Coach: Frank Babbot (10th season)
Last season: 11-3; lost in the Division I semifinals
Key returnees: George Lomas, senior; Ivan Llona, junior; Ethan Leonard, senior; David Huber, senior.
Key newcomers: Peter Hyams, freshman; Nevin Hood, freshman.
Outlook: The Champlain Valley Union boys tennis team will take to the court with a ton of experience this season as they look to break through the semifinals, where the Redhawks have seen their season end the last three years. Add in a couple of talented freshmen and CVU has high hopes. “The first thing is stay safe, the next thing is let’s get better,” Babbot said. “If we do those things, we will be in good shape.”
Opener: Tuesday, April 11, vs. Rice at Davis Park
Coach: Amy deGroot (eighth season)
Last season: 18-0; Division I state champions
Key returnees: Meara Heininger, senior; Stephanie Joseph, junior; Renee Dauerman, junior; Kendall Blank, junior; Maddie Huber, junior; Megan Watson, junior; Areille DeSmet, junior.
Key newcomers: Sophie Dauerman, freshman; Corina Gorman, freshman.
Outlook: With two straight undefeated seasons and three D-I titles behind them, the CVU girls tennis team is once again the one to beat. “Many of the returning players are stronger players now than at the end of last season,” deGroot said. “This, combined with the addition of two strong freshmen, makes for a very deep lineup.” CVU will have to replace Kathy Joseph at the No. 1 singles spot, but has a deep group from which to choose.
Opener: Tuesday, April 11, at Rice
Coach: Tim Albertson (ninth season)
Last year: 14-4 (lost in the Division I quarterfinals)
Key returnees: Chris O’Brien, senior; Hunter Anderson, senior; Jacob Griggs, senior; Liam Reiner, junior; Jacob Bortnick, junior; Collin Vincent, junior.
Outlook: The CVU baseball team will rely on the team’s strong senior leadership to get themselves back to the D-I title game, in which they last appeared in 2015. Reiner will help pace the team’s deep pitching staff, as the Redhawks will rely on their strength on the mound. “We want to give ourselves the best chance to contend for a state title by playing our best when the playoffs start,” Albertson said.
Opener: Saturday, April 15 vs. Rutland
Coach: Mike Sullivan (first year)
Last season: 3-12
Key returnees: Natalie Gagnon, senior, pitcher/first base; Hattie Roberts, senior, pitcher/first base; Lila Ottinger, senior, second base.
Outlook: The Redhawk softball team gets a new coach this year in Mike Sullivan, who comes to the team after coaching at Vergennes. Sullivan, who served as an assistant for CVU in previous years, looks to focus on improving the defense to help turn the club around. “There is a lot of talent,” Sullivan said of his group. “They were very young last season but they are working hard and having fun. They have a renewed vigor about the softball program.” The group will look to Gagnon and Roberts to deliver strikes and Ottinger to lead the offense.
Opener: Saturday, April 15, vs. Rutland
Coach: Dave Trevithick (12th season)
Last year: 17-1, Division I state champions
Key returnees: Charlie Bernicke, senior, attack; Xander Miller, senior, midfield; Jake Evans, senior, midifeld.
Key newcomers: Jake Schaefer, sophomore, attack; Andrew Tieson, sophomore, goalie.
Outlook: The CVU team captured its fourth straight D-I title with a last-second goal last season but will have to fill some holes that graduation created this year. Tieson will step in and try to earn the starting goalie spot, while the Redhawks will have to replace the offensive production lost when three four-year players left. “Goalie is a big hole to fill this year,” Trevithick said. “But they will be backed up by a solid veteran long-pole group.” The experienced defense and midfield will form the core of the group and they hunt for title No. 5.
Opener: Monday, April 10, at Hanover, N.H.
Coach: Tucker Pierson (second season)
Last year: 11-3; lost in the Division I semifinals
Key returnees: Lydia Maitland, junior; Cate Noel, sophomore; Signy Shumway, senior.
Key newcomers: Natalie Durieux, junior; Becca Provost, junior.
Outlook: After last year’s run to the state semifinals–CVU lost 11-10 to eventual state champs Mount Anthony–the Redhawks return only four players. This year’s squad will look to improve as the season progresses but will rely on players like Maitland to lead the way. “We have skilled and competitive players who will need to gain experience quickly,” Pierson said. “I am confident that they will keep improving throughout the season.”
Opener: Tuesday, April 11, at Burr and Burton
Boys Track and Field
Coach: Scott Bliss (third season)
Last year: Division I state champions
Key returnees: Tyler Marshall, senior; Harken Spillane, senior; Calvin McClellan, senior; Baxter Bishop, junior; Justin Clark, senior; Somer MacKillop, senior; Kevin Veronneau, junior; Trey Tomasi, senior.
Outlook: The Champlain Valley Union boys track and field team captured its first D-I crown last season, but they will be hard-pressed to repeat that with the loss of Tawn Tomasi. While Marshall’s return buoys the team in the distance events, they will have to replace key players in the sprint and field events.
Girls Track and Field
Coach: Scott Bliss (third season)
Last year: Third place in the Division I state meet
Key returnees: Sophia Gorman, senior; Jennifer Ireland, junior; Ella Whitman, sophomore; Sierra Morton, senior.
Key newcomers: Caroline Hill, freshman; Charlotte Hill, freshman.
Outlook: The CVU girls track and field team, who finished in the top three last season, will have a group of 70 athletes to pull from as they look to repeat last year’s success. But, as with the boys team, weather has hampered coach Bliss’ ability to determine who will do what so early in the year. The Redhawks return talent in the distance events and will rely on that to aim for another top-three finish.
Coach: Seth Emerson (sixth season)
Last year: Fifth in the Division I state tournament
Key returnees: Jacob Bouffard, Andrew Wilkinson, Alex Farrington, Ben Gramling, Jeff Boliba.
Key newcomers: Nate Godbout.
Outlook: After graduating their two top finishers from last year’s fifth place team, the Champlain Valley boys golf team will have a new look as they chase Rutland for the state title. Farrington and Bouffard will return as the Redhawks look to improve to a top-three finish this season. “Everyone is chasing Rutland,” Emerson said. “I think we can be a top-three team in the north.”
Opener: Monday, May 1, at Burlington Country Club
Coach: Tammy Anthony (second season)
Last year: Sixth at Division I state tournament
Key returnees: Alexandra Bisaccia, junior; Ashley Clark, senior; Kate McAllister, senior; Lauren Hanley, junior.
Key newcomers: Flynn Hall, freshman; Taylor Hall, freshman; Clair Smith, sophomore.
Outlook: After four players kicked off the first season of the CVU girls golf team, 19 players hit the links for the second year, hoping to continue to help the program improve. With a variety of skill levels on the team, Anthony is focused on continued improvement. “My job is to make sure that each player performs to her potential,” Anthony said. “I’m very excited to work with each one of them.” With such a large pool of players, CVU is focused on moving up the ranks at the state tournament.
Opener: Friday, May 5, at Enosburg Country Club