November 27, 2015

Supple pitches Armadillos to sixth victory (6/11/09)

Martin blasts homer to ensure win

June 11, 2009

On Sunday, the Williston Armadillos scored early and never relinquished the lead en route to an 8-1 victory over the Woodsville, N.H. Red Sox. The victory moved the first place Dillos to 6-0 in the Vermont Senior Baseball League, while the Red Sox dropped to 2-4.

While the game remained close through seven innings as the Dillos left nine men on base, the team blew it open in the eighth inning while scoring four runs, three of which crossed the plate on Pookie Martin’s (1-4, HR, 1 run, 4 RBIs) monster homer off the boat in the neighbor’s yard beyond the left field fence.

“(Greg) Bolger told us if we wanted to stop at P & H Truck Stop for pie after the game, we had to win,” Martin said about his homer.

Beyond Martin, the other offensive stars for the Dillos were pitcher Bill Supple (3-5, 1 run, 4 RBIs), center fielder Ray Danis (3-4, BB, 3 runs), shortstop/pitcher Bolger (3-4, BB, 1 run), catcher Tom “Bambino” Fitzgerald (2-5) and first baseman Dennis Johnson (2-5, 2B). In all, the Dillos collected 15 hits, with seven of nine players hitting safely.

On the mound, Supple picked up the victory to improve his record to 3-0, pitching 7 2/3 innings while allowing just one run, which was unearned, on five hits and no walks. Supple had a season high 10 strikeouts.

“Supple was in control of the game. His pitch count was minimal, throwing just eight or nine pitches in some innings,” the Bambino said of his battery mate.

Bolger relieved to get the final four outs, allowing only one hit and no walks or runs.

The Dillos scored two in the first inning. Danis, Bolger and Supple all singled to open the game, the latter scoring Danis. Martin then brought home Bolger with a sacrifice fly.

The Red Sox cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the frame on two singles and a throwing error by Martin at third base.

The Dillos came close to scoring another in the third as Dann van der Vliet hit a gapper in left center for a triple but was nailed at the plate as he tried to turn it into a homer.

“It took two relays to get Dann at home. In the Senior Men’s League, two perfect relay throws is not the typical,” summarized player/manager Johnson.

The lead increased to 4-1 in the fourth inning as right fielder Brian Donahue (0-3, 2 BB, 2 runs) drew a walk, Danis bunted for a single and Bolger singled to load the bases. Supple then helped his own cause by singling in the two lead runners.

The Dillos capped the scoring with four runs in the eighth. Second baseman Darby Crum (0-4, BB) walked but was forced at second on Donahue’s grounder. Danis laid down his second bunt single of the game and Bolger walked to load the bases. Donahue then scored on Supple’s ground out and Martin deposited the ball deep over the fence in left center for a three run blast.

Next week, the Dillos finally move back home to Williston Central School after playing five of their first six games on the road, taking on the 2-4 Chelsea Bat Company. Game time is noon.

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


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Sunny forecast for CVU girls lax in 2010 (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

There were few bowed heads Thursday when the Champlain Valley Union High girls lacrosse team shook hands with their Essex High counterparts in the wake of the Hornets’ 17-7 playdown victory over the Redhawks at the Essex nest.

CVU wound up 0-17 on the season, but first year head coach Julie Sloan was not totally unhappy.

“I think we were the most improved team in the state,” the coach said, looking back on the entire season.

With some 19 players back next spring, the outlook is onward and definitely upward. The Redhawks carried five seniors and at least two of those, Michaela Cornbrooks and Elizabeth Beckett, missed considerable playing time due to injury.

Thus it was an athletic group of sophomores and juniors who helped make the unit very competitive by season’s end.

Returning to Essex, where they lost by just three scores to the 11-6 Hornets the previous week, the Redhawks opened an early 2-1 edge on goals from sophomore Amanda Kinneston and Beckett.

After Beckett’s score gave CVU the lead with 15:29 left in the first half, Essex took total control for the next 10 minutes, exploding to a 10-2 advantage.

Leading the Hornets splurge was sophomore Jamie Panton, who scored two of Essex’s eight straight goals and assisted on another. But Panton’s most vital chores were in midfield draws, which she and the Hornets won without fail, keeping the ball away from the CVU offense.

At 5:36, the Redhawks finally broke through, Kinneston scoring the second of her three goals after getting a sharp pass from sophomore Gillian Shelley.

Shelley followed with a score from a penalty situation, but Essex’s Tina Whalen fired in the third of her four goals to give the Hornets a comfortable 11-4 edge at the half.

“We started strong,” said Sloan, “but they started stronger.”

Essex opened up a 10-point lead by the 18-minute mark of the final segment, and there it stayed, CVU getting two scores from Devan Wilkins and Kinneston’s third.

Freshman Micheala Gobeille had a busy afternoon in the CVU cage with 18 stops. Becky Anderson had six saves for Essex.


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Softball team has solid foundation for 2010 (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

While a trip to the softball mecca of St. Albans and a test against the second-seeded Bellows Free Academy Comets may not be the most fruitful way to end a season, the Champlain Valley Union High Redhawks can nevertheless look forward with relish to next season.

Coach Corinna Hussey loses only third baseman Holly Bachilla from her 2-15 team. Bachillas, who swung a big bat, will be missed.

The remainder of the roster will return and hopes to build on some late season punch. The team won its two games in the closing weeks, helped by the pitching of junior Anna Supple and the hitting of sophomore Susan Parmelee and juniors Chrissi Whitaker and Heather McLaughlin.

In a playoff game at 14-2 BFA last Thursday, CVU ran into two fog-producing pitchers in Callie Lumbra and Chelsea Abbott, who set down the Redhawks without a hit while striking out 13 in a five-inning, 15-0 blanking.

Whitaker, who worked Abbott for a walk in the fourth, was the lone CVU base runner.

Wait till next year.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


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Close call, but no advance for CVU baseball team (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

A young Champlain Valley Union High baseball team will have to wait until 2010 to keep improving.

The Redhawks, 4-13 for the season, closed out the current campaign Thursday with a narrow, 3-2 playoff loss to Mount Anthony Union High in Bennington. The 13-4 Patriots were seeded fourth in Division 1, while the upset-minded Redhawks were the 13th seed.

Mount Anthony went on to nip Rice Memorial 5-4 Friday in a quarterfinal and knocked off top-seeded Essex High, 8-5, in a semifinal on Monday.

“It was a great game, one of our best of the year,” CVU head coach Tim Albertson said Sunday of the playoff test in the Monument Town.

He said the winners earned all three of their runs (no errors or walks), which came in the first two frames.

Trailing 3-0 early, the Redhawks were able to get scores in the third and fifth innings. Both were produced by senior thumper Shane Montani, with a double and infield grounder. A potential tying run was nipped at the plate.

Junior Theron Fuller started on the mound for CVU and gave way to lefty Alex Hopkins, another junior, in the fourth. Hopkins got out of a bases loaded, no outs jam unscathed and shut down Mount Anthony the rest of the way.

Eric Ware went the route for the Patriots, limiting the Redhawks to six hits while fanning seven and walking none.

“Their pitcher threw well,” Albertson said.

Looking back at the season, the mentor was pleased with what he called “steady improvement” of the team after it opened the season with six straight defeats.

“We learned how to adjust and got our bats rolling,” the first year head coach said. “We were getting up to between seven and nine hits a game.”

Montani, catcher Joe Myers and outfielders Carl Lozon and Jared Badger are the seniors who will be departing.

The pitching staff of Fuller, Hopkins, fellow juniors Collin Teator and Andrew Leckerling, sophomore Emily Sackett and freshmen Curt Echo and Drew Nick will all be back.


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Fun in the sun

    Courtesy photo
Mike Thomas, a design and technology instructor in the Williston School District, watches as Eric Shepard (center) and Justin Olson set up their vehicles to race in the Solar Car Competition held at Williston Central School on May 30. Shepard, a fourth grader, won the speed competition. Along with second place finishers Greg Goldman and Sean Yarolin and third place finisher Drew Fisher, he has the opportunity to compete in the Northeast Regional competition in Springfield, Mass. on Sunday. Team members Tyler Poulin and Henri Provost won awards for the best Craftsmanship and Technical Design, and can also compete Sunday.

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CVU track & field athletes qualify for New Englands (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After solid performances in the Vermont State Meet at Burlington High School Saturday, nine members of the Champlain Valley Union High School track and field team are qualified to return to BHS this Saturday for the New England meet.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Tony Sulva of Champlain Valley Union High runs in the 4-by-800 meter relay during the track finals on Saturday. The Redhawks placed first in the event.

Qualification for the regional event was through the Essex Invitationals two weeks ago, in which the top six finishers in each discipline became eligible.

CVU coach Eli Enman said Tuesday that a few of the CVU athletes may not compete Saturday but that at least six probably will.

The Redhawks’ 4-by-800 girls relay team won in Essex but was later disqualified due to one of the runners wearing a small earring, thus violating a rule against jewelry. CVU protested the disqualification to the Vermont Principals’ Association, but the ruling was upheld.

CVU athletic director Kevin Riell said the protest was made in an effort to eventually get the national Federation of High School Athletics rule modified for Vermont use.

Among Redhawks set for the big meet as of Tuesday were boys runners Tony and Matt Sulva, who will compete in the 800. From the girls team will be Haleigh Smith in the triple jump, Maya Grevatt in pole vault and Virginia Farley in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.

As for the CVU showing in the state meet, Enman was pleased with the overall work of his team, which produced a sixth place team finish for the boys and seventh place finish for the girls.

Burlington took the boys side with 81 points, the Seahorses’ first title since the late 1970s. CVU totaled 47.7 points.

Essex High rolled up a big victory in the girls division, racking up 145 points. CVU earned 35.

The lone Redhawks’ victory of the day went to the boys 4-by-800 relay team of Jason Clairmont, Zak Pete and the two Sulvas in a time of 8 minutes, 12.38 seconds.

Tony Sulva took second in the 1,500 and fourth in the 800, both times finishing behind winner Adron Pitmon of Mount Mansfield Union High, who set a meet record of 1:54.80 in the 800.

Matt Sulva, who was ill, was held out of the individual races but made his presence felt in the relays. Also including Clairmont, Scott Cherhoniak and Tony Sulva, the group took third in the 4-by-400.

Other CVU boys high finishers included James Pieper-Lococo (3rd, 300 hurdles), Cherhoniak (5th, long jump), Dale Conger (5th, shot put and javelin) and pole vaulters Brayden McKenna and Josh Campagna, who were in a three-way tie for third.

Among the girls, Kendall Berry took second in the 400. Maddy Christian gained a fourth in the 1,500 and fifth in the 3,000. Summer Spillane took sixth in the 1,500.

The 4-by-800 relay team of Sara Lewis, Berry, Lily Roberts-Gevalt and Spillane took a second place while Smith was runner-up in the triple jump and Grevatt fifth on the vault.


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Hornets late sting ends CVU boys lax season (6/11/09)

Clutch plays vs. BFA put Redhawks in semis

June 11, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The drama of the Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse postseason continued unabated Tuesday in Essex Junction until the defending state champion Essex High Hornets prevailed 7-5 with two fourth period goals in an engrossing Division 1 semifinal contest.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
A swarm of Redhawk defenders converge on Nohea King of BFA St. Albans during the first quarter of Friday’s semifinal match-up in Hinesburg. Champlain Valley Union High scored a last minute goal to tie the game, then won 4-3 in overtime.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Tim Reichert (right) of CVU wins the opening face-off in the semifinal game against BFA St. Albans.

Essex, 13-5 after its third victory in three 2009 games against CVU, will advance to the championship contest this weekend against top-seeded South Burlington High. The Rebels defeated Middlebury Union High 11-5 Monday to make it to the title game for the first time in 16 years.

Coach Dave Trevithick’s Redhawks, who lost early in the season by a pair of scores in Essex and got flattened by the Hornets two weeks ago in Hinesburg, were at the top of their game in this all-the-marbles contest.

The two teams were tied 5-5 going into the final stanza. Essex got what proved to be the winning tally at 9:38 on Bill Hennessy’s first of two goals. Hennessy then added an empty net score at the one-minute mark when desperate CVU defenders were converging on the ball.

“They (Essex) are a strong and disciplined team,” said Trevithick. “We had chances but could not put the ball into the net.”

The loss left CVU with a 12-6 record for the season. It was the final game for 11 seniors, including tri-captains Ben Soll, Owen Smith and Tim Reichert.

Reichert, who won seven face-offs, his trademark, said the team’s game plan was to step things up at the defensive end; the Redhawks did so, holding down the Hornets after they had put 13 goals on the board in that recent win at the CVU field.

But the Hawks had their own problems putting the ball in the cage until after intermission. Trailing 4-2 at the half, CVU got on the board at 8:28 of the third period when Alex Hennessey advanced to the front of the Essex net and deposited the ball with a quick shot.

Essex then went back up 5-3, but CVU potted the next two scores, John Marston registering a pointer at 3:44 off a Nick Spencer assist, and at 0:31 on a Nate Wells shot after a pass from Sam Spencer.

Reichert then won the face-off and Owen Smith’s attempt to give CVU the lead was stopped by Essex goalie Sam Mattson.

Essex drew three penalties in the final reel, but CVU could not break through the Hornets’ defense while Essex got two scores.

Trevithick praised the Hornets play while a man down, noting, “They do that very well.”

Early goals for CVU came from Wes O’Brien on a first period side-to-side sortie in front of the Essex goal, and Sam Spencer. Nick Spencer had a pair of assists.

Soll, Cullen Millikin and Nate LaCroix were among those with some glittering moments on defense. The goalies for both teams had many difficult saves, Mattson coming up with 13 stops for the Hornets while CVU’s Eric Palmer had 11 rejections.

Also among seniors for whom this was their finale with the CVU lacrosse sticks were Max Valentine, O’Brien, Hennessey, Brady DeHayes, Timothy Davis, Sam Spencer, Dean Priest and Jake Thibault.

Priest, a leading scorer and passer, was sidelined after suffering a concussion in the quarterfinal win over Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans.

Comeback win over BFA

Game story: 26 seconds plus a split second.

Those were the narrow margins that meant the difference for the Redhawks between packing up the equipment for the year or advancing to the semifinals against Essex.

Sixth-seeded Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans had the Redhawks in serious trouble Friday in Hinesburg before CVU, on a Wells tally, tied the contest 3-3 with 26 seconds remaining in regulation.

Sam Spencer then potted the game winner 3:19 into overtime to boost the Red and White to the next round.

The split second came at the end of regulation, when a hard shot by a fast charging Kris Sabourin of BFA snapped into the CVU net just after the period-ending horn sounded.

“Had them all the way, right coach?” someone chuckled to Trevithick after the game. The much relieved coach simply looked skyward and rolled his eyes.

For three quarters, BFA used a tough and physical defense to put CVU on the ropes, shutting out the Redhawks and leading 2-0 into the final reel.

The Hawks’ troubles were often self-inflicted due to imprecise passing and turnovers that prevented sustained offensive thrusts.

The string of zeros ended at 10:43 from regulation time’s end, when O’Brien scored off a pass from Reichert, the first of three assists for the senior.

CVU, which had been mounting a serious assault on the BFA goal in the second half (Bobwhites net minder Frank Tirado had 16 game saves in a brilliant effort), had a potential game tying goal nullified at 7:20 due to a goal crease violation.

That play appeared huge minutes later when BFA went up 3-1 at 3:25 on Ryan Gaudette’s shot from the right side of the cage.

But suddenly Reichert, CVU’s midfield weapon, and his unique ability to win face-offs came into play and brought the Redhawks back to life.

Following the BFA score, Reichert took the face-off deep into BFA territory and passed off to a well-position Nick Hart, who slammed home the goal with 3:10 left.

Time was running out when Reichert later advanced the ball into Bobwhites territory. Hart got the sphere and passed to an open Wells, who tied the score with just 26 seconds to go.

But in the final clicks of the clock, BFA took advantage of a turnover. Sabourin rushed the CVU cage from the left side, but his blazing shot connected just after the horn sounded.

Reichert won the overtime face-off and a little more than three minutes later Sam Spencer found rare space at the BFA net and ended the game.

“It opened up in front of the goal and I was able to score,” said the CVU senior, who has been a leading points man all season.

Spencer admitted that the team was getting frustrated prior to the fourth quarter.

Limited to three shots at the BFA goal in the first half, the Redhawks got things going in the third period, only be held off the scoreboard by Tirado, who had seven saves in the stanza.

Spencer and Trevithick praised the face-off work of Reichert.

“I love getting those face-offs,” said the veteran senior Reichert, one of the state’s leaders at this particular skill. He won eight of nine in the game.

Soll and junior Cody Lee were among several CVU defensive standouts that held down BFA’s offense.


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CVU tennis teams compete for titles (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The Division 1 top-seeded Champlain Valley Union High tennis teams will be going for the state’s blue ribbons Thursday afternoon. If weather permits, the action will be on their home courts at Davis Park in Shelburne.

The 13-1 boys will square off against seventh-seeded South Burlington High at 1 p.m. The 14-0 girls have a 3 p.m. fixture with third-seeded Burlington High at 3 p.m.

In the event of rain, the matches will be moved indoors to University of Vermont courts.

The girls continued their unbeaten ways Tuesday with a 4-3 semifinal victory over a stubborn Rice Memorial High unit.

Vermont individual champ Cassie Smith led the way to four singles triumphs and was joined in the victory circle by teammates Kylie deGroot, Anna Clare Smith and Abby Stoner.

Rice captured the two doubles matches and a singles contest.

The boys scored a 5-2 semifinal win over fourth-seeded Rice on Monday.

David Hilderbrand, Marc Vecchio and Tabor deGroot captured singles contests while teams of Will Hurd-Cory Dawson and Will Hall-Bennett Hadley earned doubles victories.


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Many teachers, staff members leaving Williston (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

With a long list of teachers retiring and other staff members departing, the Williston School District is actively hiring people to replace the positions.

Retiring at the end of the school year from Allen Brook School are kindergarten teacher Diane DiGennaro, Esprit House teachers Jeanne Desilets and Nancy Leonard, Esprit teaching assistant Bev Klandl, Calliope House teacher Jane Wilson and her husband, district technology educator Charlie Wilson, and speech and language pathologist Jennifer Higgins.

At Williston Central School, music teacher Andy Smith is leaving to take a teaching position at Charlotte Central School. Swift House teacher Jason Lamb is leaving after one year in the district to pursue a master’s degree. District Principal Walter Nardelli also said there is another staff member retiring, but he had not released the name of that person prior to press deadline.

School officials have already filled some positions and are continuing to fill other positions, Nardelli said at a recent School Board meeting.

— Tim Simard, Observer staff


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Retiring Esprit House staff looks forward to family time (6/11/09)

June 11, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Looking back at a combined teaching experience of 84 years in Williston, Allen Brook School’s Esprit House teachers Jeanne Desilets and Nancy Leonard, along with teaching assistant Bev Klandl, said they wouldn’t trade a minute of it.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Esprit House teaching assistant Bev Klandl (from left) and teachers Jeanne Desilets and Nancy Leonard, pictured above, are retiring to spend more time with family.

The three Esprit House staff members are retiring this week. While they look forward to what the future holds, they also recognize how bittersweet it will be to leave the school district and its students.

“I truly appreciate getting to know the families,” Leonard said. “It’s really become that family connection.”

“We just learn so much being here, so we’re really the lifelong learners,” said Klandl.

Since Esprit House formed 14 years ago, Desilets, Leonard and Klandl have helped steer the team through many changes, including a move from Williston Central School to Allen Brook. Now, their fellow Esprit House team members, which include teachers Kim Deforge and Suzy Haas, will be forging ahead.

“It’s a great time for them to make it their own,” Desilets said.

But even with changes in society, technology and Williston’s population, some things remain the same.

“Kids are kids are kids,” Desilets said. “Kids are still wonderful kids.”

Desilets, a third and fourth grade teacher, has taught in Williston for 33 years. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1972 with a degree in physical education and a minor in math. After living in St. Johnsbury and teaching there for a year, Desilets and her family moved back to the Champlain Valley. Desilets took a job as a math aid in 1976 and soon moved into a teaching position.

Leonard started in Williston 22 years ago in 1987. She taught for a year in Rutland after graduating from Beaver College in Pennsylvania. After taking time off to raise a family, Leonard became a first and second grade teacher at Williston Central.

Klandl, also a UVM graduate, was hired by the school district 29 years ago as a teaching assistant. Before that, she volunteered with the school when her children entered first grade. Klandl said she had no idea back in 1980 that she’d still be helping students and teachers in Williston.

“It just seemed to fit really well into my kids’ schedule in the beginning,” Klandl said.

Following the end of the year, all three have similar plans for the future — traveling and spending more time with grandchildren, and sometimes a combination of the two. Klandl hopes to see her grandchildren in Maryland more often now that she won’t have to worry about scheduling visits around school vacations.

Leonard also hopes to spend more time seeing the country and visiting her grandchildren.

“I will be a better known nana,” Leonard said with a laugh. “After that, I’m not sure. I’m looking forward to keeping my options open.”

Desilets said she’s embarking on a new career of caring for her first grandchild. While her daughter, Corinna Hussey, teaches math at Champlain Valley Union High School, Desilets will help raise her new granddaughter.

“That’s the plan and I needed that plan because I’m a very busy person,” Desilets said.

All three will miss watching students grow and learn, but know that Esprit House will stay strong even after they leave. Desilets, Leonard and Klandl also said they’re glad they taught in Williston and couldn’t imagine spending their career anywhere else.

“Here in Williston, we’ve always felt both supported and valued,” Leonard said.


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