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Locals Athletes Wrap up Busy AAU Season

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Hazen Union members of the Lone Wolf AAU basketball team, (left to right) Kelsie Rivard, Mya Lumsden, and Caitlyn Davison, suit up Atlantic City, N.J.

by Ken Brown

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Hazen Union’s soon to be super senior Caitlyn Davison and a pair of highly touted incoming freshmen in Kelsie Rivard and Mya Lumsden, wrapped up a busy AAU summer basketball season last week at the Atlantic City Jam Fest hosted by the Hoop Group.

The Lady Cat trio competed for Lone Wolf Athletics, one of the premier girls’ AAU programs in the state of Vermont, founded by the late Peoples Academy great Wayne Lafley. They have been training with Lone Wolf for two days a week in Colchester since March, as well as competing for The Hardwick Mustangs AAU team on top of that.

The four-day tournament was held at the Atlantic City Convention Center, drawing over 259 AAU teams from all across the country. Over 2100 of the best female basketball players from ages 14 to 18 hit the hardwood in front of coaches from 173 colleges. Davison, a two-time Dream Dozen selection for the Lady Cats, helped lead her 17U Lone Wolf team to the Jasmine Division Silver Championship at the Run 4 the Roses Classic in Louisville Kentucky last month. The talented point guard led Hazen to a 20-win season and back to the Barre Auditorium last winter. She and head coach Randy Lumsden will welcome in an uber-talented freshman class this December, led by Kelsie Rivard and Mya Lumsden. The dynamic duo helped lead the Lady Cat junior varsity team to a dominant undefeated season in 2023 and will look to make an immediate impact at the next level.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Owen Skorstad connects with the ball for Hardwick during a Senior Babe Ruth game July 25 against Suburban. Hardwick won 10-8.

Stein Named Next A.D. at Craftsbury Academy

CRAFTSBURY – Principal Matt Foster has confirmed the hiring of John Stein as the next athletic director at Craftsbury Academy (CA).

Stein is a former middle school math teacher at CA and a retired Lieutenant Colonel, receiving the Legion of Merit, given by the United States Armed Forces for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. He becomes the third Charger A.D. in five years. He replaces Connor Bean, who resigned this summer and is now the new A.D. at Bellows Falls in Rockingham. Bean replaced Gabbi Silva after three years, who is now leading athletic activities at Peoples Academy-Stowe. Both of Stein’s predecessors helped lead the fight of preserving and expanding the athletic programs at CA in the face of small school consolidation and closures across the state over last five years. Stein will hit the ground running later this month with fall practices underway as he will be out of the country until late August.

Hardwick Bows out of Senior Babe Ruth Tourney

NORTHFIELD – The Hardwick Senior Babe Ruth baseball team never got their offense clicking this summer and it continued last week in the State Senior Babe Ruth Tournament with a pair of losses to North Country and St. Johnsbury to end their season.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hardwick Senior Babe Ruth coach Ivan Menard (left) cheers on players Jake Hayden (center) and Justin Montgomery (right) as they come off Hudson Field July 25. Hardwick topped Suburban 10-8.

Hardwick lost 6-0 to North Country and 9-2 to St. Johnsbury in the double elimination state tournament held at Norwich University over the weekend. Weather delays, roster reshuffles, and historic flooding made it difficult for this Hazen Union heavy roster to recapture that same cohesiveness and momentum from that same varsity program that won over thirty games the last three seasons. It was the last time on the field for Wildcat graduates Tyler Rivard, Lyle Rooney, Jadon Baker, and James Montgomery, who led a spiraling Hazen baseball program back to division III prominence. The talented seniors won over 40 games in their four years on the diamond, including the program’s first trip back to the state title game at Centennial Field in fifteen years in 2022.

The state tourney was cut short over the weekend due to heavy rain and resumed earlier this week.

St. Jay Little Leaguers Capture State Title

BURLINGTON – The 10-12 St. Johnsbury Little League team captured their first state title in 28 years over the weekend in dramatic fashion.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hardwick Senior Babe Ruth’s Jacob Davison (right) fires a pitch to a Suburban batter during home action July 25 as teammate Andrew Menard (left) covers third. Hardwick beat their opponents 10-8.

Maddox Stacey connected on a game-winning three-run homer in the top of the ninth to lead St. Jay to a thrilling 8-5 win against Central Valley over the weekend to claim their first state title since 1985. The talented shortstop also stamped out a bases loaded rally in the bottom half of the inning, snagging a line drive to start a game ending double play. It was the third home run in two nights for Stacey, who connected two more times in a come from behind thriller against the Lamoille All-Stars in the semifinal elimination bracket on Friday. St. Johnsbury will travel to the New England Regional Tourney in Bristol, Conn., on Saturday, where they will face Massachusetts.

The Lamoille All-Stars made a deep run this summer in a talented league that Craftsbury Baseball joined last year. Craftsbury’s Jacob Haefs, Avery Boyce, Jonah Walberg, and Dustin Sargent were named to the 9-11 Lamoille All-Star roster earlier this summer.

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