April 18, 2019

Armadillos avenge last years playoff loss (6/25/09)

Strong offense, pitching defeats Hogs

June 25, 2009

In the first round of the upper division playoffs last fall, the Waterbury Warthogs defeated heavily favored Williston, putting a quick end to any thoughts of back-to-back championships for the 2007 Vermont Senior Baseball League champion Armadillos.

“We lost that game because we misplayed two bunts,” Williston’s Dann “DVDV” van der Vliet said. “We went into this week’s game looking to extract revenge.”

Williston rose to the occasion. Once again this season, the Armadillos combined superb pitching and clutch hitting to defeat the Warthogs 12-2, raising their record to 8-0 and securing a two-game lead over the closest competitor. The team scored in five of nine frames, steadily building a commanding lead as the game progressed. The Dillos rapped out 15 hits and collected eight walks to help their cause, with three of them coming with the bases loaded.

Individual performances of note were recorded by shortstop/pitcher Greg Bolger (3-4, BB, 2 runs, 1 RBI), pitcher Bill Supple (3-5, BB, 4 runs), center fielder Ray Danis (3-5, BB, 3 runs), first baseman Jesse Stein (2-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI) and right fielder Brian Donahue (2-5, 2 runs).

On the mound, Supple pitched the first six innings, allowing one unearned run on six hits, while striking out six and walking none. With the win, Supple improved his record to 5-0. He was relieved by Bolger, who pitched the final three innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits while striking out two and also walking none.

“My teammates are tough on me. By the time I come in in relief, we’re usually too far ahead for me to get a save,” Bolger lightheartedly complained.

As has been true in every game this year, Williston scored in the first inning, this time picking up two runs. Danis and Supple singled and Bolger beat out a bunt to load the bases. Second baseman Pete Picard (1-3, 2 SAC, 3 RBIs) and DVDV followed with successive sacrifice flies to score the two lead runners.

After surrendering an unearned run to the Hogs in the bottom of the frame on a double and an error, the lead grew to 5-1 in the third, as three more Dillos crossed home. Danis and Supple singled and Picard pushed both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. DVDV doubled home both runners and scored on catcher Tom “Bambino” Fitzgerald’s (1-5, 1 RBI) single.

Two more Armadillos scored in the fourth inning. Donahue and Supple singled, moved ahead on Bolger’s walk and scored on Picard’s single. The lead swelled to 8-1 in the seventh when Bolger singled, DVDV walked, Stein was hit by a pitch and Reid Crosby (0-3, 2 BB, 2 RBIs) walked to force in a run.

In the eighth the lead climbed to 12-1 as four more runs scored. Donahue and Danis singled, Supple walked and Bolger brought home the first two runners with a single. DVDV, Stein and Crosby all drew walks, with the last two forcing runs home. Although the Hogs scored one more run in the bottom of the eighth on a single and two errors, it was too little, too late, as Bolger retired the last five batters to secure the victory.

On June 28, Williston opens a five game home stand, taking on the 3-4 Burlington Cardinals. Game time is noon.

League standings and individual and team statistics are online at www.scorebook.com. Enter “Vermont Senior Baseball League” under league name search.


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Final skate on Saturday for some CVU hockey stars (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Six graduated Champlain Valley Union High hockey players will lace up the skates for the final time in high school related competition on Saturday in the Annual Make-A-Wish All-Star Hockey Classic at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.


    File photo
Brady DeHayes a recent graduate of Champlain Valley Union High School, skates past Essex forward Stevie Mone during the Division 1 hockey championship on Feb. 28. DeHayes and five of his teammates will play in the Annual Make-A-Wish All-Star Hockey Classic on Saturday. Nicole Bonneau, the goalie of CVU’s girls hockey team, will play for Vermont’s girls team in the game against New Hampshire.

Goalie Nicole Bonneau will spend time between the pipes for her Vermont team, which will meet its New Hampshire counterparts at 4 p.m.

For the boys, it will be the Final Fire-up of the Finesse Five plus one when Vermont and New Hampshire stars collide at 6:30 p.m. in the second game of the galaxy twin bill.

Representing CVU are five members of the Division 1 champions. They include Brady DeHayes, Chris Howard, Tim Reichert, Owen Smith and Ben Soll.

The additional one is veteran CVU co-coach Will MacKinnon, who is leaving his CVU post. MacKinnon and co-coach Doug Hopper will be behind the bench for the Vermont squad. Hopper will return to the CVU helm this winter.

MacKinnon, a hockey star at the University of Vermont in the 1970s, played two years in Europe after graduation and coached two years at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans on his return to the United States.

He and Hopper have been running the CVU program for the past four years.

“It is time,” MacKinnon said this week. “It is never a good time when you like what you are doing, but I have been coaching for more than 30 years.”

MacKinnon will be the decision maker for the Saturday contest.

“All teams (from) Vermont and New Hampshire have been good over the years,” Hopper said in looking ahead to Saturday’s contest. “But I think we have a decent team.”

There will be two practices Friday and another Saturday morning before the puck drops Saturday evening.

“These are all seniors,” Hopper said, adding that they should know the basics. “My biggest concern is in how much have they been skating.”

DeHayes and Reichert will be on the offensive lines, while Smith and Howard will form one defensive duo. Soll will also be back on the blue line.

Bonneau earned the all-star honor after four years in the CVU goal. Over that time she was credited with more than 2,000 saves, which constitutes more rubber than can be found in a tire factory.

Game tickets will be available at the field house on game day. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students.


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Athletic participation up at CVU (6/25/09)

Sports are just one aspect of education, says athletic director

June 25, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

In terms of wins and losses, the sports year at Champlain Valley Union High had some solid varsity sports seasons, and then some with campaigns of growth, even if they lacked big victory numbers.


    File photo
Tyson-Jerome White (right) and Nathan Hall (left) of Champlain Valley Union High finish first and second in a heat of the 100-meter dash on May 13.

In terms of keeping with the school’s philosophy of the role of sports in the overall educational program, the year has been a good one, according to the man at the top.

“Our goals for athletics are to develop student interest and success in curricular and co-curricular programs,” CVU athletic director Kevin Riell said in a recent interview after school had closed for the summer.

“Sports are not just about wins and losses,” Riell added. “They are all about process and how to get students from A to Z and what did they learn. That is what CVU sports is all about.”

He agreed that victories and championships are nice, but there are also valuable lessons in seasons that have rare triumphs.

Riell just completed his 21st year as overseer of the athletic program. Prior to that, he had some coaching whistles in hand himself in basketball and soccer.

He was asked if today’s kids are different from those in the past.

“Life today is just more complicated for the students,” Riell replied. “They have so many more choices now.”

He noted that in years past athletes would participate in the three sports over the fall, winter and spring seasons.

“Now there is some pressure to specialize in one. Some say that is the way to go. Others would have them spread their wings and find various experiences.”

While Riell is enthusiastic about the number of athletic programs, varsity, junior varsity, freshman and club offerings, he also likes to mention the non-athletic, co-curricula choices available.

“Recently, one of our soccer players was injured early in the season and was looking for something else in which to participate. The individual auditioned for a part in a school musical and got the part,” Riell said. “He said later it was one of the best experiences he ever had.”

Riell said this confirmed for him the idea that having multiple choices available can lead students to develop interests in areas they had never considered.

CVU has an annual student body of between 1,350 and 1,400, with more than half participating in at least one athletic program. Riell considers that a good percentage of participation and notes it has grown over the years.

He said the recent school year was “tremendous for the student body. Goals were being met, sports were kept in perspective and the student council did a great job with the spring Rally in the Valley.”

Active club programs include longboat rowing, rugby and sailing. Riell said a growing activity in Vermont schools has been dance and that too could come to CVU if faculty advisors can be found.

He applauded the high level of community support for all CVU programs.

One of the fastest growing sports is lacrosse, where there were enough participants this spring to field three teams for both boys and girls.

A challenge this fall will be for the 80-strong football program under head coach Jim Provost, who will guide the four-year-old varsity level team through a rise from Division 3 to Division 2.


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Ireland Legion team tests mettle against Vt. clubs (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The wooden bat tournament found the S.D. Ireland American Legion baseball team with soft lumber in four home weekend games against tough out-of-state opposition (Saratoga, N.Y. emerged from the tournament with a season record of 17-1 and still was not champion), but the Clover Boys returned to in-state division foes Monday and Tuesday with some success.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
S.D. Ireland pitcher Ryan Machavern lets go of a pitch during Tuesday’s game against Essex. Essex took the contest, 7-3.

With metal bats back in use, the locals bumped off Addison 6-4 Monday at the Champlain Valley Union High field, but then fell to visiting Essex on Tuesday by a 7-3 count.

The Irelands return to action on the road Thursday at Knights of Columbus, South Burlington at Dorset Park. They travel to Waterbury for a 1 p.m. Sunday contest and will be home on Tuesday against the Colchester Cannons.

After losing all four weekend games to the out-of-state visitors, the Irelands take a 2-1 in-state mark into the South Burlington match.

Late Essex scores down Irelands

Essex, with a number of players from high school Division 1 runner-up Essex High, broke open an otherwise tight contest with three runs in the top of the fifth and a trio more in the top of the seventh.

Ireland righty Sean Rugg hurled well in a 1-1 tie until Essex got to him in the fifth for a leadoff single, followed by Geoff Green’s RBI double to the gap in left center. Dave Valley’s ribbie single off reliever Andy Kent and a sacrifice fly capped the three run inning.

Jordan Armstrong’s run-producing double cut the Essex lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, but Essex struck for its three in the top of the seventh on a pair of doubles and two singles.

Essex lefty Aaron Plunkett gave up a final run in the seventh, finishing a complete game six-hitter, walking seven and striking out eight while tossing 123 pitches. Plunkett’s hard stuff created plenty of smack in his catcher’s mitt and he mixed in the occasional bender.

Ireland second baseman Anthony Detoma socked a pair of singles for the second straight game to pace the home guys’ attack.

Montani closes out Addison

In downing Addison on Monday, the Irelands came from a 3-2 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, keyed by Kent’s clutch two-out, two-run single. Kent came around to score as a result of a pair of Addison infield errors.

Down 5-3 in the top of the sixth, Addison got a run back on a triple and a two-out RBI single.

Ireland coach Jim Neidlinger then called in big lefty Shane Montani, a familiar presence at first base. With runners at first and second, Montani forced a 3-1 ground out to end the frame.

It got dicey in the top of the seventh with the Irelands ahead 6-4. With one out, Addison loaded the bases on an infield single and close call at first, an infield error and walk.

Montani then went to his windup, which he agrees gives him an additional yard on his fastball, and whiffed the next two batters to get the save.

“That was my first time as a closer,” Montani said later.

Justin Raymond was the Ireland’s swatter of the day with a game leadoff triple, two singles and a walk in four appearances. He scored two runs.

Curt Echo hurled two-plus innings in relief of starter Theron Fuller to pick up the victory.


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Education Briefs (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

St. Mike’s honors Williston professor

St. Michael’s College professor and Williston resident Dr. Bill Grover received the Rev. Gerald E. Dupont Award from the class of 2009 at an awards banquet held at the college last month.

The Dupont Award is given “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Saint Michael’s Community” to people who “demonstrate dedication to the ideals of courage, vision, devotion and faith upon which Saint Michael’s College was founded,” according to a press release from the college.

Grover has been a Political Science professor at St. Michael’s for more than 20 years, teaching courses in U.S. politics, political institutions, political economy and foreign policy. Grover also authored an award-winning book, “The President as Prisoner: A Structural Critique of the Carter and Reagan Years” in 1989, which was named the Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Book on U.S. Politics.

Student presenter David Hiltz noted that Dr. Grover’s hands-on approach, coupled with his ability to encourage student awareness and involvement in socially conscious campus groups, made him deserving of the Dupont Award.

Strong pitches from CVU students

Of the 22 Champlain Valley Union High students who participated in an Elevator Pitch competition on June 9 for their final exam in the school’s Entrepreneurship class, three students emerged with the best pitches.

Britney Tenney of Charlotte took first place for A Woman’s World, a women’s only divorce law firm and counseling facility. Michael Bonfigli of Williston came in second place with The Indoor Outdoor Sports Center, which would provide student athletes with a chance to work out competitively year round. Erick Crockenberg of Charlotte took third place with The Club 44, a venue that would compete with the likes of Higher Ground in South Burlington.

The competition consisted of a two-minute oral presentation in which students had to concisely outline their business proposal, marketing strategy and competitive advantage to the judge, which was Kelly Jordick, vice president of the Merchant’s Bank in Hinesburg. In the class, taught by Tamie-Jo Dickinson, students learned that mastering this type of presentation is essential for prospective business owners, as it can make or break any future their business ideas may have.


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Police break up drinking party (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Nineteen teenagers were cited for underage drinking at an outdoor party in Charlotte on June 13.

Most of the teenagers were recent Champlain Valley Union High School graduates, said Shelburne police officer Rob Barrows.

Shelburne Police, Vermont state troopers and Chittenden County’s Stop Teen Alcohol Risk Team, commonly known as START, responded to a report of a party at a field on Lake Road at about 3 a.m. that morning.

About 30 teenagers were screened for underage drinking. Nineteen were given tickets and one was arrested for second offense underage alcohol possession, Barrows said.

Cited teenagers will either pay a $300 fine and lose their licenses for six months, or can go through a court diversion program.

Shelburne police are still investigating, and are looking into a possible enabling charge.

CVU held its graduation on June 12.


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New elevator under construction at WCS (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

Construction has begun on a new elevator at Williston Central School. District Principal Walter Nardelli said construction crews began the project on June 11, the day after the school year ended.

Middlebury-based Bread Loaf Construction is building the new elevator, which will replace the old, inoperative one at the school. The school must have the new elevator installed to be in compliance of the federal American Disabilities act.

In March, voters agreed to put $200,000 from the district’s construction fund toward a new elevator. The elevator will be built on the northeast side of Williston Central, rather than in the school’s existing elevator shaft.

Nardelli hopes the elevator will be operational in mid August, a few weeks before the start of school.

— Tim Simard, Observer staff


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CVU teaching couple retires after 36 years (6/25/09)

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

It’s been less than two weeks since the close of school at Champlain Valley Union High School, and longtime teachers Pamela and Alexander “Sandy” Lord are already in the full swing of retirement. Their kayaks are ready for Lake Champlain and their motorcycles are prepared to hit the back roads of Vermont this summer.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Pamela and Alexander ‘Sandy’ Lord, who recently retired from Champlain Valley Union High School, pose in their backyard.

While the Shelburne couple have embraced their newfound free time, they said they’ll miss teaching at CVU and the joys of working with high school students.

“I’ve always had a real connection with teenagers since I started teaching,” Sandy Lord said.

The Lords taught at CVU for 36 years, with Sandy actually teaching a few months longer than Pamela after he was hired halfway through the 1972-1973 school year. Prior to teaching at CVU, Pamela taught for five years at other schools, including Vergennes High School and the Weeks School, a former reform school in Vergennes.

During her tenure at CVU, Pamela Lord taught family and consumer sciences. Her husband was a business, economics and social studies teacher.

Pamela Lord specialized in teaching students everything from healthy eating habits to fashion design. She also instructed students on independent living, including how to find apartments and how to balance checkbooks. She described all her classes as basic “life skills.”

“When students finished with one of my classes, they ended up getting skills that set them for life,” Pamela Lord said.

She said in recent years, her healthy eating classes became more and more popular, even when she became a part-time teacher the past two years.

The two met at the University of Vermont in the late 1960s, with Pamela Lord earning a bachelor of science in agricultural and life sciences, and her husband receiving an education degree. Sandy Lord also earned a master of business administration in corporate finance and began teaching economics, a subject that continues its relevance.

“There’s always been a good demand for economics classes,” he said.

When Sandy Lord started teaching, he didn’t intend on sticking with the profession. He thought he might enter the corporate business world, but discovered he loved working with students. In the 1980s, he took a two-year hiatus to work in the financial securities industry, but found himself wanting to return to the classroom.

“I realized how much I enjoyed teaching,” he said.

The Lords have noticed many changes at CVU since they started teaching in the early 1970s. While “teenagers are teenagers,” they said the world students currently live in continues to move faster.

“You can see them using technology in a really different way,” Pamela Lord said. “It’s even affected the way we teach.”

Both plan on staying active in their retirements. Sandy Lord said he will take more of a “hands on” approach to his investments, as well as continue to improve the house they built and designed in the 1980s. He also wants to volunteer at local organizations and might even substitute teach at CVU to stay connected to students. Both also hope to spend more time visiting their two daughters.

Pamela Lord has already started her own business, called Pamela Creations. She’ll build upon her design skills in creating clothing for women and hopes to take part in a few area craft shows this summer.

In their free time, the Lords plan to continue their adventurous streak. They plan to travel to the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Asia in the next few years. They also hope to continue their love of scuba diving. The Lords have been diving for 20 years and have explored the waters of the Caribbean and Central America.

“We’re not slowing down, that’s for sure,” Pamela Lord said.


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Duncan looks back on 41 years of teaching (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

After 41 years of teaching students history, social studies and everything in between, longtime Williston teacher John Duncan has decided to call it a day. Duncan announced his retirement in quiet fashion at the end of the school year and he said leaving was not an easy decision.


    File photo
Former Williston Central School teacher John Duncan runs the New York City Marathon in 2006. After 41 years of teaching at Williston Central School, Duncan retired this spring. As part of his retirement plans, he hopes to organize a morning running program for campers visiting Fort DeSoto State Park in Florida.

“I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while,” Duncan said last week. “A lot of my peers had already moved on.”

Duncan, 63, started at Williston Central School in 1968, fresh out of college. Through his career, he has taught many children of former students and even third generation family members. He also enjoys keeping active by biking, running and kayaking. When the district had a track team, Duncan was the coach.

Special Services Director Carter Smith, a longtime friend and colleague, said students have been drawn to Duncan’s teaching style.

“John has always been very popular with kids and they have liked him back,” Smith said.

Duncan said he struggled with the decision to retire right up until the close of school on June 10. He said the unexpected death of friend and fellow teacher Al Myers in April had a profound effect and helped him make his decision.

“You only get so many days and so many years,” Duncan said.

Duncan said he’s loved every one of his 41 years in Williston. He started teaching when the school still had a single-grade structure. As the district began experimenting with multi-age classrooms and then the house system, Duncan helped make the changes easy, Smith said. In recent years, Duncan had been a teacher in Verve House. When Verve closed down last year due to school restructuring, Duncan moved to Full House as the fifth member of the teaching team.

Even since the late 1960s, Duncan said students haven’t changed all that much. He said students at the middle-school level still look for attention and approval from teachers and peers.

“They just need the same things they’ve always needed,” Duncan said.

What has changed is the complexity of the world students live in. Technology has changed the way students are connected with the world, Duncan said.

“Children are much more impacted today by their environment around them,” Duncan said. “There are a lot more forces acting upon children.”

Vermont and beyond

Duncan said he’s got several plans for his retirement. In fact, Duncan flew to Florida this week to purchase a used “camper van.” He plans on driving it back to Vermont and fixing it up this summer. Then in the winter, after visiting his daughter in Arizona, Duncan will volunteer as an interpreter at Florida’s Fort DeSoto State Park. Besides being famous for its white sand beaches, the state park also holds the ruins of a Civil War-era fort. Duncan will inform visitors about the history of the fort, as well as organize a morning running program for campers.

Duncan said he wants to make Fort DeSoto something of a winter home. He’s visited many times for marathon training, he said. He’ll use the park again to train for future half-marathons and other races, he added.

And while Duncan is looking forward to traveling the country more freely, he said he’ll continue to make his home in Vermont.

“I built my house (in Huntington) in 1978 and still haven’t finished it,” he said with a laugh.

Smith said Duncan’s retirement will leave a “big hole” at the school he worked at for so many years. Smith added that Duncan’s storytelling of history could not be matched.

Duncan said teaching history and how it affects students’ lives is what he’ll miss the most.

“The most memorable part of my career has just been my ability to do what I love,” Duncan said. “I like students to leave my classroom loving history.”


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Recipe Corner (6/25/09)

By Ginger Isham

Barbecuing, Hawaiian style

With the July Fourth holiday just around the corner, barbecues will be popular with family and friends. Here are a couple Hawaiian chicken recipes for the grill.

Huli Huli Chicken

(“Huli huli” means, “rotisserie” or “turn over turn over”)

Marinade No. 2

Marinate 4 or 5 chicken breast halves (cut in half again in lengths or chunks) or use other chicken parts in Marinade No. 1.

1/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar (I use 1/3 cup dark maple syrup)

3 tablespoons sherry (you can also use a red wine vinegar)

1 piece of fresh ginger, chopped (I sometimes use powdered ginger)

1 clove garlic, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag and add chicken pieces. Shake and set in fridge for several hours. Bake 6 inches from oven broiler, 8 to 10 minutes for each side, basting a couple times with marinade. Or cook on outdoor grill.

Marinade No. 2

1/2 cup frozen pineapple juice concentrate

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons brown sugar (or maple syrup)

1 piece of fresh ginger (a finger-sized knob)

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag and add chicken pieces. Follow directions in previous recipe.

Honolulu Chicken

8 chicken breast halves

1/2 teaspoon pepper

dash of salt

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups peach preserves

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 large green pepper, sliced into strips

Combine flour, pepper and salt in bowl. Coat chicken breasts with flour mix and brown in small amount of oil. Place chicken in a 9-by-13-inch oiled baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients, except green pepper strips. Pour this over the chicken and place pepper strips over the chicken breasts. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. This wonderfully flavored chicken is good served with rice.

Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.


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