Edd Merritt

Division I coaches’ all-star Will Barun hits the net against BFA to help CVU to the state championship. Photo by Al Frey

‘Tis the time for honors, all-stars and “twin states”
Let’s begin with the “Make-a-Wish All Star Twin State Ice Hockey Classic” scheduled for June 30 at Gutterson Fieldhouse. (If you were to put that title on jerseys, it would probably require front, back and socks.) The women’s squad includes members of the combined Mount Mansfield/CVU Cougar Hawks plus goalie Arielle DeSmet of Charlotte who attends the North American Hockey Academy in Stowe. Cougar Hawks are forwards Lydia Maitland and Jacqueline Ryan.

From hockey to baseball, thanks in measure to CVU’s Liam Reiner and Jacob Bortnick the Vermont all-star baseball team swept its Twin-State doubleheader from New Hampshire last Saturday by scores of 8-1 and 10-3. The games were played at the Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction. Liam was one of six “Green Mountain” pitchers in the opening game, which was the first one to be decided by more than a single run since the Classic was revived in 2015. The six throwers allowed only one hit in the opener, while he and Jacob also contributed offensively to Vermont’s 18 runs over the course of the day.

It may be cynical to say that the reason Vermont lost the Twin-State Lacrosse Byrne Cup to New Hampshire on Saturday is because there were no CVU players on the team. Yes, that would be the Vermont State Champion Redhawks.  As a result, the Granite State came out on top 19-7.

The women’s LAX team, however, had CVU star Lydia Maitland at midfield, and as a result they came closer to victory, losing by only 7 goals, 17-10. Burr and Burton’s Shayla Heekin led Vermont scorers with 4 markers – all in the second half.

Field hockey was well in the hands of Vermont, as the women beat New Hampshire 4-1 last Friday at UVM’s Moulton Winder Field. CVU all-around athlete Lydia Maitland was the lone Redhawk on the team. However, she helped secure the win by assisting on a goal in the last 10 minutes of the game, feeding a well-aimed cross pass to South Burlington’s Emma Liebegott who finished it off in the net.

Other CVU all-stars this spring
Redhawks appeared on the all-star lists on many spring sports – some selected by state coaches, others by national organizations. Two women stand out individually. Soccer star Natalie Durieux was named the Gatorade girls soccer player of the year and a Free Press selection of 2017-18 athletes who left their mark. 

Natalie Durieux, Gatorade girls soccer player of the year.  Photo by Al Frey

She joins Jessie Wilhite from 1998-99 and Emily Milbank from 2006-2007 as Gatorade awardees. The honor goes to athletes who have demonstrated academic achievement and high character both on and off the field. Natalie has volunteered with Special Olympics and with youth soccer programs in the area. She was also picked as a member of the All New England team and starred on CVU’s women’s lacrosse team. She will enter UVM in the fall where she hopes to join the Cats’ soccer squad.

The second standout woman athlete is Lydia Maitland, who played three sports during her four years at CVU. She earned this year’s Burlington Free Press designation as “Athlete of the Year.”  As a field hockey player this year she scored 11 goals and added 11 assists to propel CVU to the state championship game for the third time in the last four years. Last winter she led the combined CVU/MMU hockey team with 16 goals and nine assists, and in the spring she scored 45 goals and assisted nine times to lead the Hawks to their first title game in lacrosse. Like her compatriot Natalie, she plans to attend UVM in the fall. However, she aims at field hockey as her sport of choice.

More honorees
The men’s side of the ledger contains a number of CVU athletes as well. The Coaches’ All-League Baseball team starts with Redhawk mentor Tim Albertson as “Coach of the Year.” The Metro Division first team has Liam Reiner pitching, Jacob Bortnick catching and Aidan Johnson at third base. The second team names Kyle Rivers as a pitcher and Jonah Roberts in the outfield. In case that is not enough, Jacob Murphy and Tyler Skaflestad gain honorable mention.

Moving to lacrosse, US Lacrosse picked two Redhawks for All-American status: Walter Braun and Ryan Trus. Sam Comai earned a spot as a VLCA Green and Gold Outstanding Player. The coaches’ Division I first team has Will Braun on attack, his brother Walter at midfield along with Sam Comai and Ryan Trus on defense. The second team adds Sam Sturim to the midfield and Shane Boehmeke to defense.

Among women, Gabbie Moreno was named to the Metro Division first team in softball at second base, and Kiley McClure was a second team catcher. Kristy Carlson, Mary Titus, Paige Niarchos and Josie Sinopolo earned honorable mention.