In field hockey: Falcons and Hilltoppers battle to 1-1 tie

field hockey tangle

Falcon Mara Spates (right) battles with St. Johnsbury’s Emily Reardon during Saturday’s varsity match at North Country. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 10-20-2013

NEWPORT — Saturday morning’s match between the North Country Falcons (7-3-3) and the visiting St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers (2-9-2) was a fitting regular season finale for both squads.  While both sides flashed moments of offensive brilliance, the attack was outshone by the defensive prowess of the game’s two goalies — Falcon Myrriah Gonyaw and Hilltopper Grace Desrochers.

Falcons Coach Chantelle Bouchard was pleasantly surprised to learn that St. Johnsbury’s goaltender was a JV call-up, brought in to replace injured starter Bea Brody. Continue reading

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In girls soccer: Rangers blank Rockets 2-0 in final home game

LR girls Perry

Lake Region’s Lilly Perry (right) moves to intercept Richford Rocket Sadie Fuller during Tuesday’s girls varsity soccer action. Though the Rangers would go on to win 2-0, Lake Region Coach Brad Urie praised Richford Coach Paul Ladd for reinvigorating the Richford (6-7) soccer program. “He’s done some really great things with this team,” Coach Urie said. “I predict that they’re going to have a strong season next year.” Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 10-15-2013

ORLEANS — Solid defense and timely scoring propelled the home team Rangers to a 2-0 win over the visiting Richford Rockets on Tuesday afternoon.  The win lifts the Lake Region squad to an impressive 11-2 on the season.  The success the Rangers have enjoyed this season is easily explained, Coach Brad Urie said.

“Leadership,” Coach Urie said as he spoke of his team’s five seniors.  “The attitude on this team has been great.  The effort has been great and the example has been great and it all starts with these young ladies here.”

The ability of his seniors to run traffic control during the game has Continue reading

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In junior football: Falcons finish regular season with two wins

The Barre Crimson Tide rolled into Newport Saturday to wrap up the regular season against the Junior Falcon Football team.  The B team took the field and received the opening kick.  Action was slow in the first half, with only a few noticable plays.  Kevin Langtagne layed his shoulder down and leveled a Barre offenseive player.  When Barre decided to go for it on fourth down, Kyle Martin decided to also, coming down with the interception.  Braxton “Freight Train” Azur bowled over a player, knocking him clear out of Continue reading

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In boys soccer: Rangers and Indians battle to 1-1 tie

LR sideline

Ranger Dillon Gile (left) uses the sidelines to find a clear passing lane as Danville Indians Jason Sweet (background left), Chris McCarthy (foreground right) and Gabe Farr look to close the gap. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 10-13-2013

ORLEANS — If the Lake Region Rangers have an Achilles heel personified, it just might be the Danville Indians.  In their previous match-up on September 24, the Indians walked away with a 2-0 win, handing Lake Region only its second loss of the season.  When the two teams met again on Saturday afternoon, the Indians appeared poised for a repeat performance.

The Indians were first to strike as Gabe Farr buried a pass from Patrick White with 33:59 remaining in the first half.  The Indians battled the Rangers evenly throughout the half, disrupting any game flow host Lake Region could put together. Continue reading

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In varsity cross-country: Records fall as Falcons take honors at home meet

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Falcon Sam Brunnette sprints for the finish line en route to a course record-setting time of 16:39 on Tuesday. Brunnette and the Falcons captured the team title as Falcon teammates Andrew Franklin and Alex Cotnoir finished second and third with times of 17:02 and 17:06, respectively. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 10-9-2013

NEWPORT — North Country Falcons Avery Ellis and Sam Brunnette set new course records leading the Falcon boys and girls to the top at Tuesday afternoon’s cross-country meet.  Ellis’ time of 20:36 was  more than a full minute ahead of Kirby Judd from the Pittsburg-Canaan combined team.  Brunnette’s time of 16:39 edged out his nearest competitors, fellow Falcons Andrew Franklin and Alex Cotnoir, by 23 seconds and 27 seconds, respectively.

Despite her win, Ellis said she felt she could have done better.  A meet on Saturday followed by leg strengthening exercises on Sunday left her tired coming into Tuesday’s meet, she said.  Tuesday’s win was Ellis’ fourth individual win of the season.

“The course didn’t feel that challenging,” she said afterward.  “There are a lot of hills but I like hills.  You work a little harder going up but you can kind of relax a little going back down and still keep up your speed.” Continue reading

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Junior Falcon football players face Raiders

jr falcons

Nate Walton (80) and Kevin Langtagne (89) scramble during action in the junior Falcons B team game against the Raiders.

October 9, 2013

The North Country Junior Falcon Football varsity squads traveled to Montpelier Saturday to face the Central Vermont Raiders at U-32 High School.

The B team took the field, losing the coin toss but receiving the ball.  Shortly into the game, showing the speed and agility fans have come to expect from him, Shawn Fearino crossed for the first Falcon touchdown.  Teammate Kyle Martin later crossed for a Continue reading

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In girls soccer: Bench depth fuels Rangers 10-0 rout of Spartans

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 10-5-2013

LR Bernier

Though Lake Region’s Amber Bernier (foreground) would be kept off the score sheet, her solid play set up many of the fine chances the Rangers had in a 10-0 rout of the visiting Winooski Spartans. Here Bernier sweeps around Spartan Christina Dang. Photos by Richard Creaser

ORLEANS — The Lake Region Rangers girls varsity soccer squad improved to 7-2 on the season following a decisive 10-0 win over the visiting Winooski Spartans on Friday afternoon.  The loss marked the sixth consecutive shutout the Spartans have endured since opening the season a perfect 4-0.

Lake Region’s win was particularly vital for team morale following a 2-1 loss to Oxbow on Tuesday.  While Coach Brad Urie never intended to run up the score, having so many of the Rangers score helped restore his team’s confidence, he said.

“It can be good for the team to have a win like this every now and then,” Coach Urie said.  “It gave me a chance to put out my reserves, to let them go out and play without too much pressure.  Seeing them out there, making those kinds of plays, you’d never guess that I had five freshmen and two sophomores on the field.” Continue reading

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It was Falcons versus Patriots in junior football

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jr. falcon football

Garrett Gile (3) bounces off Patriots on his way to a touchdown, with Cole Azur (13) coming in to block.

The NFL New England Patriots faced the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, but on Saturday the NVYFL Fairfax Patriots faced the North Country Falcons.

The B team varsity took the field first with kickoff at 12:30 p.m.  Nine minutes and ten seconds in, Falcons quarterback Jack Young crossed the end zone, putting the first points on the board.  Sam Austin had a big tackle in the backfield for the Falcons, setting up a long set of downs, and the turnover for Fairfax.  Shawn Fearino carried the ball through a gap, made by Braxton Azur and Kyle Martin, for a touchdown and then held on to a wobbling ball for the extra point. Continue reading

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In varsity field hockey: One rough minute grounds Falcons in 2-0 loss

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field hockey Royer

Falcon Brittany Royer (left) gets the jump on Spaulding’s Gillian Felch during Saturday’s varsity field hockey contest in Newport. A pair of quick goals midway through the first half marred an otherwise solid effort by North Country Coach Chantelle Bouchard’s team. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 10-1-2013

NEWPORT — All it took was 48 seconds for the Spaulding Crimson Tide to score two goals and carry the day over the host North Country Falcons on Saturday morning.  Spaulding would not record a goal before, nor any after, and that’s what North Country Coach Chantelle Bouchard was happy about.

“I thought we played an amazing second half,” Coach Bouchard said.  “We didn’t let any goals in!”

The play through the first half was fairly equal with the Falcons pressing early and the Crimson Tide gaining the advantage later on.  While North Country generated some good chances, advancing down the lines, a stingy Spaulding defense kept the Falcons out of the middle, reducing their scoring chances. Continue reading

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In varsity volleyball: Visiting Hornets take two from host Rangers

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Lake Region Ranger Cody Dolloff (right) rushed the net to deny Enosburg Hornet Derek Donna (left) the advantage during Friday night’s varsity match at Lake Region. Enosburg’s Dillan Westcom readies in the background. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 9-27-2013

ORLEANS — Gratia Rowell was slightly out of breath but all smiles even as the visiting Enosburg Hornets walked off the court with a victory on Friday night.  Rowell, a member of the Lake Region Rangers volleyball team, was thoroughly pleased with the level of competition her team put up on the day in spite of the outcome.

“I’ve seen games where the girls come off crying,” Rowell said after the game.  “That’s not how we play.  We always try to be positive, to support each other.”volley Rowell

“It’s a team sport,” boys varsity Ranger Clark Hayden said.  “It’s not about one player, it’s about the whole team.”

Lake Region’s volleyball program is entering its sixth year, but this is the first season that the Vermont Principal’s Assocation (VPA) has recognized volleyball as an official varsity sport.

Though the Hornets took the first two games from the girls varsity team there was nothing in the final tally to suggest Lake Region was overmatched.  the Hornets took the first set 26 to 24 and the second set 27 to 25.  Not willing to just roll over, the Rangers rebounded with a stunning 25 to 18 win in the third set and the fourth set 25 to 21 to force the deciding fifth set.

Asked what had changed between the first two games and the next two games, Rowell conceded that nothing had.

“We thought we played pretty well in the first two so we knew that we could step up,” Rowell said.  “We just went out there with a lot of energy.  We knew that if we just kept up that energy we could win.”

Rowell’s personal energy stores were certainly at their peak in game three where Rowell and the Rangers won six consecutive serves to vault into an early lead.  Indeed, it would mark the turning point of the set.

The fifth and final set was decided by the first team to record 15 points.  The Hornets regained composure and eventually triumphed 15 to 11 to take the girls varsity half of the evening’s doubleheader.

LRVBall Mackay

Ranger Bianca Mackay (right) played a solid game patrolling the front line in Friday’s varsity volleyball match against the visiting Enosburg Hornets. Here she squares off Emilee Bose (left) and Jerika Domina (center). Photo by Richard Creaser

Much of the Hornets’ success was attributable to the solid play of Josie Curtis.  Curtis had a mean serve that perfectly blended hard strikes with low angles.  If the Rangers were not in position to return the ball cleanly right from the start, Curtis’ serves were virtually unplayable.

“She’s a very good player,” Enosburg Head Coach Jason Robtoy said after the game.  “Our serving, with the exception of Josie, was inconsistent.  Lake Region played a very solid game against us today.”

Curtis finished the night 25 for 28 on serves to go along with 12 aces, four kills, four assists and two blocks.  While Curtis’ individual stat lines were impressive, Coach Robtoy reinforced the notion that volleyball is won by a team and not an individual.

“We won today because we stuck to our game plan,” Coach Robtoy said.  “The passing is what makes volleyball.  Those hits at the net don’t happen without good passing.”

volley Schandl

Lake Region’s Alex Schandl (center left) uses his strength and height to spike the ball against the visiting Enosburg Hornets on Friday. Ranger teammate Cody Dolloff (back left) waits to support him while Hornets Matt Stanley (center right), Zach Westcom (foreground) and Roman Daybell try to defend. While the rangers showed well, the Hornets would eventually walk away with the win taking three of four sets. Photo by Richard Creaser

After the girls had cleared the court it was time for Hayden and his Ranger teammates to take on the boys varsity Hornets.  While Enosburg was able to boast a deep bench, Lake Region’s varsity squad numbered the bare minimum six players able to take the court.  Though seven members are on the squad, the Rangers have not played with more than six players all season long, Hayden said.

Asked how the squad managed to keep up the intensity throughout the game, Hayden replied that the Rangers do have some secret weapons up their sleeves.

“Two or three of us are long distance runners which helps,” Hayden said.  “There’s also the screaming and yelling.  We scream and yell to pump each other up.”

“There’s very good team spirit,” Ranger Albert Schandl agreed.

That team spirit enabled the Rangers to recover from a first set defeat of 25 to 12 with a win of their own in set two with a score of 25 to 21.  Despite some on-court heroics by the Rangers, the Hornets would eventually win two more sets, 25 to 13 and 25 to 19, to capture the game.

Zeb McCoy was overwhelmingly positive about how the Rangers handled the evening’s competition.  Lake Region’s performance was far better than any they had seen this season, he said.

“When we talk more, communicate, we play so much better,” McCoy said.  “I was pretty happy with how we played.  I know we can do better.”

Though the crowd was small for Friday’s match, fans were treated to an exhibition of speed and skill from both schools.  Some people might think that volleyball is a slow, leisurely game reserved for backyard barbecues and gym class.  Rowell assured the Chronicle that it is not.

“Communication is so important because you don’t have that much time to decide to make a play and then get there to make it,” Rowell said.  “You’re always moving and that’s what I love about volleyball.  It’s a real workout.”

Contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com.  For more sports check out the sports category on this site or pick up the newspaper.  Special thanks to our sports sponsors whose tiles appear on this page, click on the tiles to learn more about their businesses!

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