April 19, 2015

Maine trip next for CVU’s boys lacrosse team


After opening the season with three games in five days, the Champlain Valley Union High boys lacrosse team had a two-day break following Wednesday’s (Observer press time) scheduled home opener against South Burlington High.

The defending Division 1 champion Redhawks are on to Maine Saturday for a session against Cape Elizabeth High. They will then have vacation week off until the following Saturday when they go to Mount Mansfield Union.

The season thus far has been two overtime contests and two narrow losses prior to the South Burlington match.

The April 9 spring opener at Colchester High was postponed.

Monday at Hanover, N.H., CVU trailed by two goals with just 18 seconds left in regulation and scrambled back to force the overtime before falling to the Marauders, 12-11.

Senior midfielder Elliott Mitchell unleashed a trio of scores for the Redhawks while junior Matt Palmer and sophomore Owen McCuin each fired two goals. Freshman Walter Braun, sophomore Charlie Bernicke, junior Kyle Jaunich and senior Cam Rivard netted singletons.

Goalie Matt Murakami had 11 stops in the Redhawks’ cage.

On Saturday, It was a case of being unable to protect a two-goal lead in the fourth quarter that did in CVU in a 10-9 overtime loss at Essex High. The Redhawks had recovered and taken the lead from a 7-4 deficit at intermission.

The Hornets’ veteran Brendan Gleason scored the game winner, which gave him three goals and a pair of assists for the day.

McCuin notched three goals for CVU. Palmer and junior Dylan Schaefer each potted a pair. A busy Murakami came up with 16 saves in the CVU net.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Tennis teams meet Essex Thursday


The Champlain Valley Union High boys and girls tennis teams carried 2-0 records into Wednesday’s matches with South Burlington High, which had been postponed from last Thursday.

The boys were at South Burlington while the girls were at their home Shelburne Davis Park courts for an exchange of serves with the Rebels.

The girls are then scheduled to play host to Essex High Thursday afternoon while the boys visit the Hornets at the Junction. Then it is a week off for vacation.

In knocking off Rice Memorial 6-1 Monday, George Lomas, Ivan Llone, Justin Hameline and Ben Hyams won their singles matches while the teams of David Huber-Stephen Asch and Jack Zullo-Nathan Walker prevailed in doubles.

The girls blanked the Green Knights 7-0.

Sisters Kathy and Stephanie Joseph were singles victors, along with Elyse Killkelley, Mackenzie Buckman and Isabelle Angstman.

The duos of Erika Barth-Meara Heininger and Renee Dauerman-Kendall Blanck scored victories in doubles.

Last Friday, the girls topped Burlington High 6-1 at Davis Park while the boys were 6-1 winners at the BHS courts at Leddy Park.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Spring Redhawks Roundup


A look at the spring 2015 athletic season

Champlain Valley Union High coaches provide a preview of their teams and season outlook.


Coach: Tim Albertson

Key returning veterans: Rayne Supple; Deagan Poland; Will Potter; Shea Ireland; Sam Mikell; Jack Dugan; Dan Poodiack

Leading newcomers: Too early to tell

Season prospects: We return a strong core of seniors and juniors from last year’s team. The pitching staff has plenty of depth. We return a plan of strong bats and fielders. Should be a good year.


Head Coach: Seth Emerson; Assistant Coach: Mike Burris

Key returning veterans: Carter Knox; Ted Hadley; Nick Cresta; Tripp Norris; Will McAllister; Will Ryan

Leading newcomers: Demetri Morrissey

Season prospects: Good core of guys coming back. Top four in sectionals would be great, qualifying us for the state tournament and then play well in the state tournament and see where we finish.

Boys Lacrosse

Coach: Dave Trevithick

Key returning veterans: Elliott Mitchell (senior midfield); Sam Wilkins (senior defense); Greg Talbert (senior defense)

Leading newcomers: Brandon Young (junior midfield); Mason Cohn (junior midfield); Matt Murakami (sophomore goalie)

Season prospects: CVU lost 11 players to graduation and prep school, but return five senior defensemen that will have to anchor the defense with a new goalie. Sophomore Matt Murakami and senior Chris Gronlund will battle for the starting goalie job trying to replace three-year starter Owen Hudson. Finding reliable depth will be the key for the Redhawks as they try to defend their championship.

Girls Lacrosse

Head Coach: Becca Weiss, assistant coach: Chris Long

Key returning veterans: Lily Schmoker (senior middie and co-captain), Bea Woodruff (senior defense and co-captain), Bailee Pudvar (junior goalie) and several juniors (midfielders, defenders and attackers)

Leading newcomers: CVU girl’s lacrosse graduated 10 seniors in 2014 so there are many newcomers poised to make their mark on this year’s varsity team. We have a few freshmen, a sophomore and several juniors who are being added to the 2015 roster.

Season prospects: With a new varsity coach and many new players, it’s hard to predict. Once the team is able to go outside and practice and play on fields (versus the gym), it will be easier to gauge.


Coaches: Paul Potter; Ron Gagnon; Jason Reed

Key returning veterans: Elizabeth Boutin; Natalie Gagnon; Bronwen Hopwood; Makayla Merchant; Claire Potter; Kate Songer

Leading newcomers: Hattie Roberts; Lila Ottinger; Riley Brown; Emily Gagnon; Paige Niarchos

Season prospects: CVU softball is excited about continuing to improve its program by developing some great talent. In addition, we have nine freshmen softball players on the JV team this year!

Boys Tennis 

Coach: Frank Babbott

Key returning veterans: George Lomas, Co-Captains Nathan Comai and David Huber, along with Ethan Leonard, Stephen Asch, Justin Hameline, Ben Hyams and William Walker.

Leading newcomers: CVU has new faces, from freshman to seniors.

Season prospects: CVU has good depth and talent this year. The upper level competition this season from other schools is very tough. High school tennis has definitely taken a major turn upwards. I expect CVU to have a productive season as all players will be given the chance to participate in different matches. What we need is some decent weather!

Girls Tennis

Coach:  Amy deGroot

Key returning veterans: MacKenzie Buckman (senior); Isabelle Angstman (junior); Kathy Joseph (junior) and Elyse Killkelley (junior). 

Leading newcomers: Kendall Blanck (freshman); Renee Dauerman (freshman) and Stephanie Joseph (freshman).

Season Prospects: We expect CVU to be one of the top teams in the state. Our singles lineup is strong with returning Kathy Joseph, the number one player in the state, and at number two, her sister, Stephanie. The three other singles players, Elyse Killkelley, MacKenzie Buckman and Isabelle Angstman, all return to similar spots in the lineup. For doubles, we have four players from last year’s team (Meara Heininger, Sara Erickson, Erika Barth and Maia Bertrand), all of whom played doubles regularly in the lineup last year. Added to that are four strong freshmen (Renee Dauerman, Kendall Blanck, Megan Watson and Madeline Huber), making this group deep with players and ripe with talent.  

Track & Field

Coaches: Tova Tomasi; Scott Bliss; Ryan Robitaille; Cory Coffey and King Milne

Key returning veterans: Boys: Zach Akey; Tawn Tomasi (sprints); Richard Tegatz (throws) and Tyler Marshall (distance).

Girls: Naomi Burhans; Malina Carroll (sprints); Sophia Gorman; Carly Neeld; Abby Keim; Leah Berger (distance)

Leading newcomers: Boys: Richard Baccei (sprints)

Girls: Sierra Morton (sprints); Marlee Gunn (throws); Jennifer Ireland; Jane Servin (distance)

Season prospects: Both teams will be hoping for top five finishes at the state meet.

Midfielder Lily Schmoker:  Girls lacrosse looking good


By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

In the wake of last year’s losing season, things are turning around for the Champlain Valley Union High girls’ lacrosse team.

No doubt about it, according to senior co-captain Lily Schmoker, whose view from midfield sees a strong campaign ahead.

The Redhawks entered this week 1-0 after a season-opening 14-13 victory at Rutland High last Tuesday (April 7), a game they pulled out in the second half after trailing at halftime.

“We really started to click in the second half,” said Schmoker, noting that it was the team’s first time outside on a full field. Plus, the Rutland High field is artificial turf.

A Friday game at Rice Memorial High was postponed to May 15. With the sun shining on a cool but nice last Thursday afternoon at CVU, hopes were high that the Hinesburg fields would soon be playable.

The Redhawks are slated to open their home schedule Thursday afternoon against Colchester High.

“For us (to play on CVU fields) it is going to take another week,” Schmoker said. Given the right mix of warm sun and breezes, Thursday’s scheduled home contest might be doable.

“Our team is going to be great this year,” she predicted. “We have clicked in practice and we have great chemistry.”

New head coach this season is Becca Weiss, who has moved up from junior varsity. For Schmoker, it marks the renewal of a long time relationship.

“Becca Weiss was my coach when I started playing in the fifth grade,” Schmoker said. She played for Weiss at Williston Central School through the eighth grade before moving on to CVU.

Weiss believes Schmoker has the skills necessary for her co-captain’s leadership role.

“Lily has the athletic capacity to lead on the field and personal capacity to lead off the field,” the coach said. In addition, “she is a fast runner, has great endurance (and) plays in the midfield which connects the defensive end with the offensive end.”

Schmoker also played a central role in the field hockey team that fell to Essex High in the state championship game last fall.

This spring, Schmoker sees her midfield position as vital when the team transitions from defense to offense and vice versa.

“I am able to see the entire field and learn where teammates are for setting up the offense,” she said.

“Somewhat like a coach on the field?” she was asked.

“Very similar,” was the response.

With most of last year’s team back, Schmoker pointed out that additional help has come from three freshmen plus a solid junior varsity squad from two years ago.

She hopes games are “fast paced,” she said. “It is really rewarding when the team is working together.”

Schmoker said the girls playing without pads are subject to rules that are there for player safety, making for a different game from the boys’ version with pads and contact.

Would Schmoker like to put on the protective gear and play the boys’ game?

“Yes,” came the quick answer. “I could be more aggressive.”

Pitcher Rayne Supple:  Heat from the mound


By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

As of late last week, a veteran Champlain Valley Union High baseball team was hoping to get in an outdoor practice before Tuesday’s season opener at Mount Mansfield Union High (now postponed to next Monday).

Among the team members was senior co-captain Rayne Supple, who will be a veteran pitching and shortstop presence for coach Tim Albertson’s Redhawks.

“Rayne is a leader on and off the field,” said Albertson via e-mail. “He has worked hard since last season and made everybody around him better.”

Last year, Supple’s fog-producing fastballs were clocked at 88 miles per hour during a mid-season start at CVU.

So this year?

“My arm feels good,” he told the Williston Observer last Thursday. “My velocity is better than last year.”

Holy mitt-popping, Batman. Plate umps will be calling balls and strikes by sound rather than sight.

And while heat is neat, it is by keeping down the pitch count that pitchers can best control a game.

“My curve ball, when it is working, is one of my best out pitches,” Supple said.

The tea leaves indicate that the new season can be a solid one for the Redhawks. Supple said they lost just three position players by graduation and have some good talent up from the junior varsity.

‘We also have some good, lively pitching arms,” he said.

Albertson likes this team, calling it “a close group of guys,” motivated to improve daily.

This is Supple’s third varsity season, and next year he will be hoping to break into the pitching rotation at Wake Forest University in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference. He committed to the school during his junior year.

“They (coaches) saw me pitch at a showcase camp in Florida and made it clear they were interested,” Supple recalled. “One of their coaches came up to one of our games last spring after I had committed.”

A busy basketball season during which Supple was a three-way force in scoring, rebounding and defense for the Redhawks has helped his pre-baseball season conditioning.

“Basketball is a really good conditioner for baseball,” he said. “The running keeps your legs in shape and helps with endurance.”

And look out when Supple takes the bludgeon (bat) in hand.

“I’m stronger this year. I should have more power,” he said.

CVU’s home opener is Thursday afternoon with South Burlington High the scheduled foe, field conditions permitting.