Throughout the fall season, the student-athletes at Champlain Valley Union High School provided local fans with lots of fun moments, highlights, and, of course, winning. This year saw the Redhawks capture four more state championships, though not on the soccer pitch as might be expected for ‘Soccer Central.’
After three months of soccer, field hockey, football, volleyball, and cross-country, here are some of the highlights:
CVU sweeps in volleyball: This season, after years of club play, the Vermont Prinicipals’ Association handed out the first volleyball state championships. In a raucous afternoon at Saint Michael’s College, the Champlain Valley girls and boys teams swept the first-ever titles. The girls were up first, pulling out a narrow, nail-biter five set match over Essex. The boys team followed up with a four-set victory over the Hornets.
Harriers dominate states, New Englands: The trails and tracks of Vermont and New England were no match for the cross-country runners from Champlain Valley. Led by a second-place finish from Sophia Gorman at the Vermont state championship meet in Thetford, the Redhawks cruised to their eighth straight state title. CVU followed the title up with its fourth New England high school championship, paced again by Gorman who finished 18th overall.
Marshall paces the CVU boys: Not to be outdone, the Redhawks boys, led by senior Tyler Marshall, captured their second Vermont state title in a row. Marshall finished first overall in the Thetford race and then came in fourth overall at New Englands, to lead CVU to a fourth-place result.
Redhawks honor McQuiston: A recognizable face on the sidelines for CVU athletic events, Justin McQuiston got his chance to shine for the Redhawks football team this season. The Redhawks and opponent St. Johnsbury lined up before kickoff to run a special play for McQuiston, who has Down’s Syndrome. Taking the hand-off, No. 44 ran it 20 yards for a touchdown, though the score did not count on the scoreboard.
Semifinal nail-biters: While the soccer and football teams may not have advanced to the finals, they certainly provided plenty of drama for their fans. The CVU football team led St. Johnsbury until the final seconds, when a Hail Mary pass from QB Jacob Cady found Brodie Talbot in the end zone to lift the Hilltoppers to a 35-34 win. There was more drama on the soccer pitch, where the boys soccer team forced eventual state champs Burlington all the way into overtime. The two top teams traded momentum before a picture-perfect shot ended the Redhawks season and lifted the Seahorses to the 1-0 win. The girls soccer team pushed eventual state champ Burr and Burton even further, forcing the semifinal in penalty kicks where the Bulldogs eventually prevailed. Lots of tense moments for athletes, students and fans this fall.
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