MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union girls’ hockey team is coming off a 12-win season in which the Tigers were the top team in the state’s new three-tier girls’ hockey alignment.
In that alignment basically all the Division II teams play all the other teams in all the divisions once, and the top teams in the division then move up and compete in the D-I playoffs. The Tigers last year were one of those teams and ended up facing eventual D-I champion Essex in the first round of the playoffs.
Coach Matt Brush is not complaining about the alignment. The alternatives, he said, would be either a less...
MIDDLEBURY — A young Middlebury Union girls’ basketball team took its lumps this past winter, but Coach Jen Heath is hoping for at least a modest step forward this season as the Tigers begin to mature.
Certainly, Heath was able to list some positives about this year’s edition.
“Their work, enthusiasm and speed, those are things that come to mind right away. We do have a lot of speed, so we’re hoping to use that speed to help us out,” Heath said. “We’ll try to press full-court, and we’ll try to do a couple different things to be unpredictable.”
Make no mistake about it, the Tigers will still...
MIDDLEBURY — This past season the Middlebury Union boys’ hockey team battled to a 9-8-3 regular season, good for the No. 4 seed in Division I, and then won a quarterfinal matchup before falling to eventual champion Essex in a semifinal.
With nine seniors on this winter’s team, plenty of depth, and a blue-collar approach, Coach Derek Bartlett expects results at least that good this season.
“It’s going to be our compete, our attitude, and how we show up to compete every night,” Bartlett said. “We’ve got a good core. We’ve got nine seniors, and the new guys who are stepping in are learning fast...
MIDDLEBURY — With a varsity team roughly tripled in size from a year ago and another 16 wrestlers in the middle school program, Middlebury Union wrestling Coach Ethan Raymond felt optimistic about his program during the preseason.
“I’m excited, obviously. We worked hard to recruit over the summer,” Raymond said. “The other thing is we have a really outgoing group of kids, and they draw other kids to them, and that really helped.”
That approximate tripling meant growth from three wrestlers to 10. Those three are the veterans, all sophomores, and one classmate signed on. The other half-dozen...
Photo courtesy of Poole Images
VERGENNES — This past winter the boys on the Vergennes Union indoor track and field team won four races at the Division II championship meet, at 600 and 1,000 meters and the four-by-400 and four-by-800 relay races.
The 600-meter champion and two of the runners who helped win the relays have graduated, but newcomers and improvement among younger runners has Coach Brad Castillo optimistic about the relays, while junior Ben Huston returns after winning the 1,000 and running on both relay teams. Senior Erich Reitz and junior Gabe Praamsma ran on the 4x800 team. Junior Xander DeBlois joined Huston...
Photo courtesy of Poole Images
VERGENNES — A year ago Coach Billy Waller’s Vergennes Union girls’ basketball team won nine times and then took a 15-win team into overtime in the first round of the Division II tournament.
A half-dozen of those Commodores graduated, but Waller was not singing the blues during the preseason.
He pointed to a couple of reasons for optimism. One, the Commodores will compete in the Division III postseason this year, which should be at least somewhat less competitive.
And, two, they looked good in scrimmages at both ends of the floor, in part because many Commodores have put time in to improve...
VERGENNES — To say the least, last winter challenged the Vergennes Union boys’ basketball team. The Commodores lost their beloved coach Peter Quinn to a heart attack in the preseason and then saw junior mainstay Ben Curtis miss almost the entire season with an injury suffered early in the opener.
This year different news greeted the Commodores and Coach Josh Carter, who took over from Quinn last season as an interim but was hired as the permanent coach this year: Because of the school’s declining enrollment the program dropped down from Division II to Division III.
The Commodores’ will still...
VERGENNES — Vergennes Union Wrestling Coach Eugene Stearns was smiling during a preseason interview.
His team grew to 13 wrestlers covering most of the weight classes, five freshmen signed up (his roster includes no seniors), and he has three assistants to help his athletes continue to progress. Three of those athletes return after reaching the podium at this past winter’s state championship meet: juniors Zach Botala, Aidan Gebo and Gabriel Payne-Vinick.
And Stearns is convinced other Commodores can join them on the podium at the end of this season.
“The room has been full of excitement....
BRISTOL — Four accomplished senior wrestlers graduated from the Mount Abraham Union program this past spring, three of whom won more than 100 matches and finished high on the state-meet podium and one of whom — Roman Mayer — won multiple Vermont championships and set the school record for wins.
Coach Nick Mayer and his assistants naturally figured this winter might mean a step backward, but then 17 wrestlers signed up, enough to fill all the weight classes and create healthy competition in the Eagle wrestling room.
And some of them, Mayer said, should again stand on the podium at the end of...
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union boys’ basketball team is coming off a respectable eight-win season.
Coach Martin Clark is aiming a little higher this year, however, with what he called a deep, athletic team and a style he hopes will take advantage of those assets.
“We will look to run the floor with several boys with quickness and a deeper bench than years past,” Clark said.
Senior forward and leading scorer Liam Kelliher returns, and Clark called him “the backbone of our team.”
But he said the Eagles shouldn’t have to rely on Kelliher every night because of the team’s balance.