Sports


TIGER MIDFIELD TOBY Draper (28), backed by Bode Rubright (10) and Mason Kaufmann (4) outruns the Essex defense in the first quarter of Tuesday’s 6-5 overtime home loss in Middlebury. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Sometimes losses can be both painful and hopeful. On Tuesday a Middlebury Union High School boys’ lacrosse team with just four returners from its 2019 squad and five upperclassmen on its roster squared off against Essex, with 13 seniors and eight juniors. And the Tigers fell behind early as nerves and youth showed. Only the outstanding goaltending of senior Jack Rizzo, who made eight of his 18 saves in the first quarter, kept the Tigers in the hunt. But then, slowly, the home team settled in. Essex maintained an edge in play, but the Tigers began to mark more carefully,...

SCARLETT CARRARA OF Middlebury Union High School is focused on her forehand against Rice’s Evi Quinlan, whom she defeated, 6-1, 6-1, on Saturday. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union High School tennis teams between them won three recent competitions without losing an individual match to open their season. The Tiger girls’ team downed Rice on Saturday and Colchester on Tuesday by 7-0 each time, and the boys’ squad topped Colchester, 6-0, on Tuesday. The teams between them did not drop a set in the process, seemingly justifying the preseason optimism expressed by girls’ coach Jill Dunn and boys’ coach Dan Comar. Both coaches pointed to several returning players and a group of newcomers with a solid foundation in the game. For example, on...
ADDISON COUNTY — Spring sports athletes at Middlebury, Mount Abraham, Vergennes and Otter Valley union high schools have already had their greatest wish for the spring granted. They’re playing. After having no season at all a year ago and then pandemic-shortened campaigns this past fall and winter, once again athletes are taking to fields, tennis courts and tracks, and they are competing. And not only that, sunny weather and temperatures in the 60s and 70s greeted them in their first week of practice, which began back on April 5. OK, it’s Vermont. We’ve had snow more than once since then. But...
ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school lacrosse action over the past week, the Vergennes-Mount Abraham cooperative girls’ team picked up another two victories, the Middlebury girls dropped a close road game for their first setback, and the Mount Abe-VUHS cooperative and Otter Valley boys’ teams each split a pair of games while picking up their first victories. The MUHS boys hosted a tough Division I match on Tuesday; see story on Page 1B. VUHS GIRLS On Friday, the Commodore girls’ lacrosse team had little trouble with Colchester, improving to 3-0 with a 17-1 victory in a game played at Mount...
ADDISON COUNTY — Mount Abraham picked up a big win at Vergennes on Tuesday to highlight local softball play this past week, while in other games the Eagles lost their opener, Middlebury coasted to a win, and Otter Valley outslugged a foe. The Tigers also hosted the Commodores on Saturday; see story. EAGLES CRUISE The Eagles broke out the bats on Tuesday to back up starting pitcher Eve McCormick, who tossed a complete game, striking out 10 and allowing two earned runs. Cami Willsey led the attack with three doubles, a single and four RBIs, and Mady Hayden knocked out three hits. Mount Abe...
ADDISON COUNTY — The Mount Abraham baseball team defeated rival Vergennes on Tuesday to highlight high school baseball play in the past week. In other action, the Eagles broke into the win column over the weekend, while Commodores dropped their first two games, and the Otters came up short at home. EAGLES TOPS VUHS The Eagles took advantage of a tough day by VUHS in the field to emerge with a 7-3 victory on Tuesday: The Commodores were charged with six errors.   Ryan Whitcomb earned the pitching win for the 2-1 Eagles, tossing six innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while...
Surprising news at the area’s biggest high school came from the baseball program — it will compete at only the JV level. In terms of numbers, MUHS could have fielded a team: 18 athletes showed up. But school Activities Director Sean Farrell pointed out those 18 consisted of five sophomores, 12 freshmen and one junior. Farrell and the coaching staff — including new varsity head coach Tim Paquette, a former college player and Vergennes standout — thought it best to look toward the future of the program and the athletes and stick with JV competition.  Farrell also noted that former coach Charlie...
The Commodores upped the ante in 2019 with some notable team performances. The VUHS baseball team carved its way through the Division-III tournament before falling to top seed White River Valley in the final. The team, like every other team, saw key players pick up diplomas after that season. But its top three pitchers were all sophomores then: Jarret Muzzy, Tucker Stearns and Barret Barrows, and all are back. Also returning are seniors Jake Russell, pegged to catch, and infielder Xavier DeBlois to help key what could be another deep postseason run for Coach Dwight Burkett’s crew. The...
The Mount Abe track and field team might have an edge this year on its Tiger and Commodore counterparts. After all, the Eagles have a track. If the Eagle Track Co-Coaches Eva Friend and Nate Reynolds’ team does square off with its county rivals, it should be a good meet. Like the Tigers, the Eagles are a young group with strong turnout and enthusiasm; and the Commodores bring some experience and speed to the track. Three athletes returning for the Eagles after qualifying for the 2019 Division-II state meet are sprinter Branden Reynolds and throwers Eliza Bent and Abigail Roy. All three posted...
Spring of 2019 saw plenty of success for Otter Valley sports teams, none more so than for the baseball squad. The Otters earned the No. 1 seed in D-II before falling to Fair Haven in a close final. Only one player, senior catcher Alex Polli, returns from that squad, but there are 37 players in the program, including another four seniors — Lane Eddy, Lucias Sheldrick, Dylan Gaboriault and Parker Todd — and six juniors, many of them varsity athletes in other sports. Coach Mike Howe will emphasize fundamentals, and word has it that there are decent pitchers among those who signed up. The Otters...

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