorium, we should all celebrate,” Milne said. “I very much want to see that happen and would be very unhappy if it didn’t.”

To get the budget under 1 percent, the board learned it would have to cut $108,000, which Jensen said would be unlikely at such a late stage in the budget process.

The majority of board members were more interested in reducing the tax burden by keeping the per pupil cost at a flat rate from last year. Bob Mason, chief operations officer for Chittenden South Supervisory Union, said the board could apply money it already has on hand and add it to its revenue for next year.

After debating where the money should come from, the board agreed $140,000 would come from the current fund balance — the same place the board has approved funding for the auditorium renovation. The board decided to lower the amount of money it could give to the auditorium project from $365,000 to $295,000. Voters will be asked on Town Meeting Day on March 3 to approve the transfer of the auditorium monies to the construction fund.

Still, the movement of money from the current fund is considered a risky move, since the fund has to be replenished each year, Mason said. It means taxes would likely increase in future years, he warned.

“It’ll give us a big hole to dig out of next year,” Jensen agreed.

Principal Sean McMannon said even with the lower amount of money, the planned two-year auditorium renovation would still be able to successfully go forth. Board member Jeff Parker agreed, saying current construction bids are generally coming in lower than previous years.

“I think we could do pretty much everything we laid out in that first phase of construction,” McMannon said.

Still, there was disagreement from the board on the decision. Milne believed the board was not being “sensitive” enough to the concerns of taxpayers.

“We’re in an (economic) environment like no other,” Milne said.

In the end, the board voted 7-4 to approve the 1.52 percent budget increase, and to move the appropriate funds to flatten the tax rate.

Mason also talked to the board about other articles CSSU residents will be asked to vote on in March. Like they do every year, voters will be asked to approve the purchase of a school bus at a cost of $105,000 and retire an old one. Voters will also be asked to approve an additional $537,000 in leftover construction funds for the auditorium project.


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Jan. 29, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Amidst a bad economy and a threat of two votes to pass the school budget, the Williston School Board was able to cut and save its way to only a 0.3 percent increase over last year. The total budget, which will be brought to voters in March, comes to $16.32 million, $49,000 more than last year’s budget.

The board unanimously approved the budget during last Thursday’s final budget meeting.

Next year’s budget reflected many cost saving measures in health insurance. It also came at the cost of cutting a classroom teacher position, as well as one teaching assistant and two paraeducators. District Principal Walter Nardelli explained in previous meetings that class size and services would not be affected due to slight declines in enrollment.

Marty Sundby, a former School Board member and current budget buddy — a resident who helps the board make budget decisions — said she couldn’t remember ever seeing an increase as low as this year’s. In fact, last year’s 3 percent increase was the lowest most people at the meeting could think of before the new budget.

“Of all my years on the School Board we never could have done this,” Sundby said, adding that in her years, Williston experienced significant enrollment increases.

One impetus to save money was the penalties of Act 82. Early in the budget process, the board learned that it had to cut $325,000 from its baseline to fall under the two-vote penalty. Act 82 is a new state bill from last year that penalizes school districts that exceed a state average in budget increases.

School Board Chairwoman Darlene Worth asked if Act 82 would become an issue again during next year’s budget process. Bob Mason, chief operations officer for Chittenden South Supervisory Union, said it would depend on the average percentage increases of every district in the state in this year’s budgets. Unless most districts have small increases, then Williston should be in the clear, he explained.

“It’s a question of where the average lands next year,” Mason said.

Mason also outlined the articles voters would be asked to approve on Town Meeting Day on March 3. One article asks voters to approve a reserve fund for future construction projects, in which Mason said the school would put existing money.

“It’s just to set it up, not spend money or anything,” he said.

Voters will be able to approve that piece by voice vote on Town Meeting Day, before the polls open the next day.

The Tuesday ballots will include the approval of $150,000 of the district’s current fund balance from 2008-2009 and move it over to next year’s budget. The question is asked every year of voters, Mason said.

Residents will also vote on the purchase of a new bus for $105,000 to replace an old bus, another question that is asked every year. Finally, voters will be asked to approve of the current $200,000 in construction funds to be applied to the elevator project — an elevator needs to be built at Williston Central School for the district to become compliant with American Disability Association guidelines. Overall, School Board members were happy to keep the budget increase low while maintaining  good service to Williston’s students. The administration was also very pleased.

“I’m just amazed,” said John Terko, principal of Allen Brook School. “I’ve never seen it so low.”

“And it’s still a good budget for kids,” said Jackie Parks, principal of Williston Central School.


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Fire Department reminds residents of 911 sign ordinance1/29/09

Jan. 29, 2009

The Fire Department is reminding Williston residents that all structures in town must have correct 911 addresses displayed either in front of buildings or on a post at the entrance of a driveway.

The regulation comes in accordance with a town ordinance implemented in 2006. The ordinance is enforceable and residents can be fined if not compliant.

Firefighter Pierre Grangien said the numbers must be 4 inches high by 2 inches wide and unobstructed. He said the signs are necessary for fire and police crews to quickly identify the address they’ve been called to in the event of an emergency. The signs significantly reduce response time for emergency crews, especially ones that are green and made of a reflective metal.

“The green signs are reflective at night and we can pick them up right away,” Grangien said.

Grangien said other towns in Vermont and across the country have had great success in implementing similar sign ordinances.

“It’s a great help to fire departments and the police,” he said.

Grangien said residents can order the green reflective signs through the Fire Department, at 878-5622. The cost is $13.

— Tim Simard, Observer staff


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