By Mal Boright
For the third straight year, a Champlain Valley Union High girls’ basketball player has won the Vermont Player of the Year award from Gatorade.
The award went to junior forward Laurel Jaunich, who helped lead the Redhawks to their third straight Division 1 title and perfect 24-0 record. The CVU win streak is now at 71 games. The victory string began with Jaunich’s initial varsity game as a freshman.
Now a solid 6-foot-1 presence on the court, Jaunich averaged over 15 points a game while hauling down nearly seven rebounds per outing. She also had two steals per contest.
But it is not for basketball prowess alone that the Gatorade awards are bestowed. In the classrooms, Jaunich has some impressive numbers also—a 4.2 grade point average.
In the important factor of community service, Jaunich is a volunteer with the Salvation Army. She also works with youth basketball camps and is a member of CVU’s Environmental Action Club.
In the recent 41-23 championship victory over Essex High, Jaunich led all scorers with 16 points and rebounders with 10.
An additional award came Jaunich’s way Saturday at the Vermont North-South all-senior game in Windsor, when the Vermont Basketball Coaches’ Association named her the Girls’ Player of the Year.
The boys’ award went to Div. 1 champion Rice Memorial’s Kendrick Gray, also a junior.
The 2013 and 2014 girls’ basketball Gatorade awards were won by CVU’s Emily Kinneston, who is now playing for American University in Washington D.C.
The Redhawks’ Alison Gannon earned the honor in 2010.