Edd Merritt, Contributing Editor

Edd Merritt

Redhawks’ winter teams off and running
Despite what appeared to be a brief holiday break, CVU’s winter sports teams have hit the rinks, courts, gyms, mats, tracks and trails.You name it—there has probably been a Redhawk on it.

Women’s basketball learns from lone loss
Ninety-six games without a loss presents a pretty good history for this year’s relatively young team to carry into the early season. Despite a close loss to Rice in its second game, the women have come back to begin a new run to victory, and with their latest win, 48-22 over Mount Mansfield, they stand 5 and 1 on the season. Again, the game was close at halftime with CVU up by a single point at 17-16. Whatever changes Coach Otley seems to implement going into second halves, work on many occasions. Defense appeared to be the key factor in this game, as the Redhawks held the Cougars to just six points in the second stanza. Abby Thut’s eight points and six rebounds paced CVU, although the scoring again was spread around with Mekkena Boyd, Harper Mead and Shannon Loiseau adding seven points each.

No losses puts men’s hockey on top
Depth has not always been an accurate description of CVU men’s hockey. There have been a number of lean years when the ability to skate three lines was questionable, and goaltending had been learned in the barn. This year, however, is different. The Redhawks are ranked top in the state in the latest Burlington Free Press listing, sporting a 6-0-1 record. The Hawks’ latest victories came through a shutout of Spaulding (3-0) with a pair of goals from Tyler Brooks and 27 saves from Ty Parker and Saturday’s home-rink win over Essex, 4-2. In the game, Charlie Averill notched his first varsity goal, and Tyler Brooks hit a pair. The Redhawks left 2016 having tied BFA St. Albans after having handily defeated Colchester and Rice in the Beech Tournament. Spaulding and BFA stand two and three behind top-ranked CVU in the Free Press hockey rankings.

Wrestlers pinned by Essex
Despite several forfeits by Hornets and Hawks alike, Essex came out on top of CVU, winning 6 of 8 of the remaining matches. The Hawks’ Stephen Harlow pinned his 138-pound opponent, and Jacob Griggs won a major decision at 195 pounds.

Nordic trails groomed to the Redhawks’ liking
If the names sound familiar, it is probably because they are. A number of Nordic skiers recently finished a successful cross-country running season as well.

At the Trapp Lodge last week both men and women won team honors in the 5K Classic races, defeating four other high schools. Emma Strack, Sophia Gorman and Meara Heininger finished 2, 3 and 4 among women. Baxter Bishop and Tyler Marshall won the top two men’s places. CVU placed well ahead of Essex in the team competition.

The New Year begins with a brief shine for the Cougar-Hawks hockey team
The combined CVU and Mount Mansfield women’s hockey team finally found the net against South Burlington at the beginning of this month, shutting out the Rebels 5-0 and giving the Cougar-Hawks their first win of the season. Jackie Ryan’s two goals and three assists led the way. Audrey Scott also scored a pair, and Lauren Hanley had a goal and an assist. Unfortunately, things returned to normal on Saturday as the C-Hawks were shut out by BFA St. Albans, 2-0. Goalie Joanna Wright saved 26 shots as the puck stayed in her end for much of the game.

Redhawk men’s basketball finds itself at or near the top
CVU required free throws in overtime against Essex to give the Hawks the two-point win in Metro Division basketball. Walker Storey shot the winning points with just over one second left. It took his free throws to give CVU its first lead in the second half and in overtime. Matt Spear had tied the game at 40 apiece, hitting a running shot down the lane in the final minute of regulation. Josh Bliss paced scorers with 17 points, followed by Storey’s eight.

Both men and women basketball teams honor Kevin Riell with tournament wins
The second annual Kevin Riell Memorial Basketball Tournament (named after CVU’s late athletic director) went to the Redhawks this year. Josh Bliss’ three-point shot in the last minute of the game gave the men the 57-54 championship victory over Rutland, while earlier in the day the women posted Burr and Burton 51-35 for their team championship. Bliss and Abby Thut were named tournament Most Valuable Players.

MacKillop tops pole vaulters
At the end of 2016 CVU’s Kenneth MacKillop won the Indoor Track pole-vault at UVM by clearing a 10.6-foot height.