By Joe Gonillo
Do I say this too often? Sad to say goodbye to August and summer. Man, that really hurt to type and realize. We now face a five-day school week and the start of the high school fall sports season. Most teams kickoff this week while a couple started last week. Games will be fast and furious. Check the athletic website for information, schedules, game times and some possible changes. Big soccer tourney this week too. Enjoy the fair and Labor Day, which comes around very late this year.
Our football team played a heck of a game Friday night in its season opener versus Colchester. If you are a cursory fan, you saw or heard the score: CHS 33 ESSEX 29, but you had no idea what really happened in the game. Hornet running back Liam Coulter ran 23 times for 157 yards and a touchdown. Elliott Boutin banged out 97 yards and 3 TDs. The Hornets trailed 20-8 before Boutin’s TD on play number one of the fourth period. They stopped a fake punt, and Coulter scored to give the Hornets their first lead of the game 21-20 with under seven minutes to play. The Lakers answered with two-plus minutes left to regain the lead 26-21. Time out to catch your breath. Essex countered, or recountered, after a brilliant fourth down conversion, on Boutin’s two-yard score. Coulter added the two-point conversion to push the score to 29-26. That led to the improbable winning CHS score which came with 22 seconds left in the game. 60 yards from the end zone, CHS QB Travis Boutin drilled a pass to WR Justin Evans who in turn tossed the ball to Dakota Navari who avoided Hornets and scored with seven seconds left for the win. This week the JVs and freshman teams open up against BFA. The varsity looks to even its record in Bennington Friday versus MAU. CHS coach Tom Perry is an Essex grad.
The boys’ soccer team began the Jake Orr era with a 2-0 win over the Patriots of MAU. Tristan Salgado scored the first goal of the season to stake Essex to a 1-0 lead at the half. Noah Ferris assisted. Ferris later scored off of a Matt Lyon assist in the second half to ice the game. This week the boys host the annual Brady Tourney (former Hornet coach Jay Brady is Orr’s uncle) playing Rutland Thursday at 7 p.m. following Rice – CVU at 5 p.m. They will play again Saturday at 7 p.m. versus Rice following CVU – Rutland at 5 p.m. The JVs open against The Raiders and the Green Knights while the freshman play SB and BFA. The frosh shutout MMU and tied BFA and CVU in an opening scrimmage.
The girls’ soccer team started with a big 6-1 win over the Pats, who also showed up without a JV team. Up 2-1, the Hornets banged in a couple of goals very, very late in the first half to explode to a 4-1 advantage. Essex goal scorers include Meg Macfarlane, Jess Poratti, Huntyr Poulin, Abby Malle, Bri Johnson and Sam Serrantonio. Goalkeeper Annie Bovee made 10 saves.
Away games at Rice Wednesday and in Hinesburg Saturday at 10 a.m. cover the varsity and JV schedule this week. Not sure who made the schedule, but it seems a tad early in the season to be playing the Red Hawks. The frosh fell 5-2 to BFA in a scrimmage as Lauren Prouty scored twice.
The boys’ and girls’ cross-country team ran Saturday in the annual CVU relays. Emma Farrington and Annemarie Martel were first in girls’ relay, and the whole team ran very well for a season opener! The gals had a great day of running and looking forward to the class races at Red Rocks this week before the Invite. Matt Davis and Peter Feehan were the third team in boys’ varsity race. This young squad performed well in meet No. 1. Their first 5K race will be their very own Essex Invitational Saturday. This will be the second year that the meet will take place right next door at the Tree Farm Recreational Facility. All parking is at EHS with a short walk over to the Tree Farm. There is a citizens’ run at 8:30 a.m. for anyone interested. You can sign up the morning of the race right at the Tree Farm. Come on over and see if you can run faster than the Speedy Kat Sullivan, who had an excellent run last year. The junior varsity races kick off at 10:30 a.m. while the varsity races begin at 12 p.m. Come on over and support the teams. It is great to have a home course again and the hope is for a great crowd. Should be an exciting day.
The field hockey team played extremely well in two scrimmages last week. They blew away Stowe needing an adding machine – do they still exist – to keep track and tally their goals. Next was a win against CVU. They travel to Hinesburg to kick off their season. They host D-II champs Rice on Friday and Mt. Abe next week.
Made a mistake last week when I said Last Call for soccer refs. Please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested please.
Football is right around the corner. The college games kick off this week and the pros.
Walked into the Fair with my wife Sunday and ran into Matt Stratford ’94. Also saw soccer player Mike Forenza early 2000s, Lauren Miles and other EHS student/athletes. A pig-in-the-blanket, some fried dough, a doughnut with friends and some fudge two hours later, we were on the way home. Going later in the week, too.
Happy Anniversary to my brother Vince and sister-in-law Karen. This week they celebrate their 31st anniversary. I had a very small role in getting them together when after their first night out of dancing to Downpour during the summer of ’80, I most incorrectly stated to my brother something along the lines of I really don’t think Karen is interested in you! So I was wrong. Glad I was though. Congrats!