Mount Abe


TIGER SENIOR DEFENDER Greg Wilhelm heads the ball as Eagle senior back Henry Cogswell leaps in to try to block the ball during Saturday's game at Mount Abraham, won by MUHS in double overtime. Photo by Mark Bouvier
BRISTOL — Just when it began to look like the host Mount Abraham Union High School boys’ soccer team had done enough to hold on for a tie on Saturday vs. visiting Middlebury, the Tigers broke through with 2:05 remaining in the second overtime period. The game-winner came moments after Eagle senior goalie Creed Stillwell had made arguably the best of his eight saves, coming off his line to deny Tiger junior Zach Wilkerson from point-blank range. Wilkerson had cut in from the right side on a feed from junior teammate Eliot Schneider. But the Tigers kept pressing, and sophomore Eddie Fallis...

Mount Abraham Union High School senior Txuxa Konczal holds off Cougar midfield Fiona Stotz to spark another attack in the second half of the Eagles’ 3-0 home win over Mt. Mansfield on Monday. Independent photo/Steve James
BRISTOL — Monday saw another game and another shutout win for the Mount Abraham Union High School field hockey team, which improved to 3-0. This time the opponent for the three-time defending champion Eagles was visiting Metro Conference foe Mount Mansfield. They were not gracious hosts, piling up advantages of 22-0 in penalty corners and 16-1 in shots on goal. Mount Abe has outscored its three opponents by 12-0, heading into Friday afternoon’s home game vs. Middlebury. What’s working? To start with, every player on the team was a member of the 2020 Division II champion, and many are multiple...

EAGLE VARSITY GIRLS' Soccer
VERGENNES — Some change comes to Mount Abraham Union High School athletics this fall, with new coaches taking over two programs. Other things stay the same, as Coach Mary Stetson returns to lead a field hockey program that has won 10 Division II championships this millennium. Meanwhile Eagle soccer programs, traditionally strong, dipped a bit in COVID 2020 and will look to bounce back, one under a new, but familiar, coach. The Eagle-Commodore cooperative football team will look to build on positive momentum from its 2020 7v7 campaign. And a new coach with a strong running and track &...

TYLER PELLAND, SHOWN here in a Division II championship game appearance at Centennial Field, compiled eye-popping statistics in his Mount Abe high school career. Among them were 40 straight scoreless playoff innings in his junior and senior years as the Eagles won two titles.
CRAFTSBURY — For six years Monkton native and former Mount Abraham Union High School and Addison County American Legion standout pitcher Tyler Pelland played professional baseball. Although the Boston Red Sox drafted the left-hander in 2002, he spent most of his baseball career in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He reached the highest rung of the minor leagues in 2007 — excelling that year — and 2008 before serious shoulder problems derailed his chance of playing Major League Baseball. But Pelland, 37, rarely thinks about baseball these days. He and his partner of seven years, Anners...
This is a sidebar to this feature story on former Red Sox draftee Tyler Pelland. CRAFTSBURY — Tyler Pelland, now 37 and a happy family man in Craftsbury, compiled eye-popping numbers as a left-handed pitcher at Mount Abraham Union High School before being drafted into Major League Baseball. His minor league numbers, particularly late in his career for Triple A Louisville, also reveal potential for a Major League career, if significant shoulder problems had not cropped up. Here are some milestones and highlights from Pelland’s baseball career: •  In the 2002 D-II Final struck out 19 in a three...

RIDER MACCRELLISH, A member of a state champion boys’ soccer team during his time as an Eagle, returns to Mount Abe this fall as the new head coach of the team.
BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union High School did not have to look far for a new boys’ soccer coach after Bob Russell stepped down after the fall season, just as the search that picked Russell to succeed longtime Coach Mike Corey three years ago did not cast a wide net. Russell, a teacher at Mount Abe, had moved up from a successful stint as the Eagle junior varsity coach, and now 2014 Mount Abe alumnus Rider MacCrellish — a member of the 2013 Eagle championship team — is doing the same. MacCrellish had signed on as a middle school coach in 2016, and then took over the boys’ JV team when Russell...

FRESH MOUNT ABE graduate Ellie Ginsburg was able to see through the strangeness of the past year to see the positives in the Class of 2021 and their unusual experiences. Photo by Buzz Kuhns
BRISTOL — When Ellie Ginsburg talks about her recently completed senior year at Mount Abraham Union High School she uses words like “weird” and “strange,” which stands to reason since the pandemic-tinged 2020-21 school year unraveled like a mystery novel: How will hybrid learning work? Will students be safe at school? Will a surge in COVID cases force local districts to go fully remote? Will vaccines come in time? Will college admissions offices take into consideration how hard this year has been? Will there be a prom? Will we sit together for graduation? Will our families be able to attend?...
As the authors of an MAUSD facilities planning alternative proposal, we wanted to share some thoughts on recent letters expressing concern about the possibility of closing the Mt. Abe high school. First, we understand the shock and emotional pain. It is the same visceral reaction we had on learning last December that the Superintendent’s Office was recommending closing Robinson Elementary School in Starksboro. I am sure residents of Lincoln and New Haven had a similar reaction. The proposal to close elementary schools still looms as a very real and awful possibility for residents and parents...
In response to the letter to the editor from Mt. Abe staff members (June 17 edition), the MAUSD Reimagined group agrees with the teachers at the high school. We want to keep both the elementary schools and the high school open, and in an ideal world that’s exactly what would happen. However, based on the financials that the central office provided this year, that was simply not an option while we were drafting our proposals. We are more than open to other solutions that keep our town elementary schools and Mount Abraham Union High School open, but we have yet to hear any and meanwhile, our...

Photo by Buzz Kuhns
BRISTOL — “It is what it is” has grown into a lazy catch phrase used to describe a crummy situation over which one has little or no control. Except when it’s used by members of the Mount Abraham Union High School Class of 2021, who turned “it is what it is” into not only their class motto, but made it a proud exclamation of how they wouldn’t allow the COVID-19 pandemic to divide and conquer them during a tumultuous year. “Over the past year, we have learned and adapted to love and support each other while six feet apart,” Class of 2021 student speaker and graduate Liz Porter said in both...

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Addison County Independent