BRANDON — The Otter Valley Unified Union school district board last week approved a proposed $20,377,427 fiscal year 2021 budget that would increase spending over the current year by 2.22%.
Board members call it a modest increase as the district handles the ever-shifting demographics that influence staffing at each school, student population numbers, and the individual needs of those students.
The state doles out education funding money based on the number of students a school educates, and OVUU is seeing positive trends in enrollment that are keeping costs in check.
Education spending per...
NORTH CLARENDON — The Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team on Monday outscored host Mill River, 57-51.
The Otters bolted to an early 19-6 lead and then weathered an MRU rally that saw the host Minutemen take a 25-24 lead. OV’s Alia Edmunds hit consecutive three-pointers to erase that deficit, and the Otters never trailed again.
Post player Livia Bernhardt led the Otters with 18 points, and Edmunds sank four threes and finished with 12. Leah Pinkowski (10), Alice Keith (nine) and Mallory Lufkin (seven) also contributed in the scoring column for OV. The Otters improved to 3-4...
BRANDON — The host Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team took charge early on Tuesday and defeated Middlebury, 54-31.
The Otters led by 10-4 after one period and by 24-12 at halftime on the way to improving to 2-3, with both wins over the Tigers. MUHS dropped to 2-3.
Senior forward Livia Bernhardt led OV with 22 points, mostly in the paint. Julia Eastman and Alice Keith each scored seven for OV, and Mary Kingsley chipped in five.
Freshman forward Elle Sellers tossed in 19 to pace the Tigers, and Ivy Doran added six points.
SPRINGFIELD — Host Springfield held on to edge the Otter Valley Union High School boys’ basketball team on Saturday, 44-43.
The Cosmos led by 38-25, in the third quarter, before the Otters rallied in the late going. They had a shot at game-winning three at the buzzer that wouldn’t drop as the fell to 2-3.
Dylan Merrow led the 3-2 Cosmos with 16 points.
Cole Letourneau scored 12 to pace the 2-3 Otters, who will host Proctor on Wednesday.
ADDISON COUNTY — Mount Abraham toppled Otter Valley to highlight local high schools boys’ basketball action late last week. In other games both Middlebury and Vergennes came up short vs. Division I competition.
Monday games were played after the early holiday deadline for this edition of the Independent.
On Friday, the Eagles rode a big second half past host OV, 72-56.
The Otters sank nine first-half three-pointers and led at the break, 34-33. But Eagle forward Liam Kelliher poured in 19 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as Mount Abe pulled away for the victory.
Independent photo/John S. McCright
MIDDLEBURY — An experienced Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team used a big early run to take charge in the Otters’ 51-25 victory this past Wednesday over host Middlebury.
A young MUHS team starting one senior and four sophomores held its own early on, and four Tigers scored in the first four minutes as they took an 8-7 lead.
The Otters then showed why they hope to be a force in Division III this season. They combined inside scoring with long-range marksmanship in a 15-0 run that spanned the rest of the first period and 2:14 of the second quarter. The Tigers came no closer...
BRANDON — The move from Division II to Division III may be more of a lateral move for the Otter Valley Union High School girls’ basketball team this year.
While they will no longer have to travel to Brattleboro and Mount Anthony, they will have to deal with strong teams in Lake Region, Windsor and Thetford. Still, shorter bus trips to away games can’t hurt.
Third-year coach Kelley Trayah has all of his starters back this year, including five seniors and four juniors.
“It will definitely help, especially with travel,” Trayah said. “When you have to travel two and a half hours, it takes a lot...
BRANDON — A new coach is at the helm of the Otter Valley boys’ basketball team, and with that, a new team. Literally.
When it comes to varsity experience, head coach Mike Stark may start five juniors who have never played a varsity game. The team graduated nine seniors last year, and seven-year coach Greg Hughes stepped down in the off-season to spend more time with his family. There are only two returning players from varsity, and neither started last year.
But they have company. There are seven juniors on this OV team, plus seniors Logan Trombley and Julian Lopez, and sophomores Elijah...
BRANDON — The recruitment and retention plan the Otter Valley wrestling team has implemented to bolster the varsity squad is paying off, and this year the team features 12 grapplers.
Fifth-year coach Cole Mason said his team is solid through the underclassmen, all of whom bring experience having wrestled at the town recreation level and in middle school. Both of those programs have been strengthened in recent years and are now funneling experienced freshmen and sophomores into the varsity program.
It was necessary to keep the high school program alive, as it was just five years ago that Mason...
BRANDON — The Nordic ski team at Otter Valley is building momentum going into this season.
Fourth-year head coach Devon Fuller was seeing improvement and focus in preseason as his team prepared for the season with 15 student-athletes, seven of whom are in the middle school.
There are no captains, but the team boasts three juniors, three sophomores and one freshman, plus four eighth-graders and three seventh-graders.
Many of the students are returning team members.
“The kids are getting better all the time,” Fuller said. “I have a handful that started in seventh grade and now are freshman and...