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


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


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


Junior Falcon football players face Raiders

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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


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


It was Falcons versus Patriots in junior football


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


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


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


In varsity volleyball: Visiting Hornets take two from host Rangers


volley Dolloff

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  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!


NC Junior Falcons A team takes down Spartans


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


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

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


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  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.