Redhawk Tennis Aces Quarter Finals

Mr. Nate Shanks

Thursday June, 1 2017-The boy’s tennis team defeated 13th seeded Woodstock.  George Lomas was the first Redhawk to leave the 6-court complex after defeating his opponent 6-0 6-1.  Speaking with George after his crushing victory, “I really just went out there and played my game, stayed consistent and attacked when I saw the right ball” George is coming off a tough loss in the individual tournament which was held last weekend.

George lost to rival Trent Newman from South Burlington in the semifinals of that tournament.  With first singles complete, a majority of the matches were starting to finish up and shortly after George’s match.

3,4, and 5 singles were also victorious and secured CVU’s trip to the quarter final round of the playoffs.  Frank Babbot after the 4-straight match wins he told us what he thought, “Although they weren’t our biggest competition we’ve seen this year, they’re an upcoming team and should be a great contender in this tournament in about a year or two.” Babbot continued, “As for our boys this was a great match to practice what we’ve been doing in practice and try out some new tactics.  Although we are taking this tournament one match at a time, our ultimate goal is to be ready for first seed South Burlington, in which we would face them in the semifinal round.”

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CVU Varsity Baseball Wrap-Up

Mssrs. Nate Shanks & David Huber

The CVU Baseball team wrapped up their season on June 3 with a loss to Burlington. The game was a part of the VPA playoffs in which the Redhawks reached the quarterfinals. Coming off of a 4-3 win in the playdown game against Missisquoi, the 13-4 Redhawks looked to grow their record as they prepared on the home field on Saturday.

The regular season saw the Seahorses defeating the Redhawks by a score of 2-0. The 3-seeded Redhawks were the favorite to win the game, and in fact, win it all. However, as many athletes and coaches know, being a favorite means nothing in playoffs. These playoffs have been like no other however. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen the top 12 teams with 10 or more wins,” said CVU coach Tim Albertson.

With the skill levels closer than ever, CVU knew they would have to play their best baseball everyday if they wanted to be successful. “There are no teams that can be taken for granted in this league. We learned that after our first game,” said captain Hunter Anderson. The team faced a close call when they found themselves in a battle with the 14-seed Missisquoi.

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Champlain Valley Brings the Heat at Special Olympics Bocce Tournament

Mr. Zachary Toensing

S’NALBAN — early 120 teams from over 25 schools across Vermont gathered last Thursday in St. Albans to participate in the 5th annual Unified Sports Bocce Tournament. Hundreds were on hand to help assist with making the tournament run smoothly which included several rounds of bocce, a full BBQ, and award ceremony.

Special Olympics Vermont started the bocce tournament 5 years ago in hopes of creating an event that students of all abilities could participate in, and experience the glory that comes with playing a high school sport. This year attendance records were broken with athletes from over 25 Vermont elementary, middle and high schools competing. In fact the event has grown so much over the last few years that the location has been changed from the small St. Albans field to the big stage at the University of Vermont.

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CVU Baseball Enters the Last Stretch of the Marathon

Baseball Prepares for Postseason

By Colin Lach 

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Courtesy of Burlington Press Press

It’s that time of the year again for VT High School baseball, where games are starting to mean something. As the regular season is coming to an end, the postseason is just about to begin. Senior-heavy CVU is currently preparing for this year’s playoff run.

For CVU Baseball, this is an opportunity to capture their first title since 2013, and for seniors this is one last chance to capture an elusive State Championship. “It would be a great way to end my high school career if we could come out on top,” commented senior pitcher, Hunter Anderson.

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Photo Story: Vermont City Marathon 2017


CVU Continues to Set Records In Track and Field

Mr. Wyatt Troutmaster Hoechner

CVU Track and Field team is in full swing like most spring sports, on 05/13/17 CVU hosted their latest track meet. With key athletes out with injuries like Sophia Gorman CVU didn’t dominate every event at the track meet. Yet this didn’t stop the rest of the team. Every athlete has been taught to push their limits and strive towards faster times. This dedication can easily be seen on the track but also in the recorded time sheets.

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Track meets are massive and consist of multiple different events. With that said CVU, has a wide spread of talented runners in its arsenal. In just this one track meet on 05/13/17 CVU not only won multiple events but set many PR’s (personal records) as well. In the Discus event Alison Kloechner set her new record, along with Tyler Marshall one of our star athletes who seems to just get faster and faster. Marshall took over the 800 meter dash sweeping away his old PR and getting a time of just 1:58.

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The NFL Needs to Make Changes

Mr. Josh Bliss

In October 2015, NFL running back DeAngelo Williams was fined $5,787 for wearing pink in honor of his mother to support Breast Cancer. In 2016, even more ridiculous fines occurred. Antonio Brown was fined $6,000 for wearing blue cleats. Josh Norman was fined for shooting a bow and arrow after a good defensive play, despite Brandin Cooks not receiving a fine for doing the same exact thing. Even Allen Robinson was fined $9,000 for spinning a football after scoring a touchdown. It’s no question why the NFL has lost viewership over the past years. All of these rules make the games less entertaining. If the NFL wants to change the trend in declining viewership, they have to change many things.

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Image Credit: Sports Illustrated

Some people associate this decline with the number of uninteresting games. This may be a factor in the decline, as eight out of the 10 playoff games before the Super Bowl were blowouts, meaning there’s no point in watching when you already know who’s going to win after the first quarter. It is also quite possible that the presidential election had something to do with the declined ratings. Ratings were down 8% this year, but studies have proven that ratings also decreased during the 2000 presidential campaign (10%) and during the 1996 presidential campaign (6%). However, even after the election occurred, the ratings were still down.

One of the main causes is because the NFL doesn’t listen to their fans. Fans want to see close, entertaining games that are reffed fairly. Only the opposite can be said for this past season, as we have seen more and more blowouts, less entertainment, and controversial refereeing. Eric Simons, author of “The Secret Lives of Sports Fans” expressed, “There’s this idea that fans will follow or that fans don’t matter. That they’lll sell out their boxes to big corporations no matter where they go.”

This assumption by the NFL just simply isn’t true. Take the new Los Angeles Rams for example. They just finished their first year playing in Los Angeles after many years of playing in St. Louis, and they were more popular in St. Louis. Despite Los Angeles having a significantly higher population than St. Louis (more than 3 million people), more people in St. Louis are watching the games than those in L.A. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Nielsen, which tracks viewership, reports that 10.6 percent of homes with a TV in St. Louis tuned in to see the Rams trudge to a 24-3 loss Thursday night to Seattle in their most recent contest. The figure in LA was 10.2 [percent]. (The game was shown on NBC and NFL Network in both markets, and the ratings cited are the combined numbers for those outlets)”. Attendance is down in L.A., and there is no sign of change in the near future. With even more teams moving to different cities such as San Diego to L.A. and Oakland to Las Vegas, it is safe to assume that these teams will lose ratings.

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Image Credit: USA Today

Additionally, fans want to be entertained. The new rules preventing players from celebrating is uncalled for and doesn’t prevent anything. What is the harm in celebrating a touchdown? Fans are upset that their teams are penalized for simply celebrating a touchdown, which can affect the outcome of the game. Yes, the NFL has made momentum to changing these celebration rules amongst other rules, and a change is likely in the near future. For now though, the NFL is commonly known as the ‘No Fun League,’ and viewership will continue to decline until something is done about it.

Fresh Start for CVU Softball

Mr. Christopher T. O’Brien


After ending the 2016 season 3-14, the CVU Softball team had their work cut out for them if they want to compete in the 2017 season.

Following the 2016 season, the head coach, Paul Potter, stepped down, leaving the door open for a new coach. Potter, from Shelburne, had been the coach for the previous four years  and struggled to find success.

 

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Photo: Dan Shepardson

With a new coach to start off the season, the girls could hope that they would have a season to be proud of. The new coach for the 2017 season is Mike Sullivan. Sullivan lives in Vergennes and has returned to CVU to coach after previously coaching in Vergennes. Emily Gagnon, a CVU senior says about the new coach, “I have much more faith in our team and in the new coaching staff than I did before.”

The girls on the team knew that it wouldn’t just be a new coach that would make this happen, and that they would need to put time into it over the winter in order to better themselves.

Natalie Gagnon, a senior on the softball team, used the winter to prepare for the upcoming season: “I play year round for my travel team, Vermont Storm. We practice at Bases Loaded throughout the winter and would play tournaments in New York.” Bases Loaded is an indoor hitting and pitching facility located in Williston.

Natalie also says, “The scores this year are much lower than in previous years which gives us more hope despite the record so far. We have faced our toughest opponents already and have held them to minimal runs. The team is more focused and confident this year and I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out.”

So far this season the Redhawks are 4 and 4 and look to improve to 5 and 4 with their next game in Vergennes on May 9.

 

Opinion: College Athletes Should Not Get Paid

Mr. Josh Bliss

Last year, freshman superstar Ben Simmons was benched in a basketball game for failing to earn a 2.0 GPA in the fall semester. He later dropped out of school after the season ended, and has yet to play a game in the NBA.

You may think that paying someone for a skill they excel in would be a good idea. However, if this were to be set in place, the consequences would greatly outweigh the benefits.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

 

This would be significantly unfair to non-athletes. According to the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), only six percent of students at a Division I College participate in sports. When taking into account the small chance of even becoming a part of this six percent (only seven percent of high school baseball players will even play Division I, which is also true for three percent for men’s basketball, and seven percent for football), it is very unlikely that the average person will ever be a part of this selective group. This is why paying college athletes would be unfair to those that aren’t filled with elite athletic talent. The money would only go to a certain crowd of people, which would be unfair to those that are skilled at something else, but they wouldn’t be getting paid for it, such as musicians, artists, etc.

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Redhawk Baseball: It’s Redemption Season

Mr. Josh Bliss

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Photo by Tim O’Brien

Anyone who has been involved in Vermont baseball for a while knows that last year’s quarterfinal exit for the CVU team was uncharacteristic; a team that has had a history of winning in recent years was unfamiliar with the early round exit in last year’s playoffs.  However, the loss may not  have been all bad news.

This year’s team looks to use last year’s loss as a motivator for this coming season. Senior captain, Chris O’Brien, stated, “The ending to last season was definitely disappointing, but this year we’re using last season’s ending as motivation to finish this season where we want to be.  On top.”  The Redhawks will look to match, if not improve, their impressive record of 14-4 last year.

Additionally, despite losing some key seniors last year, this year’s season looks promising. The team has a diverse group of players, ranging from six seniors who lead the team to the five underclassmen whose impressive skill landed them  spots on the roster. The group will look to use their balance of experience and skill to their advantage.  “I think our seniors, including myself, are ready to be leaders.  We have a lot of talent as it stands, but our leadership and togetherness will help us even more,” said Senior outfielder, Nate Shanks.  “I’m really excited to see what we can do this season.”  

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CVU Unified Basketball Team Shoots for The Championship

Ms. Jaime Vachon

Despite being a newly formed team in 2016, CVU’s Unified Basketball Team made it look easy on their way to the first ever Unified Basketball Championship.

The record setting season, on top of winning the championship the previous year, has sparked many people’s attention for this coming season. After losing six players to graduation at the end of last year’s season, coaches Anthony Spagnolo and Peter Booth are assembling an almost completely new team.pasted image 0 (5)

The team is already hard at work with practices after their win against BHS on the 21st, with a score of 47-36. Every Tuesday and Thursday, CVU’s Unified Team can be found working on their skills in the gym.

With all the team spirit and hard work, prospects of another championship are looking very high. When asked who the best defender on the team is, assistant coach Anthony Spagnolo had this to say, “I’d have to say Alex Farrington, he moves his feet pretty well.” And with hustlers like Justin McQuiston, the unified team seems unstoppable.

pasted image 0 (6)CVU’s Unified team has a thrilling season ahead of them before the championship game. With their next opponent, Colchester on the 28th, many will be excitedly waiting to see the outcome of their next game.

 

UVM Releases Plans for New Events Center

Mr. Colin Lach

Photo from Vermont Business Magazine

Photo from Vermont Business Magazine

BURLINGTON – Patrick Gymnasium has been home to the UVM men’s and women’s basketball program for more than 50 years. The hardwood inside Patrick has witnessed UVM’s basketball program move forward and change drastically in the last half century. However, a change in scenery may be coming for the fast improving basketball program.

UVM recently announced plans for a new events center adjacent to Gutterson Ice Rink that would replace Patrick Gym. The proposal also calls for expanded space for student recreation and wellness facilities.

According to the Burlington Free Press, the new arena would be placed in the area adjacent to the ice rink which is currently being used as a parking lot. The new basketball venue would have 3,200 seats and could accommodate nearly 4,000 for other events. The proposal also calls for expanded space for student recreation and wellness facilities.

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Grab Your T-Shirt and Ski Boots, It’s Time for Spring Skiing

Mr. Tomas Georgsson

Photograph Courtesy of  Justin Chapman

Photograph Courtesy of Justin Chapman

HINESBURG, VT – According to Gallup polls, 36% of Americans believe that spring is the best season of the year, with fall trailing behind at 27%, with summer and winter following. Americans all around the nation enjoy spring better than all of the other seasons, and it is understandable. Winter is coming to a close, new smells and sounds that were not present in the bleak, cold winter are being remembered. Finally, t-shirts are wearable and morning runs are not out of the question. For the kids in the United States, it is the light at the end of the tunnel: school is almost out. Spring is a symbol of new beginnings, rebirth and happiness.

The spring in Florida might be different than the spring in North Dakota, Oklahoma or Maine. The United States is a massive country, and people may have different perceptions of what spring looks like in different locations. In Vermont, it is said that spring comes late, and it comes fast. While the beginning of spring begins in late March, it is hardly visible in the state. Some of the biggest snowstorms that Vermont gets technically begins in the spring. This can be a major nuisance for the typical American, but for many Vermonters, it is a blessing. Spring skiing in Vermont is one of the most popular to ski, and many say it has some of the best snow.

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Unified Basketball Team Continues to Enjoy Unified Support

Mr. Hank Caswell, Special Current Events Correspondent

The CVU Unified Basketball team is back for its second season and players are hungry for another championship. Last season was a historic year for the Unified Team, defeating Rutland High School at Patrick Gym in Burlington to win the Vermont Principals Association (VPA) inaugural VPA Championship.

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The CVU Unified Basketball team has been an important part of the CVU community because it involves people who don’t traditionally have the opportunity to play school sports, with cheering crowds of their peers attending games and treating them with rock star status.

With  many returning athletes such as Justin McQuinsten, Ben Townley, Emily Scott, Kevin Conger, Wayne Elias, Erin Watson and Shania Elias, the team looks to be more powerful than ever. In addition to the many returning players, the CVU Unified basketball team will add key assets such as Olivia Lamothe, Charlie Abel-Palmer, and Brian Rich.

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Three CVU Football Players Set to Compete in Shrine Bowl in August

Mr. Colin Lach

HINESBURG – Three CVU football stars have been notified that they will be lacing up their cleats one more time this August before their CVU careers come to an end.

The rosters for the 64th Annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl were recently announced, and players from 18 teams are going to be sent to represent Vermont in the All Star Showdown in August this year against New Hampshire.

Each year, coaches from around the state vote on the players they believe are worthy of representing Vermont in this annual competition. This year CVU is being represented by 3 players: Jacob Griggs, Chris O’brien and Zach Toensing.

The Shrine Bowl is an annual senior high school football competition that sets all-star teams from Vermont and New Hampshire against each other.Being selected for this game is no small feat; the selection committees for each state looked through hundreds of nominees from each state before selecting the rosters. “I was really surprised that I was selected, it’s a big honor,” said Chris O’brien, a standout offensive lineman for the Redhawks this year.

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Photo courtesy of the Williston Observer

Chris, a player who only started his football career freshman year with CVU, is a great example of how the CVU program has been able to help develop great players over the years. Even though Chris is leaving his football career behind, he has committed to play baseball at Union College, and says that he really enjoyed it. “It’s a great way to end a career,” said O’brien.

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Tyler Marshall: Nice Guy, Naaasty Runner

Mr. Patrick Gooley, Special Media & Society Correspondent

Tyler Marshall is the fastest boy to ever come through the CVU running program.

Tyler was a soccer player at Hinesburg Community School before coming to CVU. In his first year older brother and senior Zach Marshall would be the leader and top runner on the cross country team.

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Tyler Marshall at last year’s BHS Invitational.

Tyler followed in the footsteps of his brother his first year at CVU. He quickly proved to be very talented, and rose to be one of the top athletes on the varsity team.

Scott Bliss, 19 year coach of the CVU Cross Country and Track teams says “He didn’t even know if he was going to do cross country until the morning of the start of the season. We had no idea whether he was going to be coming or not.”

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CVU Boys Basketball First Championship in Sight

Ms. Jaime Vachon

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If one were to look around Champlain Valley Union High school’s gymnasium at the 133 championship banners, one would notice that boy’s basketball is not one of them…yet.

With a record of 22-1 their team has never looked more ready for a championship. It’s no surprise that the boys have had a successful season with many returning players and 8 veteran seniors leading the way. Senior captain, Josh Bliss, addresses the team’s new discipline, “Having the experience that we do has benefited us many times this year in late game situations where in past years we lacked the advantageous experience.”

For the past four years, the team has been coached by Michael Osborne, who was head coach at Johnson State College from 2006-2013. It is easy to see how his coaching has improved the team since his start as head coach at CVU in the winter of 2013. “Not too much has changed. But this year he’s just let us play more. Coach recognizes we’ve played

a lot together and he understands our players and what they need in order to respond positively,” says Bliss.

The different skills shown on the court by individual players are impressive, but when the team is working as a whole, that is when they find success. “We can develop the team when we already have developed individual players. We can skip fundamentals in practice and jump into working together on plays,” says Senior guard, Marc Hoeppner. In past years, the boy’s team has struggled to come together as a group to achieve the win; however, the teamwork expressed by this year’s squad is unmissable.

On a different note, where would the team be without its supportive fans? The hardworking team has certainly sparked the attention of new fans who pack the gym for almost every game. Greta Joos, long time basketball spectator has some thoughts on the boys this year, “They’ve got good players and good coaches. I see trophy potential in this team.” Similarly, with the girl’s varsity, Joos attends almost every boy’s game and is close friends with most members of the team and loves to show her support, “I always say good luck and good job! I’d say we have a good relationship,” says Joos.

Not only have the boys captured student fans, but staff members as well. CVU teacher, Jeff Hindes says, “I’ve seen them play a few times this season and their ability to move the ball around the floor often makes the opposing team’s defense look foolish.”

Along with Joos and Hindes are many other CVU fans cheering the varsity boys to their 19 game winning streak. It appears that the Redhawks can do no wrong if they put their mind to it and have their fans to cheer them on. “I think there’s been more effort this year than past years because the leadership and want to win, shown by the seniors, has affected the whole team,” says Bliss.

After a big win in the Semi Finals, all eyes will be watching the team on Monday the 13th, waiting to see if the CVU boy’s team will make history.

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Editor’s note: The boys lost in an epic battle to Rutland, 38-42 in overtime.     

MLB Spring Training has Begun

Mr. Chris O’Brien

BBallSpring

courtesy of Flickr

 

Every year between the middle of February and the beginning of the season in April, all major league baseball teams head down to either Florida or Arizona to play exhibition games for the upcoming season. These months are very important for all the organizations because the players need to train, the weather these states provide is necessary for the games, and because of the potential prospects it offers on the MLB teams.

 

For the Baltimore Orioles whose home field is in Baltimore Maryland, all the equipment and players report to Sarasota Florida for spring training. The Orioles have their own smaller stadium in Sarasota that they use in the spring. The stadium can hold about twice as many people as Centennial Stadium where the Lake Monsters play, however it is not close to the size of the major league park in Baltimore. With a much smaller stadium, a Sarasota local fan Dan Langdon says, “the game is much more personable and the ticket prices are much more reasonable then at the professional stadium”.

 

With the stadiums filled with fans from near and far, the major league teams will play around 6-7 times a week in preparation for the upcoming season. This is one of the most important parts for these major league teams. When opening day for the majors rolls around on April 2nd, the athletes who are getting paid millions of dollars a year don’t just show up and play. These two months before the regular season are huge factors in the success of many of the players. After having the winter off, the players will use this time to get acclimated with the fast pitching and hard ground balls.

 

With the Orioles stationed in Baltimore, around the February to April months the weather is not fit to play baseball in, and the Orioles are not alone. Many other teams face this same problem, however; this is easily fixed by having the pre seasons take place in the warm states of Florida and Arizona during these months. This is another huge factor to the importance of spring training in the south.

 

Not only is the baseball in Florida a sign of a new season for the teams, but it also means new players. With players constantly being switched from team to team, and other players being brought up from the minors, this is their first chance to prove they belong in the majors. For the Orioles, their contract with their starting catcher, Matt Wieters, expired in the end of the 2016 season, leaving a huge void in the starting line up. According to the Orioles Magazine, alongside the two backup catchers already having roster spots, there are four other potential catchers trying to get a spot on the roster. This time in Florida is when those players get to prove to the head coach that they are worthy to be on the team for the 2017 season. This makes the spring training in Florida even more important than it already is.

 

 

The significance of spring training doesn’t just end with the players, it attracts many people from all around. CVU junior Jacob Bortnick is one of those people, “Every year I go down to Florida and make sure that I catch a spring training game.“ Bortnick isn’t alone, CVU senior Max Pudvar headed down to Florida this February break as well, “I wouldn’t go down to Florida solely to watch a spring training game, however it was a very nice addition to the trip.” Whether people go down like Bortnick for the Spring Training games, or like Pudvar who add it to list of to-dos while on vacation, there’s no doubt that the pre-season encourages many people from near and far to go see these games and is very important.


Although the Orioles only use their stadium in Sarasota Florida once a year, it proves to be a very important time for them in order for the returning players to be able to get back into the swing of things, to escape the cold weather up north, and to allow new players to try out to be on the roster. Only time will tell which teams made the most of the spring season.

CVU Hoops: Boys Have First Championship in Sight

Ms. Jaime Vachon

If one were to look around Champlain Valley Union High school’s gymnasium at the 133 championship banners, one would notice that boy’s basketball is not one of them…yet.

With a record of 22-1 their team has never looked more ready for a championship. It’s no surprise the boys have had a successful season with many returning players and 8 veteran seniors leading the way. Senior captain, Josh Bliss addresses the team’s new discipline, “Having the experience that we do has benefitted us many times this year in late game situations where in past years we lacked the advantageous experience.”

Image by Max Schmid via the CVU Boys Basketball Instagram feed

Image by Max Schmid via the CVU Boys Basketball Instagram feed

For the past four years, the team has been coached by Michael Osborne, who was head coach at Johnson State College from 2006-2013. It is easy to see how his coaching has improved the team since his start as head coach at CVU, in the winter of 2013. “Not too much has changed. But this year he’s just let us play more. Coach recognizes we’ve played a lot together and he understands our players and what they need in order to respond positively,” says Bliss.

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Gorman is fired up on sno’chines

Mr. Kyle Gorman

A small community connected far outweighs a large community divided. Small areas in southern Vermont have become a primary example of that point. In these more rural towns there are far fewer restaurants and stores and way more woods. The people in these less modernized communities have used snowmobiling as a unique way to get out and socialize, indirectly creating a small, harmonious society.

In the cold of the stagnant Vermont winters, Springfield, Vermont is arguably the most happening spot in the northeast. The peace and quiet of the woods turns into a racetrack filled with the brap sounds of powerful snowmachine engines. These unique snow vehicles have become a staple of these small communities and have created a more harmonious stomping ground in an area that may be lacking in similar rallying points.    

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I was lucky enough to gain access to the inner circles of the tight-knit snowmobiling pack down in Springfield.  Upon first entry I met over fifty people who were regulars to the group. Each of them seemed ecstatic just to be sitting on the snowmachines. I asked Mr. John Prescott about his experience with the group and how it has affected his life. Mr. Prescott told me that there was well over 200 “riders” that would join in on the weekly excursions. Prescott then went on to talk about how he and his wife rely on the outings as their social circles. Mr. Prescott said, “It is a fantastic way for someone of my age, really of any age, to get out into their community and meet people, while also having the time of their life”.  He mentioned that he was very thankful for the group of people he rides with and that he was astonished by what good, life-time friends he had made just by ripping around the woods with them. Mr. Prescott relayed all of this information to me with an enormous smile on his rosy face, a similar expression that I observed on all of his friends winter-whipped faces.

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Skip skool to ski? Some CVU students do

 Ms. Olivia Cottrell

VERMONT– At the first signs of snow up on the mountains there is always a new touch of excitement in the air. For many Vermonters it’s time to go and pull out their skis or snowboards. Winter has begun and it’s time for the fun to begin. In a state where skiing is, and has been for a long time, a main attraction, the beginning of winter is almost a spiritual experience.

There are many types of winter sports, downhill skiing and snowboarding being only a fraction of them. While they only make up a fraction of the winter sports available, they are some of the most popular. CVU has an Alpine Ski team and an after school ski/snowboard club called the Shredhawks.  

Shredhawks at Sugarbush .Photo courtesy of Troy Paradee

Shredhawks at Sugarbush .Photo courtesy of Troy Paradee

Skiing is popular to the point where it is almost cultish in Vermont. People take ‘powder days’, not sick days. The first sight of snow on the mountains brings out the die-hard fans who are willing to do a lot to get the first run. There are even people who partake in backcountry skiing and snowboarding. If there is enough snow on the mountains people are willing to grab their board or skis and hike up to the top to ski down.

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Opinion: “snowblades are the greatest ski medium known to man”

Mr. Douglas Schmidt

Two words: Snow. Blades. What are they, you ask? Well, quite simply put, they’re the greatest skiing medium know to mankind. Snowblades, also known as Skiboards or Snolarblades, are by definition “a winter sport which combines elements of skating, snowboarding, and skiing.” Now this definition is correct, but there’s much more to blades than just that.

Snow blades are not just skis. They’re twigs, strapped somewhat flimsily to your ski boots, with one simple purpose; to put ordinary skiers to shame. Snow blades average around 75-99cm in length: just about two feet. It’s like skiing on the soles of your boots, just at very high speeds going down a mountain.

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(Not) Doug Schmidt getting rad on ‘blades.

You have an extreme amount of control on these little twigs of fury compared to your average 170 cm ski.  The reactiveness of your blades to your movement is almost instantaneous, whereas, for full-length skis, it takes a lot more power and strength just to make a turn.  Snowblades are also perfect for the woods. Because of their size, blades make it easy to navigate around tight trees and to stop on a dime if you run into trouble.

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Doug jumps Jack, and lives to tell the tale

Mr. Douglas Schmidt

The Jack Jumper. The Ski Bock. The sit-ski. You can call it many things, but there’s only one way to describe the experience you’ll have flying down a hill with your feet hanging on both sides of your body and your hands gripping onto a wooden seat trying to keep your balance, terrifying and insane. The Jack Jumper is a New England born ski medium. It’s a seat, screwed to a ski. Together, it’s the arguably the second best ski medium, after snow blades.

Most jack jumpers are home brewed, meaning they’re built in a basement. The materials for mine were quite ordinary, one ski, two planks of wood, 14 screws and 15 minutes in the basement to build a monster on a plank.

Once it was built, I took it for a spin in the front yard. Let me tell you, I’ve never been so terrified in my life. I set the jumper down, took a seat, and prayed I didn’t hit the tree straight ahead of me. And so I pushed off, lifted my feet off the ground, leaned back and held the seat for dear life. 25 feet later, I made it to the bottom without falling. It was at this moment I knew I had created a monster.

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Hunting: a vermont tradition is still handed down from generation to generation

Mr. Jeremy Lang

Hunting is normally a tradition passed down from generation to generation which teaches sustainable living and becoming one with nature. Hunting connects and feeds families. Vermont is one of the first states to develop constitutional language that protects a citizen’s right to hunt.

With that said, according to Vermont Fish and Wildlife, Vermont is rated as one of the top ten worst states to hunt in. This is because in the past five years, public land has dropped by 10%. Private landowners are also posting their property because they don’t want their land to be hunted.

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Mackenzie Fournier with a 10-pointer she bagged in West Harrison, Indiana. The buck weighed 180 pounds, field-dressed.

According to VT Fish and Wildlife, in 2016 almost all of the state’s 65,000 resident hunters hunted deer at some point during the fall season and more bucks were taken per square mile in Vermont than in any other New England state. In addition, 18,950 muzzleloader doe permits were issued. This is so that the state can manage deer herds in Vermont and stop them from destroying small animal habitats.

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The footbag feud: fun or fitness?

Mr. George Lomas

Racing back from the Stone Age, Footbagging has made a drastic come-back among youth, and even adults. Footbagging is a sport and fun backyard activity that anybody can play. It requires no more than a simple round bag filled with sand or dirt and your feet. Many people who are completely uneducated and inexperienced in this activity are very easy to spot because of their use of the words, “Hacky Sack”. In this case, “Hacky Sack” is a direct meaning for, “I don’t know anything and am very stupid.” By using the word Footbag instead, you immediately give off the vibe of superior intelligence and skills. The rules to Footbagging are simple; you can use any part of your body other than your hands and arms to keep the bag in the air. Usually, people use their feet by kicking the bag straight up into the air at roughly eye level, over and over again and passing it to other players. It may not sound like much, but the second you make a successful kick, you’ll be hooked for life.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Many people believe footbagging to be a high-intensity requiring a lot of flexibility and strength, but not according to footbagging amateur Kaelan Murdock: “I find footbagging to be quite peaceful and calming. In fact, I can never footbag without doing some sort of meditation or mindful breathing techniques at the same time. It helps me focus on my foot-eye coordination and balance. I’m surprised that no one has come out declaring footbagging as a form of meditation.” According to Soren Kurth, a footbag specialist who shares a similar opinion to Murdock, “Whenever I footbag, I play music in the background, usually sounds of nature and chimes. It keeps you in the correct mindset which is having a calm and sturdy soul and empty mind. This makes it a lot easier to make your kicks and stalls much more natural and effortless. It’s almost a form of yoga in that you’re keeping an empty mind, but being be aware of your body and surroundings along with keeping a steady breathing pattern.” Very interesting perspective from Kurth and Murdock.

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Killington makes good on world class promise (Or Michaela Shiffrin is Goddess)

Mr. Alex Merrill, Special Snow Correspondant

They came, they skied, they shredded. The best female skiers in the world took to the slopes of Killington on November 26 and 27, for the Audi FIS World Cup. This was the first ever World Cup stop at Killington, the first for New England in 25 years, and the first for Vermont in 50 years. None of the athletes competing were alive for the last VT world cup. By all accounts, the event went flawlessly.

The world cup is the highest level ski racing circuit in the world. Each winter it consists of about 45 races held all over the world, though most races are in Europe and North America. Athletes compete for points and the athlete with the most points at the end of the season wins the 9kg crystal globe. This winter 16 of those races are being held in North America, the second highest ever.

Image courtesy of Snowbrains.com

Michaela Shiffrin kicking serious booty at Killington.  Image courtesy of Snowbrains.com

Aspen, Colorado traditionally hosts a few women’s WC races Thanksgiving weekend. This year Aspen was selected to host the WC finals, a big deal for a ski resort, so it was not eligible to hold the early season races. FIS (WC governing body, Federation Internationale du Ski) wanted these races to stay in North America and Killington leapt at the opportunity. Killington officials started trying to host WC races in 2010! WC races have not been held in the East because of concerns of inadequate snow. Race officials felt that advances in snowmaking technology ensured that the races would not be canceled.

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Redhawkey on the road: Cvu vs Loyola

Mr. Max Schmid

The CVU Redhawks Hockey team went to Montreal to play Loyola High School. They lost 3 : 5 in a hard fought game. It’s their first loss on the season which pushes them into the number 2 seed in the state.


CVU Hoops: Redhawks vs Lakers

 Herr Max Schmid

The CVU Boys Varsity Basketball team won thier fifth straight game playing against Colchester on Thursday, January 12. They now have a record of 8 – 1 and have the number 2 seed in the state. The final score was 60 : 41.