July brought us some steaming hot weather. AC, fans, fireworks, pools and even some golf helped a bit. Thank God the heat wave broke! The fireworks from Essex Junction Recreation and Parks wowed The Junction on the Fourth. A long-time iconic Essex High School teacher/coach officially retired from the classroom. More from the summer swimming and women’s soccer leagues. World Cup soccer moved into the semifinals. Heart-warming swimming story from Seattle below.

Congratulations to my good friend and colleague, Bill O’Neil, who retired last month after 45 years of teaching English and coaching soccer, hockey and softball at EHS. I met Bill at Sand Hill Pool in the summer of 1980 after I graduated from St. Michael’s College and became his student teacher. He has been an incredible person, mentor, teacher, coach and friend. The man coached three sports for almost his entire time here. His coaching career is nothing short of remarkable and is unmatched in Vt. He’s been honored nationally as well. His place in Georgia overlooks the lake. That will be an enjoyable transition…heard a rumor about coaching that I need to investigate!

My wife, niece and nephews took in the Junction fireworks on the Fourth. They were fantastic! Lights, explosions, color and double explosions ooooohed and ahhhhhed the crowd at Maple Street Park. They were easily the best I have seen since the Dave Neil / Pete Selkowicz eras. Actually ran into Mr. Neil who shared how EJPR began hosting the fireworks. He became rec director early in 90’s and went with his family, the Johnstons, and the Mayvilles to the Colchester fireworks. Well, they got delayed, things went wrong and their young kids were cranky and crying. Somebody made a comment that if Essex Junction hosted, they could walk home if they had to. A few think-tank meetings later and the idea became reality. Glad the tradition continues!

Results from last week TEST swim meet in Middlebury went to Essex. With 94 swimmers traveling down Route 7, TEST outscored MIDD 330-135.

First place winners:

  • 10 & under Girls: 100 Medley Relay (Abigail Jackman-back, Chelsea Larsen-breast, Ellie Subin-Billingsley-fly & Emillee Brownell- free)
  • 10 & under boys: 100 Medley Relay (Taggert Ackerman-back, Riley Drury-breast, Ben Haddock-fly & Drew Wignal-free)
  • 12 & under girls: 200 Medley Relay (Alexis Lafountain -back, Lily Larsen-breast, Sierra Harris-breast & Meghan Denton- free)
  • 12 & under boys- 200 Medley Relay (Owen Ackerman- back, Derek McIntyre- breast, Jacques Lacourcier- Fly & Dallas St. Peter- free)
  • 14 & under Girls – 200 Medley Relay (Alayna Potter- back, Kayla McIntyre- breast, Izzy Subin-Billingsley- Fly & Ingrid Gilliam – free)
  • 14 & under boys – 200 Medley Relay (0wen Robinson-back, Luke St. Peter-breast, Jacob Antonovich-fly & Bradyn Potter- free)
  • 18 & under boys- 200 Medley Relay (Thomas Denton – back, Oliver Austin – breast, Ross Macy- Fly & Luke Austin – free
  • 8 & under boys: Tyler Haddock (25 Fly & 25 breast)
  • 10 & under girls: Ellie Subin-Billingsley (25 Fly, 25 back, 25 free), Abigail Jackman (25 breast)
  • 10 & under boys: Ben Haddock (25 Fly, 25 back & 25 free), Riley Drury (25 breast)
  • 12 & under girls: Alexis Lafountain (50 Fly, 50 back & 50 free), Meghan Denton (50 breast)
  • 12 & under boys: Derek McIntyre (50 breast), Dallas St Peter (50 free)
  • 14 & under girls: Katie Miller-Johnson (50 back)
  • 14 & under boys: Thomas Denton (50 Fly, 50 back and 50 free), Luke Austin (50 breast)
  • 18 & under girls: Eve Chamberlain (50 fly, 50 back and 50 free)
  • 18 & under boys: Ross Macy (50 Fly, 50 back & 50 free), Oliver Austin (50 breast)
  • 8 & under boys 100 free relay (Finley Anger, Tanner Drury, Ryan Lenore and Tyler Haddock)
  • 10 & under girls 100 free relay (Emilee Brownell, Abigail Jackman, Chelsea Larsen and Ellie Subin-Billingsley)
  • 10 & under boys 100 free relay (Riley Drury, Eli Chaffee, Drew Wignal & Ben Haddock)
  • 12 & under girls 200 free relay (Meghan Denton, Lily Larsen, Sierra Harris and Alexis Lafountain)
  • 12 & under boys 200 free relay (Owen Ackerman, Derek McIntyre, Jacques Lacourcier & Dallas St Peter)
  • 14 & under girls 200 free relay (Saige Harris, Ella Newman, Kayla McIntyre & Katie Miller-Johnson)
  • 14 & under boys 200 free relay (Owen Robinson, Bradyn Potter, Luke St Peter & Jacob Antonovich)
  • 18 & under boys 200 free relay (Oliver Austin, Thomas Denton, Luke Austin and Ross Macy)

TEST swimmer Zada Anderson was one of two swimmers among 14 athletes representing Vermont last week in Seattle at the Special Olympic Games. Zada competed in the top female division in 50 fly, 50 free and 100 free events and earned silver, bronze and bronze medals respectively. The swim venue was amazing. Vermont’s two swimmers, Zada and Chris Mitchell, who won a silver in the 100 free, 50 back and 50 free, and coach Chad Phalon were featured in an MSN interview. For that article, click this link.

Zada graduated from Mt. Mansfield Union in June and will be attending Purdue in the fall. She has been swimming with TEST for six years works at the Maple Street Pool as a lifeguard and swim instructor. She started as volunteer swim instructor at MSP when she was 12 and has been there for six years as well. Chris is from Sudbury. The officials for each event were from all over the U.S., and together with volunteers ensured an Olympic experience for all of the athletes.

Women’s Soccer League Standings

  1. Vt. Energy Legs 4-1-0
  2. Shenanigans 3-1-0
  3. Huff N’ Puff 3-2-0
  4. 802 Cross Fit 3-2-0
  5. 2 Sisters 2-1-1
  6. ESDI 1-3-0
  7. Tha Warriors 0-3-0
  8. NE Kingdom Warriors 0-0-4

The MLB All-Star game is Tuesday night. No surprise that the Red Sox, Indians, Yanks, Astros and Braves have the most players on the squad. AL should be the favorite with Sale, Severino, Kluber, Chapman, and Kimber heading the cast of pitchers.

Have you seen “Ant Man and the Wasp yet? It’s fantastic. The Marvel movies have some interwoven thread in them. I used to be strictly a Spiderman fan but have branched out and have totally enjoyed the movies. As an extremely PROUD uncle, I will brag and mention that my niece, Stacey (EHS and UMASS Amherst grad) worked wardrobe and sets on the film and got her name up in lights on the big screen for the second time. She worked on “Black Panther too.

Birthday wishes going out to Kyran and Wakely McNulty, Linda L’Esperance, Eileen Pavlovich, Ethan Curtis, Ashley Besaw Barry, Dan Hagan, Chris Kirkpatrick, Kim Martin, Jay McCormack, Aaron Lords, Matt Warren, Gabrielle Velasquez,and soon-to-Fla. Donna Kaynor. Happy Anniversary to niece and nephew Sunny and Trevor Rushford on their twentieth, son and daughter Josh and Karen on their sixth, Adam and Eva Slocum on their first.