By Edd Merritt
Two new football coaches with a local flair
Rahn Fleming has taken over the reins of the Champlain Valley Union (CVU) high school football team after nearly 20 years as junior varsity coach and teacher at the institution (including commencement speaker and parent of two CVU grads, Konner and Ryan, both whom played college football at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.). Rahn, a California native, attended Dartmouth, graduating in 1981. He played on the Big Green football team. He succeeds Mike Williams, who resigned after the 2018 season. Fleming was the unanimous selection of the hiring committee, which received 10 applications. Redhawk Athletic Director Dan Shepardson was quoted in the Free Press, “Rahn’s well respected not only in the football community but the CVU community as well.” Sixty-one players showed up for the program, and Rahn says he’s still counting.
CVU graduate and former Redhawk football player Nick Michaud is the new Mount Mansfield head coach, following in the footsteps of the program’s founder, Marty Richards, who retired after 18 years, last as the Division I state champs. Nick followed up his playing days at CVU by attending and playing football at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. Nick’s father, Jay Michaud, founded the CVU program 14 years ago, and Nick played on the first team in 2005. He also helped create a youth tackle team in Burlington that was in addition to the city-run flag team, and he has been an assistant CVU coach. His Mount Mansfield team saw 49 players show up for the first practice.
CVU top swimmer headed to Auburn
An article in the August 8 Burlington Free Press described recent CVU graduate Ella Miller’s prowess as a swimmer for the Edge. She competed in a Stanford University-sponsored meet recently and is a five-time New England champion backstroker. She traveled to Ireland last year to represent the U.S. Squad in the Irish Open. Equally impressive is the fact that she is a three-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, meaning that she has earned a grade-point average of at least 3.5 as well as making the junior national cut. The TYR Pro Swimming Series highlighted her ability, as she finished 12th in the 50-yard backstroke and 16th overall at 100 meters. This series featured some of the world’s best swimmers.
CVU Soccer shows what it takes to be a winner
For the Redhawk women’s soccer team, practice starts without a ball, and the only goal is endurance. It is held mostly on the track rather than the field. Coach Stan Williams calls it running the “gauntlet.” There are, however, time goals to meet: four loops in 6 minutes and 50 seconds, upping the time for each loop after that. The practice, though “scary,” says Charlotte’s Ella Woodruff, seems to work. The Redhawk women were listed three out of five years as the dominant teams in the Sunday Free Press. Truly “Soccer Central” carries on the tradition—tip of the hat to Coach Coffey’s days—as the men were listed twice.