November 25, 2015

Truck slams into Tims Snack Shack

    Observer photo by Tim Simard
A pickup truck sits on an embankment off U.S. 2 after crashing into Tim’s Snack Shack and a picnic table on Thursday afternoon. Several people were injured in the accident, and one of the victims later died. See story below.

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Armadillos defeated in semifinals (9/24/09)

Ninth-inning rally falls short

Sept. 24, 2009

Whereas the Williston Armadillos played flawless baseball the week before to reach the semifinals of the Vermont Senior Baseball League state championship tournament, the Dillos’ defense was vulnerable on Sunday. Errors allowed Newport Columbia to score six unearned runs and defeat Williston 10-8.

The victory did not come easily, however, as the Dillos scored three times in the bottom of the ninth and had the bases loaded with one out before Newport was able to shut down the rally.

“We were one hit away from a miracle comeback,” player/manager Dennis Johnson said. “Today they were the better team as they repeatedly got key hits to score runners and did not make any errors in the field. Our inability to do those two things cost us the game.”

The Williston offense was led by third baseman Pookie Martin (3-4, run), outfielder/shortstop Reid Crosby (2-2, 3B, 2 BB, run) and shortstop/pitcher Greg Bolger (2-3, BB, RBI, run).

On the mound, Bill Supple threw the first five-and-one-third innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on eight hits and four walks, while striking out seven. Bolger took the loss while pitching the last three-and-two-thirds innings, as he surrendered four runs, only one of which was earned, while allowing five hits and walking none.

Although Supple struck out the side in the first inning, Newport jumped out to a two-run lead as their shortstop followed a walk with a home run over the Dillos’ right fielder.

The lead grew to 3-0 in the fourth. Newport scored an unearned run when they recorded a double, the runner moved to third on a fielder’ choice, and scored when second baseman Pete Picard misplayed a grounder on what should have been the third out.

The Dillos, however, scored two in the bottom of the frame. While Crosby tripled, he was thrown out at home trying to score on Supple’s (0-1, BB, run) grounder. Bolger and Martin followed with singles to load the bases. Second baseman Brent Tremblay brought home Supple with a sacrifice fly and Bolger scored on Picard’s single.

Newport bounced right back with two more unearned runs in the fifth on a misplayed bunt, a walk and two singles. The lead grew to 6-2 in the top of the sixth when Newport scored another run, this time on two singles and an infield out.

The Dillos answered with two in the bottom of the inning. Right fielder/catcher Darby Crum (1-3, BB) walked, but was forced at second on outfielder Billy Vegas Daw’s (0-3, run) grounder. Crosby and Bolger then singled, the latter bringing home Daw.

Once again, Newport struck back, this time for three runs in the top of the seventh, two of which were unearned, to make it 9-4. Newport hit four singles and Tom “Bambino” Fitzgerald dropped a throw at home on an attempted put out.

The Dillos cut the lead to 9-5 in the bottom of the inning when Picard (1-1, 3 BB, run, 2 RBIs) walked, took second on a ground out and scored on the Bambino’s single.

Again, Newport responded, scoring another unearned run in the eighth as Crum misplayed a fly, allowing the batter safe passage to second and the next batter singled him home.

Although the Dillos trailed 10-5 going into the ninth, they mounted a ferocious rally to put the game within reach. Bolger’s leadoff walk was followed by singles by Martin and Tremblay to load the bases. Picard and outfielder Ray Danis (0-3, BB, RBI) both walked to plate two. One out later, Johnson (0-2, 2 BB, run, RBI) walked to cut the lead to 10-8 and put the winning run at first. But Newport got first baseman Jesse Stein (0-4) to ground back to the pitcher, who threw the runner out at home. Crum then popped out to shortstop to end the rally.

With the loss, Williston’s final season record was 14-4.

“We had a great season, finishing with more wins than every team but one,” Bolger said. “But once you’ve won this league, you’re not satisfied unless you do it again. Next year, we’ll be better.”


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Girls soccer team eyes rematch with Colchester High (9/24/09)

Sept. 24, 2009

Stymied from a fifth straight victory by a scoreless deadlock at Colchester High last Thursday, the Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team gets another shot against the Lakers on Saturday.

The Spirit Day contest kicks off on the Hinesburg field at 12:30 p.m.

The Redhawks took a 4-0-1 record into their Wednesday afternoon match against Mount Mansfield Union at Volunteers Green in Richmond. The game was scheduled for after press deadline.

At Colchester, the Redhawks out popped the Lakers in shots on goal, 8-5. CVU net minder Emily Sackett made five stops to pick up her third shutout of the season.

Colchester came out of the game with a 2-1-1 record.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


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Middlebury Tigers set to invade Hawks nest (9/24/09)

CVU football team continues to dominate

Sept. 24, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The 3-0 Champlain Valley Union High football team gets back into its Division 2 menu Saturday when traditional power Middlebury Union High rolls into Hinesburg for the first-ever gridiron clash between the two schools.


    Courtesy photo by Terri Zittritsch
Champlain Valley Union High football player Brian Cherhoniak kicks off against Bellows Free Academy of Fairfax on Saturday. The Redhawks put up a 42-6 victory in the home opener.

Middlebury comes to town for the 1 p.m. game after two straight wins following a season-opening, 28-6 loss at the hands of Colchester High. Since then, the Tigers have nipped Fair Haven Union, 14-6, and last Saturday tripped Mount Mansfield Union, 13-7.

CVU’s secondary will no doubt be tested, since all five of Middlebury’s touchdowns have resulted from aerial strikes.

In piling up a 42-6 victory over visiting Division 3 Bellows Free Academy of Fairfax on Saturday, the Redhawks dominated play but not the game statistics.

The Bullets had a remarkable 15-2 edge in first downs and ran 74 plays from scrimmage to just 30 for CVU. Nevertheless, the Redhawks were in command all the way; coach Jim Provost and his team took the long view with scoring runs of 69, 47 and 21 yards and added a pair of touchdowns off blocked punts.

The Red and White took charge in the first quarter when lineman Crawford Morris and end Matt Long slammed a BFA punt on its eighth play and lineman Cameron Fitzgerald lugged the subsequent loose ball some 30 yards for the score.

Placement specialist Brian Cherhoniak began a perfecto afternoon with the first of his six successful extra points.

BFA was forced to punt after its second eight-play series, giving CVU the ball for its first offensive play of the game with just under four minutes left in the quarter. Quarterback Konnor Fleming rolled off left tackle and into the end zone from 69 yards out for his ninth touchdown in three games. He wound up with 85 yards in six carries.

Next up for CVU: the darter, J.P. Benoit.

Early in the second period, the junior flashback returned a BFA punt from deep in its territory 14 yards to the Bullets’ 21. On the first play from scrimmage, Benoit busted through the BFA line, rocketed to the right sideline and into the end zone for CVU’s third score and a 21-0 edge.

CVU’s first second half trip to pay dirt came after the second blocked punt, this time by Ian Solomon with Long getting the touchdown.

Fullback Eric Palmer bulled in from five yards out early in the fourth quarter and halfback Alex Zullo got the final touchdown with a 47-yard scamper that was the Doozie of the Day.

Zullo started around left end but was greeted by a looming defensive wall. He then changed direction, shook off a would-be tackler and bolted to the right sideline, zipping to pay dirt.

“Adrian Peterson,” yelled several Redhawks from the bench after seeing Zullo’s pro-like moves. The great Minnesota Vikings running back would be eating his heart out.

BFA scored late in the game. Junior Brandan Bates (57 yards in 17 carries) returned a CVU kickoff 25 yards to the CVU 44. Five plays later, quarterback Andrew Barden connected with end Grady Ballard in the right corner for a seven-yard TD pitch. Defender James Pieper Lococo stopped the two-point conversion with a sure tackle just out of the end zone.

The Redhawks’ air game had just one completion for 10 yards. A Fleming to Collin Teator 37-yarder to the BFA 1 in the second period was nullified by a holding penalty.

CVU head coach Jim Provost praised the work of the defense and the special teams. Defensive back and special teams standout Nick Meunier was awarded the game ball after making several tackles and generally throwing his 140 pounds around all day.

Long was again a force at his defensive end slot, creating several lost yardage situations for BFA. Linemen Mike Bean and Dan Thabault helped keep BFA power back Ben Langelier (17 carries, 91 yards) reasonably contained.

Linebackers Drew Nick, Palmer and others had solid performances.

BFA-CVU, Stats

BFA    0    0    0    6    –    6

CVU    14    7    7    14    –    42

            BFA        CVU

First downs        15        2

Rushing yards    216        236

Passing yards        45        10

Return yards        30        96

Comp-Att-Int        5-12-1        1-5-0

Punts-avg        4-30        4-31

Fumbles-lost        1-0        1-0

Penalties-yards    4-30        2-25


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CVU runners heading to Granite State on Saturday (9/24/09)

Sept. 24, 2009

The Champlain Valley Union High harriers will test themselves against New England competition Saturday in the annual invitational meet in Manchester, N.H.


    Observer photo by Stephen Mease
Runners from Champlain Valley Union High’s girls cross country team bolt off the starting line in the Burlington High Invitational on Saturday.

Last Saturday, CVU’s girls team took second place in the annual Burlington High Invitational. Winning Essex High (49 points to CVU’s 61) placed three runners in the top 10 at seventh, eighth and ninth.

Summer Spillane paced the Redhawks with third place, her time of 20 minutes, 17.16 seconds a minute and 19 seconds behind blue ribbon winner Hannah Rowe of St. Johnsbury Academy.

CVU’s Adrienne Devita took fourth, just five seconds in back of Spillane. Laura Jackson, Annie Jackson and Julienne Devita captured the 18th, 19th and 20th places.

The Hawks’ boys team finished sixth, with Zack Pete’s fifth place its lone top 20 finish.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


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CVU field hockey squad keeps winning (9/24/09)

Sept. 24, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Thus far the big boppers against all comers, the defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team will travel to Bristol on Thursday for a 4 p.m. meeting with 0-6-1 Mount Abraham Union. The game will conclude the first half of the season.

Coach Kate McDonald and her high-flying, 6-0 Redhawks hope to avoid any letdown from their thrilling, 2-1, overtime victory over previously unbeaten South Burlington High under the lights Tuesday on the Rebels’ turf.

Overtime once against proved profitable for CVU, now 2-0 in additional periods.

The game itself was a classic, with both teams producing solid scoring opportunities and well-organized defenses before the Redhawks’ KK Logan ended the contest with 3:51 left in the first seven-on-seven overtime. Logan finished with a well-placed shot from a rebound of a Kelsey Jensen blast following a penalty corner.

“Kelsey took a great shot and the rebound was wide open,” a joyous Logan said.

It was the senior forward’s sixth goal of the campaign and her second overtime game-winner.

Logan had almost scored in the final two minutes of regulation when she made a ball-handling, sideline-avoiding dash from the midfield to within 10 feet of the Rebel goal before being crowded out by frantic South Burlington defenders.

CVU had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first half, Kelsey Barrett poking home the goal from a mob scene in front of South Burlington goalie Becca Bowser (seven saves). Emmaleigh Loyer got the assist.

“It was a jumble in there,” Barrett said of the situation leading to the score.

South Burlington, which picked up its offense after intermission, scored less than four minutes into the second half. Brittany Leclair sent a brilliant cross from right to left in front of the goalmouth and Rachel Crews knocked the ball into an open corner past CVU net minder Elizabeth Goddette.

“Usually I am not nervous after I touch the ball early,” Goddette said later. “This time I was nervous the entire game. I knew I would be busy.”

And she was, making five saves, some with well-executed footwork, as the Rebels launched some 11 shots at the cage. CVU fired 17 toward Bowser.

CVU co-captain Kathryn Powell played an effective game on offense and defense, while Lauren King and Aubrey Deavitt had several impressive defensive stops.

“Both teams played great games,” McDonald said. “Playing on the (synthetic) turf really helps ramp up the skill level.”

The Redhawks will be back before the home folks at 10 a.m. on Saturday for a Spirit Day encounter with visiting Burlington High (2-4).


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Undefeated Redhawks about to get busy (9/24/09)

Boys soccer team off to 3-0 start

Sept. 24, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

“We are still trying to shake off some rust,” Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer coach T.J. Mead said on Tuesday, after the Redhawks’ disposed of visiting South Burlington High, 2-0, at the Hinesburg layout.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Andrew Blake (15), a senior defender for Champlain Valley Union, clears a ball during Tuesday’s game against South Burlington High. CVU put together a 2-0 win.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Mike Clayton (23) of Champlain Valley Union High goes after the ball on Tuesday.

It was only the third game — all wins — of the season for the Redhawks, but the schedule is picking up.

“It is a busy week,” Mead said.

CVU takes on Mount Mansfield Union (1-3 entering the week) at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at Volunteers Green in Richmond. The Hawks return home Saturday morning for a 10 o’clock Spirit Day game against Burlington High.

South Burlington, which graduated several veterans from last season’s Division 1 runner-up combine, nevertheless made for an interesting opponent before CVU scored late in the first half and then dominated geographical play much of the second half.

“They (the Rebels) nearly scored early in the game and if they had it might have been a different situation,” Mead said, recalling that the Blue and White clads bumped off the Redhawks three times last season.

A pair of juniors hooked up on CVU’s initial tally. Michael Clayton notched his fifth score on the season with Henry Sengle getting the assist.

In the second half, with 25:15 remaining, senior Dylan Crow took a cross from junior Ryan Boland, neatly pivoted and smashed a hard boot into the left corner of the cage past South Burlington goalie Sean Keough.

Keough had a busy half, stopping some labeled CVU shots, including a point-blank slam by Nick Hart.

Boland, Tino Tomasi and Chris Beaton helped keep order in front of the CVU net, where minder John Milbank had seven stops.

Last Friday’s scheduled home contest with Missisquoi Valley Union has been rescheduled for Oct. 12. The game was postponed when MVU authorities had to close the school Friday due to a suspected threat.


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School district posts online survey for equity feedback (9/24/09)

Sept. 24, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

The Williston School administration is seeking input on how to improve equity between academic houses.

District Principal Walter Nardelli said parents, teachers, former students and community members can give feedback by using an online program on the district’s Web site,

Nardelli said the online input form asks for opinions about equity topics the Williston Conceptual Frameworks Committee developed last school year. The committee created a chart to determine the areas where houses — groupings of classrooms and grades — were considered to have discrepancies in equality. Topics range from inequality in curriculum to student placement to learning environment.

There are different fields within the form where respondents can write about their own experiences with house inequality and how they believe it can best be addressed, Nardelli explained.

“We’re looking for specifics,” Nardelli said. “The more specific the responses that we get, the better it helps us.”

Last school year, the Frameworks Committee briefly discussed equity while developing recommendations for a school reconfiguration. Over the summer, the School Board decided the administration, rather than the committee, should continue the equity work.

Nardelli said the online input form will be posted on the school’s Web site until Oct. 16. He said he has not looked at any responses yet.

“We’ll probably take a look halfway through and see what people are saying,” Nardelli said.

The administration will take the feedback from parents and the community and develop different methods on how to best achieve more equity across the houses, especially with the school district’s reconfiguration next year. Nardelli said all decisions on equity would be made by December, in time for the School Board’s 2010-2011 budget work.

The online equity input form can be found on the district’s Web site at the top link on the right side of the screen.


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Everyday Gourmet (9/24/09)

A “crumby” secret

Sept. 24, 2009

By Kim Dannies

One of my favorite breads for exquisitely crunchy toast is Red Hen Baking Co.’s Waitsfield Common bread. I use it, brushed with olive oil and grilled on both sides, for bruschetta and to accompany liver pates, jams, broths and creamy sauces.

A veggie dish that pairs beautifully with Red Hen toast is pipérade (pee-pay-RADH).

Pipérade originated in the Basque region of France and variations always include tomatoes, sweet or green peppers, garlic, onion and olive oil. It can be served as a side or main dish, as a filling for omelets, atop pasta, meats or grilled bread.

This recipe is all about easy technique: The peppers are roasted, then peeled and sliced. Rather than sizzle the vegetables in a traditional sauté, they “sweat” on a low heat to develop more complex flavors. Basically, I put pipérade on everything except dessert. I recently served it with a bit of crumbled goat cheese, which created a creamy, healthy sauce — superb for mopping up with my “secret” toast.


On the open gas of a stove, under the broiler or on the outdoor grill, char 1 sweet yellow pepper and 2 red peppers, turning until each side is black. Place charred peppers in a paper bag to steam for 10 minutes. Slice off the tip and bottom, open up the pepper flat and peel off the char while rinsing under cool running water. Blot peppers dry on paper towel. Cut each pepper into 1/4-inch wide strips.

Heat a large sauté pan to medium-low. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Slice 2 medium sweet onions and add to the pan. Add a large pinch of kosher salt, stir and cover. Sweat for 15 minutes.

Mince 4 garlic cloves and add to the pan. Add the pepper strips, 3 tablespoons of decent drinking sherry, 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes (with seeds and skin), 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and 1/2 tablespoon freshly minced rosemary leaves. Cover and sweat for 20 to 30 minutes. Adjust for seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to


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Vermonter at Large (9/24/09)

Football has arrived at the home of the Redhawks

Sept. 24, 2009

By Mal Boright

Champlain Valley Union High is now a football school.

Whoa, Hoss! A few things to remember before you leave the barn:

· CVU remains a top-notch soccer school.

· And yes, cross country is also a major fall sport.

· Field hockey is up and coming — witness last season’s Vermont Division 1 crown and the great start this year.

But it is fair to say that football is no longer a fledgling sport and here in its fifth season as a varsity offering, is taking its rightful place alongside the school’s autumn athletic endeavors.

Before the season began, there was trepidation about the Vermont Principals’ Association-directed move up from Division 3 to Division 2. After two eye-popping wins against Division 2 foes and last Saturday’s solid triumph over Division 3 Bellows Free Academy of Fairfax, the Redhawks are indeed competitive in the division.

Yes, there are challenges to come, starting Saturday at home against traditional power Middlebury Union High. But the program has shown it belongs where it has been placed, in a division with some of the longtime football titans in the state.

It is well to remember vital contributors and enabling circumstances of these past few years:

· A tip of the chapeau to Jay Michaud, who brought the program from club status to varsity level and, along with able assistants, coached those first two direction-setting seasons.

· The strong support of former CVU principal Val Gardner, who noted during the School Board meeting at which football was approved at the varsity level that the sport would be important for some students as an additional incentive to stay in school and achieve better grades.

· Continued support from the administration that rightly puts the word student ahead of athlete.

· A strong and vibrant booster organization that has created a positive atmosphere around the program.

· The excellent feeder system that brings youngsters into football at an early age and results in the numbers of more than 85 playing for three successful teams at the high school level.

· Stability in coaching. As the third head coach in the first four years, Jim Provost is in his second season and has shown the results that come from continuity and a steady hand at the helm.

There will certainly in this season and campaigns ahead be the usual ups and downs that any athletic team must go through. But here in year five, CVU football has proven it has risen to the competitive level that was one of the goals of the founders.

An early booster of CVU football was the late Gov. Dick Snelling. Campaigning in Rutland, that high school football mecca, during his first (unsuccessful) gubernatorial campaign in 1966, Snelling was repeatedly asked about football at CVU, where he had been a board member.

Snelling had been a football advocate but could not get enough support to bring a program to fruition.

The governor has to be smiling now.

Williston resident Mal Boright has been an editor, columnist and reporter for several Vermont newspapers. He covers local sports as a correspondent for The Charlotte Citizen and the Williston Observer.


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