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Titles and loss mark the 2014 sports year

Compiled  by Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

CVU community loses Kevin Riell

Champlain Valley Union High School’s 2014 sports year ended on a sad note. Activities Director Kevin Riell died unexpectedly while attending an athletic directors’ conference in Washington, D.C. Riell, 56, had been at CVU since 1986.

“The CVU co-curricular program is this highly-functional huge family…and Kevin will forever be known as its patriarch,” Principal Jeff Evans said.

More than 600 people attended a memorial event on Saturday for Riell at the school. Other schools marked Riell’s passing by wearing CVU colors at their own home games.

Girls soccer wins fourth straight crown

The CVU girls soccer team dominated South Burlington to win its fourth straight state title.

The Redhawks also picked up their second undefeated season, with a string of 44 total victories. All season, netkeepers Maddie Turneau and Michaela Flore let in a total of just three goals. For senior Paige Dubrul, it was her fourth championship in four years on the varsity team.

Girls basketball keeps winning momentum

CVU’s girls basketball dominated the opposition in 2014, cruising to its second straight title and continuing its winning streak into the new season.

In March, the team battled its way to a tight victory over a solid Rice Memorial High quintet. The game finished dramatically, with then-senior forward Amanda Lougee sinking two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining to bump the Redhawks up from a 1-point deficit. It was the fourth year the two teams fought for the crown.

The team—which lost several graduating veterans in the spring—is now well into its third undefeated season, with eight victories under its belt, including one against Rice.

Cross country girls take sixth straight championship

The girls cross country team bagged its sixth straight championship in 2014—its 11th in 12 years. Five runners finished in the top 11 spots, led by race runner-up sophomore Sophia Gorman. The youthful boys team came within three points of a title of their own, edged out by South Burlington High.

The girls team finished fifth in the New England meet in November, with Gorman finishing 15th.

Boys hockey scores another trophy

The boys hockey team earned its third state title in six years, beating Essex High 4-2 for the trophy. 

The Redhawks have appeared in six of the last seven title contests. 

Comeback gains boys lacrosse a title

The CVU boys lacrosse team overcame a 6-1 deficit against second-seeded South Burlington High to secure a state title—its third in the last four years.

After the opponents scored a disheartening two goals in the first two minutes, CVU rallied to eventually win the game 11-8. The win was CVU’s 14th straight victory.

Nordic teams sweep second straight title

The Nordic boys and girls skiers swept their second straight state titles last winter. The girls team took their honors by 23 points over runner-up Mount Anthony Union while the boys got pushed hard by the Patriots before clinching their crown with a close victory in the classical relay. Autumn Eastman was the overall girls winner.

PROVOST retireS, MACK beginS

Football coach Jim Provost hung up his clipboard after seven years leading the Redhawks and, before that, 20 seasons at Rice Memorial High. Provost was the fourth head coach in the program’s 10-year history. 

In the fall, Katie Mack took the helm of the boys varsity soccer team, after T.J. Mead retired last year. Mack came to CVU last year as a social studies teacher, after coaching the Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax team since 2007. 

Volleyball gaining popularity

More than 20 girls and only slightly fewer boys joined CVU’s volleyball teams in the fall. The girls team completed its 13-0 season by winning the state championship. The Vermont Principals Association is likely to make girls volleyball a varsity sport this year, though the boys side may not be there yet.