Veterans Day: thank you to all veterans and those who presently serve in the military. Should have done that last week. Speaking of the week…what a week of rain and clouds we had with only a day or two of some sun. I did take advantage of a 50-plus degree weather day and hit the Links for what might have been my last round of golf in 2018. Thanksgiving cannot come soon enough. Have to get a turkey.

Winter sports sign-ups took place last week. Basketball, hockey, skiing (nordic and alpine), cheerleading, gymnastics, indoor track and field, wrestling and bowling all had solid numbers of athletes register. A few reminders: athletes should fill out their winter sports registration form; students should log via “sign in with Google” with their @vt.ewsd.org email account credentials. Meet the Coaches Night is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. The first day of winter sports practice/tryouts is Monday, Nov. 26 after Thanksgiving.

The Essex boys’ and girls’ cross country teams raced in the 2018 New England Interscholastic Cross-Country Championships on Saturday at Derryfield Park in Manchester, N.H. The boys’ results saw La Salle Academy, R.I. win with 49 points. Essex was the top Vermont team in 9th place with 246 points. Burlington was the next Vermont team, finishing in 12th place. Individually, Henry Farrington finished as the first Vermonter in 13th place overall – 16:17. Peter Alden, who will be running for Siena College next year, was next in 22nd place – 16:31; Jake Wagner 92nd 17:17; Brady Martisus 100th 17:21; Liam Mack 132nd 17:38; Ben Stewart 149th 17:51 and Walker Stapleton 185th 18:14. They ran on an extremely wet course. Thanks to Coach Blaine Isham for providing me with xc information throughout the season.

The Hornet girls were the second Vermont team scoring 491 points  and placing 20th overall. CVU scored a mere 78 pts to win. Individually, Natalie Preston was the first Essex harrier to the finish line in 99th place – 20:46; Hannah Brisson – was next in 146th 21:15; Emma Chadwick ran 169th 21:36 followed by Olivia Miller-Johnson 174th 21:43; Morgan Marckres 189th 21:56; Ary Wilson 205th 22:20 and Heidi Stewart 227th 22:57. Running in the day’s second race, the course was in awful shape. Nice job by all.

The powderpuff (or powerpuff as Colchester High School tabbed it) flag football game took place Saturday morning. The senior/junior girls braved the cold and snow to raise over $400 for the NOW Foundation (National Organization of Women) and had a blast in the 2018 EHS Charity Bowl. Thanks to the players, adult volunteer coaches – Maria Royer, Dean Corkum and Leo Labonte, scoreboard operator/announcer Jake Orr, officials Ben Johnson and Joe Gonillo and to the 15 fans who showed up with hats, gloves and blankets. The juniors rushed out to an early lead on a Dasha Jaentschke 45 yard TD scamper. The seniors answered with four straight TD’s executing a slashing, cut-back rushing game and some nifty passing. Tess Hastings tied the game with a 30 yd TD reversing her field to score. Aiden Briley showed off surprising bursts of speed to score. MVP Yaz Nasame caught an Abbey Gleason short pass for another TD, and Val Bessette returned an interception to the endzone as the seniors built up a 28-14 halftime lead. Aiden Bradshaw and Izzy Mager tried to help the juniors on the comeback trail, combining for a beauty of a TD pass covering 20 yards, but Nasame and Gleason lead the defense and the offense respectively – both scoring in the second half as the seniors won big 49-21. A good time was had by all. Here’s a thought…maybe a night game next year for more fans and donations? See pictures from the event here.

Congratulations to the Mt. Mansfield Union Cougars on winning the 2018 D-I Football State Championship Saturday night. They defeated the Red Raiders 38-27 for their first football title in school history. I believe head coach Marty Richards played QB for Bruce Wheeler’s Hornets back in the 80’s, and assistants Tim Root and Mark Ginsburg spent many years at EHS on the football staff. Congrats to AD David Marlow as well. Nice job!

Any time I hear the words “cancer free,” my first response is “Thank God,” and I smile. Read on Twitter last weekend the Red Sox TV announcer, Jerry “Steve Ferreira” Remy told fans those very words. So glad to hear!

Happy Birthday Sharon Adams, Courtney Brooks, Courtney Gleason, Chelsea Martin, Elizabeth O’Lear, Keith Murdough, Vita Francis, Zack Falls, Amber Hall Herisson, Becky Dion-Smith, Fort Myers’ golfer Liz Tobin, Far West’s Kira Hancock and BFP’s Alex Abrami. First anniversary wishes to my niece, Jenna Davis, and her husband, Nick. Last year at this time we were in Curtain Bluff, a beautiful resort in Antigua, for their wedding. Was that ever warm and fun!