A sports year in review
Jan. 7, 2010
By Greg Duggan
Athletes at Champlain Valley Union High carried on the school’s winning tradition in 2009, appearing in a slew of title contests and taking home a large collection of championship hardware.
Boys hockey captures Division 1 title
The boys hockey squad set the pace for Champlain Valley Union High’s other teams by capturing the Division 1 trophy.
The title game featured a rematch from 2008, when Essex High bested the Redhawks for the school’s third straight championship. But in 2009, CVU came out on top with a 2-1 triumph at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Field House.
Robbie Dobrowski and Tim Reichert scored the goals for CVU, which also benefitted from an airtight defense.
CVU finished the season at 14-6-3, winning its first Division 1 hockey title since 2002.
Tennis teams advance to finals
CVU’s tennis teams had the school’s most successful seasons in the spring.
Led by senior Cassie Smith, the girls team dominated competition, rolling through opponents on the way to the Division 1 championship. The girls took on Burlington High in the title matches, winning 4-3 at Davis Park in Shelburne in June. It was a pleasant finish for coach Chris Hood, who closed out his final season with the team.
Smith capped off a stellar high school career by winning the individual state championship for the second straight year. She never lost a match in Vermont during her last two seasons, and lost just a single set in 2009.
Kylie de Groot also finished with an undefeated season.
The boys tennis team also played in the finals at Davis Park. The top-seeded Redhawks faced South Burlington for the title. Though CVU had twice defeated South Burlington in the regular season, the surging Rebels knocked off the Redhawks 5-2 in the championship.
Fall athletes compile dominant seasons
The fall of 2009 was one for the ages at CVU. Five teams advanced to state championship events, and the school came home with two titles.
Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer captains (from left) Tino Tomasi, Nick Hart, Andrew Blake and Chris Beaton hold the Division 1 boys soccer state championship trophies after defeating Burr and Burton Academy, 2-0, in Burlington in November.
After a one-year hiatus, the boys soccer team returned to its title form. Playing at Burlington High against Burr and Burton Academy for the Division 1 title, the Redhawks put together a 2-0 triumph. Senior midfielder Dylan Crow set up both goals, scored by junior Tino Tomasi in the first half and junior Mike Clayton in the second half. The win gave the boys their seventh crown in eight years.
The girls cross country team, which had lost its top spot in 2008, also recaptured the state crown. CVU finished with 69 points in the team totals at the Division 1 meet, followed by Stratton Mountain with 78 and defending champion Essex High at 102 in the 12-school competition.
On the boys cross country side, CVU’s Zach Pete captured the individual state title in Division 1.
The CVU field hockey team, which won the state title in 2008, seemed destined to do so again in 2009. Using a powerful offense and suffocating defense, the Redhawks rolled through an undefeated regular season while advancing to the Division 1 championship game. Playing at Castleton State College, the girls faced Hartford High in a rematch of the 2008 championship. In 2009, however, Hartford had the last laugh. On a rainy Saturday, the Redhawks failed to net a goal, and fell 1-0 to Hartford.
CVU’s girls soccer team also made a valiant attempt for a title before running into familiar postseason foe Burlington High. The Seahorses bumped the Redhawks from the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. Last year was no different, as the Seahorses held off CVU 1-0 to capture the Division 1 championship in a game played at Burlington High.
The football team at CVU made a strong statement to the rest of Vermont in 2009. After being bumped up to Division 2 — despite failing to make the Division 3 playoffs in 2008 — the Redhawks had tempered expectations for 2009. But once the season opened, CVU started winning. And then winning some more. And soon enough, after losing just once in the regular season, the Redhawks found themselves in the Division 2 championship. CVU couldn’t pull off the upset of undefeated Colchester High, but nevertheless proved it belongs in the new division.