CVU 2018 Fall Sports Preview

By LAUREN READ • Photos by AL FREY

Abby Willis landed with her teammates at cheer practice.

CHEERLEADING
Coach: Courtney Troescher
Key returnees: Shayla Lawrence, senior; Deona Proulx, junior; Binny Patton, junior; Lily Michalek, junior; Annalise Kramer, junior.
Key newcomers: Abby Willis, freshman; Hannah Fuller, junior; Alexis Stillwell, freshman.
Outlook: After coming back from a four-day camp, the CVU cheerleading team is hard at work training for the upcoming fall season. The team will rely on its returning core members as it prepares to kick off the season. The main focus of the season for the Redhawks will be Vermont’s 3rd annual Game Day competition and getting their routine competition ready.

CVU hosted its annual relays Saturday with teams including Essex, BFA, South Burlington, MMU and Middlebury.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Coach: Scott Bliss (19th season)
Last season: Fourth in the Division I state meet
Key returnees: Jared Leonard, senior; Gavin Schaaf, sophomore; Skyler Heininger, sophomore; Alec Mogielnicki, senior; Seamus Higgins, senior; Dylan Gooley, senior.
Key newcomers: Parker Soaves, junior; Jamie Williamson, senior; Joshua Perkins, freshman; Caleb Nye, sophomore; Clark Schmitt, senior.
Outlook: This year’s group of Champlain Valley Union boys cross country runners should be competing for a top six spot in the state, according to longtime coach Scott Bliss. The team’s top seven runners are a tight pack with times that are close to each other, giving the group enviable depth. The Redhawks will look find a runner to run in the top spots in the early part of the season. “I am very excited about this team,” Bliss said. “I am really excited to see how much they can improve throughout the season.”
Up next: Saturday, Sept. 1, at Essex High School

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Coach: Scott Bliss (19th season)
Last season: Division I state champions
Key returnees: Ella Whitman, senior; Alice Larson, sophomore; Chloe Andrae, senior; Cate Noel, senior; Sadie Holmes, junior; Emma Strack, junior; Emma McMahon, senior.
Key newcomers: Finnegan Mittelstadt, freshman; Alice Veronneau, sophomore; Chloe Silverman, freshman; Lila Taylor, freshman; Jasmine Nails, freshman.
Outlook: The defending D-I state champions, the Champlain Valley Union girls cross country team is always the one to beat. This year will be no different as the group returns four of its top five finishers from last year’s title winning team. Whitman, Larson, Andrae and Noel will pace the Redhawks, and coach Bliss thinks the team will compete for a championship and top five New England finish. The team’s depth will come into play readily if injuries crop up, another reason CVU will likely be the team to beat.
Up next: Saturday, Sept. 1, at Essex High School

Junior Flynn Hall during a training drill.

FIELD HOCKEY
Coach: Tucker Pierson (third season)
Last season: 12-5; lost in the Division I state championship
Key returnees: Kristy Carlson, goalkeeper, senior; Nora Weisman-Rowell, defense, senior; Caroline Reynolds, forward, senior; Flynn Hall, forward, junior.
Key newcomers: Too early to tell
Outlook: The Champlain Valley Union field hockey team will have a much different look from the group that made a run to the state finals last season. After graduating five players, the Redhawks will rely on the experienced returnees especially on the defensive side. Carlson and Weisman-Rowell will anchor the team in the back, while finding newer players to fill in the holes left by the departed players. “We are putting players in different positions to try to find the best chemistry and correct roles,” Coach Pierson said. “I expect that we’ll be competitive throughout the season.”
Opener: Friday, Aug. 31, vs. Burlington High School

CVU football rebuilds this season.

FOOTBALL
Coach: Mike Williams (third season)
Last season: 3-6, lost in the Division I quarterfinals
Key returnees: Bennett Cheer, lineman/defensive end, senior; Caleb Jenson, tight end/cornerback, senior; Jason Rosner, halfback/defensive back, senior; Jack ZuWallack, full back/defensive lineman, senior; Shane Boehmke, halfback/defensive back, senior; Parker Urie, tight end/defensive back, senior; Cole Boffa, offensive lineman/lineback, senior; Nick Petrunich, halfback/defensive back, senior; Clayton Thorpe, offensive/defensive lineman, junior; Zachary Gamelin, offensive/defensive lineman, junior.
Key newcomers: Alex Murray, halfback/lineback, senior; Ryan Anderson, quarterback, junior; Will Murphy, quarterback, sophomore; Seth Boffa, halfback/defensive back, sophomore; Eric Pockette, halfback/defensive back, junior.
Outlook: After a tough season and the departure of eight of last year’s starters, this year could be considered a rebuild for the Champlain Valley Union football team. But after a strong preseason and with a hard work from both the returning players and a good cadre of new faces, coach Mike Williams has high hopes for the Redhawks. “Depth at certain positions is a concern right now,” Williams said. “If we can stay relatively healthy we have as many good players on this team as any in our division.”
Opener: Saturday, Sept. 1, vs. BFA-St. Albans

CVU boys golfers look to a strong fall.

BOYS GOLF
Coach: Seth Emerson (seventh season)
Last season: Second place in the Division I state tournament
Key returnees: Ben Gramling, senior; Nate Godbout, junior; Andrew Wilkinson, senior; Evan Forrest, sophomore; Cam Labounty, senior; Kyle Rexford, sophomore.
Key newcomers: Alex Leonard, sophomore; Finn O’Brien, freshman.
Outlook: After a second place finish in the D-I state tournament last season, the Champlain Valley boys golf team is ready to take a run at the title this year. With only one golfer lost to graduation, the Redhawks are an experienced group with a lot of depth. “We had six guys that can mid to low 80s and a couple of guys that should be in the mid to high 70s,” coach Emerson said in an email. “I think we are poised for a really strong year.”
Opener: Thursday, Aug. 30, at North Country Invitational

Freshman Lindsay Beer takes a bunker shot at practice.

GIRLS GOLF
Coach: Tammy Anthony (fourth season)
Last season: Fourth place in the Vermont state tournament
Key returnees: Madi Oliver, senior; Gabriela Torrens-Sperry, junior; Elena Godbout, junior; Alexandra Wainer, senior; Taylor Hoar, junior.
Key newcomers: Marie Ananour, junior; Rachel Hoar, senior; Alyssa Provost, junior; Courtney Vincent, junior.
Outlook: The Champlain Valley Union girls golf team continues to grow, having moved up to a fourth place finish in the state tournament last season after finishing seventh in 2016. The Redhawks look to continue to make strides this year with team captains Madi Oliver and Gabriela Torrens-Sperry bringing leadership and knowledge to a team made up of players with a wide variety of skills. “Our goal is to take the No. 1 spot in the states in early October,” Coach Anthony said. “I think this season has a lot of potential to have some terrific players by the end of the season.”
Opener: Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Enosburg

Junior James Schmidt at a pre-season training.

BOYS SOCCER
Coach: Rob Cole (second season)
Last season: 13-4, lost in the Division I semifinals
Key returnees: Aidan Johnson, goalkeeper, senior; Jami Lashua, defense, junior; Erik Stolen, defense, junior; Jonah Roberts, midfield, junior; Nathaniel Sampson, midfield, senior; Caleb Martin, midfield, senior; Nick Durieux, forward, senior.
Key newcomers: Cullen Swett, defense, junior; Giacomo Sinopoli, midfield, junior; James Schmidt, forward, junior; Sam Johnson, forward, junior.
Outlook: Returning a core from last year’s CVU team that advanced to the D-I semifinals, this year’s Redhawks are looking to build on that result. With several team members who can play multiple positions, the early season will see CVU trying out different combinations on the field, according to coach Cole. “We have a tight knit, talented group of players who set high standards for themselves,” Cole said. “Our challenge will be to find the right system to get the best out of us.”
Opener: Friday, Aug. 31, at Burr and Burton

Sophomore Olivia Morton has the ball in a recent practice.

GIRLS SOCCER
Coach: Stan Williams (sixth season)
Last season: 17-0, Division I state champions
Key returnees: Sydney Jimmo, midfield, senior; Sara Kelley, midfield/forward, senior; Madi Hubbard, midfield, senior; Elizah Jacobs, midfield, senior; Lily Cazayoux, midfield, senior; Ella Woodruff, midfield, senior; Maryn Askew, goalkeeper, junior; Quinn Boardman, defense, junior; Catherine Gilwee, midfield, sophomore; Olivia Zubarik, midfield/forward, sophomore; Olivia Morton, midfield, sophomore; Dylan Walker, defense, sophomore; Jess Klein, defense, sophomore; Josie Pecor, forward, sophomore.
Key newcomers: Too early to tell
Outlook: CVU returned to the top of high school girls soccer last season after a one-year hiatus, winning the D-I state championship and capping off an undefeated season. This year, the Redhawks return almost all of that title-winning squad, including goaltender Maryn Askew and a dominating midfield. CVU will have to replace the goal scoring of Charlotte Hill and the leadership of its departed captains. Still, the Redhawks have all the ingredients to remain the team to beat in D-I. “We have great depth, team speed and a tremendous work rate,” Coach Williams said. “I am excited to work this group and to see what they become.”
Opener: Tuesday, Sept. 4, at Rutland

Junior Alden Randall at the net.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL
Coach: Jeff Boliba (third season)
Last season: Division I state champions
Key returnees: Noah Allen, junior, blocker; Baker Angstman, junior, libero; Jacob Boliba, junior, hitter/setter; Liam Freeman, senior, hitter; Ethan Harvey, junior, hitter/setter; Devin Rogers, blocker, sophomore; Raz Hansen, senior, hitter; Alden Randall, junior, hitter; Cooper Snipes, senior, hitter; Storm Rushford, junior, setter/hitter.
Key newcomers: Too early to tell
Outlook: Last season, despite battling a lot of adversity, the Champlain Valley Union boys volleyball team captured their second straight D-I state title. This year, they have their eyes set on making it three in a row. Returning a number of key players, including Baker Angstman, who anchors the team’s defense at the libero position, and Noah Allen, an intimidating force as a blocker, the Redhawks also feature a ton of depth. “We have a versatile group of players that allow the coaching staff many different options for lineups, positioning and game strategy,” Coach Boliba said. “We are focused on having all our players performing at their optimum level and playing volleyball at a championship level.”
Opener: Tuesday, Sept. 4, vs. Vermont Commons

Junior Lena Hansen at a recent practice.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
Coach: Jeanne Nauheimer (first season)
Last season: Lost in the Division I state championship
Key returnees: Rayona Silverman, setter, senior; Makenzie Detch, setter, senior; Sarah Johnson, setter, junior; Natalie Senior, middle, senior; Mekkena Boyd, middle, junior; Reilly Wells, hitter/setter, junior; Leah Boget, setter, junior; Julia Daggett, defense, senior.
Key newcomers: Lena Hansen, hitter, junior; Taylor Detch, hitter, sophomore; Lily Menk, setter/blocker, junior; Audrey Olsen, setter/blocker, junior; Alli Selweh, setter, senior; Chloe Snipes, hitter/setter, freshman; Jo Paradee, hitter/setter, junior.
Outlook: After winning the state’s first title in 2016 and falling in last year’s championship match, the Champlain Valley Union girls volleyball team is clearly a contender in Vermont. That does not change this season, with a great mix of returning experience and new energy. With strong hitters and an aggressive service game, the Redhawks will look to build on accuracy as the season opens. “They are all hungry to learn and improve,” said first-year Coach Jeanne Nauheimer. “The team has such good chemistry and positive energy, I feel like there is no stopping them.”
Opener: Thursday, Sept. 6, at Mid-Vermont Christian

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