Sports Shorts

By Joe Gonillo

Still a week of September left. As the transition month of the year, it combines the warmth of summer with a little dose of the crispness of fall. I mentioned the return of warmth last week, and it may be here. Home football, soccer, field hockey, all play at home this week. The Cross Country teams hit the road to New Hampshire for the Manchester Invitational this weekend.



Our football team pushed its playoff-bound record to 3-1 with a hard-fought 19-6 win over a tough CHS Laker team. Brendan Gleason ran for 130 yards – one a big 43-yard touch down, caught an 18-yard touch down pass from quarterback Eli DiGrande, and intercepted three CHS passes. Speedster Cody Greene rushed for 92 yards and snagged two interceptions. Essex led 7-0 at the break, and the defense stepped up with many big second-half plays. DB/WR Teo Olsen, who played soccer for two years, also had an interception in the win. The Hornets host Rutland Friday night. The JV’s upped their record to 2-0 with a 24-6 blitzing of CHS. The turning point of the game came with about four minutes to play when the young, but tough, Hornets stood strong and held for a goal line stand. The offense followed with a 90-yard touch down drive to seal the win. A complete team win with contributions from all over the field. They played Midd here Monday. The frosh came through on Coach Ira’s Isham’s claim to victory with an impressive 28-7 win over Middlebury. Jordan Hines and Colby Garrett ran for scores, and Cam Quinn tossed two touch downs to Jeremy Leclair and Hunter Smith in the win. They played BHS this week.

Boys’ Soccer

The boys’ soccer team is 5-1 after two wins last week and their fourth in a row. The Hornets stopped South Burlington in comeback fashion 2-1 in mid-week. Then on Saturday the Hornets dispatched the Lakers 2-0. Liam Donahue and Mike Croce scored at Colchester. Goal keeper Ben Wood made four saves. This week home games versus MMU and South Burlington are up. The JV’s area perfect 6-0 after racking up two wins last week. They beat South Burlington in a beautifully officiated game 3-0 and the shutout CHS 2-0 on Saturday. Stu Irwin had a huge goal to break the ice against the Rebels with 20 minutes to play. The Hornets added two unanswered goals in the game’s final five minutes. At CHS Collin Asoera scored 30 seconds into the game against CHS to set the very early tone. A Tristan Salgado goal later sealed the win. The freshman are 5-2 and play well together. They went 2-1 last week losing 2-1 to CVU then beating up on Rutland 5-0. They edged MMU 2-1 in the Cougars’ HC game Saturday. Their leading scorer this fall is Ethan Brueckner with 16 goals. Teagan Anderson plays a strong goal.

Girls’ Soccer

The girls’ soccer team fell 3-0 to CVU and edged CHS 1-0 on a late goal from speedster Destine Barber. Goal keepers Annie Bovee and Lindsay Hallowell shared the shutout with their defense. Games against MMU and a South Burlington rematch at 2 p.m. on their turf field are up this week. Will Rebel athletic directory Ed Hockenbury make an appearance? The JV’s went 1-1 getting drubbed 5-0 by CVU then bounced back to defeat CHS 5-0 as Gabbi Garza scored three times, Claudia Allaire one, and Serena Barber one. The defense and goal keeper Chelsey Carson tossed the shutout over the scrappy Lakers. The JV-b team is 5-2. They beat CVU 5-2, a strong Rutland group 3-1, and fell 3-0 to the U-32 JV’s. In the games prior to the Raiders of Berlin the team scored eight goals from eight different players. In the Laker games, the Barber girls scored goals literally within seconds of each other.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team went 3-0 last week and is now 5-0-1. Essex defeated Mount Abe 2-0, CHS 3-0, and BHS 2-0. The Hornets have not allowed a goal in their last four games. Versus CHS Siena had two goals and super frosh Jenna Puleo one. Erin Murphy added an assist. Against the Seahorses, the offense came from Avery MacGillivray and Kylie Svarczkopf. Madison Corkum made only one save. They host MMU and Mount Abe this week. The JV’s won both their games this week and are now 4-2 winning three in a row. They dropped the Eagles 2-0 as MaKenna Thorne and Alicia Russotti both scored. Goalie Sara Manley had a shutout. They beat the Lakers 2-1 Anna Singer and MaKenna Thorne scored and Hannah Palmer assisted twice. In the 6-0 win over BHS Palmer and Thorne scored 2x. Anna Singer and Emily Singer each scored once with Cassidy Reid pitching the shutout in goal. Not a bad week for Thorne with four goals. The JV-b squad is 4-0 after a 3-0 shutout of CVU. Late results in from an earlier South Burlington game saw Alicia Russotti, Hannah Palmer and Anna Singer all find the back of the cage.

 Cross Country

In the world of cross country the teams are looking forward to racing Saturday in Manchester, N.H. as the top seven varsity and JV runners will be competing in their biggest invite of the season. Saturday in BFA the boys followed their game the plan perfectly. They drafted behind an athlete from another team who chose to lead the race until entering the woods. At that point the Hornets took over. Andrey Chmykh won his first varsity race ever in an impressive time of 16:58 on a challenging course. Matt Davis and Peter Feehan finished fourth and fifth respectively, continuing their successful seasons. Martin Detusch and Connor Knowles rounded out the top five for the team coming in 10th and 11th. In the JV race, there was a lot of yellow in the front with the Hornets taking six out of the top eight spots. Sophomore Ian Lyle ran away from the pack for the win. He was followed by Logan Brunet (third), Steven Maloney (fourth), Henry Newman (fifth) and Angus Hutcheon (sixth).


The volleyball team played a few matches last week against Burlington. The boys remain unbeaten at 3-0 as they swept BHS 25-11, 27-25, 25-23. The girls improved to 2-1 as they too beat the ‘Horses 25-15, 25-23, 25-21. The JV’s also won their matches. This week the Hornets host Rice on Friday.


Though it is nowhere near hoop season, here is a basketball announcement for you: Essex Mini Metro sign-ups for its competitive league season that runs from mid-October to mid-February for boys’/girls’ teams. Players in grades 5-8 from Essex, Essex Junction and Westford are eligible to participate. Save the date: Monday, Oct. 6 in the EHS lobby from 6-8 p.m. Price: $135. Meanwhile the Essex Sting Basketball Club is in action this fall for the same age group. Athletes in grades (5-8) in our community learn and play the game together by playing in the winter in the Mini Metro league, and spring AAU tournament season.

College News

In college news, the SMC women’s cross country team finished second to nationally-ranked Middlebury College on Saturday in Middlebury’s Aldrich Invitational. The Purple Knights scored 76 points in the seven-team field, edging Colby College (79) and Hamilton College (85), while the Panthers, who sit eighth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III national poll, scored the minimum 15 points sweeping places 1-5. Ex-Hornet and SMC senior Allie Gratton placed 20th.


All season sports passes are currently in and available for pick-up. They are available in the AD office and at the all night games. Email for more information.

 EHS News

Great presentation last week from Dale Earnhardt, Jr who came to EHS on a stop before his race in N.H. on Sunday. Sponsored by the National Guard, he gave a friendly, professional chat giving EHS students information, answering quite a few questions, and tossing in a life lesson or two. My only regret is I somehow missed out on the Jr. autographed picture, model-type car and t-shirt package. Not sure exactly how that happened… By the way, he placed 10th in the race on Sunday.


After a couple of years as the bridesmaid, I finally took home a fantasy baseball league championship. CBS’ Favorite NYY of the Past League crown went to yours truly. After a barely .500 season and a massive hot streak at the end that continued into three playoff rounds the NY Jamaican Jammers dropped the Fla.-Yanks 291.5 – 255.5. Yasiel Piug came up big with 45 points – 2HRs, 6 RBI’s, 12 Runs; Jon Lester (yes I drafted a Red Sox), and King Felix had very strong weeks of 28 and 26 points respectively. Now I am on my way to buy a lottery ticket.

Giants, Pats and Cowboys won Sunday. Hoping the NJ’ers would start 0-6 again… nuts!


Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law and EHS front office guru Karen Gonillo who turns ….. let’s see….the magical 29 or 39 next week. She continues to defy Father Time, as she and my brother have been married for 30 years. I know you read that a couple of weeks ago. A great cook, a superior voice, nice mom and wife, and she has impeccable checkbook balancing skills.