A hint of fall showed up last weekend after a simply gorgeous run of fine weather perfect for sports as we enter October. Apple picking, cider doughnuts, Blitz and fire pits sure were a lot of fun as well. Spirit Week, homecoming games and Saturday’s SAT makes for many options to choose.

I was honored to be a small part of the first annual Alicia Shanks Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Saturday morning at Essex Elementary School where Alicia touched many lives in our community. It’s been 10 years since the tragedy and educators Susan Ayers and June Golato and company did an outstanding job organizing. Teachers volunteered to help as did members of the EMS cross-country team.

Our football team was shutout 20-0 Friday night by CVU. The Red Hawk defense was tough and would not break. It was a one-score game until the fourth quarter when CVU scored touchdowns at the beginning and end of the period. The Hornets, 2-2, will regroup for their homecoming Game Friday evening versus BFA-St. Albans. Kick off is slated for 7 p.m. Get there early. The JVs, 2-0, clubbed the Red Hawks 40-22 last week. Essex led 32-0 at the half and cruised to an easy victory. Both lines played well. Evan Dyke, Eli Brinker, Alex Prim and Tyler Millette (2) scored touchdowns. They played CHS o Monday. The freshman went down in defeat 18-6 to a sound Middlebury Tiger team.  Their game vs BHS this week was cancelled.

The field hockey team, 3-1, fell for the first time this fall to the South Burlington Rebels 3-1. The Hornets trailed 3-0 then sophomore Hannah Neddo hit the back of the net late in the second half. Goalkeepers Cassidy Reed and Kaylan Ferreira stopped eight shots. This week they host MMU and BHS, the latter Thursday night under the lights. The JVs dropped a 1-0 decision to South Burlington as goalie Leah Rushford had 11 saves. They fall to 0-2-2.  The JV B team lost to SB then played CVU last week. This week they host SB.

The boys’ soccer team is now 5-0-1 after an 8-1 win over the Cougars. Goals came early and often for the Hornets up three-zip very early in the game. Matt Lyon scored three goals in the first half. Tristan and Darion Salgado scored along with AJ Whitney, Hamza Halilovoc and Ryan Guerino. Goalkeeper Jordan Schmalz had four saves. They deserve to be in the conversation when talking about the top teams in D-I. That situation will be clearer at week’s end as EHS plays CHS on the road then hosts BHS and SB, the latter Saturday at 3 p.m. The JVs are 4-1 after a 1-0 win over MMU.  They play the same three games as the varsity.

The girls are 0-6-1 after suffering two one goal losses last week MMU and SHS. Hunter Poulin scored with the assist coming from Addie Scanlon. Frankie Martin and Yaz Nsame split games in net. They host BHS and SB – homecoming on Friday – this week. The JVs sandwiched a 5-1 win over SHS around ties to Burr and Burton 2-2, then MMU, 1-1. Two games this week and are 3-1-2.

The EHS girls volleyball team defeated BHS 3-0 by scores of 25-23, 25-20 and 25-8. They are now 5-0 and play LI, RUHS, and Rice. The boys also swept BHS 3-0 25-12, 25-20, 25-19. They are 4-1 playing LI and VT Commons next.

The cross-country teams had two races. The JVs ran at Red Rocks while the varsity competed in Manchester on Saturday. The girls were first, and the boys third versus SB/BHS. Martin Thomas finished second while AnneMarie Martell, Emma Farrington, and Katie James swept 1-2-3. In New Hampshire, the girls placed tenth overall and fourth in Vermont with 272 points. Farrington placed 15th, Martell 18th, Hannah Brisson 71st, James 72nd, Olivia Miller-Johnson 96th. The boys were ninth with 288 points. Thomas placed 44th, Ian Lyle 51st, Peter Alden 57th, Jamie Shearer 62nd and Jake Wagner 74th. The teams head south Saturday to run at Thetford in the Woods End Run.

The frosh boys’ soccer team won its last two games, 3-0 over MMU and BFA. Sathvik Kanuparthi had a hat trick against MMU and two goals against BFA.  Trystan Maddalena leads the team with six goals. Kanuparthi has four.They own a 3-5 record. The gals played CVU.
The cheerleaders had a profitable carwash Saturday and continue to shine.

Sox are on fire to end the regular season wrapping up the A.L. East and doing another worst-to-first finish. Yanks, young and exciting, yet stubbed their toes lately to finish out of the money. Cubs looking good. Pats … win again. NYG choked for their first loss this fall.
Yes, hit the links again last week playing with my buddy Dave Coggio. His brother-in-law, the Captain Richard Phillips, joined us along with Jeremy a ski/snowboard instructor from Smuggs. Richard took low score edging his brother-in-law by a couple of strokes. I barely broke 100.

Sad to hear Arnold Palmer passed away last weekend as did legendary VSOA’s Dick Stewart. Though I never refereed a game with him, he was the standard all soccer officials measure themselves and strive to be. Condolences.

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law Karen Gonillo who chalked up her 29th birthday … yet again. Others celebrating include former Hornets Alyssa Poulin, David Blondin, Rick Yates, Tori Datillio Couture, Jason Lefebvre, Antonio Armstrong-Laird and ex-IBM soccer star Bay Outma. P.S. came to my attention that I missed both Jack and Nancy Chalmers birthday last/this month. I know they enjoyed their days.