Sports Shorts

By Joe Gonillo

Spring sports have begun. That’s right. Ignore the cold because by the time you read this, many teams will have – or be on the verge of having – their rosters set. I am amazed by the work many of our coaches do. Cramped quarters, half of a gym, no grass for a while and yet they continually evaluate, coach and work with athletes to bring them to the next level. It sure would be easier if it were warm. Only a week left in the third marking period. It was a great NCAA basketball weekend… and there’s more to come.

Baseball, lacrosse, golf, softball, tennis, track and field, rugby and now ultimate Frisbee will be in action from now until June. Enjoy.

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Hockey

Senior all-star Kathleen Young continues to garner honors. Last weekend she played in the Essex Rotary Key Bank All-Star Hockey Classic. Though her Austin squad fell 6-3 to the Harris team Young scored and was awarded her team MVP award. Hornet goalkeeper Victoria Gibson was also selected and played well.

The Essex Bantams are competing in the Bantam AA National Hockey Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah later this week. Good luck. Report coming next week.

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Softball

The SMC softball team lost 6-1 to 24th-ranked Augustana (S.D.) College. Though 0-8, they are improving. Former EHS shortstop Jess Barnett went 2-for-3 for SMC.

Tennis

From Norwich University…Senior Ryan Grindle a former Hornet is still the No. 1 singles player. He won his matched then teamed with a partner to win No. 2 doubles 8-1.

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Swimming

Over the weekend of March 12-15, Boston University hosted the New England Swimming 13-18 Age Group Championships. The EDGE Swim Club was one of 103 teams. Over 11,000 swimmers were in attendance.

Kevin Hancock, Nathan Kakalec, Ella Miller, and Kimberly Nguyen did a fantastic job earning three finalist appearances and achieving six best times out of their nine races. Hancock was a finalist in both of his events: the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke. He was seeded 36th in the 50 free before dropping his time and placing 22nd in preliminaries, achieving second alternate status. During finals, his name was called to enter the consolation final. Prepared and ready to go he raced well and earned a 20th overall finish. Along with dropping time, Kevin improved his seed by 16 places. In his 100-yard backstroke, he again was seeded outside a finals qualification at 32nd. Dropping time one more time, he made it back to finals finishing 16th in the event. This talented swimmer improved his seed by 16 places! Ella Miller, the other EDGE finalist had a few obstacles to overcome. After a rare mistake made in her 50-yard freestyle, she remained positive and upbeat and rebounded tremendously in her 100 backstroke just moments later. Seeded 18th, she dropped time and placed 11th in the preliminary event before placing 13th overall at finals. Ella improved five places from her seed and cut her time by 1.55 seconds. She was also 0.14 seconds away from qualifying for Sectionals. Hancock’s final times were 23.49 in the 50 free and 56.44 in the 100 back.

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NCAA

Brackets? How are they looking? Sweet 16, Elite 8 up next. Remind me never to pick Villanova, Providence, and VA ever again.

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Preschool

CTE Preschool is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year. The program is for ages three through five and there are 1.5- and two-hour classes Tuesday through Thursday.

If you are interested, visit: www.ccsuvt.org/cte/cte-preschool/

Fine Arts

Great job by all involved in the Fine Arts celebrations. I saw some remarkable pieces of art in our library. With over a thousand students participating as musicians, dancers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists, this event takes a village to make a reality. EHS was filled with thousands of community members celebrating the arts and their integral part of our schools. Thanks to the maintenance crew, to physical education, and the athletics department for their flexibility in building use. Glad you were able to attend.

Joe at the Cinema

We took our nieces to see the new Cinderella Saturday at the Essex Cinemas. What a great movie. When I retire from this column, I think I have found my niche… movie critic. Hope The Reporter will hire an aged ex-sportswriter. Anyway, we all enjoyed the movie and the new Frozen clip that preceded Cinderella. Can’t say enough horrible things about her wicked stepmother. I actually hated her. Our hero stayed positive and true till the end. Beautiful movie.

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Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Burton’s Andrew Luica. He’s got a great job and family. Nice boss too.