Remember it’s 2019. Getting used to January? Not me! Weather aside, it’s a great time for sports at all levels. Middle school basketball, all high school sports, college football championship was Monday night, men’s and women’s college hoop is rolling and, of course, the NFL playoffs are in high gear.

The Hornet wrestlers competed in the Falcon Duals at Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, Mass. The Hornets went 2-2. Scores: Essex 39 – Ashland 42; Essex 13 – Springfield Central 66; Essex 43 – Melrose 31; and Essex 45 – Minnechaug 33. They host Mt. Abe this week and head to Nashua, N.H. over the weekend.

Girls’ hockey is now 7-1 allowing only five goals this winter. After dropping their first game of the season to BFA, the Hornets responded with an 8-1 win over Middlebury and a weekend 6-0 shutout of Harwood/Northfield that saw Essex explode for four scores in the third period. Olivia Miller-Johnson and Abby Robbins scored twice and added an assist to lead EHS. Maddy Young and Sage Amaliksen also lit the lamp. Goalkeeper Sophie Forcier stopped only five shots in the win. They play Woodstock and MVU next.

Boys’ hockey upped its record to 4-0-1 with two wins last week: 3-0 over CVU (Willem Barwin, Grady Cram and Charlies Wiegand were your scorers) and 6-2 over Spaulding High School. In the game against the Tide, two goals by Grady Cram (one assist), Justin Prim G/A and scores from Max Line, Gordon Schmalz and Ryan Clark sealed the win. Sam Foster made 28 saves. The Hornets met up with BFA Wednesday then travel to Potsdam, N.Y. for a weekend tourney.

The Gymnastics team continues to perform well scoring over 131 points for the third time this winter. In their lopsided win over Harwood, the Hornets swept the top places in all four events:

  • Vault: 1. Ella Lesny, E 8.7; 2. Abbey Gleason, E 8.65; 3. Gabby Schmida, E 8.35.
  • Bars: 1. Abby Brooks, E 7.5; 2. Ella Lesny, E 7.4; 3. Ella Frisbee, E 7.3.
  • Beam: 1. Ella Lesny, E 9.15; 2. Abby Brooks, E 8.85; 3. Emily Moll-Celis, E 8.55.
  • Floor: 1. Abbey Gleason, E 8.9; 2. Kiki Keenan, E 8.35; 3. Ella Lesny, E 8.3.
  • All-around: 1. Ella Lesny, E 33.55; 2. Abbey Gleason, E 32.65; 3. Abby Brooks, E 31.85.

They are off until 1/16.

Though only 2-4, the boys’ basketball team is playing tough. Essex drubbed U-32 with a  63-51 win behind Steph Curry, rather Robbie Meslin’s, 24-point game. They were six up on Rice at the half, but the Knights caught them with about four minutes to go in the game and EHS eventually fell 55-48. Meslin had 18 and Brendan Brooks 10. Burlington High School and South Burlington up next. The JVs are 6-1 after winning games against Rice and BHS over the past week.

The girls’ basketball team is 4-3 after a 45-36 loss to the BFA Comets last week. Down by 10 early, then 15 at the break, Essex battled to get back into the game but could not quite catch up. Emma Whitney scored 10 points and Anna Sabourin 8 for the Hornets. The JVs upped their record to 6-0 with a close-shave 30-28 win over BFA. Cailey Appenzeller hit for 9. The combined JV/JV-B team clobbered Burr & Burton 56-13 as EmilyRose Mercier dropped 10. Away games at SB and SHS this week.

The indoor track and field team is having a fine winter. Some record-breaking performances last weekend include Peter Alden and Henry Farrington who set new D-I records in the 3000m and 1500m respectively 9:14.61 and 4:15.61; Lizzie Martel ran a personal record in the 600m with 1:41.56; Jeremy Brennan PR weight throw 47’7’; Lily Burger PR weight throw 29’7”. This weekend team members who qualified hit I-89 to Dartmouth for its annual invite. The rest of the team will be competing at UVM.

Results from the alpine ski race at Smugglers’ Notch saw no official team result for the girls due to needing four starters. With a “penalty” score the Hornets placed eighth as CVU won. Syd Stammelman 23rd; Maggie Donahue and Madeleine Larson 47. The boys placed seventh of 12 with a score of 184 with Stowe winning. Drew Engard 34th; Bryan Stammelman 35; Nate Croft 56; Connor McMahon 59; Brian Nelson 65; Danny McMahon 67; Chris Nichols 72; Zach Centracchio 74 and Christian Smith 76. All individual results are posted on VARA.org under VPA high school racing and will have the individual times listed.

The bowlers traveled up to Enosburg (Dairy Center) and placed second behind SB. BHS was third and (the other) EHS finished fourth. Scores: Sam Buell 170/ 111; Tyler Elias 155/121; Alex Simard 145/ 122; James Gianelli 131/139; Griffin Pine127/88; Kaila Menard 121/92; Montai Peart 92/77. They travel to Rutland Saturday.

Hope you are keeping track of the UVM men’s basketball team. Another exciting season with a bunch of talented players. Women doing okay as well with a new coach.

Pats host Chargers; Colts visit Chiefs; Eagles play Saints; and Cowboys (who crunched Pete Carroll and Seahawks proving many so-called sports experts wrong ) travel to L.A. to play Rams.

Happy Birthday N.C.’s Kathy Converse, Deana Decker, Soccer Central’s TJ Meade, Big Troy Austin, Mountain Man Will McNulty, Beth Bushey, and recently married JJ Palker. Remembered our Dad former Waterbury, Conn. educator and administrator and Tyler Drive resident Don Gonillo, whose birthday was the last week of December. We always gave him extra non-Christmas gifts for obvious reasons. Will always remember the times we played catch in our backyard, when he took Vince and me to the park pitching to us and hitting endless fly balls, our trips to the Bronx for real DH’ers in the 60’s and 70’s; never pushing us into our careers and being so very supportive of us in our lives…