Sports Shorts

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By Joe Gonillo
For The Essex Reporter

Here comes Halloween and the end of October. The first state championships of the fall season are in the books. Nice job by our cross country teams. Playoff action across the board in first round and quarterfinal action. Semi-final games and state championship games are scheduled for this week and weekend. Can you believe it is almost November?

Cross Country

Congratulations to the cross country teams on their performance Saturday in the state meet. The Essex girls finished second as state runner-ups while the boys were third. The gals totaled 46 points to trail only the Red Hawks 33. Senior Rose Monahan was the Hornets’ leader as she ran an outstanding race in her final cross country state meet and finished third. Super sophomores Emma Farrington and Annemarie Martell ran tough as well. The dynamic duo sped in fifth and sixth with the same time. Freshman Jenna Agricola – the third ninth-grader in – competed in her finest fall race and battled to a 13th place finish. Jenna Emery rounded out the top five pack with a solid run for 19th place. Katie James and Charlotte Murphy completed Essex’ seven with their 20th and 22nd place respective finishes. Well done. In their Challenge Race the Hornets secured places four, five, six, eight and 10 which would have given them the win. Abby Trombley, Katie Moino, Kristyn Van Allen, Giulia Eddy and Abbie Gehsmann gave it their all. Coaches White and Tabasko have reasons to be proud of their teams.

The boys scored 80 points running six, 10, 12. 24, 28, 35 and 49 in their biggest meet of the year. Andrey Chmykh was the first runner in as he has been all season. The senior was the team’s top runner from day one. He’s had a fine season. Matt Davis continued his solid fall with a 10th place finish. The boy has guts. Martin Deutsch did exactly what coaches want to see: run your best race of the year at states and was 12th. Peter Feehan and Eric Scharf placed 24th and 28th respectively as Sully Martin was 35th with Martin Thomas 49th. South Burlington won the meet scoring 46 pts. A surprise finish by CVU, 49 points, put them second. If scores were kept, the boys would have won the Challenge Race. Ian Lyle was second, Henry Newman third, Jamie Shearer fourth, Logan Brunet fifth, and Steven Maloney sixth. Coaches Langevin and James did a nice job all fall. The New England’s are next weekend.

Football

The football team, 7-2, advanced to the semi-finals last Friday night as they blitzed the BFA Bobwhites 41-24. Led by a punishing offensive line and hard running by senior halfbacks Brendan Gleason and Joey Robertson Essex made it look somewhat Denver Bronco-esque in an offensive explosion that lasted all game. Gleason totaled 214 yards, four touchdowns on 12 carries. Robertson ran for 137 yards on 26 carries and scored once. Cody Greene sprinted around left end for a lightning quick 30-yard touchdown rush. Gleason had touchdown runs of 10, 58 and a mind-boggling 93-yard rumble that had me thinking back to a Monday night football game where Tony Dorsett went on an NFL record 99-yard touchdown run. They will travel to St. Johnsbury on Saturday afternoon with the rights to the state championship game on the line. Colchester travels to Middlebury in the other semi.

The JV’s lost their finale 34-28 down in Rutland. The Hornets led with three minutes to play but allowed a Red Raider bomb for the winning score. Abe Koval and Liam Colter ran the ball very well as Matt Riordan and Alex Rizvanov played solid defense. Coach Corkum had some great kids and had a great season. We will see many of them Friday night next year.

The freshman completed their fall with a 24-8 win over Rutland. Quarterback Cam Quinn opened the scoring on the Hornets’ first drive up with a touchdown pass to Anthony Hope. Jordan Hines ran for 60 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Hines also returned a punt for a touchdown in the season-ending win. The team won their final six games to end 6-2. Coach Isham and his staff did an exceptional job this season.

Boys’ Soccer

The boys’ soccer team is now 13-2-1. The Hornets beat Lyndon Institute 4-0 in an opening playdown game then advanced to the quarterfinals vs. CHS last Saturday. Against Lyndon the boys scored two goals per half with Liam Donahue and Sean Finnegan connecting early with Noah Ferris and Nate Miles scoring late. Ferris, Derek Barnes, Hamza Halilovic and Nick Minadeo had assists in the win. Goalkeeper Ben Wood did not handle a shot in the easy win.

Their quarterfinal game vs. Colchester was just the opposite. Essex and the Lakers went head-to-head and played dead even for 80 minutes of regulation. Each team really only had a few chances to score. As is often the case, the overtime match ended abruptly. Just 34 seconds into the golden-goal session speedy John McLemore won a ball and sent an outlet pass up the side. Sean Finnegan headed it by a CHS back into an open area where Ferris broke on the ball, corralled it, and flipped a shot over their keeper into an open net for the victory that got the Hornets in the Final Four – the state semifinals. They travel to Bennington to play the Patriots of Mount Anthony for the rights to the state championship game. MAU dropped MMU 4-0.

Girls’ Soccer

The girls’ soccer team beat Spauling 3-1 in playdown action last week. Bri Johnson and Destin Barber scored early first half goals before the Tide answered cutting the Hornets’ lead to 2-1. Essex responded with a Marlo Allaire goal a few ticks later to account for all the scoring. Jessica Poratti and Barber had assists. Annie Bovee stopped six shots. Their quarterfinal game was not as successful. The CHS Lakers played well, and the sixth seed beat the three seed 2-1 Friday afternoon to slam their season to an unfortunate end. CHS scored with about 10 minutes to play in the first half to grab the lead 1-0. Barber, off an assist from Sam Serrantonio, tied the game. After the Lakers’ go-ahead goal, Essex had a few nice chances but could not get the ball past goalkeeper Danielle Whitham – 11 saves. Annie Bovee stopped 10 shots for the 12-5 Hornets.

The JV’s enjoyed their season-ending banquet at Ramunto’s Pizza. Certificates, an impressive EHS JV-girls’ soccer booklet, a calzone and six pizzas highlighted the gathering. Hanna Danis and Claudia Allaire could not match the Marlo Allaire/Becca Astor slice record. Still a good time was had by all even thought there was a sauce spill.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team is 1-0 in the post season as the girls defeated Mount Anthony 1-0 Saturday afternoon. The Hornets, 13-0-1, fired shot after shot on goal, and one got in. Kathleen Young scored in the second half for the game’s only goal in the quarterfinal win. Goalkeeper Madison Corkum had two saves in yet another shutout for the Hornets – 12 on the season. The girls advance to the state semi-finals Wednesday vs. the number four seeded Middlebury Tigers at Middlebury College. The championship game is Saturday.

Volleyball

The girls’ volleyball team, 7-3, is hosting a quarterfinal match-up vs. Mid Vermont Christian Academy on Wednesday starting at 4 p.m. The Hornets swept MVCA 3-0 in their final contest of the regular season.

The boys’ volleyball team is seeded right into the semi-finals. Essex will compete on Saturday at Johnson State College.

Joe’s Thoughts

Tom Brady is back to being terrific once again. Big Ben Roethlisberger had a career day Sunday. Eagles lost, and the Broncos are rolling once again.

The EMS weight room is open from 3:15-5 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (not Halloween though) between seasons. All athletes are welcome especially indoor and spring track and field competitors.

Winter sports sign-up meetings are Nov. 6 after school. Check signs in the EHS halls for specific room/sport meeting.

The winter season begins on Nov. 17. Here’s the catch … your electronic registration must be completed by Nov. 3.

Happy Birthday, well it actually would have been my father-in-law Ed Bechtel’s 94th birthday this week. He was a fixture in “Barbershopping”, enjoyed the Yankees, the Giants, cruising, playing cards with his friends, walking the sidewalks of the Junction or the track at the Edge, and visiting with his buddies at Murray’s and/or the VFW. He loved my mother-in-law’s cooking. He told me a story once when he and his buddies were driving to Green Mountain Choir practice one summer and stopped at St. Michael’s College because he recognized a guy waiting for a bus. They stopped and gave him a ride downtown. The muscular gentleman went to singing practice with them, did well, and they all enjoyed themselves that evening which turned into a very long night. Oh, and the name of the Giant defensive linesman was … Rosey Grier.