By JOE GONILLO

Snow, snow, and more snow. Shovels, snow blowers and plows working? Using your skis, sleds, snowmobiles and snowshoes? Enjoy it if you love it. If not – gotta move. Michael J. Baker Classic another huge success. Exciting, too, as Hornets earned an historic championship! Nordic ski team hosted their annual Essex Classic as well. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day honored one of the most revered men in history. Sadly, I still remember the night he was shot.

Congratulations to Hornet senior Maddie Folsom who last week was named Vermont’s high school girls’ volleyball player of the year by Gatorade. She is a 6’ middle hitter and the second straight EHS player to earn the award, which obviously recognizes “outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement, and exemplary character both on and off the field.” She captained the Hornets championship team in the fall.

The 2019 version of the prestigious Mike Baker Classic is in the books. 26 schools and 200+ athletes from three states invaded the Essex gym Friday afternoon through Saturday evening for a highly competitive tournament. The Hornets won their own tourney for the first time in 26 years. Scoring for the top three teams look like this: 1. Essex High School – 255.5 points; 2. Mt. Ararat/Brunswick HS, ME – 173 points; 3. Queensbury HS, NY – 171.5 points; SHS, Mt. Abe, CVU, MMU and VERG took places 6-10. The Essex Place Winners include two individual champions. Here are the Hornets who made the podium: 99 lbs. Elliot Powell – 2nd and William Einhorn – 3rd; 106 lbs. Christian Stygles – 3rd; 113 lbs. Ben Stewart – 2nd; 120 lbs. Jake Sunderland – 4th; Eli Bonning – 6th; 126 lbs. Noah Bonning – 3rd; 132 lbs. Calvin Leo – 3rd; 145 lbs. Luke Williams – 3rd; 152 lbs. Gil Stawinski – 4th; 170 lbs. Seth Carney – 2nd; 182 lbs. James Danis – 1st; 285 lbs. Dylan Jenot – 1st. Congrats to athletes and coaches. The team and staff would like to thank all the parents, volunteers, and athletic admin for their help running a great tourney. They have a busy three-match week on the road at VERG, Otter Valley and then the VERG tourney Saturday.

Six teams competed in the Essex Nordic Classic at Craftsbury Outdoor Center Saturday. The Hornet boys were second, scoring 38 pts. MIDD won the race with 12 pts., with BHS 3rd  at 40 pts. Charles Martell finished 3rd, Patrick Herrin 10th, Nathan Wu 12th, and Ethan Boutin 13th. BHS took first in the girls’ race totaling 12 pts., MIDD was next 22 pts., and EHS 3rd with 61. Emma Legg placed 10th, Emma Chadwick 14th, Emma Brott 18th, and Abby Monahan 20th. The JV boys were third with Walter Stapleton 4th. The gals skied in second (by a pt) with Madeleine Moino placing second overall. Friday’s race is at Sleepy Hollow.

The gymnastics team won twice last week and is now 5-1. The Hornets drubbed Milton 131.2 – 107.4 then edged St. J Saturday before the snow hit 138.75 – 134.40. The biggest story in the win was the season-high 138+ pts the team scored in the meet. Might be one of, if not the, highest point total in Vt. this winter. Here’s a look at the results: Vault: 1. Ella Lesny 8.6; 3. Abby Gleason 8.5; Bars: 1. Livia Ball 9.3; 3. Abbey Gleason (E) 8.5. Beam: T1. Anna Cushing (SJA),Ella Lesny 9.2; 3. Emily Moll-Colis 9.1. Floor: T1. Anna Cushing (SJA), Livia Ball 9.3; T3. Ella Lesny, Abbey Gleason 9.2. All-around: 1. Anna Cushing (SJA) 35.3; 2. Livia Ball 35.1; 3. Emma Stelzner (SJA) 34.65. They are home next week vs MIDD on Jan. 30.

The girls’ hockey team is now 8-1 after their 7-1 pounding of the MVU T-birds. Four goal in the first period from Courtney Himes, Sage Amaliksen, Abby Robbins and Amaliksen again began the barrage. Molly Bruyns and two from Maddy Young concluded the scoring. Young dished out five assists, Olivia Miller-Johnson had four, Bruyns, Robbins and Grace Wiggett had one apiece. GK’ers Sophie Forcier made three saves, Isabelle Seguin two and Megan Ginnett two saves. The Hornets put 38 shots on goal. They have allowed a mere six goals this season while scoring 47! Next game is down in Rutland on Saturday at noon.

The boys’ hockey is now 7-1-1 with a 7-1 hammering of Rutland and a 3-0 W over Rice Saturday. Chuck Weigand scored twice and Owen Young in the latest win. EHS has scored 41 goals and given up 13. Away then home vs SB and MIDD. The latter Saturday at 4:30.

Boys’ basketball is still 4-4. No games last week but a travel game in St. J, then a home game vs NCUH. A home date with CVU looms Tuesday. JVs holding steady at 7-1. The frosh are 9-0 with Rice and MMU this week and SB Monday at home.

Girls’ basketball is now 6-4 following a 56-24 loss to St. J. Essex fell behind early and could never quite catch up. Olivia Noyes and Noelle Lyon scored six pts. each. The JVs and JV-B teams are 9-0 and 3-0 respectively. The JVs dropped the Hilltoppers 34-16 behind 12 from Cindy Sheeran. The JV-B squad destroyed St. J 57-12, with a solid effort, great D and a team win from start to finish. Two games this week at BHS on MLK Day then Rice home Thursday. A visit to Hinesburg is set for Monday evening.

The bowlers picked up their first weekend win Saturday in Claremont, N.H. Hartford placed second with Bratt third. They bowled 1461 – 692/769 – in the two matches. Sam Buell 167 and Tyler Elias 237 (personal record) were game-high respectively. They’ll hit Champlain Lanes this weekend.

The track and field team had a meet at Harvard postponed. Plymouth State is the place this Saturday. Then no meets until states…strange schedule.

Happy Birthday Jackson Mead, Ashley Correia, Bullet Rob Hazen, Scott Brown, Judge Dave Barra, Officer David Bowers (always remembered for his clutch javelin throw to cement an Essex TF state championship) and Mike Antoniak.