Nov. 24, 2010By Mal Boright Observer correspondent
Apparently, it will be on to big boy football next autumn for the Champlain Valley Union High football team.
Last week, the Vermont Interscholastic Football League released its new divisional alignment, which moved CVU and three other 2010 Division 2 teams into an enlarged 14-team Division 1.
Colchester High, Middlebury Union High and Mount Mansfield Union High were the other teams being added to the top class.
The proposal still needs the approval of the Vermont Principals Association, which will act after the first of the year.
Whether going up a division will have much impact on the fortunes of the Redhawks is unknown. Some would say their Division 2 schedule in 2010 was big boy football in a very competitive division.
In two seasons of Division 2, the Redhawks, in their fourth and fifth years of varsity football, went to the championship contest in 2009 and a semifinal in 2010.
“This was no surprise,” CVU athletic director Kevin Riell said late last week.
He pointed out that the team under head coach Jim Provost has made the final four in its two seasons in the division while CVU has the largest boy population (710) of any Vermont high school.
Riell also noted that the youth feeder program is very vibrant and popular.
“It (the move up) will take some adjustment,” he added. “Don’t expect immediate success.”
Under the proposed realignment, Division 1 teams will play eight games with a ninth for a quarterfinal playoff round for the top eight. Those not in the great eight would play a game against another non-playoff team.
As presently formulated, the proposal would allow schools to play one non-division team, which might end the CVU-Rice Memorial rivalry given that Division 2 Rice would maintain its traditional contest against intra-city foe Burlington High of Division 1.
CVU’s budding rival might be Mount Mansfield Union for the Mountain Valley Bowl each year.
REDHAWKS IN NORTH-SOUTH CONTEST
Five members of the CVU football team were named to the North squad in Saturday’s North-South senior all-star game played at Castleton State College.
Quarterback and defensive back Konnor Fleming, halfback and defensive back J. P. Benoit, linebacker Eric Palmer and two-way linemen Cameron Fitzgerald and Dale Conger were the honored Redhawks. Fleming, still hobbled by a leg injury in the semifinal contest with Rice Memorial High, watched from the sidelines.
Old CVU foe Chris McCormick of Rice quarterbacked the North to a 74-48 victory by completing 19 of 28 pass attempts in amassing 347 yards and six scores.
Benoit hotfooted his way to some significant yardage, while Cameron, Conger and Palmer put the heat on the south’s signal callers with Palmer accounting for a pair of sacks and recovery of an onside kick.
— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent