July has ended, and August is upon us. Now the pessimists will say, “Nooooo! School is right around the corner,” while the optimists believe “We have almost a month of summer left.” I used to get a huge lump in my stomach as a student and as an educator, but now I just look forward to the fall sports season. August is still a prime vacation month even though high school sports arrive in a couple of weeks.

(Kevin Macy, Finest Image)


Sand Hill Pool hosted Leagues last weekend. States this weekend are down south. Results from last weekend’s Champlain Valley Swim League’s annual League Championship meet at SHP and saw host Town of Essex Swim Team swimmers perform very well. TEST swimmers swam to 66 top-five finishes in individual events and 11 top-three finishes in relay events setting five new league records in the process. They posted 21 individual league championship victories and three league relay wins en route to an overall second place finish. Casey Keenan and Thomas Denton led the way in the men’s division with three individual wins each. Keenan took firsts in the 18 and under 100 individual medley with 58.93, the 100 backstroke with 57.52 and the 100 freestyle in 50.54. Denton won the 14 and under 100 IM in 59.65, the 50 back in 28.34 and the 50 breast with a time of 30.80. Double event winners include Oliver Austin 200 IM swimming in 2:05.87, and 50 breast of 29.64; Ross Macy swam the 50 free in 23.42 and had a 27.03 in the 50 back. Women’s double event winners amassed important points as well. Elise Subin-Billingsley won the 10 and under 100 IM swimming 1:25.05 and the 25 butterfly in 15.74. 12 and under swimmer Meghan Denton won the 200 free in 2:21.27 and the 50 fly in 32.90; meanwhile 12 and under teammate Alexis LaFountain took the 100 IM with a 1:10.58 and the 50 back in 32.59. Out hometown team also set five new league records including two men’s individual events and three men’s relays. Denton set the new mark for the men’s 14 and under 100 IM at 59.65. SHP LG Ross Macy established the men’s 18 and under record in the 50 Freestyle with 23.42. The 14 and under Men’s 200 Medley Relay record was broken by the TEST team of Luke Austin, Thomas Denton, Jacob Antonovich and Owen Robinson in a time of 1:54.14. TEST’s men’s 18 and under relay team of Macy, Cameron Marcus, Oliver Austin and Jake McIntire set new records in the 18 and under 200 Medley Relay at 1:42.54 and the 200 Freestyle Relay in 1:33.88. (See photos here)

In addition to the outstanding performances of TEST’s swimmers, their long-time swim official, Mary Beth Limanek was awarded the Most Valuable Supporter Award for her significant contribution to the success of the Champlain Valley Swim League. Limanek has spent decades volunteering her time officiating at CVSL swim meets as well as at USA Swimming meets. The award is presented annually to an individual in memory of Allen Cummings in recognition of his support for the sport of swimming. TEST now looks forward to building on its successes competing at the Vermont Swim Association’s State Championship meet at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center next weekend. Coaches Elizabeth Austin, Jim Austin, Pete Picard, Erin Ackerman, Cole Picard and Ryan Hockenbury have done a wonderful job with the team this summer. Many thanks to the team effort of Essex Rec Director Ally Vile, coaches, timers, the myriad of volunteers – parking attendants, snack bar, announcer, smoothie stand, pool deck – LG’s and assistant manager/coach Nicola Anderson, Ken Booker, Dave Foster, Jarret Cram, Austin Theriault, Brayden Rabtoy, Jared Giroux, Rachael Lacourciere and others whose names I do not know. GREAT JOB ALL!

Women’s Soccer League Standings

  1. Vt. Energy Legs 7-1-0
  2. 2 Sisters 6-1-1
  3. Shenanigans 5-1-1
  4. Huff N’ Puff 5-2-0
  5. 802 Cross Fit 3-5-0
  6. THA Warriors 3-5-0
  7. ESDI 2-6-0
  8. NE Kingdom Warriors 0-9-0

Regular season end this week with semis on Sunday evening and finals Wednesday at the Tree Farm.

The Red Sox look unbeatable. Yanks lost Aaron Judge for almost a month.

The 2nd Annual Jim Van Ordan Memorial Classic is scheduled for Monday 8/13 at Rocky Ride 9-2. Register by emailing jvoclassic@gmail.com. They are also taking donations with all proceeds going right to the McClure Miller VNA Respite House. It provides high-quality residential hospice care for people, like Jim, with terminal illnesses and for their families and special care and support during the last weeks of their lives while sustaining dignity, respect, and caring relationships.


Congratulation to Brittany Picard McGuire, EHS cheer coach on placing first in the Vermont Powerlifting Championships at Lift VT in Williston on July 28. Her 303.1 lbs. squat, 192.9 lbs. bench press, and 358.2 lbs. deadlift were all impressive. She works out at Picard Fitness Consulting in the Junction. Mike and Adam Picard are highly skilled trainers.

Birthday wishes out to Will “The Thrill” Hammond, Ryan Shumway, Julie Guerino, Lynne LaBonte, Rob Sinkewicz, Justin Bartinoski, Hadley Rakowski, John “NYY” Woodley, Jill Galdi Mulhern, Chef Brad Smith, Sandy Bechtel, Abby Duval Lanfear, Diane Slocum and Adam Slocum.

Happy Anniversary Todd and Darby Herrington on their 17 years. He got the best of that deal!

 Condolences to buddy and Ramunto’s head man Jeff Paul and family on the passing of their dog, Gracie.