September 19, 2014

Mini Metro tryouts coming up


Observer staff report

Tryouts begin next week for the Mini Metro League.

Mini Metro is a competitive basketball league with teams from area high school districts. The Mini Metro season runs from early November through mid-February, with one or two practices during the week and games on Sundays. Boys and girls teams are fielded for a fifth and sixth grade division and a seventh and eighth grade division. The Champlain Valley Union High School teams are made up of players from Charlotte, Hinesburg, St. George, Shelburne and Williston. Tryouts for seventh and eighth grade boys are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tryouts for seventh and eighth grade girls are set for Monday, Sept. 22 and Wednesday, Sept. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tryouts for fifth and sixth grade boys are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 28   from 3 to 5 p.m. and  Tuesday, Sept. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tryouts for fifth and sixth grade girls are set for Monday, Sept. 29 and Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tryouts will be held at the CVU gym.

For more information, visit

CVU harriers in BFA event Saturday


By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

Coach Scott Bliss and his Champlain Valley Union High cross country teams will be laying down feet on Vermont ground Saturday after getting a dash of regional competition last Friday in the Empire State.

Coming up for the Redhawks Saturday afternoon (1 p.m.) will be a Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans hosted event at Hard’ack.

Last weekend it was a run against top competition in the Springstead Invitational at Colonie Town Park just north of Albany, N.Y.

“Things went pretty well considering (we were) facing a top 10 girls team in the USA and four of the top teams in New York,” Bliss told the Observer by e-mail.

CVU’s boys team finished fourth among 10 competing teams, while the girls were fifth among 11.

The top Redhawk finisher was the boys’ Tyler Marshall, a sophomore, who came in the sixth. Another CVU sophomore, Calvin McClellan was 18th, followed by Elliott Eastman (20th), Tyler Wong (25th), Justin McAuliffe (32nd) and Burke Spillane (37th).

Sophomore Sophia Gorman led the CVU girls with a ninth place finish as the winning team, Saratoga Springs High, gobbled up seven of the top 10 finishing slots.

CVU’s Carly Neeld was 21st and Meara Heininger 27th. Next came Emma Putre (32nd), Abby Keim (37th), Evelyn Needham (38th) and Jennifer Ireland (40th).

“It was a great experience for us,” Bliss said.

CVU girls take 5-0 soccer mark into Spirit Day clash


By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With a 2014 five-game win streak in tow, the Champlain Union High defending Division 1 champion girls soccer team awaits the Spirit Day invasion of Spaulding High Saturday for a noontime collision on the Hinesburg pitch.

The Crimson Tide from Barre popped Rutland High 3-1 Tuesday, while coach Stan Williams’ Redhawks were dispatching last year’s title game foe Essex High 3-0 at CVU.

The Red and White controlled play throughout, owning a 17-3 advantage in shots on goal.

“Yeah, it is better,” said Williams, who has been hoping for better offensive cohesion in the early season games. He said he made some position adjustments at halftime and the second half showed improvement with solid scoring opportunities.

The final 40 minutes included goals by CVU’s Sierra Morton and Paige DuBrul after Audrey Allegretta (from Morton) slammed home the lone first half tally.

The pointer by DuBrul, midway through the second half, took Essex back to last November. It was the then junior midfielder who scored the lone goal in the CVU championship victory that put the final touch on an 18-0 season and third straight crown.

CVU netminder Maddie Turneau made three stops in compiling her fourth blank job in five starts.

The Hornets are 3-2.

Last Wednesday, the Redhawks rolled up a 5-1 home victory over South Burlington High (1-5). The scoring was spread five ways with Allegretta, Morton, Catherine Cazayoux, Naomi Burhans and Lindsay Kimball the goal getters.

Spaulding is Spirit Day foe for boys soccer team


The Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team took a three-game win streak into their Wednesday contest against 0-3 Harwood Union High at Duxbury, where the Highlanders have been difficult in the past.

Coach Katie Mack’s Redhawks combine returns to the hills of Hinesburg Saturday morning for its second home contest of the campaign, a 10 a.m. Spirit Day session against Spaulding High of Barre.

Last Friday, CVU rolled into Middlebury Union High’s complex and rolled out with a 4-0 blanking of the Tigers, on whom they fired 18 shots.

Max Brown cut loose with a pair of goals and a helper. Josh Prue and Richard Baccei also scored for the Redhawks, who have won three games following a season-opening 2-1 loss to a veteran Rice Memorial High team.

—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent

CVU field hockey team out to resume winning ways

CVU's Lydia Maitland controls the ball during Friday's game against Essex. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

CVU’s Lydia Maitland controls the ball during Friday’s game against Essex. (Observer photo by Al Frey)

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With a 1-0 blanking by previously winless Mount Mansfield Union Tuesday in Hinesburg, the Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team travels to Mount Abraham in Bristol Thursday (4 p.m.), hoping to end a two-game scoreless string.

Coach Kate McDonald’s 2-1-1 Redhawks return home Saturday to meet South Burlington High at 10 a.m., part of the annual Spirit Day games.

CVU’s last score came Sept. 10 in a 1-0 evening victory at Burlington High. The scoring drought began last Friday, as Essex came to the Hawks’ nest for a zip-zip deadlock.

But Tuesday’s affair was a session of missed opportunities for CVU, which buzzed frequently around the Cougars’ cage but could not get a stick on the ball at the right time.

MMU goalie Julia Preston had six stops, five of those in the first half. In the second half, the Redhawks continued to storm the Mount Mansfield net but while the ball was around the goal mouth on several occasions, the MMU defenders were able to nullify potential shots.

The game’s lone goal came midway through the first half, when an MMU shot bounced high in the air over CVU goalie Tashia Pashby-Rockwood and off the crossbar to the stick of an alert Margaret Thompson who quickly fired the ball into the goal, a shot on which Pashby-Rockwood had no chance.

Lily Schmoker, Kate Burke and Sami Harvey were among Redhawks who had good scoring opportunities thwarted by MMU and bounces.

CVU co-captain Katherine Scotnicki paced a defense that had an edge in territorial play.

Paige Manning, coach of the 1-2-1 Cougars, said her team has been working on finishing off on the offensive end.

All it took was one play for the win.

Their mojo back, CVU gridders to take on Hilltoppers


By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The previously 0-2 Champlain Valley Union High football Redhawks returned to the land of the victorious with a bamboozler of a triumph Friday night at Burlington High, and this week, with new confidence, are preparing for a visit Saturday to 2-0 St. Johnsbury Academy.

“St. Johnsbury is a team to be aware of this year,” CVU head coach Jim Provost said Sunday. “They are well coached and have more kids returning than other teams.”

After CVU wrapped up a 56-6 win Friday night for a 1-2 record, St. Johnsbury, at home Saturday afternoon, polished off Mount Mansfield Union 43-20 as quarterback Colton Hudson completed 26 of 38 passes for a whopping 372 yards and five touchdowns.

The Hilltoppers’ other victory came in the season opener, a 20-7 thumbs-upper over Rutland High. In a game to be completed, St. Johnsbury led Bellows Free Academy 28-3 in the third quarter, when play was suspended by lighting at the St. Albans field.

For CVU Friday, it was the ground game that rumbled all night over the Buck Hard Field turf as the Redhawks offensive line opened huge gaps for quarterback Andrew Bortnick (145 yards) and halfback Richard Lowrey (123) to pound away for a combined gain of 268 yards.

And the blitzkrieg did not stop there. CVU finished the night with 362 yards over land and 23 first downs as reserve quarterback Jake Evans (8 carries, 75 yards) and running back Brandon Young (4 lugs, 21 yards) tore up turf late in the game.

The running room creators were the line of, from left tackle to right, Graeme Waples, Sam Belisle, Kiernan Kittredge, Bijan Motia and Sam Lewis, with Jack Zahn also getting in some blocks.

“The kids really executed well Friday night,” said a proud Provost.

It took no time at all for the Redhawks to take charge of matters.

CVU took the opening kickoff at its 27 yard line, lost a couple of yards on the first play, and then marched 75 yards in 11 plays, with Bortnick picking up 65 yards on eight keepers, running in untouched from the 4 to register the initial score.

And that set the stage for the remainder of the evening.

Bortnick finished with two touchdowns plus an 18-yard scoring pitch to end Sam Mikell. Lowrey dashed for three scores while Evans and Young each found the end zone once.

Kicker Tanner Smith split the uprights on six of seven extra point attempts.

Provost called it “a complete team win,” noting that the kickoff coverage was much better and the defense was able to get pressure on the Burlington High quarterbacks, which crippled the Seahorses’ vaunted aerial attack.

The lone BHS touchdown came with 29 seconds left in the third quarter and CVU leading 49-0. Substitute quarterback Jackson Macdonald hit receiver Connor Plante with a 30-yard paydirt pitch.

Burlington finished with just seven completions in 22 tries with one interception (by Mason Cohn). The Seahorses’ starting signal caller, sophomore Peter Labracio,left the game with an injured arm late in the second period.

The Redhawks were missing two-way starter Matt Goldsborough (line, linebacker) along with back Jack Zullo and lineman Nick Fecteau. As to when they return Provost said Sunday, “it is up in the air.”