February arrives at the end of the week. Running out of weather adjectives, so no frustrating comments today. Hornet wrestlers take another tourney. I hope you are catching some athletic contests. Don’t miss the Super Bowl, as it should be a beauty.

The wrestlers had another great week. On Tuesday, Essex clobbered VUHS 75-6. Saturday, they traveled down Route 7 for the Bob Benoure Commodore Invitational in Vergennes. The Hornets won their third consecutive tournament, and it’s believed this is the first time in team history they have accomplished that feat. Also, tournament director Bob Benoure stated Essex is the first Vt. team to win this tournament. 17 teams competed from Vt., N.Y. and N.H. The top three were 1. Essex – 202.5 points, 2. Malone, NY – 140.5, 3. Mt. Abraham – 127 points.

Hornet individual place winners were 99 lbs. Elliot Powell – 1st; 106 lbs. Christian Stygles – 3rd; 113 lbs. Ben Stewart – 1st; 120 lbs. Jake Sunderland – 3rd; 132 lbs. Calvin Leo – 3rd; 138 lbs. Wyatt Lamell – 2nd; 152 lbs. Gil Stawinski – 1st; 160 lbs. William Danis – 2nd; 182 lbs. James Danis – 1st. Other highlights…

Ben Stewart’s finals match was voted the “Most Exciting Match”. This is the fourth consecutive year a Hornet wrestler has won this award. Head Coach Ira Isham was awarded “Outstanding Coach” of the tournament for having the most finalists. Thursday night Essex hosts Spaulding for Senior night. Come out and support our seniors on their last home duel.

The girls’ hockey team upped its record to 9-1 Saturday when they beat the Rutland Red Raiders 4-1. Grace Wiggett scored twice, and the big story in the win was Olivia Miller-Johnson. The senior contributed two assists to notch her 100th career point. The milestone came on her latter assist with 9:13 remaining in the game. (Wish I was there to witness it.) Abby Robbins and Molly Bruyns banged in the other two goals for Essex with Sage Amaliksen, Kaylee Moody, Frankie Martin, and Maddy Young assisting. Sophia Forcier made 10 saves. They play BHS/CHS and Rice with the Golden Knights’ game here Saturday at 4:30. A quote from an extremely humble OMJ on her accomplishment: “When I realized I could make 100 this year, I was psyched. It was great to see my teammates’ reaction on the bench on Saturday after achieving that. It’s not something that Essex players easily accomplish because we have a balanced team and the points are pretty distributed. I’d like to help boost my longtime line mate Maddy Young to her 100th; then Essex can boast two players with 100 points this year.” Congrats!!

Boys’ hockey improved to 8-1-1 this winter after 5-2 W over the MIDD Tigers. Grady Cam scored two goals, with Owen Young, Jonah Janaro, and Ryan Clark the others. Sudden Sam Foster stopped 13 shots. The SB game is rescheduled to Feb. 18. The Hornets host Stowe Saturday at 6:30 then have a clash up in autotown with rival BFA Monday at 7. Plan on getting there early for a good seat!

The boys’ basketball team is now 5-5. The Hornets lost a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, two-point contest 48-46 up in St. J but bounced back to win a strong 60-47 game over the NCUHS Falcons. Stephen Astor scored 20 including five behind the arc. Robbie Meslin chipped in with 16 in the win. After the CVU game Tuesday, next up is SB home Friday and Rice here Tuesday. The JVs are 8-2 winning a 57-55 close shave over the Hilltoppers and a L to the Falcons.

Girls’ basketball went 1-1 last week and plays to a record of 7-5. The Hornets began the week with a 45-30 win over BHS on MLK, Jr. night. Sarah Coulter and Emma Whitney led the offensive with 10 pts, and Lizzie Goodrich 9 while the Essex D did the rest. Later in the week Rice topped EHS 41-31. Coulter scored 10 pts in the loss. The jv’s are now 11-0 after a 48-38 win over the Seahorses and a 54-17 crushing defeat of the Green Knights. Paige Winter’s 13, Macy Hutton’ 11, and Maddie Rabidoux’s 8 were high scorers in a well-rounded team win. They were in Hinesburg Monday, head to BFA Thursday, and host SHS Monday.

The Nordic skiers competed Friday at Sleepy Hollow hosted in a classic mass start. Girls placed 6th – Emma Chadwick 27th; Emma Legg 39th; August Spagnuolo-Chawla 53rd; Celeste Moyer 57th; Emma Brott 58th. Three JV girls in the top 10 – Madeleine Moino 2nd; Fiona Legg 4th; Rachel Chan 10th. V Boys – Patrick Herrin 26th, Nathan Wu 30th, Ethan Boutin 33rd; Sam Schultz 40th. This week is the Tour de Chittenden: Thursday skate at CHS, Saturday skate at Ethan Allen Range and Monday is the Cochran’s uphill climb.

The bowlers invaded Champlain Lanes last weekend. SB placed first with the Hornets second and Hartford third. Match scores – 783 / 717. High scores

bowled by Sam Buell in game 1 197 and Tyler Elias 166. This Saturday Essex hosts Enosburg, RUHS, and FH at Spare Time.

The track and field team had another meet postponed. Plymouth State had flooding. States is their next competition.

The gymnasts are home next week vs MIDD on 1/30.

Hope you are set for the Super Bowl and your annual get-together. With the Pats’ history, not sure anyone should bet against them. Could this game be better than the conference championship games? Wisdom says no, but enjoy!

Egomaniac agents trying to bully GM/clubs into way overpaying stars are ruining baseball. Sure players – and anyone else – deserve to be paid as much as they can, but certain ones who think they can ridiculously determine a player’s worth. Baseball is not going to continue to pay exorbitant salaries and handout 10-yr contracts. You have seen that last winter and this one too. Still hope Bryce Harper signs with the Yankees!

Happy Birthday Sue Burroughs, niece Kristin Hathaway Peet, Christine Chase, Mark Kirby, Liz Nelson, Andrea Riley Arnesen, Anne Mendicino-Wrenn, guitar picker Bob Recupero, Gary Godberson, Lynanne Laubach Nyarady, CA’s Kristina Teachout Cismoski, Jake Farnham-Haskell, Leslie Wall, soon-to-be Senator V Chase, Walt Latrell, Cheryl Fitzgerald, Tim Stratford, Kasey Green, Kristen Rauer Mullen, Rob Molina.