By JOE GONILLO

Still full from a delicious Thanksgiving Day meal! A couple of big-time cross country races to report on and a hoop game. Turkey Bowl news, but not really. Now it’s on to December, the Christmas and Hanukkah seasons and winter sports. Hopefully you recovered from the Thanksgiving frozen tundra temps – I am trying. Might have to go somewhere warm. Here’s a look at some fall all-star teams with well-deserved honors for Hornets and area athletes. Also, a good-bye to an iconic Junction business.

Congratulations to Essex girls’ soccer coach, Albert D. Lawton PE teacher, and friend, Kevin “Napoléon Dynamite” Barber (it’s an old fantasy football tag) on being named Metro Division Coach of the Year. Barber and the Hornets enjoyed a massive turnaround from a team that notched only 1 win in 2017 to an exciting regular season and a playoff run to the D-I semifinals this fall.

The Essex Boys XC team continued to run long after most people thought the fall sports season ended. They ran every day despite the blistering cold and the mounds of early-season snow. It paid off. On Saturday, the boys made the trek down to Bowdoin Park in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to race at the Nike XC Regional Meet. The meet hosts the best teams from Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. They Essex boys represented Vt. well by placing 12th in the Championship Race 10 pts out of 10th place. This is the best ever finish by a Vermont boys team. Henry Farrington led the Hornets with a 14th place finish earning him NXR 2nd team honors. Peter Alden was next in, despite falling in the mud, at 53rd. Brady Martisus and Ben Stewart both had strong races, finishing 109th and 111th respectively. Jake Wagner was the 5th runner of the day, coming in 144th, while sophomores Liam Mack 170th and Walker Stapleton 212th completed the team. A truly great race to cap off an excellent season. 

CVU cross-country coach Scott Bliss and his girls’ team is at it again. Accolades to the Red Hawks for placing 2nd Saturday in the East Regionals and are on their way to the national championships for the third time in school history. North Hunterdon, NJ scored a mere 70 pts while CVU totaled 117s sliding by North Allegheny, PA 128 to qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals on Dec. 1 in Portland, Oregon.

Annual EHS Turkey Bowl was cancelled due to close to sub-zero temperatures. Truth is wives and significant others made the call to AD Jeff Goodrich. Better luck and warmer weather next year!

Annual Hornet alumni hoop game saw the Gray defeat the Blue 78-73. Cody Greene led the winners with 22 points. Steve VonSitas added 13, Big Tom Carton and Scott Lyon had 11, Aiden Travers 10, Rick Norton 4, John “I’m Not Retired” Willey 3 with Marc Reyome and Matt Nguyen 2 each. Chris Bogue dropped five 3’s for a game-high 30. Matt Wu scored 13, Dennis Barcomb 9, Nick Hendry 7, Bruce Gepfert and Nick Hendry 5, Liam Coulter 4, Brad Luck rebounds and Jessie Coutrayer assists. Great time was again had by all.

VT. SOCCER COACHES’ ASSOCIATION GIRLS’ ALL-STATE
Division I
Essex: Emma Whitney.
Burlington: Zoe Peterson, Helen Worden.
Champlain Valley: Catherine Gilwee, Sydney Jimmo, Sarah Kelley, Jess Klein, Josie Pecor.
Colchester: Madison Finelli, Summer Hathaway, Olivia Moore.
Mount Mansfield: Willa Clark, Lauren Flewelling, Macy Wissell. South Burlington: Grace Johnson, Bella Nevin.

Metro Division – First team
Essex: Huntyr Poulin, Emma Whitney.
Burlington: Maggie Barlow, Zoe Peterson, Helen Worden.
Champlain Valley: Catherine Gilwee, Sydney Jimmo, Sarah Kelley, Jess Klein, Josie Pecor.
Colchester: Madison Finelli, Summer Hathaway, Olivia Moore.
Mount Mansfield: Willa Clark, Lauren Flewelling, Macy Wissell.
South Burlington: Madison Druzba, Grace Johnson, Bella Nevin.

Metro Division – Second team
Essex: Abby Robbins. Burlington: Klara Martone.
Champlain Valley: Olivia Morton, Dylan Walker, Olivia Zubarik.
Colchester: Ani McMannon.
Mount Mansfield: Taylor Bevins, Skye FitzHugh. South Burlington: Maddie Liebegott.

Metro Division – Honorable mention
Essex: Natalie McMahon, Souma Mitra. Burlington: Chloe Debedout, Sage Smith, Maia
Vota, Ruby Wool.
Champlain Valley: Maryn Askew, Quinn Boardman.
Colchester: Sophia Brigante, Ava Hayes, Leah Lamothe, Jessica Nelson.
Mount Mansfield: Anna Betz, Allie Charland, Ava Esmay Sydney Sears.
South Burlington: Maddie Fornasier, Cora Kakalec.

Here’s a look at the field hockey all-star teams:

TWIN STATE
Essex: Sarah Coulter, Hannah Neddo.
Mount Mansfield: Amelia Sanborn. Rice: Lisa McNamara. Rutland: Ella Berardi, Francie Ettori.
South Burlington: Caroline Desautels, Kate Hall, Hanako Memon, Odessa O’Brien.
Champlain Valley:Nora Weisman-Rowell.
Alternates — Catherine Ordway, Mount Mansfield.

ALL METRO – First team
Essex: Sarah Coulter, Jamie Morin. Champlain Valley: Kristy Carlson, Nora Weisman-Rowell.
Colchester: Brynn Coughlin, Meg Lehouiller, Abby Palaza, Jackie Palaza.
Mount Mansfield: Amelia Sanborn.
Rice: Kate Buckley, Caroline McClintock, Lisa McNamara.
South Burlington: Caroline Desautels, Kate Hall, Hanako Memon, Danielle Sleiman.

ALL METRO – Second team
Essex: Kaylan Ferreira, Hannah Neddo. Burlington: Skylar Clarke, Neema Modeste.
Champlain Valley: Hailey Chase, Flynn Hall, Maggie Warren.
Colchester: Petra Bajuk, Hannah Carroll, Kelsey LeClair.
Mount Mansfield: Carly Hansen, Lily Poor. Rice: Amy Hester, Kristen Varin.
South Burlington: Odessa O’Brien.

ALL METRO – Honorable mentionEssex: Ellie Reed, Maddie Reed. Burlington: Hamdi Jafar. Champlain Valley: Lena Ashooh, Jessica Gagne, Caroline Reynolds. Colchester: Brooke Barrows, Molly Echo. Mount Mansfield: Madi Cohen, Ava Stotz. Rice: Isabelle Brown. South Burlington: Ainsley Hultgren, Lilly Truchon.

VT SOCCER COACHES’ ASSOCIATION BOYS’ ALL-STATE
Large school coach of the year: Rob Cole, Champlain Valley

Division I
Essex: Adam Lyon, Peter Osiecki, Spencer Towle.
Burlington: Sam Hogg. Colchester: Hans Nedde.
Champlain Valley: Aidan Johnson, Jonah Roberts, Jack Sinopoli, Cullen Swett.
Mount Mansfield: Asher Symanowicz.
Rice: Griffin McDermott.
South Burlington: Ben Knudsen, Ben Mazza-Bergeron, Samy Slamani.

METRO DIVISION
Coach of the year:
Rob Cole, Champlain Valley
Sportsmanship award: Colchester

METRO DIVISION- First team
BFA-St. Albans: Kameron Dunsmore.
Burlington: Sam Hogg.
Champlain Valley: Aidan Johnson, Jonah Roberts, Jack Sinopoli, Cullen Swett.
Colchester: Hans Nedde.
Essex: Adam Lyon, Peter Osiecki, Spencer Towle.
Mount Mansfield: Asher Symnaowicz.
Rice: Griffin McDermott.
St. Johnsbury: Pablo Gonzalez-Rotger, Sajan Harvey.
South Burlington: Ben Knudsen, Ben Mazza-Bergeron, Samy Slamani.

METRO DIVISION  – Second team
Burlington: Elliot Maher.
Champlain Valley: Luke Morton.
Colchester: Evan Lamothe.
Essex: Gordon Schmalz.
Mount Mansfield: Will Hauf, Jack Hayden.
Rice: Owen Greene.
St. Johnsbury: Asom Hayman-Jones, Malik Joell, Konrad Tillman.
South Burlington: Jacob Gelfenbein.

METRO DIVISION  – Honorable mentionEssex: Nolan Davis, Ryan Guerino, Dominic Minadeo. Champlain Valley: Nicolas Durieux, Caleb Martin, Nathaniel Sampson. Colchester: Van Nguyen. Mount Mansfield: Hunter Groff, Jake Underwood, Mark Zambarano. Rice: Elliot Limanek, Javier Milvaques, Trevor Mitiguy, Jasper Williams. South Burlington: Brendan Bridge, Ben Capano, Tenzin Choedak.

Good-bye and thank you to Aubuchon Hardware. Had no clue the store was closing until I stopped for a haircut at Gary’s and saw the GOOB signs. At a loss for words. Big void in town. You will be missed. Thanks!

Happy birthday as November turns to December: former EHS English teacher Carol Willey, Lora Waldmen, Annah Sullivan, Becky Barrows, Frank Antonucci, Beth Poratti and Tyler Stearns.

Lorette Sousie, my sister-in-law Karen’s mother, passed away last week at 94. To say she lived a full life is an understatement. I met her in the early 80s when Vin and Karen started dating. She was a dance instructor, ran the Sousie School of Dance on North Ave for over 30 years, turned into a sharp antique collector, produced fashion shows and owned a beautiful wardrobe. She was a wonderful woman.