Last week was busy with sports. Two winter state titles were decided along with some NVAC battles. More contests this week to keep all involved and entertained highlighted by the gymnasts competing in states this coming Saturday. If you stand up tall you can spot the end of the regular season approaching. Pink Zone games were another success, Essex connection in Vermont HOF, the Winter Olympics have begun and I covered a UCONN women’s basketball game for the first time, as well.

Congratulations to the track and field team and coaches on their second place finishes at the indoor state meet. The new venue at UVM has been a success; friendly, accommodating and closer than the previous host, Norwich. The D-II meet was Friday night and D-I athletes competed Saturday. The Hornets were second to St. Johnsbury in both meets. The boys scored 105 points to edge Mt. Mansfield Unioin by a point but ended a point and a half behind St. J. South Burlington was fourth  at 87.5 as the meet came down to the final event – the mile relay! The gals totaled 104 to the Hilltoppers 230 with SB and Mt. Anthony Union third and fourth. The Pink Zone night for the girls basketball teams was a huge win for all involved, especially for the Breast Care Center at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM. Coaches, players, parents and fans all contributed to the successful evening. Our cheerleaders were amazing, the volunteers tireless and community support was so much MORE than outstanding. After a tight first half, the Chargers bested their up-town rival Eagles 45-28 in a fine display of middle school/junior high hoop. The JV’s, now 14-2 after two wins last week, edged the Wolves 40-37 in game two. The varsity, after drubbing Spaulding earlier in the week, went on a ten-zip run to start the game and led throughout in a satisfying revenge win by a score of 52-39, pushing their record to 10-6 inching back up the D-I rankings.

Congratulations to the cheerleaders for capturing the NVAC cheer competition in SB a couple of weeks ago. Reports stated Hornets earned first places in Metro Division, first in Elite top gun stunts, Large Varsity Champions, and finally Grand Champions. State competition is Saturday at Vergennes high school. Come out and support the team.

The wrestlers continue to have heavy duty success this winter. After a mid-week 49-12 W over Milton, the Hornets flexed their muscles at home on Saturday. Essex repeated as NVAC Championships capturing the 2017-2018 meet in fine fashion. Impressive results look like this: in the Quarterfinals Essex shutout Williamstown 66-0; the Semifinals saw the Hornets defeat Milton again 60-12 leading to the finals, where they defeated St. Johnsbury 44-35 to go back-to-back as NVAC Champs! Congrats to all. JV states this weekend in Barre. States next week at Otter Valley high school.

Our boys’ varsity basketball team is 3-11 following a couple of loses to Rice and BHS. In the latter game vs the ‘Horses, Hunter Smith and Stephen Astor led the Hornets on the score sheet. The JV’s are 8-6, losing twice last week to Rice 64-46 and to BHS 47-43. Road games at MMU and St. J this week.

The girls’ JV-B hoop team is now 13-0 as they demolished two more opponents last week. They drilled Rutland 60-7 and North Country 41-17. One game left vs Milton Thursday. The frosh boys are 14-1 notching wins over Rutland and St. J in the first round of the BFA End-Of-Season Jamboree, then played in the second round/championship game. They end their season this week vs MMU.

The boys’ hockey team lost a tough match to BFA 5-2 early in the week and bounced back in fine fashion with a 7-2 win over SB. Grady Cram scored twice and had an assist while Jonah Janaro scored 1 goal with 2 assists. Willem Barwin, Jared Almeida, Maverick King and Gordon Schmalz added goals. GK Ben LaPlant stopped 16 shots as the Hornets are now 11-3 trailing only the Bobwhites in D-I. U-32, SHS, and Rutland are up this week.

Have you been following our girls’ hockey team? Going to their games? If you have, then you know they are the best team in D-I with a 13-3 record after 3 more wins last week none bigger than their 3-0 win, not upset, of then #1 ranked BFA. They host Rice this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in their only game of the week, so how about packing the stands and supporting the hottest high school team on ice? P.S. During their eight game-winning streak, the girls have allowed only six goals.

The gymnastic team scored their highest point total of the season. Their 140.0 pts in the win over SB the Hornets served notice to CVU in this week’s state final. Results can be seen in the scoreboard.

The bowlers placed first in their third straight match last week in their penultimate tune-up for states next month. The Hornets beat Fair Haven, Hartford and BHS. Alex Prim led Essex bowling a great series with 436. Ben Sawyer, Makenna Thorne, and Emily Harvey also bowled well. Tyler Elias set a PR with his 214.

Condolences to the Coutrayer family on the death of George Coutrayer, who was an EHS basketball fan and supporter his entire life; the Dunbar’s on the passing of George Dunbar, who gave years of his life to the Village; and the Laverty’s remembering Richard Laverty, Dad to EHS track and field stars Kevin, Jeanne and Stacey who attended all meets with his wife supporting his very talented children.

Happy Birthday Becca Olsen Bailey, Chelsea Zelko, VSOA ref and retired teacher Mike Clark, Kasey Greene, Kristen Rauer Mullen and never-aging Tonya Gramatzki Digangi.

Special congrats shout-outs to Melba Masse on her induction into the Vt. Sports Hall of Fame and to Junction lawyer Dave Barra on his judicial appointment. Remembering in-laws Terry and Ed Bechtel and parents Don and Rosemary Gonillo who shared the same anniversary last Sunday. Would have been 72 and 62 years.