NC Junior Falcons A team takes down Spartans

9-23-2013

NEWPORT —A brisk wind blew the Winooski Spartans in to Newport Saturday morning, where they faced the North Country Junior Falcons.

The B team opened the morning by receiving the kick.  They went on to fumble the ball giving Winooski the ball on their own 39-yard line.  The Spartans took advantage and scored the first touchdown of the game early.  Falcons running back Shawn Fearino encouraged his team with back-to-back first downs.

The Falcons again fumbled the dew-wet ball, setting Winooski up for another touchdown.  In the third quarter, Chris Pierce forced his way through the line, sacking the Winooski quarterback.

Winooski chose to put the ball in the air, where it was intercepted by Falcon safety, Dan Broome, in the end zone, giving the Falcons possession at the twenty, on the touchback.  On the hand off, Sam Austin ran the ball 54 yards, getting tackled inside the one and setting up the Falcons’ only touchdown, carried over the line by Braxton Azur.  Final score:  Falcons 6, Winooski 18.

In a rematch of last season’s Division 2 championship, the undefeated A team Falcons faced the undefeated Winooski Spartans.  Alex Fearino received the opening kick for the Falcons.  The Falcons moved the ball steadily down the field with a 25-yard run, by quarterback Alex Haugwitz, a 15-yard gain on a reverse to Troy Sanville, and the quarterback keeping it again and going 25 yards for the first Falcon touchdown. Asom Hayman-Jones went up in double coverage to come down with the extra two.  Haugwitz carried the ball again for a touchdown and crossed for the extra point.  Skylar Stone and Alex Fearino teamed up for a huge combined tackle to end the half.

Shortly into the second half Garrett Gile carried the ball across the goal line for another Falcons touchdown.  With 2:32 left in the third quarter, Winooski managed to score a touchdown and the extra two.  The ensuing onside kick was covered by Stephen Austin, giving the Falcons a tremendous starting spot.

On an offensive drive, Haugwitz opted to keep the ball again, traveling 35 yards for yet another Falcons touchdown.  Asom Hayman-Jones again went up for the extra two.  Not wanting to be forgotten, the Falcons defense got fired up in the fourth.  Cole Azur made multiple chinstrap rattling hits, while late in the quarter Alex Fearino was tackling the ball carrier in the backfield.  The Junior Falcon A team continues to roll along undefeated with a final score of 29-8.

Both squads are in action next Saturday against the Fairfax Patriots, with the B team starting at 9 a.m. and the A team immediately following.  — submitted by Eva Broome

9-18-2013

Junior Falcons A team triumphs over Bulldogs

BRADFORD — Early Saturday morning the Junior Falcons football team, B squad, faced the Bradford Bulldogs in Bradford.  The Falcons opened the game with a 30-yard kick by Kevin Langtagne.  Seven minutes into the game Bradford put the first points on the board.  Falcons quarterback Jack Young kept the ball and ran for 45 yards, crossing onto the Bradford side of the field, setting up running back Shawn Fearino for back-to-back gains and a Falcons touchdown.  Jordan Carpenter caught the pass for the extra 2.

The Falcons received the ball to start the second half.  Kyle Martin put up some big tackles as well as running the ball and scoring the Falcons second touchdown.  Nick Choquette had a big tackle in the backfield setting up fourth and seventeen forcing the Bulldogs to punt.  The Falcons took possession of the ball on the Bradford 27-yard line.  Jack Young scored his second touchdown of the game with Braxton Azur getting the plus one.  With less than two minutes to go Bradford scored ending the game with a score of Bradford 26, Falcons 21.

Following the B team and coming off a big win last week, the A team boys took the field.  Shortly into the first quarter, Rian Hayman-Jones picked off a Bulldog pass returning it for 65 yards, setting the Falcons offense up on the five-yard line.  Garrett Gile crossed into the endzone for the first Falcon touchdown.  The Bulldogs were forced to punt from their own 30-yard line, giving the Falcons the ball on the Falcon 25.  Cole Azur answered with a 40-yard run and another Falcon touchdown with the plus two being scored by Garrett.  Michael Martin had a fumble recovery on the 18-yard line.  Garrett had another touchdown on a reverse pass, with quarterback Alex Haugwitz keeping the ball and running across for the plus one.  Folowing an interception by the Falcons, Cole traveled the length of the field for another Falcon touchdown.  Skylar Stone led a strong defense with Justin McGork getting another interception for the Falcons.  Garrett Blake fell on the ball for a fumble recovery at the 29-yard line giving the Falcons possession.  Cole Azur would score two more times with Alex Haugwitz and Garrett Gile both putting up plus ones.  The score at half time was Falcons 41, Bulldogs 0.  A quiet third quarter was seen with Bradford scoring with time edging towards the final quarter.

The fourth quarter opened with the kick being returned for a touchdown, again by Cole.  Bradford recovered the dropped snap denying the extra point.  Bradford went on to score again.  The final score was Falcons 47, Bradford 14.

Both squads are in action at home next Saturday with kickoff for the B team at 8 a.m., when they face the Winooski Spartans.

—  submitted by Eva Broome

For more sports, including breaking news in between newspaper editions, please see our website:  www.bartonchronicle.com

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In boys soccer: Masi’s hat trick spurs Charger comeback

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CAboys Masi

Craftsbury Academy Charger Austin Masi (left) had a big game against Luke Goodling and the visiting Chelsea Red Devils on Saturday. Masi recorded a natural hat trick including the game’s overtime winner as the Chargers came back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3. Photos by Richard Creaser

 by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 9-23-2013

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Craftsbury Academy Charger Austin Masi’s three-goal performance, capped off by an overtime winning goal, was the icing on the cake for a well-played match against the visiting Chelsea Red Devils on Saturday.  Throughout the game, even when the home team was down 3-1, Craftsbury Head Coach Mike Ruetz never lost hope.

“It was amazing,” Coach Ruetz said after the game.  “It showed the team how you come back from being two goals down.  This is what I’ve been working toward for the last four years, building that attitude.”

The winning attitude persisted even through the darkest moments of Saturday’s contest.  Chelsea took the early lead as Sam Amber chipped a shot over back-up keeper Chris DeLaBruere a minute and a half into the opening frame.  Craftsbury would respond three minutes later with a goal of its own off the foot of Noah Coville, to tie things up.

It would take another 17 minutes of play before the Red Devils broke the 1-1 tie on a goal from Leandro Martin.  Chelsea would cement its lead with six minutes left to play as Amber netted his second goal of the game to give the visitors a commanding 3-1 lead.

Even as the Chargers found their footing and executed their plays, what enabled them to remain in the contest was the superb effort of Chris DeLaBruere between the pipes.  DeLaBuere, filling in for an ill Anders Hanson, displayed some of the range that distinguished him as a member of last season’s United Christian Academy Crusaders squad.

CAboys header

Chelsea Red Devil Anthony Spinella (center left) takes a header against Craftsbury’s Jon DeLaBruere during Saturday’s contest at Craftsbury Common. Red Devil Brandon Poulin (left) lurks in the background during the Charger’s 4-3 overtime victory. Photos by Richard Creaser

“If he didn’t make some of the stops he did, we wouldn’t have been able to win,” Masi said after the game.

“Chris had a great game in net,” Coach Ruetz said of his fill-in keeper.  “We’re lucky that we have good depth.  Even with some key guys out sick, we still put a competitive team on the field.”

Despite the two-goal deficit coming out of the first half, Coach Ruetz spoke highly of the caliber of play his team put forth.  They played to position, communicated well and executed well, he said.

“This is a great bunch of guys to coach because they always have such a positive attitude,” Coach Ruetz said.  “Even when they were down, they were never out.”

The Charger rally started 14 minutes into the second half when Massi curled a shot past Red Devils keeper Alex Richardson to cut Chelsea’s lead to one.  With the clock counting down into the final ten minutes of the game, Masi came up big yet again, burying the tying goal and setting the stage for a Craftsbury win.

DeLaBruere proved his chops in the net, sprawling to make a key save less than one minute after Masi’s goal.  Both sides had several opportunities to end it in regulation, but stingy defense and even stingier goaltending sent the contest into overtime.

The Chargers’ bench was so primed to play that they took to the field early  The referees sent them back to the bench to wait out the full intermission.  That energy was just as prevalent a few minutes later when the clock started once again.

The Chargers’ attack started early and was strong, forcing the Chelsea squad back on its heels.  Suddenly the opportunity presented itself for Craftsbury to make one last determined push to end it.  Masi charged through the Red Devil backfield, splitting the defenders as he rushed headlong at the Red Devils’ keeper Richardson.  Whether it was the fear of an impending collision or the confidence that Richardson would gather the ball as he had a dozen times before, Chelsea’s defenders rolled aside leaving Masi and Richardson completely alone.

“It just felt great the whole time,” Masi said, recalling that final charge.  “When I saw the opening I just went for it.”

Masi rolled past the keeper, bolting through the gap opened up by the Red Devils defenders and shot in the winning goal as a perplexed Richardson could only turn and watch.  The roar of his teammates and the crowd nearly drowned out the whistle that called the game to an end.

“We just never gave up,” Masi said of his team’s effort.  “We never gave up and always played for the win.”

CAboys  tackle

Craftsbury Charger Noah Coville (center left) fearlessly takes on Chelsea Red Devil Leandro Martin during Saturday’s match in Craftsbury Common. Coville would record the Charger’s first goal. Coville’s Charger teammates Brandon Locke (back left) and Jacob Morse look on.

The Craftsbury Academy Chargers return to action on Tuesday against visiting Concord.  The game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.

Contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com.  For more sports see the sports category on this site or pick up this week’s newspaper.  A special thanks to our sports sponsors who help us put these stories online.  To learn more about them please click on the tile ads that show on this page.

 

 

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In boys soccer: Limoges’ UCA penalty kick breaks Kings shut-out bid

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UCA goal

It may have been UCA’s only goal of the day but it marked an important milestone in team morale. Justin Limoges buried this shot past Trinity Baptist Kings keeper Jack Barton to break the Kings’ shutout bid. Trinity Baptist would go on to win the game 6-1. Photos by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 9-22-2013

NEWPORT — By the time referee Jim Starr had called the penalty kick in favor of United Christian Academy’s Justin Limoges on Friday, the end result would not have changed. The visiting Trinity Baptist School Kings from Williston had a commanding 6-0 lead.  The attempt wasn’t going to change the outcome in any way, but that did not diminish its value to Limoges as a player or to his Crusader teammates.

“I was just focusing on the ball,” Limoges recalled after the game. “I was focusing on putting it where the keeper wasn’t.  I just wanted to break the shut out for the team, for our morale.”

Limoges lined up the shot and blasted one in the upper left corner, beating Kings keeper Jack Barton for the first and only time on the day.  While the Crusaders had generated a few opportunities to test Barton’s skills he had persistently turned away their best efforts.

Friday’s match was a tale of two halves. The first half was owned entirely by the Kings offense. The Crusader defense attempted to cut off avenues of attack but the Kings would take advantage of the gaps to swarm UCAs net. That high pressure attack enabled Trinity Baptist to strike early.

The Kings’ captain, Creighton North, cruised through the Crusader defenders to put the ball in the net twice within a two-minute span, giving the visitors a commanding 2-0 lead.  It would be nearly half an hour later before the Kings would beat Crusader keeper Scott Geib again.

Ethan Roy’s goal with less than seven minutes to play was a textbook header on a corner kick from Trinity Baptist teammate Peter Parkinson. With the clock winding down Marcus VanWyck would rush through the Crusader zone and blast a shot past Geib to finish the half with the Kings up 4-0.

UCA reach

United Christian Academy’s Justin Limoges (left) challenges trinity Baptist King Marcus Van Wyck for control of the ball during Friday afternoon’s varsity soccer match. VanWyck would record two of Trinity Baptist’s goals while Limoges would record UCA’s lone goal in a 6-1 loss.

“We’ve been working on keeping our spacing, maintaining position and communicating,” UCA head coach Dean DeLaBruere said after the game.  “We didn’t do that in the first half. Normally we’ve started that way and then wore down in the second half.  To see the team pick it up in the second half was very encouraging.”

Reverting to the plan appeared to pay immediate dividends for the Crusaders.  Passing lanes found open feet and suddenly all of the momentum wasn’t channeling directly at Geib.  Suddenly Barton needed to pay more attention to the play as the crusaders generated their best scoring opportunities of the entire game.

“If you looked at the way we played that second half, it was a completely different game,” Coach DeLaBruere said.  “Our game plan is such a simple thing but it works.  When we stick to the plan we look like a soccer team and we play like a soccer team when all the individual play goes away.”

The Kings would record the next two goals at the 15 minute mark and then with under seven minutes to play in the second half.  VanWyck would record his second goal of the game while Parkinson would add a goal to his earlier assist.

UCA slide

UCA Crusader Paul Saaman (left) slips past Trinity Baptist defender Jackson Racicot as Crusader teammate Megan Hosford lingers in the background. Though the visiting Kings would go on to win 6-1, UCA Coach Dean DeLaBruere praised the effort put forward by his squad in the second half. “If you take away that first half, this was a 2-1 game,” Coach DeLaBruere said. “I’m proud of how they played and how they handled themselves during the game.”

A minute after Parkinson’s goal was when Limoges would come up to the line, facing Barton in a one-on-one duel.  The stakes for both sides were high despite the fact that however the shot played out, the fate of the game was hardly hanging in the balance. Barton sought to preserve his shut-out while Limoges wanted to show his team that Barton could be beaten.

“As a team we talk a lot about having a positive mental attitude and keeping the faith,” Coach DeLaBruere said.  “We go out there and play to represent ourselves, our families and our school. When we represent those things, no matter what, it’s okay.”

An added twist to Friday’s contest was the fact that both sides fielded female players. Trinity Baptist carried five girls on the squad while two of UCAs varsity girls in Megan Hosford and Moriah Lafoe.  Trinity Baptist rostered the girls because without them they would have been unable to field a full 11-member team.  UCA carried the extra players because the girls’ varsity schedule is light and the rules allow teams to use co-ed rosters with strict limits on halves played.

Having those two extra bodies on the bench able to come in to the game was a tremendous boost, UCA assistant coach Glenn Saaman said.  UCA being such a small school, oftentimes students who are not athletically inclined are asked to join the team. With little time to condition and prepare, especially for the fall season, that can be physically demanding on a player.

UCA coed girls

Co-ed sports are rare at the varsity level but when two small schools, the home team UCA Crusaders and the visiting Trinity Baptist School Kings met at Gardner Park on friday, both sides benefitted from having some girls on the squad. here Crusader Moriah Lafoe (center right) battles King Rachel North (center left) as King Marcus VanWyck (left) and crusader Justin Limoges (right) look on.

“Expecting someone to run for 80 minutes who isn’t used to that level of activity is a lot,” Coach Saaman said. “Having the girls available to take a turn and give some of the guys a breather helps a lot.”

Introducing two new players mid-stream didn’t appear to disturb the Crusaders’ chemistry. Coach DeLaBruere attributes that to the positive mental attitude and common values shared by the student body and faculty.

“That harmony comes naturally,” he said.

Limoges had nothing but praise for Hosford and Lafoe on their efforts during the game. Their performance amounted to more than simply taking to the field while the boys rested, he said.

“They did a really good job,” Limoges said. “Moriah actually got a nice shot on goal. They were a big asset to us.”

The Crusaders return to action in Cabot on Tuesday as the girls play at 3 p.m. while the boys take to the field for a 4:30 p.m. start.

contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com.  For more sports please see our sports section on this site or pick up the newspaper.

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In girls soccer: Falcons comeback falls short in 3-2 loss to Wolves

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nc girls soccer web

Falcon Myra Degre (right) harries Peoples Academy Wolf All-American Katie Stames during Friday’s varsity soccer match at North Country. Falcons Co-Coach Joe Batista praised Degre’s efforts in containing Stames,the Wolves’ prolific scorer. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 9-16-2013

NEWPORT — On paper, The Division 1 North Country Falcons should have had a good chance to defeat the Division 3 Peoples Academy Wolves.  What divisional distinctions fail to recognize is that the Wolves were the state’s top Division 3 team last season lead by a then-junior Katie Stames.  Stames put up gaudy numbers en route to the state title netting 43 goals and 20 assists in the 2013 season.

“I think the girls discovered they really could play with this team,” North Country Co-Coach Joe Batista said of his squad after Friday afternoon’s 3-2 loss.  “We’re talking about the second best team in the state with an All-American player in Stames.”

The Wolves’ offense, boosted by Stames’ superb offense, also featured solid defense.  It was a defense that had allowed only two goals all of last season including shut-outs in every single playoff game outscoring their four opponents 32-0 as they clinched the state DIII title.

Coach Batista was especially proud of how effectively Falcon senior Myra Degre contained Stames on the field.

“I thought, on the whole, we contained her pretty good,” Coach Batista said.  “Myra contained her really good.”

Containing Stames was a key element in remaining competitive with the Wolves.  Though Stames would be the first Wolf to put a mark on the score sheet less than three minutes into the game, the Falcons’ defense did a good job of cutting off her avenues of attack enabling the Falcons offense to come to life.

“You could almost say that that first goal won the game for them,” Coach Batista said.  “That first goal really didn’t help us.  It put us on our back heel.”

With 15 minutes left in the first half, the Wolves would strike again, this time as Hannah Merriam beat Falcons keeper Jenna Moss to give Peoples a commanding 2-0 lead.  The Falcons generated a few good scoring opportunities in the first half but couldn’t maintain the offensive pressure needed to crack Peoples keeper Carrie Wan.

It was in the second half that the Falcons attack really came alive.  Pressing on the attack, MyKayla Tanguay picked up a rebound off of Wan, ran past the sprawling keeper and scored the home team’s first goal to cut Peoples’ lead in half.  The Wolves would regain their lead less than two minutes later when Kaitlyn Newton beat Moss to log the Wolves third goal of the game.

The Falcons continued to surge in the second half applying the most pressure they had all game in a last ditched effort to tie up the game.  Witrh 3:49 remaining in the game Falcon Chelsea Bianchi would find net and cut the Wolves’ lead to a single goal.

“I thought we played a much better game than against Missisquoi,” Coach Batista said referring to the Falcons’ 1-0 loss on Wednesday.  “I thought they never gave up.  This was a strong team but they never gave up.  That’s what we take out of this game.”

The Falcons return to action on Tuesday afternoon as they visit Lyndon Institute.  The game has a scheduled 4:30 p.m. start.

contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com

For more free articles from the Chronicle like this one, see our Sports pages. For all the Chronicle’s stories, pick up a print copy or subscribe, either for print or digital editions.

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In football: NC Falcons fall to Bulldogs

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nc football scramble web

Sophomore Hunter Stanley finds daylight as he scrambles in a play late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game with Burr and Burton. He took over as quarterback for North Country after starter Ryan O’Donnell left the game with an injury. Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle 9-14-2013

NEWPORT — If hardship builds character, several members of the North Country Falcons football team have gained much in the way of depth and wisdom.  The Falcons fell Friday night to the Bulldogs of Burr and Burton Academy by a 47-0.

Fortunately for North Country, the team is young.  Even in midst of the hammering it took from the Bulldogs a number of Falcon players showed flashes of talent suggesting that, with some seasoning, a bright future awaits.

As assistant Falcons coach Lonnie Wade noted after the game, North Country is only fielding nine seniors this year and many of those who played Burr and Burton were sophomores.

Among their number was Hunter Stanley, who took over for senior quarterback Ryan O’Donnell after he left the game late in the fourth quarter with a hurt leg.

After throwing a pass that was intercepted by Burr and Burton and a play that resulted in the sixth Bulldog touchdown, Stanley could have been forgiven for being rattled.  Instead, he focused and threw some good passes and scrambled for serious yardage.

By that time, however, the clock was the Falcons’ mortal enemy.

nc football tackle web

North Country quarterback Ryan O’Donnell gets tackled while running the ball in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game against Burr and Burton. O’Donnell left the game with a hurt leg. Photo by Joseph Gresser

Before being taken out of the game after a high and low tackle, O’Donnell also ran a stylish game, ably mixing running and passing plays.

Wyatt Prue, Jared Hussey and Joe Carron also played well despite the loss.

The damage began less than three minutes into the game on a Burr and Burton pass that looked good for a touchdown until wide receiver Sean Apps slipped on grass that was still wet from a long day of rain.

Another pass from Bulldog quarterback Griffin Stalcup sealed the deal and, given the success of the Burr and Burton defense, would by itself have been good for the victory.

The damp weather appeared to make the ball hard to handle, and turnovers abounded.  Unfortunately, they tended to favor the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs scored twice more in the first quarter, which, with the extra points, left the score 21-0 at the beginning of the second half.

Any hope that facing the other way might improve matters when Burr and Burton put up its fourth touchdown.

Despite O’Donnell moving his team up the field on a couple of possessions with repeated first downs, the Falcons were stymied at the goal line repeatedly.

The Bulldogs scored another touchdown in the third quarter and converted the extra point, leaving the score 35-0 going into the last 12 minutes.

A minute and a half in, though, Burr and Burton were in the end zone again, although the kick went wide.  They scored for the last time two minutes later.

Head Coach Tim Simoneau said he believes the Falcons’ offensive and defensive schemes are sound, but they need to be executed better.

“We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” he said.

Mr. Wade said that as leaders step forward on the team the level of play and player confidence will rise.

Burr and Burton Coach Jason Thomas said his team spent a lot of time preparing for the game.  He said North Country has good players and with more experience he expects to see the team win some games.

The Falcons will need to step it up for their next game against a strong team from Bellows Falls.

“We have the most brutal September of any team in the state,” Mr. Wade said ruefully.  “October is better.”

For more free articles from the Chronicle like this one, see our Sports pages. For all the Chronicle’s stories, pick up a print copy or subscribe, either for print or digital editions.

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In boys soccer: LR Rangers down Lancers 1-0 in OT thriller

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LR boys cringe

Lamoille Lancer Riley Fitzgerald (left) braces for impact as Lake Region’s Elijah Leroux prepares to launch the ball down field during Tuesday’s varsity matchup. Photos by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 9-11-2013

ORLEANS — What the Lake Region Rangers failed to accomplish in 80 minutes they managed to do in 40 seconds of overtime play on Tuesday — beat Lamoille Lancer keeper Bennett Anderson.  Alex Beauregard capped off an afternoon of solid play by beating Anderson on the left side, burying a pass from Austin Roberge to win the game.

“It was a perfect ball right to my feet,” Beauregard said of the pass.

On a day when finishing the play eluded the Rangers, Beauregard’s charge down the right side finally yielded results.  That the results came during Lake Region’s home opener only sweetened the victory.

“It should have been over long before,” Lamoille Head Coach Phil Rogers said after the game.  “They controlled the pace from the start.  We had more than our share of luck.”

Luck may have played some part in the close score but the superb play of Anderson in goal was what enabled the Lancers to keep up with the Rangers.  Time and again the Rangers broke through to attack and Anderson was seemingly always perfectly positioned to break up the play.

“He played a brilliant game,” Lake Region Head Coach Tom Evans said.  “There’s no doubt about it, he was on top of his game.  We should have broke it wide open.”

Coach Evans was pleased with the intensity and control his team showed on the pitch Tuesday.  The team’s inability to convert some of its chances was frustrating, he added.

“We did some really good stuff,” Coach Evans said.  “But we weren’t finishing.  Alex got his goal and it was a beautiful thing.”

Coach Rogers commended the effort the Lancers put on the field.  Allowing the Rangers to control the flow of the game was not a highlight but the fact that they remained competitive against a strong Lake Region squad was a positive note.

“They played the whole game,” Coach Rogers said.  “They played every minute.  They never gave up.”

Both Coach Evans and Coach Rogers expect an even higher caliber of play as the season wears on.  Coach Evans said that this year’s Ranger’s squad is very young with only three returning starters from last season.

“I like the style of play we showed,” Coach Evans said.  “There were times when we played kick and run and that was to their advantage.  But on the whole we had a solid game.”

The Rangers return to action on September 13 when they host Lyndon Institute at 4:30 p.m.

contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com.

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In junior football: NC Falcons A team flies by Vikings

9-11-2013

The Junior Falcon Football team faced the Lyndon Vikings under the lights at North Country Union High School on Saturday night.  The night started with the B team varsity taking the field under a light rain.  Tomas Garcia had a couple of big tackles as did Ryan Oeschger).  Shawn Fearino had some of the only running yards in the game, hustling for 20 yards.  The B team lost 28-0.

Immediately following the game, the A team took the field also facing the Lyndon Vikings.  The Falcons started off strong with Alex Haugwitz scoring with a 60-yard run early.  Cole Azur recovered a kick and ran it in for a touchdown with Asom Hayman-Jones getting the extra 2.  Troy Sanville is credited with an interception in the second quarter.  The third quarter saw Cole Azur bringing in another 6 on a 20+ yard run.  The fourth quarter was as action packed as the first. Garrett Giles scored with Asom Hayman-Jones again pulling down the extra 2.  Not to be outdone by his younger brother, Rian Hayman-Jones intercepted a Vikings’ long pass and traveled 40 yards for another Falcon touchdown.  On a ten-yard run, Cole Azur scored again with Troy Sanville crossing for the extra point.  The final score was Falcons 41, Vikings 0. The squads are in action next Saturday in Bradford.  — submitted by Eva Broome

 

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In girls soccer: Visiting Craftsbury Chargers cruise by UCA Crusaders

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girls soccer goal

Craftsbury Charger Abbie Martin (foreground) moves in as United Christian Academy’s Andreanna “Drew” Andrews tries to make the save during Friday afternoon’s varsity girls match in Gardener Park in Newport. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 9-8-2013

NEWPORT — Last spring the United Christian Academy Crusaders were recognized for their sportsmanship in basketball at a ceremony just prior to the start of the playoffs.  Sportsmanship has always been a hallmark of the UCA athletic program.  It entails comporting oneself with dignity whether in triumph or defeat.  On Friday afternoon, much to the dismay of the players and their fans, it was tested during a lopsided 17-0 loss to the visiting Craftsbury Academy Chargers.

“I felt super bad about the score,” Craftsbury head coach Ashley Maxfield said after the game.  “I don’t like to see that happen to anyone.  We’ve played with no subs too and I know how tough that can be.”

Conditions were ripe for an upset when the Chargers, featuring a deep bench and a solid corps of experienced players, met up with UCA’s empty bench and a squad of players new to the team and some even new to the sport.  UCA Coach Lyne Limoges took the loss in stride.

“We’re definitely  a rebuilding team,” Coach Limoges said.  “We graduated out four seniors last year and started our first game of the season against Winooski with only nine players.”

Luckily some relief does appear to be in sight for the Crusaders.  Coach Limoges reports that three additional international students will be joining the team in the next few days.  While the addition of three players will provide some bench depth it may also mean a slightly longer transition to find the right team chemistry.

“We really haven’t had that many opportunities to practice together so that’s something we’re still working on,” Coach Limoges said.  “We lost our first game to Winooski 5-0, but I think we played a really good game.  I’m actually looking forward to the rematch on Wednesday with a full team and some subs.”

Coming out of the first half, Crusader keeper Andreanna “Drew” Andrews was clearly distraught at her team’s early nine-goal deficit.  What Andrews had not realized was that she had already turned aside 17 shots in the first half of the game alone.  Her heroics in net did not go unnoticed by her teammates.

“She just started playing goal this year so that was only her second game,” UCA Captain Moriah Lafoe said.  “That’s a lot of pressure for a sophomore.  She did everything we could have expected out there.”

Fatigue was a definite factor for UCA as the game wore on into the second half.  The inability to put in substitutes wore down the Crusaders allowing the Chargers to put up eight more goals in the second half.

“We worked hard the whole game but we just couldn’t keep up,” Lafoe said.  “We gave up too many chances against Drew.”

During the halftime Coach Limoges said that Andrews was given an opportunity to switch out from nets.  The trooper that she is, Andrews returned to her post without complaint determined to live up to the Crusader’s team motto and “represent.”

“She’s not giving up,” Coach Limoges said.  “She’s giving it her best and I’m proud of her for that.  We need to work better as a team and try to eliminate some of those shots on net.”

girls soccer pair

UCA Crusader Megan Hosford (right) and Craftsbury Academy Charger Meghan Brown battle it out for control during Friday’s varsity match-up in Gardner Park. Photo by Richard Creaser

 

On the Craftsbury side things were respectfully subdued.  Coach Maxfield was pleased at the level of communication between her players.  The Chargers did a fine job of reading the field and placing themselves to achieve results.

“The ladies are working really well together as a team,” Coach Maxfield said.  “We need to keep up that same type of play through the season.  We need to see the play and make sure to run to those open spaces.”

The Craftsbury girls return to action at Concord on Wednesday, September 11, with a  3 p.m. start.  The Crusaders travel to Concord on Monday, September 9, with a 3:30 p.m. start followed by a home game rematch with Winooski at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11.

Contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com

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In boys soccer: Falcons nip Vikings 2-1 in home opener

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by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle September 5, 2013

NC soccer jump

North Country’s Tyler Royer (center) takes to the air like his team’s namesake falcon during first-half action against the visiting Lyndon Institute Vikings on Wednesday, September 4. Attempting to stop him is Viking Travis Wilkinson (right). Royer would record North Country’s first goal by redirecting Travis Tetreault’s corner kick to open the scoring in the game. Photo by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT —  The North Country Falcons boys’ varsity squad started the season with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Lyndon Institute Vikings on Wednesday afternoon.  Credit for the win could be attributed to strong team chemistry and a balanced mix of upper and lower classmen.

“We got some great minutes from the young guys,” North Country Head Coach James McKenny said after the game.  “This freshman class brings a lot of talent out there.  They’re so coachable and just a great group of people.”

The Falcons got on the board first as Tyler Royer buried a long corner kick from teammate Travis Tetreault 17:17 into the first half.  Throughout the first half North Country applied tremendous pressure on the Vikings.  That limited, but could not entirely prevent, opportunities for the LI squad.  With just under nine minutes remaining in the half Octavio “Tavi” Vasquez-Tellez threaded through the Falcon defense and slid the ball past North Country Keeper Ryan Paul to tie-up the game at 1-1.

Paul did not fault his defenders for the goal.  His defenders did what they needed to do and kept the Vikings at bay through most of the contest, he said.

“We had a lot of big dogs out back working it,” Paul said after the game.  “Communication is key and when we talk, we work well as a unit.”

On a team where half of the players are freshmen or sophomores finding that balance of experience and energy can be difficult.  Not so for this year’s team, Coach McKenny said.

NC soccer chip

North Country Falcon Connor St. Onge (center) chips his way out of a jam during Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the visiting Lyndon Institute Vikings. Vikings Logan Larose (left) and Nicholas Stillson flank St. Onge as fellow Falcon Travers Parsons-Grayson (center right) sweeps around from behind. Photo by Richard Creaser

“They’re all out here for the same reason — they love soccer,” the coach said.  “They are true students of the game.  We’ve been working hard on having them study the game while in it.  It’s not an easy thing to do but they are doing it.”

Situational awareness is key on a team that needs to ensure that it can capitalize on the opportunities it is given.  Effective screening and a little luck enabled the Falcons to score the go-ahead goal on Nate Marsh’s kick with 33:38 remaining on the clock in the second half.  The ball dropped and wobbled just enough to throw off LI keeper Bijian Soleymani.  Soleymani could do little but cup his hands over his face as the ball careened into the corner of his net.

NC soccer save

Lyndon Institute’s Bijian Stoleymani makes a leaping deflection to keep the visiting Vikings in the game during Wednesday’s contest against the home team North Country Falcons. Moving in on the play are Viking Bayley Palzer (left), Falcon Jeremy Cotnoir (center) and Viking Davin Hagman. Photo by Richard Creaser

The Vikings found themselves down a goal but did not let that deter them from playing on.  The second half was a more balanced affair as both North Country and Lyndon vied for control of the field.  Paul would see his skills tested more often in the second half including a potentially game changing diving stop with 3:20 remaining in the game.

“I think we put forward a pretty balanced effort,” Paul said noting that the defense and offense worked in tandem.  “We may not be the most skilled team but we’ll out-work you every time.  We don’t give up.”

While the attitude and the focus are present, there are still some aspects of the Falcons’ game that could be improved, Coach McKenny said.  Establishing control of the ball is a weak spot, but it’s something that can and will be worked on as the season progresses, he said.

“It’s our first touch that needs to be addressed and remedied,” Coach McKenny said.  “Establishing that control and then playing to place.”

nc soccer duel

North Country freshman defender Henok Palin (right) challenges LI forward Octavio “Tavi” Vasquez-Tellez during Wednesday’s season opening varsity soccer contest at North Country Union High. Falcons Coach James McKenny praised Palin’s strong defensive play as the home Falcons edged the Vikings 2-1. Photo by Richard Creaser

A smarter brand of soccer will be instrumental for the Falcons to contend this season.  The need to bring intensity, not rage, will determine if this squad soars or falls flat.  Coach McKenny is confident that his team has the right mentality for success.

“They keep pretty calm and don’t panic,” Coach McKenny said.  “They’re pretty dialed in.  It comes back to that old saying about working smarter, not harder.”

The boys travel to take on BFA St. Albans on Saturday with a 10 a.m. start.

contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com

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Junior football season opens

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nc logoSaturday, August 30, dawned early for the Junior Falcon Football teams, who opened their regular season with games held in St. Johnsbury for the A (seventh and eighth grade) and B (fifth and sixth grade) team varsity squads and in Fairfax for the junior varsity squad (new players in grades four, five and six).

The B team opened the morning by receiving the 8 a.m. kickoff.  The ball was covered by Jack Young.  Kyle Martin, ran the ball for 20 yards and the subsequent first down.  The Falcons turned the ball over, and 9 minutes in, the Raiders scored the first touchdown.  Daniel Broome, playing safety, had a solo tackle at the goal line to end the half and prevent another touchdown.  At half time the score stood 7-0.  The Falcons opened the second half with a boot by Kevin Langtagne.  Play continued to go back and forth.  The Falcons looked to be having a come back when Shawn Ferino, ran for 20+ yards on a fumble recovery.  Defensively, the Falcons showed some core strength with big plays put up by Nate Walton Braxton Azur and Giddeon Hinton to name a few.  Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, with the Falcons falling to the Raiders with a final of 9-0.

With the temperature rising, the A team took the field also playing the Raiders.  The Falcons opened with a 40-yard kick by Rian Hayman-Jones.  The first offensive play for the Raiders resulted in a fumble, recovered by Cole Azur.  This led the Falcons to a scoring drive with Garrett Gile taking the ball across the line and Asom Hayman-Jones getting the two-point conversion.  The Raiders returned the kick for an answering touchdown, but had it brought back to their own 10-yard line, by a penalty.  Play continued back and forth, with the Raiders scoring 6.  Micheal Martin had a huge tackle at the line of scrimmage to end the quarter.  With 5:50 left in the second the Raiders scored again with Rian Hayman-Jones picking off the extra 2.  A long pass by the Raiders’ quarterback was picked off by Rian Hayman-Jones at the Falcons 35 with two minutes left to play.  The offense pressed on with a 15-yard pass to Garrett Gile and another pass to him going 30 yards for the touchdown.  A defensive pick by Stephen Austin at the goal line took it to the half with the score Raiders 12, Falcons 14.  The third quarter was strong for the Falcons with Nick Prue getting a fumble recovery.  Garrett Gile put up more yards and another touchdown, Cole Azur had the catch for the extra 2.  The quarter ended on a 50-yard pass, again to Gile.  Gile continued to show his prowess with an interception and 40-yard run in the fourth.  With 1:05 left to play Rian Hayman-Jones scored the final points with a touchdown and the extra 2.  The Falcons opened the season with a 30-12 victory over the Radliff Raiders.

The squads will be in action again next Saturday under the lights at home, when they face the Lyndon Vikings.  — submitted by Eva Broome

For more free articles from the Chronicle like this one, see our Sports pages. For all the Chronicle’s stories, pick up a print copy or subscribe, either for print or digital editions.

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