By JOE GONILLO

Halfway through January. Still snowy and cold. Hope all are studying this week. Get out and support a team during your free time. Lots of opportunities. Give credit where credit is due as the New England Patriots are a model of consistency.

The wrestlers traveled to Nashua Saturday to compete in the 2019 Nashua South Hall of Fame Tournament. Essex came home the champion, beating a few teams that placed ahead of them at the George Bossi Lowell Invitational back in December.

Scores: 1. Essex High School 163.5; 2. Salem, N.H. 159; 3. Bishop Guertin 135. Hornet Individuals: 106 lbs. – Christian Stygles – 3rd; Elliot Powell – 4th; 113 lbs. – Ben Stewart – 1st; 120 lbs. – Jake Sunderland – 4th; Eli Bonning – 6th; 126 lbs. – Noah Bonning – 4th; 132 lbs. – Calvin Leo – 2nd; 138 lbs. – Wyatt Lamell – 4th; 152 lbs. – Gil Stawinski – 3rd; 182 lbs. – James Danis – 1st; and 285 lbs. – Dylan Jenot – 6th.

The JVs Participated in the Mt. Abraham JV Tourney, no team scores, but individual results were: Dylan Sordiff-Shand – 1st; River Koval – 1st; Nevin Mack – 1st; Ben Middleton – 4th; Oliver Orvis – 2nd; and Kameron Cyr – 2nd. The Mt. Abe match was postponed. The prestigious Mike Baker Classic is this weekend. Rumor has it that the long-time former coach is on his way back from sunny, warm Fla. for the Invite.

Girls’ hockey is still 7-1. Their Woodstock game was obviously postponed due to the weather. MVU is next on Saturday.

Boys’ hockey is now 5-0-2 as they had one game postponed and then split two games up in Potsdam, N.Y. In the mini-tourney, Essex fell 5-4 in OT. Chuck Weigand and Jonah Janaro scored a goal and added an assist. Will Couture and Grady Cram notched a goal each to conclude the scoring. Paul Gordon and Sam Foster were between the pipes.

The Hornets bounced back and drubbed Potsdam 6-1 on Saturday. Cram had a hat trick and two assists, Weigand scored twice and Janaro had a goal and two assists . Foster made 19 saves. BFA game was rescheduled to Monday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. Games this week vs Rutland and at Rice.

The gymnastics team is back in action Wednesday hosting Milton and then hit the road to the Northeast Kingdom to battle St. Johnsbury on Saturday.

With three wins in their last four games, our boys’ basketball team is now 4-4. Two wins last week vs Burlington area teams were impressive. Essex edged BHS 50-46 with a big third quarter at Buck Hard Gym. Robbie Meslin continued his strong play this winter with 15 pts., and Stephen Astor drained three 3s for 11. Anthony DeCarvalho added 10. Against the South Burlington Wolves, Essex pulled away in the second half for a 66-57 win. Meslin had a game-high 20. Brendan Brooks dropped 13, Astor 10 with three more 3s. The JVs improved to 7-1 with double wins, 45-29 and 51-36 respectively. St. J and North Country Union HS this week – away then home. The frosh are 8-0 with more wins in the New Year. Rice, Mt. Mansfield Union and SB next up.

Girls’ basketball shut down SB 40-23 holding the Wolves to a mere four, second-half points and outscoring their hosts 24-4 over the last 16 minutes. This is the defense the Hornets have been known to play, especially over the final months of the regular season.

Strong games from Sara Coulter with 10 pts, Lizzie Goodrich 8, and Noelle Lyon 7. They raised their record to 6-3 with their third W in the last four games by defeating Spaulding 44-39 behind 14 more from Coulter, a balanced scoring attack and a decent defensive effort. The JVs simply keep winning games. Three more W’s this week – none even close: 46-17 over SB, 52-36 past SHS and 51-7 running by NCUHS. Big home game vs the 2018 state champs St. J Thursday evening.

The track and field team enjoyed some major success down in N.H. at the annual Dartmouth Relays. The boys finished 6th with 25 pts. The girls scored 6.25 pts and placed 32nd. Ryan Guerino not only won the long jump but set school AND state records in the process. The highly talented senior flew 22’ 7” to defeat an impressive field. Michael Baker vaulted 12’ 6” in the pole vault for 3rd; the boys’ 4x200m relay finished 3rd; James Boldesser 5th in the 400m 52.20; Henry Farrington ran a quick 4:25.0 in the mile placing 5th; as did running mate Peter Alden 8th in the 2 mile 9:44.75; Jamal Hankey 14th in 55m 6.83; Jackson Baker 20th long jump 18’ 6”; Brady Martissus 32nd mile 4:47.75. Lizzie Martel sprinted to 3rd place in the 600m in 1:40.06; Hannah Neddo t:6th high jump 5’; the girls’ 4 x 200m relay 18th; Lilly Bulger 9th weight throw 31’ 8.5”; Hannah Brisson 20th 2 mile 12:23.34; Natalie Preston 20th mile 5:40.88; Morgan Marckres 41st mile 5:52.93; and Maria Campo 19th shot 30’ 1”. Next meet is at Plymouth State in N.H. on Saturday, Jan. 26.

NFL championship games are set for Sunday. Rams at New Orleans and the Pats play the Chiefs. Clear your Sunday afternoon schedule.

Embarrassing fact: I went 23-17 in an ESPN College Bowl contest. That placed me in about 212,000th place. I pick way too much with my heart over my head!

Happy Birthday to Westford’s Josh Stark, all-star pickle baller Wayne Davis, Blaine Isham, Judi Galdi, Jeff Chalmers, Pastor Joe Murphy, Andrew Overfield, Ashley Wilson, Amanda Payne, Adam Rich, Maria Morgan, Katie Clark and Eli Devoid.