Champlain Valley Union High School coaches provide a glimpse of their teams for the winter season.
Head coach: Mike Minnerly, ninth year
Key returning veterans: Girls: Dana Kaufman; Emma Putre; Cassidy McGlaflin; Sarah Caffry. Boys: Mark DesLauriers; Ted Hadley; Will Colomb; Zach Holman; Skye Golann.
Leading newcomers: Girls: Jaime Johnson; Samantha Provost; Emma Owens; Natalie Franklin; Sydney McGlaflin. Boys: Boomer Vazquez
Season prospects: We are young! Very young. With over 30 athletes, we have only three seniors and three juniors. Having said that, we will be just fine. Our returning boys will carry the load and we should fare well. Our girls could be something to watch. We have several young girls who could really surprise us. I suspect the beginning of the season could be rough, but we will mature as a team and should finish strong.
Head coach: Scott Bliss, sixth year
Key returning veterans: Brad Bissonette; Scott Bissonette; Joe Chevalier; Lucas Aube; Ryan Beaudry; Austin Busch; Wes Carroll; Hans Lynn; Layne Waples.
Leading newcomers: Zack Evans; Ed Myers; Brandon O’Connell.
Season prospects: We should be pretty competitive. We return nine players and when we get everyone healthy we should be able to compete with most metro teams.
Coach: Ute Otley, second year
Key returning veterans: Emily Kinneston, junior; Kaelyn Kohlasch, junior
Leading newcomers: Too early to tell.
Season prospects: CVU girls basketball expects a rebuilding year after graduating six of its top eight players from a team that went 20-4 last season. Kinneston returns to lead the Redhawks after earning second team all-state honors as a sophomore. She will be joined by three mature seniors, a slew of fundamentally sound juniors and two athletic freshmen. Coach Otley is cautiously optimistic about her young team’s potential.
Head coach: Bob Abbott, first year.
Assistant coach:Kiley Boureau.
Key returning veterans: The team consists of 17 girls with five returning seniors and three strong incoming freshmen. Captains Madison Bourdeau, Grace Carey and Megan Kloeckner will help lead this team for another strong year. Two powerhouse juniors, Megan Nick and Sarah Kinsley, will provide strength.
Leading newcomers: Strong incoming freshman Jackie Casson, Caroline Hern and Jessie Johnson will create some experience depth to the lineup.
Season prospects: Last year, CVU fell just .25 of a point short of the state title. Returning upperclassmen Sarah Gerry, Marcella Consiglio and Olivia Arms will also be adding to the strength and depth of the team. The season outlook seems strong, but injuries always play a part. The number one goal from the coaching staff this season is to stay healthy.
Boys ice hockey
Coach: Mike Murray, fourth year
Key returning veterans: Alex Bulla, junior and captain; Kaleb Godbout, sophomore; Brendan Gannon, junior; Will Bernicke, junior; Cam Rivard, sophomore.
Leading newcomers: Jack Hall, freshman; Ryan Keelan, freshman; Drew Pitcher, freshman; Jake Garrett, senior.
Season prospects: The team expects to return to a position of contending for the league championship. It is a young squad, with only four seniors.
Girls ice hockey
Coach: Ben Psaros, second year
Key returning veterans: Molly Dunphy, forward, junior; Randi-Lynn Katon, defense (Burlington High School, senior); Rachel Pitcher, defense, sophomore. Hannah Carpenter and Sylvie Shanks, team captains, seniors.
Leading newcomers: Tashia Pashby-Rockwood, goalie, freshman); Meghan Hanley, returning from a year off, forward.
Season prospects: Looking to build off last year’s learning and continue to understand the game of hockey. Only five girls have played the game of hockey outside of our program here at CVU. Most picked up the sport their freshman year and have basic skating skills, but lack the true knowledge of the game. That will be our team focus and goal this year—understanding the game.
Head coach: Sarah Strack
Assistant coaches: Eli Enman, James Donegan, Marina Dosch
Key returning veterans: A strong group of returning girls and boys from last year’s team. Girls returning from last year’s championship team include Cally Braun, Autumn Eastman, Emma Hamilton, Kayla Servin and Taylor Spillane. Returning boys include Thomas Clayton, Sean Delaney, Will Kay, Sam Longenbach and Emmett Peterson.
Leading newcomers: We have several new skiers to the team, key standouts right now include Forrest Hamilton and Tatum Braun.
Season prospects: We have our largest team ever of 80 skiers! Most of the new skiers are new to the sport. However, we have several skiers who raced in middle school, and key returning skiers. After one week of practice, it is clear we have strong leadership on the team to help guide such a large group. There are several team goals for this season, depending on past experience in the sport. Several groups of skiers want to learn the sport, while others want to improve to make the varsity or state team. At the highest competitive level, the team is hoping to repeat its success at the state championships for both the girls and the boys.
Coach: Gunnar Olson, third year
Key returning veterans: Connor Brown; Connor Gobielle; Alex Craige; Alex Legg; Grant Poston; Liam Bowley.
Leading newcomers: Kienan Kittredge; Alec Distler; Shaun Lussier; Brandon Young.
Season prospects: Third place in the all-state championship last year and we expect to exceed that this coming February. We expect to put at least five wrestlers in the state finals and we expect at least five champs. We hope to see the most successful season in the history of CVU wrestling.