June means end of school, exams, graduation, summer vacation, playoffs, pools opening and state championships. The first Hornet team to earn a state title is boys’ track and field. Softball, boys’ lax, and boys’ tennis are still alive in their respective tourneys. Warrior vs the Cavs in the NBA finals, and Washington vs Las Vegas for the Stanley Cup. Last week of school and an ACT test Saturday.

Congratulations to the Essex boys’ track and field team for winning the D-I state championship Saturday by a single point over the Mt. Mansfield Union Cougars 126-125. St. Johnsbury was a distant third with 111. This was the closest win for the Hornets since they beat Mt. Anthony Union by two points in 1988, an the meet was decided in the last event. Essex led 119-116-111. MMU won the mile relay but the Hornet contingent of Jamaal Hankey, Wyatt Lamell, Spencer Towle and James Boldosser placed third with Hankey making a huge move to come out of fourth and nail down third place and the state title! The girls finished third overall. State champ St. Johnsbury racked up 134 points, South Burlington 90 and Essex with a gut-wrenching 89.5.


  • Gold medal first place finishers on the podium were the girls’ 4x100m relay team – Kat Morin, Nejla Hadzic, Morgan Whitney and Arianna Moffatt with 50.33, a time that established a new school record; the girls’ mile relay team of Whitney, Ella Larson, Giulia Eddy and Lizzie Martell won by 0.04 seconds over SB 4:10.35. Maria Campo won the shot put with a heave of 33’6.5”. Lizzie Martell struck gold in the 400m  where she ran 59.57; Spencer Towle won the 200m sprinting 23.10. Jacob Rigoli took the shot put 45’ 9”, while Henry Farrington won the 1500m in 4:10.27.
  • Second place finishers were Jamaal Hankey 100m 11.43, 110mHH 15.49; Ryan Guerino long jump 22’ 7”75’, 400m 50.96; boys’ 4 x 100m relay 44.26; Breyer Sinor discus 140’ 9”; Michael Baker Pole Vault 12’ 6”; Hadzic 100mHH 16.85 and 300m LH 48.45; Hannah Neddo HJ 5’.
  • Third place honors went to the boys’ 4x800m relay; Rigoli discus 137’; boys’ MR 3:32.83; Ciera Manrique jav 106’ 8”.
  • Fourth place finishers wre Guerino 23.65; Towle 52.86; Farrington 3k 9:14.63; Jackson Baker LJ 21’ 3.75”; Whitney 200m 27.48; Ali Green HH 17.19; Neddo TJ 34’ 7”.
  • Fifth place went to Peter Alden 3k 9:15.80; J Baker HJ 5’ 8”; Martell 200m 27.60; Neddo LJ 16’ 4”.
  • Earning points with sixth place were frosh James Boldosser 400m 53.17; Sinor shot 41’ 7.5”; Green 300mLH 50.62; Neddo pv 8’. Congrats to Coach Katie White, Mary Krug, Adam Lacross, Nick Smith, Chinelo Asanya, V Chase,and Jacob Rodriguez.


Meet director Pavel Dvorak and his staff did another remarkable job. Qualified athletes are heading to the New England Championships at the University of New Hampshire this weekend.

The boys’ lacrosse team had a huge week. They won twice and now are 13-5. In their 10-4 playdown win over Rice, Andrew Cooledge fired in six goals and two assists. Sam Bowen 1G 2A, Chris Davis 2G 1A, Cam Frankenhoff and Jonah Janaro each scored once and Grady Corkum 2A accounted for all the scoring. Aidan Haggerty had seven saves. In the quarterfinals the Hornets slid by SB 10-8 to advance to the semi’s. Chris Labonte drilled home three goals, Corkum scored the game winner adding two assists. Cooledge 2G, Davis, Frankenhoff, Luke Meunier and Jordan Hines all added goals in the win. Hagerty and Wolves goalkeeper Ryan Hockenbury played great games as EHS moves on to the semis at top-seed Champlain Valley this week.

The girls’ LAX squad season came to an end in Manchester with a 12-5 first-round loss to #6 Burr and Burton. As they have done in the latter part of the spring, they played well against a good team and have no regrets. Madi Larson and Ella Frisbee split time in goal. Nice job!

The baseball team completed its season 10-8. After a 9-7 spring the boys won three of their last four to finish hot. They continued that play in the first round of the postseason with a bounce-back 4-2 win over the Bobwhites. BFA had just defeated them in their season finale, but the Hornets would not let that stop them. Mav King’s pitched a 6-hit complete game with 9 K’s. Ryan Young had 2 hits including a 2B in the win. They fell to #2 Brattleboro 5-4 sadly in walk-off fashion. Garrett Somerset hit another home run. Young hit an RBI 2B. Brandon Charles, Robby Meslin, Tyler Millette and Grady Cram added singles.

The softball team won their two playoff games, moved to 18-0 and more importantly advanced to the semis. They clubbed MMU 23-0. Makenna Thorne (4 hits) belted a 3-run HR and Maddie Catella had a 2-run 1B to help kickstart the Hornet offense in the win. Logan Pollard fired a gem with a 3-hit shutout and 10 K’s. Emily Harvey, Sarah Knickerbocker, and Rachel Yandow all had 3 hits. In the ¼’s Essex ended Missisquoi’s spring with a 9-6 win. Jamie Morin went deep twice, once in the first inning (2-run) and then again in the fourth (3-run). Molly Bruyns and Knickerbocker added two hits while Caitlin Toth went the distance for the win. They hosted Colchester Tuesday with a trip to the finals on the line.

The boys’ tennis team, 13-1, won its playdown and quarterfinal matches last week. Essex, seeded second, blanked #15 Harwood 7-0, then edged #10 SB 4-3 in the quarters. They hosted #3 Montpelier Tuesday with, yes, a birth in the finals at stake!

The Hornet girls, seeded seventh, got by #10 Stowe 4-3 in the playdowns. They fell to #2 Burlington 6-1 in the quarters to end the season 8-6.

Took in the unified bocce tourney at UVM’s Virtue field Friday. Covered the EWSD contingent who enjoyed themselves in the warm, at first, then sweltering heat. Thanks to Lorie Anne and April Lambert and Philppe Floyd for coaching. Here’s a look at the roster:Alice Bushey, Alberto Manalac, Ethan Roylance, Savannah Boucher-Fortier, Brooklyn Kababick, Harley Berry, Taylor Metruck, Gabe Metruck, Wyatt Stark, and Hudson Stark. Blue ribbon performance! (Photos by Sara J. Stark)


Coach Shawn Montague and his girls’ basketball players are offering their annual Hornet Hoop Camp June 25-29 at Essex High School. Hopefully you have registered. For more info email him at smontague@ewsd.org and go to this link.  This is last call!

SYE celebration was held Friday at Catamount. A short but torrential blast of rain curtailed any hopes of a round of golf, but the ceremony was great. Heather Taft, Shawn Montague, Eric Langevin, Leo Labonte, Tory Couture, Maria Royer, Barb Isham, Mickey Bonges and Jeff Goodrich helped organize the event. School employees ranging from 5 years to 45 years of service were honored. Retirees included Bill O’Neil, Sandy Cahill, Karen Gonillo, Helen Collette, Pam Blake and Nancy Chalmers. Enjoy the next phase of your lives!

Sad, sad news last week on the passing of dear friend Remzo Smailhodzic. I knew him and have known his family for 30 years. I enjoyed coaching his kids, Orhan and Ordins who played soccer and were track stars. My wife first met Remzo when she worked in human resources for the school district, and he was hired in maintenance. He came to the Central Office and could barely speak English. He was a hard working, caring man who always had a smile on his face and worked at the high school in the morning, walked home for a short break and was back at school for his 3 – 11 p.m. shift. He worked many Saturdays with us on SAT and ACT testing days. We went to a prayer service at the Mosque in the Fort on Sunday. If you’d like to send the family a card, here is their address:

Smailhodzic Family
5 Sugar Tree Lane Unit 2A
Essex Jct.,  05452.

He will be missed.

Happy Birthday nephew Ethan Bechtel, niece Suny-Lynn Rushford, Shaun Trepanier, cousin Anne Virtue, Heather “Swish” Burroughs Bearfield, Mary Nguyen, Jess Folden Berkay, CVU AD and NYY fan Dan Shepardson, Amy Phillippo, Courtney Benevides, Sarah Flaherty, Courtney Griswold, Kathy Cinder, Stacy Contois, Jeff MacIntyre, Steve Dowd, Max Smith and the mayor of EJ Scott Slocum!