May 6, 2010
By Mal Boright
The Vermont Chapter of the National Football Foundation Sunday night bestowed prestigious annual awards on two Champlain Valley Union High football figures.
Head Coach Jim Provost was named Vermont Coach of the Year after leading the Redhawks to the Division 2 title game, and senior end Matt Long was named PRIDE Player of the Year.
The awards were announced April 25 at a dinner at Castleton State College.
Provost, in his second season at CVU, led the Redhawks to the Division 2 championship game in the team’s fifth varsity campaign. It was also its first season in Division 2 after four years in Division 3.
“It was a great night for the whole program,” Provost said of the awards.
Long was a key player for the Redhawks, creating big plays from his defensive end position including making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks seeking time to throw, blocking punts and stopping runners cold.
“Matt was one of the most dominant players I have ever coached,” said Provost, who led Rice Memorial High to a state crown a few years ago. “He made big plays for us.”
Long has been named to the Vermont team in the annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl game in August between graduated seniors from Vermont and New Hampshire. He is the first CVU player to be named to the team.
In winning the PRIDE award, which stands for Personal Responsibility for Individual Daily Effort, Long edged out two other finalists: Essex High quarterback Max Librizzi and Windsor High’s Gavin Callahan.
There was another moment of joy for a Williston resident during the evening’s proceedings.
Provost’s mother, 84-year-old Beatrice, won two tickets to a New England Patriots home game this fall.
“She will definitely be going,” her son said.