Sports Shorts

by Joe Gonillo

Sports, sports, and more sports…..high school, college, MLB races, college football and the kickoff of the NFL season all make sports’ fan smile. We had some exciting games, night games and season openers both home and away last week. The high school schedule is packed this week, while the middle schools begin their seasons. The Essex XC Invitational was a ringing success. ACT’s Saturday.

Cross Country

Great inaugural cross country race Saturday here at the Essex Invitational. Both the guys and gals varsity teams placed second. With the threat of rain and thunderstorms D-I and D-II boys’ and then the girls’ races were run together. The rain held off until the start of the last race and the course held up beautifully. The varsity boys showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. They placed second to state meet favorites South Burlington 28-48. Andrey Chmykh led the Hornets with a second-place finish. Juniors Matt Davis and Peter Feehan followed in sixth and ninth respectively. The top five was rounded out by Sully Martin in 15th and Eric Scharf in 16th. Logan Brunet and Connor Knowles were the other Essex finishers.

Emma Farrington won the girls’ D-I race as the Hornets were edged by rival CVU 43-45. Rose Monahan and Charlotte Murphy (in the race of her life) sped in fourth and sixth. Rounding out the top 5 were Abby Trombley and Katie James who placed 17th and 18th. Jenna Emery and Sophia Seaman ran 17th and 18th.

The jvb started off the day with a very solid performance taking 7 out of the top 9 spots (20pts) running to an impressive win. Martin Deutsch led the charge in second followed by Ian Lyle in third, Jamie Shearer in fourth, Steven Maloney in fifth and Henry Newman in sixth. Martin Thomas finished eighth and Angus Hutcheon placed ninth to round out the top seven. The girls won as well sliding by CVU 39-43. Frosh Jenna Agricola was the race champion notching her first high school win. Fiora Leveillee ran sixth with Guilia Eddy in seventh. Abbie Gehsmann and Kristyn Van Allen placed 12th and 13th with Alaina Mejia and Katie Moino scoring places 18th and 22nd respectively. Great day!

Coaches Katie White (Lightning) and Sara Tabasko finished 1-2 in the Citizens race with Adam Bulakowski first in the men’s race. English professor, Kathrine Sullivan was second in her age group, Beth Martell won hers and Lori Olsen was a surprising no-show! Super Jim Farrington and Kevin McMahon were other notable age-group winners. Find all results at This will be a solid start to a long tradition of meets at the Tree Farm.


The football team evened its record at 1-1 in D-1 with a come-from-behind 22-21 win over CVU. The Hornets fell behind 15-0 early, than dug down to rally. An Essex safety, Joey Robertson’s 17-yard touchdown, Cody Greene’s 15-yard run, Elliott Boutin 7-yard score and a two-point conversion Eli DiGrande pass to Andrew Lounsbury blitzed the Red Hawks. A late CVU TD tightened the game, but Essex came up huge blocking the PAT to keep the lead and win the game. This week they host a struggling BFA squad Friday evening at 7 p.m. The JVs are 1-0 after rallying to win 22-20. Trailing 14-0, Essex battled back to move ahead 22-20 with three minutes to play, they stopped a game-tying extra point try. On their very next possession Liam Coulter picked a critical 1st down to help run the clock out. Otis Crock had a great game in the secondary and Tyler Roberge ran the ball well. Game 2 vs. Spaulding in Barre was cancelled Monday. The freshman fell 28-0 to Mt. Abe’s JVs. Michael Randall and Edgar Koval had interceptions. Great learning opportunity for the squad. Their offense will come around. They hosted Rice Wednesday.

Field hockey

The field hockey varsity and JVs defeated Rice in their openers last week. Erin Murphy scored with a mere nine seconds left in overtime to give Essex a 3-2 win. Sierra Teare banged in the Hornets’ first two goals in the first half. Maddie Corkum and Marisa Grant made five saves in net. The JVs clubbed the Knights 4-0, while the JV-B team edged MMU 3-2. Essex hosted SB Tuesday night under the lights and travel to CVU Friday.

Boys’ soccer

The boys’ soccer team split their opening games in the Brady Tourney. They shut out Rutland 3-0 in round 1 of the Brady Tournament as Caleb Guziak stopped 2 shots. Noah Ferris, AJ Whitney, and Ryan Jewell scored. Hamza Halilovic and Liam Donahue had assists. Rice beat them 2-1 in the championship game Saturday night. Ferris scored the lone Hornet goal with Nate Miles assisting. GK Ben Wood made 3 saves. Hayden Kjelleran scored the game-winner, and Nate Cary had the first Rice goal. Leland Gazo stopped 6 shots. Sox and NYG fan (and my brother-in-law) Hank Bechtel is a Rice assistant coach. CVU biffed Rutland 9-0 in the consolation game. Essex plays MMU and BHS this week. The JVs beat up Rice and Rutland 7-0 on Thursday and Saturday. The frosh went 2-0 winning games over SB 5-1 and BFA 4-0.

Girls’ soccer

The girls’ soccer teams opened up with two wins. The varsity blanked Rutland 2-0 on goals by Jess Poratti and Marlo Allaire. In their home opener under the lights Friday, Essex blitzed SB 5-1 as Poratti banged in two more goals – including a PK, Destin Barber, Jackie Quackenbush and Becca Astor (first varsity goal) scored as well. Annie Bovee had six saves. The JVs got by a youthful Raider squad 7-0 behind 2 goals from Hannah Danis and frosh Gabby Garza. Emily Harvey, Addie Scanlon, and Sydney LaPlant (pk) also scored. Chelsey Carlson earned the shutout in her first high school game. They edged SB in a strange game Friday. The Rebs scored in the game’s first 90 seconds. The Hornets scored the next 3 goals:  LaPlant, another pk conversion, a Marisa Minadeo blast put Essex ahead, and Scanlon scored the eventual game winner. Games at Rice Wednesday and home vs. BHS. The JV-B team biffed BFA 5-1 and fell to Milton 3-1


The volleyball team served up its opener Tuesday at CVU. Their home opener is Friday vs. Enosburg at 4:30. If you are free, come on over.


One of the best signs from Derek Jeter Day in the Bronx Sunday was  “Don’t be sad it’s over….Be glad it happened!” Proud, yet sad, moment for the Yankees and their fans.  Did you see the young Red sox fan who was given a foul ball over the weekend immediately turn and give it to and even younger little girl sitting behind him? When Sox PR guys caught this, they sent the extremely mature kid a Boston gift bag. He shared some of that loot with his new friend as well. Stuff like that warms the heart.

Around EHS

Still assigning sub-varsity games for the fall. If you would like to ref or officiate, please email me at ASAP. Pay is $45 for a high school game and $75 for a middle school doubleheader.

The Essex High School varsity cheerleaders & coaches will be hosting a youth cheerleading clinic on Saturday from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Essex High School. This clinic is for male & female youth cheerleaders in grades K-8 from any town. No experience is necessary to participate, and you can also register your youth cheerleader until Saturday(registrations will be accepted at the door). Cheerleaders who attend the clinic will be invited to cheer with the varsity cheerleaders for the first half of the varsity football game on Sept. 26.


Former Hornet XC/trackster, Allie Gratton placed 22nd in the first SMC race of the season last week at Shacklette Invitational on Saturday at Saint Anselm College. The Purple Knights ran fourth. SMC soccer player Thomas Antensaye scored in the Knights opener, a 3-0 win over St. Anselm’s last weekend.

Personal notes

Happy Birthday to friend Janet Lucia of Claremont, NH. Get well soon too.