June 18, 2019

Sports Roundup

Indoor track wins for CVU

Champlain Valley Union High’s Haliana Burhans burned up soccer fields this fall with her speed and quickness.

Saturday, the senior heated up the indoor track scene, sprinting to victory in the 55-meter dash at an interscholastic meet at the University of Vermont.

Burhans’ winning time was 7.6 seconds.

Also posting victories were CVU’s Emily Geske in the pole vault as well as the boys’ 4-by-200 relay team.

Two from CVU triumph in gymnastics

Two Champlain Valley Union High gymnasts posted victories in the South Burlington High Rebel Holiday Tournament Saturday.

In competition by class year, Sarah Kinsley won the seniors floor exercise and Jackie Casson was victorious in the sophomore bars competition.

CVU has three winners in wrestling tournament

Redhawk Connor Gobeille flips an opponent during the Sandy Murray Earlybird Tournament at St. Johnsbury Academy Dec. 14. For more photos, visit the Web Extras section. (Observer courtesy photo)

Redhawk Connor Gobeille flips an opponent during the Sandy Murray Earlybird Tournament at St. Johnsbury Academy Dec. 14. For more photos, visit the Web Extras section. (Observer courtesy photo)

After a trio of triumphs at St. Johnsbury Academy’s prestigious Sandy Murray Early Bird Tournament Saturday, the Champlain Valley Union High wrestling team was host to four teams Wednesday, after the Observer’s press deadline, before taking time off until after Christmas.

On Dec. 27 and 28, the Redhawks will be in the annual two-day Hubie Wagner Tournament at Middlebury Union High.

CVU’s winners in St. Johnsbury were Alex Legg, Grant Poston and Troy Bergeron.

Kienan Kittredge grabbed a second place while Connor Gobeille and Jarett Legg had thirds.

The Redhawks captured third place among the 17 teams competing.

—Mal Boright, Observer staff


CVU girls hoop five have more travels ahead

Just call it the 23 (or 24) Steps.

That is the number of games involved for the Champlain Valley Union High girls’ basketball team to defend their 2013 Division 1 crown.

Steps numbers one and two were put down Saturday and Tuesday, with victories in the annual Spaulding High of Barre holiday tournament.

The next two steps require more bus time—Friday against Mount Abraham in Bristol and Monday (howdy, y’all) in deep southern Vermont against Mount Anthony Union in Bennington.

In wrapping up the tournament Tuesday, CVU took down South Burlington High 41-23, as sophomore inside operator Laurel Jaunich netted 14 points and clicked on the glass for 10 rebounds.

Last Saturday, the Redhawks trimmed Colchester High 57-33 in the tournament and season opener.

Jaunich posted 13 points and eight rebounds, the same numbers put up by senior forward-guard Emily Kinneston. Guard Kaelyn Kohlasch hit for 10 points.

The Redhawks will be in front of the home folks for the first time Dec. 27 when Div. 1 runner-up Rice Memorial High pays a visit to Bremner Gym.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


CVU boys bag wins in first four hockey matches

With a quartet of victories and the Beech Tournament championship in tow, the Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team took on Rice Memorial High Wednesday night at Cairns Arena.

The Redhawks will then be off until Monday, when they have a Cairns rematch with South Burlington High (5:20 p.m.), the team they nipped 4-2 Friday night at Burlington’s Leddy Arena for the Beech crown.

Brandon Gannon, Cam Rivard, Ryan Keelan and freshman Thomas Samuelson had the goals for CVU, while captain Alex Bulla had two assists.

Goalie Greg Talbert made 24 stops, the same number registered by Rebel netminder David Streeter.

The Redhawks gained the championship game with a Thursday night 2-1 triumph over Colchester High.

Keelan and Rivard each racked up a goal and assist, while Talbert notched 17 stops in the CVU cage. Busy Laker goalie Eric Swan made 36 saves.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


New coach named for CVU boys soccer

Soccer Central will have a second new head coach in two years when the kicking and the heading of the spheres begins late next summer.

Former Bellows Free Academy of Fairfax soccer coach and current Champlain Valley Union High social studies instructor Katie Mack has been named the head boys coach following the retirement of former coach T.J. Mead. Under Mead, CVU won four Division 1 crowns in eight seasons.

This past fall was the first year as girls’ head soccer coach for Stan Williams, who led the Redhawks to an undefeated Division 1 championship after taking over from retired Brad Parker, who netted one of several titles in 2012.

Mack has a long and impressive soccer pedigree.

She played intercollegiate soccer at Drew University in Madison, N.J., where she was a three-year starter.

She ran the Burlington Parks and Recreation soccer program for several years and has been coaching club soccer since 2004.

She took over the boys program at BFA and in 2010 took the Bullets to the Division 3 championship contest. She was named Division 3 coach of the year in 2010 and 2011 and Vermont coach of the year in 2011.

She is possibly the first female to formally coach a boys team in Vermont, but given the murky, undocumented history of the early years of high school sports in the state, that cannot be said for certain.

Mead, whose grandfather Dave Bremner started the CVU soccer program and brought it to prominence, led the Redhawks to 116 wins in his tenure after taking over from Dan Shepardson, who forged a string of titles.

“It’s a great opportunity to build on their legacies,” Mack told the media.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


Reb-Hawks rocking in girls hockey


 Molly Dunphy battles for the puck during last Wednesday’s game against Spaulding High. Dunphy scored two goals, leading the Reb-Hawks to a 7-3 home triumph. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

Molly Dunphy battles for the puck during last Wednesday’s game against Spaulding High. Dunphy scored two goals, leading the Reb-Hawks to a 7-3 home triumph. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

The Champlain Valley Union High-South Burlington High cooperative girls hockey team is thus far a shaking and baking enterprise.

The Reb-Hawks took a 3-1 record into Wednesday’s contest against Colchester High at Burlington’s Leddy Arena, after the Observer’s press deadline. In its four games, the team had knocked in 22 goals while allowing 11.

Road games are also on the CVU-SB docket for Saturday at Missisquoi Valley Union (6 p.m.) and Monday at Stowe High (5:45 p.m.).

Last Saturday, the Reb-Hawks laid a 7-2 rapping on Harwood Union in Waterbury as rampaging Sarah Fisher fired home three goals and added two assists while Molly Dunphy, also on a tear, added two goals plus a helper.

Courtney Barrett had two goals and an assist, while netminder Courtney Peyko had 19 stops between the pipes.

The previous Wednesday, Fisher blew out Spaulding High almost by herself, potting four scores and assisting on two others in the Reb-Hawks’ 7-3 home triumph.

The output lifted Fisher to 14 points in just three outings.

Dunphy chalked up a pair of goals and assisted on three others. She has six goals in four contests.

Barrett scored a goal and assisted on two.

Peyko had 23 saves while her teammates unloaded 40 shots on the Crimson Tide’s net.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent


Rice Memorial next for CVU hoop boys after win

CVU senior forward Lucas Aube takes a shot during Saturday’s game against Essex High. (Observer photos by Al Frey)

CVU senior forward Lucas Aube takes a shot during Saturday’s game against Essex High. (Observer photos by Al Frey)

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Standing between the Champlain Valley Union High boys’ basketball team and a second straight victory? It’s annual Division 1 title challenger Rice Memorial High.

The Green Knights will be at Bremner Gym Thursday. Tip off for the initial meeting with new CVU coach Michael Osborne’s charges is 7 p.m.

The skipper got his first CVU victory Tuesday, a 43-27 rapping of visiting Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans which departed Hinesburg with an 0-2 record.

The Redhawks evened their mark at 1-1. Essex High had put on a late splurge Saturday afternoon to trip the ‘Hawks 53-41 in the opener for both teams.

Tuesday, after trailing 16-15 following a loose, mistake-prone first half by both teams, the Redhawks took the game from the floor to the boards and took charge, outscoring the Bobwhites 16-5 in the third period.

CVU pounded the glass without mercy, getting second and third shots as big Lucas Aube and Brandon O’Connell combined for 32 rebounds, Aube snaring 18 to go with his game high of 16 points. O’Connell hit for nine tallies and 14 grabs from the glass.

Prior to the third quarter, the game had been a continual flurry of turnovers due to wayward passes, forced errors and presses by both hard-working defenses.

Proving the old roundball saying, “What the defense giveth you, the offense can taketh away,” CVU turned the ball over 18 times in the first half to 15 for BFA.

Once past mid-court in the first half, the Redhawks tried long-range bombs to crack BFA’s zone, but only Matt Howell was able to snap the cords with a trey, that in the first period as the target basket was in frosty condition. Howell’s was the game’s lone three-point strike.

CVU’s miscues continued in the third period, but the Redhawks pounded the boards and took advantage of offensive rebounds plus a late pair of hoops by Ryan Schneiderman, which allowed CVU to take a 31-21 advantage into the final reel.

The Redhawks’ scrambling defense limited the Bobwhites to 25 percent shooting on 10 hoops in just 40 tries. Forward Tyler Paya led with eight points and Matt Sanders, also a front court guy, had seven.

CVU, had a chilly first 16 minutes from the floor, netting just five of 23 shots. But the second half was much better, 11 for 24 to gain a 34 percent 16 of 47 for the game. Free throws, however, were a shaky 10 for 23.

Turnovers were a plague for CVU against Essex as the Hornets shook off an inconsistent first three quarters to lay a 20-8 slam on the Redhawks in the closing eight minutes to whiff the sweet smell of success.

CVU coughed up the ball seven times in the critical quarter and allowed Essex to go to the line for 10 charity shots, of which the Hornets sank nine.

Essex forward Eniz Camdzic had nine of his 24 points in that final stanza. Guard Cody Greene collected six of his 14 down the stretch, four at the line.

Aube paced CVU with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Reiss had nine points and O’Connell eight with six rebounds.

Coach Seth Emerson’s junior varsity ‘Hawks are a sparkling 2-0 after bopping Essex and BFA by similar 45-35 scores.

December Young Writers Project: Unique

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net).

YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to donate to YWP, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support.

This week, students responded to the prompt “Unique: What is something unique or special that you can do?”


The Eyebrow Trick 

By Naomi Diamond 

Grade 6, Williston Central School

If there’s one cool trick I can always do at any time, it is raising my eyebrows. Now I’m not talking about both going up and down and up and down. I’m talking about one at a time, one side up, and then the other side up and down like a seesaw. I learned how to raise my eyebrows like that at Sugarbush. There was a really funny lady who sat down with us. She started asking me questions like: Can you twitch your nose? Can you raise one eyebrow? And that’s when I learned to do one eyebrow, except to get the other one up took a lot of practice.


Magical Place

By Hailey Chase

Grade 5, Williston Central School

Something unique that I do is I go to a magical place or sit down outside near water or woods and I erase myself. I go to this place by first shutting my eyes and imagining that my whole body is being erased, finger by finger, and then when it gets to my head—that is the hard part. I have to erase all of my thoughts until there is nothing – then you’re in that magical place.

You can do anything and everything in your magical place. You can ride on magical animals, eat magical food and do anything magical.

If you meet magical people, you can trust them—if your land has good magic and if there is bad magic—well, you can decide what you do. When you are no longer in that magical place, you are refreshed. You are even a whole new person.



By Emily Marvin

Grade 6, Williston Central School

I play guitar, piano and flute. I also sing a little. Every Wednesday I have a guitar lesson with my teacher Julian. I also play in the jazz band at school… I couldn’t live without music!

‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign underway

Vermont’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program reminds motorists that there will be an increased number of police patrols participating in the federally funded “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign. In an effort to deter impaired driving, communities across Vermont will see additional checkpoints and patrols throughout the New Year holiday.

Each year, Thanksgiving starts the holiday season and Vermonters see an increase in traffic that continues through the New Year celebration. The American Automobile Association predicts an even greater number of motorists taking to the roads this season. In addition to the increased volume of traffic, motorists, busy completing holiday chores or visiting relatives, may be more distracted than usual. Some simple tips can help to avoid a tragedy during the holidays.

Think ahead. If you anticipate consuming alcohol, have a plan. Select a designated driver, use public transportation or another strategy to get to your destination and home safely. Do not drink and drive.

Always make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seatbelts before you start your trip. Smaller children are required to be in approved safety seats and properly restrained.

Try eliminating distractions. Make a conscious effort to remain fully focused on driving safely. Do not use a cellphone or text while driving.

Be aware of winter conditions (snow, ice, sleet, wind) that may make your trip more hazardous. Allow a little extra time to reach your destination.

Watch for pedestrians and try to anticipate their actions. Remember, there are still bicyclists traveling the roadways—be alert and use care when passing them and share the road.

Speeding increases the severity of crashes. Obey speed limits and use common sense when driving in adverse weather conditions. Slow down.

Make sure your vehicle is mechanically safe, with fully functional tires, brakes, windshield wipers and all other recommended safety maintenance. Clear the windshield of all ice and snow to allow maximum visibility.

So far this year, 62 people have lost their lives on Vermont roadways. This is an alarming increase in fatal crashes. Many families will miss loved ones at this holiday season. Sadly, investigations indicate more than 35 of those who died were not properly restrained at the time of the crashes. Take the one second to increase your family’s safety by always buckling up.

For more information, visit www.ghsp.vermont.gov or www.nhtsa.gov.

Little Details: io Saturnalia!

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

Deck the halls with laurel and evergreen. Hang mistletoe, invoking the mystery of this ancient symbol of fertility. Place a candle in your window, bringing light to the darkness. Jangle jingle bells, warding off evil spirits. Sing songs. Make merry. Suspend work. Give gifts. Feast in a mildly gluttonous way. Imbibe spiced and spirited libations.

In this season of celebration, I offer the salutation “io Saturnalia!” while reflecting on the roots of our Christmas traditions. Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival, celebrated Saturn, a god of agriculture. The Romans hosted a bevy of gods and goddesses in their polytheistic pantheon.

Saturnalia, a festival of light, presaged the winter solstice. The feast lasted from Dec. 17 to Dec. 23. The last day of the festival, Dec. 23, was reserved for gift-giving. Common presents included pottery, wax figurines, candles and even joke gifts. Christianity’s appearance and spread within Roman society eventually overtook pagan gods and rituals. That said, proponents of Christianity integrated local customs—including pagan rituals—in an effort to further their evangelical mission.

Pope Julius I (reign: 337-302 AD) successfully Christianized the pagan holiday when he declared Jesus’ birthday to have been Dec. 25. Before that time, Jesus’ birth was a bit of a “floating” holiday, in a historical sense.

Holidays do not simply happen. They evolve over time. They adjust to social and political conditions. They absorb bits and pieces of the contemporary. They cling to and cast off certain aspects of tradition. Remember those silver Christmas trees of the 1970s, made of plastic?

We have more than the Romans to thank for our Christmas holiday traditions. Ancient Druids blessed logs and burned them for twelve days during the winter solstice. Our Christmas season officially ends on the Feast of the Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. Does this sound reminiscent of the song Twelve Days of Christmas? It should.

Vikings had their Yule log. Odin, the Norse god, is thought to be one of many inspirations for Santa Claus. St. Nicholas (270-343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, shares the stage as a source of origin for the chubby fellow with rosy cheeks, white beard, generous girth and a sack filled with toys.

British Parliament outlawed Christmas in 1647 in the midst of England’s Civil War. Caroling and gift-giving were forbidden as “heathen” practices.

The Puritans who came to America for religious freedom were not a particularly tolerant bunch. They forbade Christmas trees.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) receives some credit for rekindling Christmas traditions in England. She married Prince Albert of Germany in 1840. Albert brought with him the German tradition of a brightly decorated Christmas tree.

Legend maintains that, each Christmas, an evergreen was brought to the Royal Family’s living quarters at Windsor Castle. Victoria and Albert decorated the tree themselves, adorning it with candles and gingerbread cookies before inviting their children in to witness the pine-scented splendor all aglow. Is it any surprise that Charles’ Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was published as the holiday experienced renewed interest in merry old England?

I’ve been to Christmas and Chanukah celebrations which bring light to this, the darkest time of our year. With a bow to the past and our shared pagan roots, I wish you “io Saturnalia,” Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, was a 2013 finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism. Reader comments are welcome at Editor@willistonobserver.com or LittleDetailsCol@yahoo.com.