Hornet Pitching Silences Minutemen

Enosburg Catcher Noah Swainbank lines up for a play at the plate, getting a Mill River player out during their 9-1 win on Wednesday afternoon. The Hornets  advance to the quarterfinal round, hosting Fair Haven on Saturday at 4:30pm.   Gregory J. Lamoureux photo

By Ruthie Laroche
For the County Courier

The Minutemen found hits hard to come by on Wednesday as Brayden Howrigan and Nik Sabrowski combined to allow only one run on the evening against visiting Mill River.

Sabrowski started the game for the hometown Hornets going four innings, striking out six, allowing four hits, and walking one.

Howrigan took the mound in the fifth, getting six of his nine outs on strikeouts and walking two.

“My pitch count was higher than I’d like to see but other than that it was a good game. We came out and battled and kept competing,” said Sabrowski.

Defensively, the Hornets played a flawless game, which was excellent for Sabrowski and Howrigan.

“Defense is key to a pitcher. If you don’t have that, you have the feeling that you have to go after guys and take them yourself. If something happens, it just drains your confidence. Defense is essential to a pitcher. It allows you to go out and find your groove. You can pitch to contact, and when you pitch to contact, you end up striking out more people because you have more confidence and throw more strikes,” said Sabrowski

The Enosburg offense combined to score eight runs over seven innings, thanks to numerous hits from various Hornet batters.

Parker Snow, Sabrowski, Johnathan Paquette, David Antillon, Howrigan, Karson Fortin, and Colby Geddes all had hits on the evening.

“They came out and played like they have all season long. Defensively, we played a great game. We didn’t have any errors, and we had a couple of balls that we probably shouldn’t have gotten to, but we got to them,” said Enosburg head coach Rodney Burns, “Offensively we didn’t hit as well as we have all season, but we didn’t strike out any more than three times. We were putting the ball in play and trying to make things happen.”

Second baseman, Karson Fortin, who is playing his first full year on varsity, shared his thoughts on the upcoming game with fifth seed Northhaven.

“It was a good team win for us; we really needed that. We need to go out swinging more in our next game–be more aggressive at the plate,” said Karson Fortin.

Burns and the team had the pleasure of welcoming back Alec Burns, Rodney’s son, who recently completed his freshman year of college. Alec attended Colby Sawyer College and played on the college baseball team.

“After coming back from a college season, I’ve come back with a lot of tips about hitting and fielding mechanics, and base running,” said Alec.

Alec coached first base for the playdown game on Wednesday afternoon, and his former teammates were glad to have him back.

“I like Alec as my base coach; he’s doing really well with us,” said Fortin.

Alec rejoined his father as an assistant coach, a new chapter in their ongoing baseball relationship.

“I love coming back and coaching with my Dad. I’ve been playing for him all the way up through, so this is a different experience. It’s cool getting to play with him and getting to watch these guys. We won the championship together last year, and it’s great to see how they have stepped up. It’s going to be fun watching them all the way through,” said Alec.

Last year’s Enosburg baseball team won the Division III State Tournament at Centennial Field, and Alec is glad to see this year’s team doing so well.

“This team is very solid defensively, they hit the ball one through nine, and the pitching has been fantastic for us so far,” said Alec.

Burns appreciates the opportunity to have his son on the field.

“It’s great to have Alec back! He’s doing a great job for us at first base. He’s smart and reads the pitchers well. It’s great having him around, and he’s an asset to the team,” said Burns.

Having coached in Enosburg for years, Coach Burns has had the opportunity to see many players graduate from his program.

“I love having my players come back. They’re always willing to help out in any way they can. To see them as often as I do, on the field in a practice or a game, is a great feeling,” said Burns, “There’s nothing I want more than to have my players come back, to be around, and to visit and be part of the group. I love that.”

VARSITY SPORTS PAIRINGS

BFA ST. ALBANS

Baseball: The Tenth-seeded Bobwhites travel to seventh-seeded Essex on Tuesday. The winner of that game will likely travel to second-seeded Brattleboro on Friday, assuming Brattleboro defeats fifteenth-seeded Lyndon on Tuesday.

Softball: The Comets picked up a seventh-seed with a 12-4 regular season record. On Tuesday they will host tenth-seeded Rutland at 4:30. The winner will likely travel to second-seeded Mt. Anthony on Friday for the quarterfinals.

Boys Lacrosse: With a third-seed in the tournament, the Bobwhites advance to the quarterfinal with a bye, hosting the winner of Tuesday’s sixth-seeded Burlington and eleventh-seeded Brattleboro.

Girls Lacrosse: With a 6-7 record, the Comets earned an eighth-seed and a home playoff game on Wednesday, hosting ninth-seeded MMU at 4:30. The winner advances to take on top-seeded CVU Saturday.

BFA FAIRFAX

Baseball: The Eighth-seeded Bullets picked up a home playoff game with a playdown on Tuesday at 4:30, hosting ninth-seeded Vergennes. The winner will travel to top-seeded Windsor on Friday for the quarterfinal round.

Softball: The Bullets picked up a bye in the first round with a fifth seed, advancing to the quarterfinals on Saturday, traveling to fourth-seeded Leland & Gray. The winner of that game will likely travel to Green Mountain in the semifinals.

ENOSBURG

Baseball: Picking up the fourth seed in Division II, the Hornets will host thirteenth-seeded Mill River Union High School on Wednesday at 4:30 pm. If the Hornets win, they will likely host fifth-seeded Fair Haven, unless they lose to twelfth-seeded Mt. Abe.

Softball: Much like their male counterparts, the Lady Hornets picked up a key fourth seed, the Hornets will host thirteenth seeded Rice on Tuesday at 4:30. The winner will advance to the quarterfinal, likely playing fifth-seeded Springfield on Friday at 4:30.

MISSISQUOI VALLEY UNION HIGH SCHOOL

Baseball: The Thunderbirds earned a home game with a final regular season record of 7-9. On Tuesday they will host Hartford at 4:30. The winner will likely travel to Lamoille on Friday.

Softball: With a 13-3 record, the eighth-seeded Thunderbirds host ninth-seeded South Burlington on Tuesday at 4:30. The winner will advance, likely traveling to Essex on Friday.

RICHFORD

Baseball: The fourteenth-seeded Falcons travel to third-seeded Oxbow on Tuesday in the opening round of the Division III playoffs. The winner will likely take on Randolph on Friday.

Softball: The Rockets picked up the seventh seed and a home playoff on Tuesday against tenth-seeded Williamstown.

ST. AMOUR BRINGS MORE THAN LUCK TO THE IRISH

By: Ruthie Laroche
For the County Courier

Matt St. Amour wowed many crowds in his hometown of Swanton during his high school years. He broke MVU school basketball records, and he even became a member of the elite 2,000 point shooters during his senior year.

After high school, he then went on to Middlebury College and enjoyed another stretch of record-breaking years. Now he’s on the other side of the ocean bringing his excellent skill set to the Irish people.

St. Amour made his way to Ireland at the end of August thanks to a lot of hard work and dedication. After completing his degree at Middlebury, St. Amour received the honor of being chosen as a Victory Scholar through the Sport Changes Life Program.

The program which is called ‘Sport Changes Life’ is sponsored by the Rory Foundation. The Rory Foundation is dedicated to helping elementary and high school-aged kids live better lives through the release of funds that seek to advance opportunity and change for children in a variety of difficult circumstances.

The program looks for skilled athletes who have succeeded both on and off the court to come and give their time to communities in Ireland.

Academics play a major part in the process, but the Victory Scholars’ involvement in the community is a major piece as well.

While they are in Ireland, the Victory Scholars take part in blog and video posts for the Sport Changes Life to keep folks in the know about the positive work that’s being done in the communities.

“It’s been amazing to see the reactions of people back at home and to be able to keep in touch with everyone,” said St. Amour.

Only 24 college graduates enjoyed the privilege of being Victory Scholars after graduation this year, and in the eyes of those who know him, it was the perfect way for St. Amour to close out his college career.

Pick up a copy of this week’s County Courier, available on newsstands now to read the remainder of this article.

Franklin County Playoff Round Up

Franklin County’s high school teams took the field this last week to start their playoff seasons. A few teams went out in the first round, but there’s plenty of action left in the county today and throughout the upcoming week.

Baseball

The Division I Bellows Free Academy Bobwhites eliminated the Colchester Lakers on Thursday night, but they fell to number one seed, Essex Friday night, 5-1.

The Division II Missisquoi Valley Thunderbirds lost their playdown game to Fairhaven on Wednesday, 11-2.

The Bullets of Bellows Free Academy Fairfax competed in Division II this year. The team were successful in their playdown game on Tuesday against Springfield. In the quarterfinals, Fairfax eliminated the 7th seed Lake Region Friday evening by a score of 16-3 with pitcher Mike Roy going the distance to include eight strike outs. The number two seeded Bullets advance to the semifinals on their home turf scheduled for Tuesday, June 6th at 4:30 pm against number three seeded Otter Valley.

Two teams from Franklin County are still competing in the Division III bracket. Richford stunned the division Tuesday night when they upset the defending state champions. This game was the Falcons’ first win of the season upsetting second-seeded Windsor by 4-3. The Falcons then fell to seven seeded Montpelier by 7-6 in their division quarterfinals.

Enosburg, seeded number one in Division III this year, took out the 16 seed Poultney Devils by a score of 23-0.

Their quarter-final baseball game, at Enosburg on Saturday vs. Thetford Academy, was postponed due to field conditions and is rescheduled to Sunday, June 4th at 12:00 noon. If Enosburg wins, they will play in the D-III semifinals Wednesday, June 7th at home at 4:30 pm against number 5, Peoples.

Softball

MVU’s Lauren Perkins slides into second under a tag from a CVU player on Saturday as the Thunderbirds finished their season as the top ranked softball team in the state. Gregory J. Lamoureux photo

The number one seeded, Division I, Missisquoi Valley Lady Thunderbirds have sailed through the regular season, coming into playoffs with a 15-1 record. The Lady T-Birds will play the Bellows Free Academy Comets in Swanton on Monday, June 5th at 4:30 pm. If the Lady Thunderbirds are successful they will advance to the semi-finals at home on Tuesday, June 6th at 6 pm, against the winner of the Essex vs. Middlebury quarterfinal game.

Bellows Free Academy St. Albans seeded 9th in Division I, eliminated Brattleboro on Tuesday.

Division II Fairfax eliminated Lamoille Union on Tuesday night to earn the second game against Fairhaven Saturday,(weather permitting) at 4:30pm. If they win, the 5th seeded Bullets will play at 6pm on Tuesday, June 6th, at Mt. Abraham Union High School.

The Division III Enosburg girls will play at 4:30 pm in Enosburg on Monday, June 5th. The fourth-seeded Hornets will face fifth-seeded Peoples Academy. If the Hornets win this game, they will play on Tuesday at 4:30pm at home against Oxbow.

Boys Lacrosse

BFA’s Mac Kennedy makes a quick goal Saturday as the Bobwhites trampled Spaulding 16-4. The Bobwhites are currently ranked fourth in the field of a dozen D1 teams. Gregory J. Lamoureux photo

The Bellows Free Academy Bobwhites earned the third seed this spring. They faced the number 6 seed Woodstock Union High School on Friday, winning the game 15-5. The Bobwhites will play again on Tuesday at 4 pm.

Girls Lacrosse

The 5th seed Comets eliminated Spaulding High School on Wednesday afternoon. They were scheduled to play Saturday at Rice Memorial.

Archambault’s Home Run Propels Richford over Enosburg

Richford’s Austin Archambault makes her way to home plate after a home run in the eighth inning. Gregory J. Lamoureux photo

ENOSBURG: A two-run home run by Rebecca Russin in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game, followed up with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning by Austin Archambault propelled the Rockets over Enosburg 15 – 14 on Thursday. Continue reading “Archambault’s Home Run Propels Richford over Enosburg”