Edd Merritt, Editor in chief
Sports and education often go hand in hand
A couple of items in the recent high school sporting scene reminded this writer of colleagues of his sons who tied their sports activity to their educational settings. In my sons days, to a number of families, CVU, Rice Memorial and South Burlington were all choices of places to continue after middle school, largely on the basis of their strength in sports.
Remember CVU as “Soccer Central?” Sometimes, it meant finagling the family’s living setting, because you either had to pay tuition or demonstrate that you owned property in the town that fed into the high school. I do happen to know a couple of cases in which that worked, sending sons to what was then Rebel territory when their family’s primary home was in Charlotte. Rice, of course, always grabbed a couple of key players, and there was a time when CVU men’s hockey team (before women had a program) nearly collapsed for lack of players. Then bring on the Finnish exchange students who could skate like the wind!
The CSB Cup that CVU won recently formed another mix of competition between youth hockey and high school teams. CSB had players from southern Chittenden County (and in my sons’ days, some from a ways beyond, such as Waterbury). When it came time for high school, those who had been teammates now became enemies, and the cup became the war prize; particularly for freshmen and sophomores who faced off against former teammates or checked into the boards the person who had been a defensive partner ten months ago.
This season, just before Christmas, CVU retained the CSB Cup by topping many of their former mates from South Burlington, 6-3. This was the Cup’s 17th running, and CVU now holds a 9-8 edge. Jake Schaefer and Quinn Francis both scored twice for the Redhawks to lead the way. Charlotte’s Jennings Lobel also scored early in the game to get CVU off and skating hard.
The Kevin Riell Basketball Tournament this winter went CVU’s way on both men’s and women’s courts. Late Redhawk Sports and Activities Director Kevin Riell would have enjoyed the results of the games in the tournament named in his honor. Both men’s and women’s basketball teams took trophies by defeating Burr and Burton Academy. Through a strong defense, particularly in the fourth quarter, CVU men won by 15 points, 55-40 behind the shooting of the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Will Burroughs who, himself, hit for the margin of victory. Graham Walker, another all-tournament player added nine, and Charlotte’s Cole Otley contributed seven.
On the women’s side, CVU’s undefeated hoopsters blanked B&B for the first quarter and ended up with a 40-point win, 64-24. As has been the case over the past few years of Redhawk hoop superiority, scoring has spread throughout the team, making it impossible for opposing teams to focus on an individual scorer. In this game, Megan Gilwee led with ten points, tournament MVP Lindsey Albertelli contributed nine, and Shannon Loiseau (all tournament) and Catherine Gilwee added eight apiece.
Arielle DeSmet destined for Division I college hockey next year
Charlotte’s Arielle DeSmet, technically a senior at CVU, although she attends the North American Hockey Academy (NAHA) in Stowe from October through March, has been recruited to play goalie for Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Arielle has played for NAHA for her four years of high school. The academy plays in the Junior Women’s Hockey League against teams from this country and Canada. It is a highly competitive program. Teammates come to NAHA from all over the country. One, Amanda Pelkey from nearby Barre, skated there before going to UVM and then professionally to the Boston Blades last year. She is now part of the U.S. Women’s Olympic team.
Arielle also attended the U.S.A. Hockey National Development Camp in St. Cloud, MN where she led the program with a .967 save percentage. Arielle met Brianne McLaughlin a year ago. Brianne was an Olympic Silver Medallist in 2011 and had attended Robert Morris. Part of College Hockey America (CHA) League, Morris won the league’s championship and finished eighth in the NCAA. It ranks highly in national women’s hockey programs and is a selective school for that sport.
CVU figures into a couple of “Top Ten” sports stories for 2017 by the Free Press
One, of course, had to do with the Redhawk women’s basketball team which, although it had its unbeaten streak broken in late 2016, still won the Division I state championship for the fifth straight year, and Ute Otley again was named Coach of the Year.
As an “Honorable Mention” article, the Free Press ran a story on CVU grad Kasie Enman who ran the full Vermont City Marathon for a third time and who remains undefeated, topping another elite field.
Congratulations to Redhawk football’s Jake Bortnick
CVU linebacker, Jake Bortnick received “Honorable Mention” by the Free Press in this year’s All-State lineup. Jake was the only Redhawk to earn notice on an offensive and defensive all-state teams.
Check the slopes, it’s winter
Last Wednesday saw the CVU Alpine skiers take both men’s and women’s team titles at Smuggler’s Notch. The women topped eight other high schools with Olivia Zubarik and Charlotte’s Binney Patton finishing in the top-ten individuals.
For the men, Briggs Francis, Nate Coffin and Charlotte’s Seth Boffa completed among the top-ten. As a team, CVU finished well ahead of second-place Rice, 28-56; (In Alpine racing the low score wins.)