Sports Shorts

by Joe Gonillo

Look Out! Summer is over. Can’t hold on any more…not even until Labor Day. School started Wednesday. Thank God it’s a short week. Our first holiday is Monday. Short week next week also. The Fair ends this week, while our football team plays under the lights Friday night.


As I truly enjoy sports, the games are a great deal of fun. The varsity football team kicks off its 2014 season Friday evening at 7 p.m. against the 2013 state champion Middlebury Tigers. Our helmets are sharp! Essex has many returning players, and the captains, seniors and rest of the team have been working out all summer in anticipation of this game. The Tigers have some solid returning players: QB and runningbacks — one, Cullen Hathaway, is my speedy nephew. The JVs play Tuesday at home against CVU at 6 p.m., while the freshmen play Mt. Abraham.

Boys’ soccer

The boys’ soccer team has put in time on the practice field and has played at least 3 scrimmages in preparation for next week’s opening games. They Hornets will play Rutland in the opening round of their annual Brady Tournament on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. Come on out and cheer them on. The consolation and finals are Sept. 6.  The  JVs host Rice next week. The frosh will play in their season-opening jamboree Saturday at MMU at 10 a.m.

Girls’ soccer

The girls’ soccer team played in their end-of-summer jamboree Saturday and looked good. They displayed a nifty combination of speed, firepower, defense and intensity against Colchester and PA. The team traveled to N.H. for a game vs. Hanover on Tuesday. Nice new Hornet soccer shirts, t’s, and logo. They open on the road in Rutland next week. The JVs are working with the JV-B squad as overall numbers are low. They will play in Hanover as well, while the JV-B team kicks off Saturday with a jamboree in Jericho at 9  a.m. Bring your coffee.

Huge thank you last week to refs who volunteered to officiate the girls Jamboree:  Bob Fletcher, Hans Puck, Jeremy Hammond, Ned Halilovic and Chris Polakowski. We sadly ran short of refs. Other scrimmages took man/woman power away. Your unselfish help was more than appreciated by coaches and players. I thought I even saw Coach O’Neil out there with a whistle.

Field hockey

The field hockey team begins its defense of its 2013 state title next week when they travel to Rice to battle the Green Knights. Rosters are pretty much set to go. Many experienced veterans return. I enjoy watching this game on a turf field. What’s that you say?  “When is Essex going to get a turf field?” Well I am not sure, but hopefully we are exploring options. The JVs start the same day vss the same opponent, while the JV-B teams hosts MMU the day before.

Cross Country

Our cross country teams have been running and running and running and camping. They open Saturday at CVU in their annual relay meet. They, well we, are truly excited for them as they christen their brand spanking new XC course down by the Tree Farm. It will be opened Sept. 6as Hornet Nation hosts the Essex Invitational. Can’t wait to jog the course this week. Hopefully ex-coaches Steve Dowd, Art Fowler and Leighton Walker to name a few will be in attendance. Karen Albright and Blaine Isham may live a bit too far away…. The boys have been coming along, and the gals are improving daily. Good Luck!


The volleyball teams serve, set, and spike for the first time on Sept. 9 at CVU. The boys are defending champs, and the girls were runner-up last fall. First home match is Sept. 12 vs. Enosburg. Lots of numbers and talent in the gym this fall.


The cheerleaders have a new head coach this season. She is a former Hornet great and has been an Essex assistant for (ever – no; it just seems that way) many years. Brittany Picard will be at the helm this fall, as Maria Ung has some major event planned … so I hear. The team’s schedule mirrors the football team alternating home/away games all fall. Congrats to her as I believe she now works in our district instead of way out of town.

The Snack Bar is alive and well. The volleyball teams worked the opening day Saturday for the soccer jamboree. Team parents are being scheduled. As I have mentioned before, Booster President Jeff Greene is organized, and his bark is worse than his bite. Please jump in and get involved. I promise you, it’s a lot of fun working one game in the concession stand with friends.

Former Hornets

Congrats to former Hornet Charlotte Stewart who scored two goals for Iona last week in their 3-0 win over LIU Brooklyn. Madison Corley captured the VT State Women’s Golf Association state amateur championship for the second straight summer lat week. Maddy led from start to finish in the three-round tournament and won by three strokes. She played on my JV girls soccer team four years ago and was a scoring machine. Great to see her continue her success on the links.

Personal notes

My wife and I spent 7.5 hours at the Fair Saturday with my nieces, Sydney and Madison and had a great time. Tina had bracelets for the girls and a sheet of ten tickets for us. At 2  p.m. we drove in and were about to park when the girls all started screaming. I thought I made a wrong turn. “There he is….Daughtry! Chris Daughtry.” My out-of-breath response was, WHO?  As they all mashed their faces onto the windows and windshield of the car, all I heard was DAW-TREE…wow…American Idol…concert…screech! After I figured out who went by, I asked, is he like Derek Jeter?  Look out — “Uncle Joe, he has a concert today. Can we go?  Can we ask for tickets?”  I wasn’t even parked yet. Long story short we spend seven and a half extremely fun hours at the fair on rides, eating, getting henna tattoos (negotiating the price down $10-20), buying concert tickets, more rides, concert Daughtry not Goo-Goo dolls, more rides and finally home. Whew!


P.S…the CTE Preschool still has a few spots available for Children ages 3 to 5-years-old. If you know of anyone looking for a small group learning experience for their child please check out the link to the web page