Sports Shorts

By Joe Gonillo

So fall took its natural turn from crisp to a tad chilly or a bit cold, but it’s still enjoyable. Lots of colors, still some green, and if you look at my lawn … a bunch of leaves on the ground. Spirit Week, the Pep Rally, and Homecoming were all a rousing success. And there were an exciting bunch of games as well. The juniors won the cheering competition, and the sophomores won the float competition.


The football team enjoyed their homecoming game and Senior Night in fine fashion 49-20. The Hornets donned new uniforms and scored four times in the first quarter on route to the blowout win. High-octane offense, one-play scoring drives, dead-on extra points, and a score on defense made for some happy Essex coaches, players and fans. Brendan Gleason scored four touchdowns on the night – a 1-yard run, a 64-yard run, a 25-yard reception and a 64-yard interception return. The highly talented senior tied an Essex football records – career interceptions. He has at least two more games to play. Quarterback Eli DiGrande tossed two touchdown passes, Cody Greene had a great night highlighted by a 66-yard touchdown catch, and Elliot Boutin added a 24-yard score. Essex is now 5-2 and will lock up at least the three seed in the Division-I playoffs with a win at rival South Burlington Friday night.

The JV’s are 3-2 following a 35-6 loss to a talented Hartford team. They fell behind 28-0 at halftime. The Hornets did not quit and played a rugged second half as each team scored a touchdown. Coach Corkum stated he was proud of how his players responded to adversity. They dug in and battled to the end. They traveled to BFA this week. The freshman upped their record to 4-2 with a 20-14 victory over the SB JVb team. Highlights include a Jordan Hines 40-yard touchdown run, Hunter Smith’s touchdown, and Cam Quinn’s audible at the line that led to a touchdown pass to Anthony Hope. Defense played strong too. Zach Pratt had a big interception in the win. They hosted BFA.

P.S. Sorry about the misprint last week – Teo Olsen had the interception. I wore his Babe Ruth jersey Friday. His dad wore it at the game. It fit me a bit better.


The boys’ soccer team, 9-2-1, has won four in a row going 2-0 last week. They started off with a win at St. Johnsbury 4-1 and ended it with a huge 1-0 win on home coming over CVU. Nate Miles scored the game-winner off a corner from Liam Donahue. Ben Wood stopped four shots as Essex topped the Redhawks for the first time since 2009. Great win. The JV’s, 11-0-1, remained undefeated with a 5-0 whipping of the Hilltoppers and then played to an exciting 1-1 double overtime tie vs. CVU. Each team has two games vs. NC and Spaulding this week. The frosh ended their season Monday vs. Rutland.

The girls’ soccer team went 1-1 last week beating St. Johnsbury 5-0 behind a powerful offensive attack and solid defense. Saturday’s home coming game vs. CVU was a beauty. The Hornets grabbed an immediate 1-0 lead as Destin Barber scored off a Celine Hoffman pass. CVU tied it in the early moments of the second session half. That’s the way it stayed until the last 1:22 in the first overtime when the Red Hawks scored. At 9-3 Essex stands third in the Division-I standings. The JV’s beat up on St. Johnsbury 8-0. Gabbi Garza scored three more times. Claudia Allaire, Hannah Davis, Beverly Briley, Addie Scanlon, and Serena Barber – an impressive 40-yard direct kick off a restart – also scored. Assists went to Kristin Roberge three, Maya Boyers, Allaire, Barber, and Julianna Battig. They fell to CVU 1-0 and are 8-4 with two games left on their schedule this week. The Redhawks are undefeated. I don’t usually give much praise to a team after a loss, but these young ladies gave it their all for 80 minutes Saturday. They lost a 5-0 affair last month and looked dreadful in that game. This was a totally different team. Improvement counts for something. The JV-b team, 7-2, beat BFA-Fairfax 2-0. Emma Parizo and Morgan Whitney scored goals. The defense was solid, and Kelly Lyon and Hannah Poquette totally dominated the midfield. Their season ended Monday vs. the Red Raiders. Jim Anderson has done another fine job this fall.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team grabbed two more wins beating Middlebury 1-0 and BHS 3-0 on homecoming. The wins add to the impressive stat that the defending champs are undefeated in their last 11 games… and more impressively have not allowed a goal. I caught the final 20 minutes of the Middlebury game and enjoyed watching their speed and execution. Scratched my head on one play when Kathleen Young was tripped and injured on a play where the official whistled the foul against Essex. Continually this fall, the Hornets have played strong, tough, fair field hockey yet have been whistled for more fouls – sometimes almost double – than the opposition. Mind-boggling. In the game vs. BHS Jenna Puleo, Allie Rutz and Avery MacGillivray all scored for the Hornets, 11-0-1. The goalkeeper combo of Madison Corkum and Maria Grant stopped three shots in another shutout. They play Colchester and MMU this week to end the regular season. The JV’s are 6-4-1 after a 1-1 week. The JV’s played to a scoreless tie with Middlebury. No score to report vs. BHS.

Cross Country

Quiet week for the cross country team. This Saturday they race in Highgate at MVU in the NVAC championships. The state meet looms on the horizon next weekend back down in Thetford.

Middle School Cross Country

This year the Eagle student-athletes have shown a lot of growth and success as the season has progressed. Highlights include a first place finish at the Colchester meet. The team has improved a great deal and has recorded multiple top ten finishes so far including our most recent meet where, between the girls and boys, there were six top ten finishers in a meet against both ADL and Edmunds Middle School. The students looked forward to their final meet the Chittenden County Middle School Championships on Oct. 14 at the Shelburne Museum.


The boys’ volleyball team is 7-1 with to wins last week and three in a row. They swept Vermont Commons 3-0 and whitewashed CVU in three sets 25-20, 25-14, 25-22. The revenge win over CVU was sweet. The Redhawk JV’s beat EHS 2-0. Friday’s game vs. Enosburg is the last regular season game. The gals are 5-2 after an 0-2 week falling to VC 2-3 in five sets and losing to rival CVU 14-25, 26-24, 15-25, and 15-25. The Hornet JV’s won 21-17. Games with Randolph and Mid VT Christian Academy end the season.

Homecoming notes

ALC, Student Government, the cheerleaders, and AD Jeff Goodrich did a fine job at the Pep Rally. From the band to the class and teachers’ relay races to the cheering competition to a surprise appearance by TV star Magilla Gorilla, great weather, and incredible school spirit made this a success. The float competition was good clean fun. The Lost and Found, a student band, performed live at halftime. Members include Brian Stork, Laura Sturm, Evelyn Belleveau, Shanti Boyle, Caleb Dudley, Matt Bushey and Char Ouellette. The JRROTC Color Guard and the singing of Karyl Williams were a very nice touch too. The cheerleaders’ routines are simply the best. Emcee’s Liam and Kevin Donahue were no less than outstanding Friday at the Pep Rally.

Joe’s Thoughts

Alyssa Cioffi and Josh Jacobs were married Saturday at the Barn at Lang Farm. What a beautiful bride and wedding. The reception was a lot fun too. Mom and dad did an awesome job with planning. Such a family atmosphere, plenty of food, music and cannoli. Congrats to the bride and groom. Many years of happiness together.

Giants looked just awful Sunday night. Pats on a roll. Packers faked the spike and completed a pass to the four to stop the clock. They scored on the game’s final play to win. Biggest and best game of the day was the Cowboys’ 30-23 win over Seattle at Seattle. WOW.

This just in from Colchester: 6-year-old soccer star to be Galen MacArdle scored his first career goal in the mini-Colchester Recreation League Saturday morning. Not sure who was more excited Galen or his mom – Molly.

Happy Birthday wishes next week to Jericho’s Sarah McNulty. Wife, mom of two beautiful girls, daughter, singer, dancer, friend, pretty good cook … the list could go on and on, but I need to end the column. Enjoy your day.