In girls soccer: Falcons blank visiting Rebels 1-0

Dasha Plotnikov (left) and Mykayla Tanguay lock arms to defend against a throw-in.  Photos by David Dudley

Dasha Plotnikov (left) and Mykayla Tanguay lock arms to defend against a throw-in. Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle October 22, 2014

by David Dudley

NEWPORT — The South Burlington High School Rebels traveled to Newport to play the North Country Union High School Falcons Friday. A single goal determined the winner of this hard-fought match, as the Falcons pulled off an impressive 1-0 win on their home pitch.

Dehlia Wright scored the game’s only goal with 13:54 left in the first half, leaving the burden to score on the Rebels for the remainder of the game.

Continue reading

Share

Lake Region hosts cross-country relays

Featured

Andrew Grittner of North Country Union high School waits for his second wind to kick in as he winds his way toward the final leg of Lake Region's cross-country trail. Photos by David Dudley

Andrew Grittner of North Country Union high School waits for his second wind to kick in as he winds his way toward the final leg of Lake Region’s cross-country trail.
Photos by David Dudley

copyright the Chronicle October 15, 2014

by David Dudley

Lake Region Union High School hosted a six-team relay race on Tuesday.  Among the teams competing were:  North Country Union High School, Lyndon, Peoples, Hazen, Stowe, and Lake Region (LR).

It was a beautiful day, warm, sunny, 70 degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. The first part of Lake Region’s course is riddled with hills, leading into the woods behind the school. The latter part of the trail is all downhill, though, which tends to bring out the best in these runners. Especially when they don’t have to worry about puddles and loose soil.

Continue reading

Share

QNEK presents thriller, Wait Until Dark

Featured

Pictured are members of the cast from QNEK’s production of Wait Until Dark.  In the top row, from left to right, are Ross Murray, Victoria Young, and Nathan Sargent.  In the middle row, from left, are Mike Desjardins, Mary Hoadley, and Brian McCrea.  In the bottom row, from left, are Eric Alexandre, Brian McCrea, Ross Murray, Mike Desjardins, and James Cross.  Photo courtesy of QNEK

Pictured are members of the cast from QNEK’s production of Wait Until Dark. In the top row, from left to right, are Ross Murray, Victoria Young, and Nathan Sargent. In the middle row, from left, are Mike Desjardins, Mary Hoadley, and Brian McCrea. In the bottom row, from left, are Eric Alexandre, Brian McCrea, Ross Murray, Mike Desjardins, and James Cross. Photo courtesy of QNEK

QNEK Productions, the award-winning international theater company in residence at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line, finishes its twenty-first main stage season with the highly entertaining and suspenseful thriller, Wait Until Dark, directed and designed by Susan-Lynn Johns with a set built under the guidance of Tom Rooney by the North Country Union High School building trades class.

Written by Frederick Knott — author of the classic mystery, Dial M for MurderWait Until Dark captures the audience with its complex story and noir undertones. In a time when gore and extreme violence run rampant in film and television, audiences will find it refreshing to find horror in the chase, more so than in a pool of blood.

The heroine of the story, set in the 1960s, is blind housewife Susy Hendrix (Mary Hoadley of Newport). Independent and resourceful, Susy is learning to cope with her blindness, which resulted from a recent accident. She is aided by her difficult, slightly unreliable young neighbor, Gloria (Victoria Young of Newport), with whom she has an exasperated but lovingly maternal relationship. Susy’s life is changed as she is terrorized by a group of criminals who believe she has hidden a baby doll used by them to smuggle heroin into the country. Unknown to Susy, her photographer husband, Sam (Nathan Sargent of Newport), took the doll as a favor for a woman he met on an international plane flight and unwittingly brought the doll to the couple’s New York apartment when the woman became afraid of the customs officials. Alone in her apartment and cut off from the outside world, Susy must fight for her life against a gang of ruthless criminals, led by the violent, psychotic Roat (Ross Murray of Stanstead, Quebec). The tension builds as Roat and his accomplices Carlino (Brian McCrea of Newport) and Mike Talman (Mike Desjardins of Newport), impersonate police detectives and friends of her husband in order to win Susy’s confidence, gaining access to her apartment to look for the doll. The climax of the play, a vicious physical confrontation between Susy and Roat in her dark kitchen, is one of the most memorable and frightening scenes in theater history. Rounding off the cast as policemen are James Cross of Island Pond and Eric Alexandre of Magog, Quebec.

Performance dates are October 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and October 12 at 2 p.m. at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line and Stanstead, Quebec. Reserve tickets by calling the QNEK Box Office at (802) 624-1490; charge tickets via phone or online through Catamount Arts, 1-888-757-5559, www.catamountarts.org; or purchase at The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport.

For information, and group rate quotes, contact the QNEK business office at 334-2216. — from QNEK.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

Share

Perkins wins titanium in national dance competition

Featured

Kendra Perkins is wearing the medal she won in Sheer Talent national competition in Las Vegas in July.  Behind her are some of her dance photos and trophies.  Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Kendra Perkins is wearing the medal she won in Sheer Talent national competition in Las Vegas in July. Behind her are some of her dance photos and trophies. Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

copyright the Chronicle August 6, 2014

by Bethany M. Dunbar

DERBY — At age 19, Kendra Perkins was no stranger to national dance competition. She had been there four times before.

July 7 to 12 was her fifth time at the Sheer Talent competition, and she came home from Las Vegas with a titanium medal. Her score was 298 out of a possible 300 points from three judges.

“I came off the stage and I was bawling,” she said. She thought she had done badly. A perfectionist, she often reviews videos of herself dancing to try to improve. It turns out she did pretty well, even though she wasn’t satisfied herself.

Continue reading

Share

In boys baseball: Falcons finish season with best record since 2007

Featured

The Rice Memorial Green Knights displayed their aggressive base running all day as this spectacular collision with Falcon catcher Andrew Gonyaw (left) shows.  Coming in to score is Green Knight Tommy Fitzgerald, who recorded seven stolen bases on the day as teammate Timmy Shea (number 11) looks on. Photos by Richard Creaser

The Rice Memorial Green Knights displayed their aggressive base running all day as this spectacular collision with Falcon catcher Andrew Gonyaw (left) shows. Coming in to score is Green Knight Tommy Fitzgerald, who recorded seven stolen bases on the day as teammate Timmy Shea (number 11) looks on.  Photos by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle June 4, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — While the Falcons were unable to match a 20-year-old record, they did equal their best record since 2007, finishing the season at 8-8 on Saturday. Had the North Country baseball team won one or both games over the weekend, they could have matched a more than 20-year-old record, Assistant Coach Jared Gonyaw said.

“They’ve put together a great season, and this is without a junior varsity program,” Coach Gonyaw said. “We had three underclassmen pitch today, and they held heir own.”

Finishing with a .500 record is an especially significant feat given the peculiar nature of the 2014 spring sports season. The Falcons played nine regular season games in the last two weeks and only seven games in the first three weeks of the season.

Continue reading

Share

In boys tennis: Falcons win over U-32 on strength of singles matches

Featured

Nathan Marsh is enjoying his second season on the North Country Falcons tennis team, having come late to the program.  A lifelong hockey and soccer player, Marsh has emerged as one of the top four singles players in the Falcons tennis program. Photo by Richard Creaser

Nathan Marsh is enjoying his second season on the North Country Falcons tennis team, having come late to the program. A lifelong hockey and soccer player, Marsh has emerged as one of the top four singles players in the Falcons tennis program.
Photo by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle May 14, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — The North Country Falcons tennis team extended its winning streak to two matches and evened up their season record at 3-3 with a 4-3 win over the visiting U-32 Raiders on Thursday, May 8. Coming into the contest, Coach Gary Atchinson predicted that the victory would be attained or lost on the strength of the singles matches.

“Our top four are very strong with a lot of experience,” he said. “We kind of need that to balance out the fact that we have a lot of inexperienced players.”

The Falcons team has only nine players — the exact number needed to field a team for each match. With very little wiggle room, it falls on the team to perform to its maximum capability each and every time. So far, they have not disappointed, Coach Atchinson said.

Continue reading

Share

At NCUHS: Spidey swings from NYC to Newport

G.G. Rafuse produced this striking image as the log for The Spidey Project’s original off-Broadway production.

G.G. Rafuse produced this striking image as the log for The Spidey Project’s original off-Broadway production.

copyright the Chronicle March 12, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

NEWPORT — A musical with music written by one North Country Union High School (NCUHS) alumnus and directed by another, will swing into town on Friday, May 16, for a single performance.  The staging of The Spidey Project will benefit the school’s Art and Communications Academy and help fund its fall musical production.

Chase Gosselin, who graduated from the high school in 2012 and is now engaged in a variety of theatrical enterprises in New York City, is slated to direct the show, which has a script written by Justin Moran and Jonathan Roufaeal, and music composed by Newport native Adam Podd and Doug Katsaros.

The show was created when Mr. Moran posted a video announcing the production as a response to the long-delayed and phenomenally costly Broadway production of Spiderman:  Turn Off The Dark.

Continue reading

Share

In boys basketball: Gray’s return to NCUHS bad news for Falcons

Featured

NCBBall Gray cmykcopyright the Chronicle February 12, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — It was a bittersweet homecoming for Kendrick Gray, who returned to the North Country gymnasium for the first time this season on Friday night.  Gray, a former North Country Falcon freshman, now plays for the Rice Green Knights (12-3) as a potent sophomore forward.

“Coming in as an opponent was pretty nerve-wracking,” Gray said after Rice’s 74-39 win.  “I just wanted to do my best and everything kind of came out.  I wasn’t expecting to have as good a game as I did.”

Gray exhibited the kind of skills that made him a fearsome opponent for any team.  His 17-point performance, tops among both teams, including shooting 4 for 9 from the free throw line, a three-point basket, and five other baskets including a crowd-inciting dunk in the first quarter.  The fact that his heroics inspired cheers from both halves of the crowd was not lost on the amiable sophomore.

“I knew I couldn’t hide forever and I’d have to come back sometime,” Gray said smiling.  “I love my Newport peeps.  I love this place.”

Continue reading

Share

Young pitchers and catchers take up yoga

copyright the Chronicle February 12, 2014

by Richard Creaser

NEWPORT — Jay Gonyaw has operated a clinic through the Junior Legion Baseball Program for area pitchers and catchers for the past eight years, first at IROC and now at North Country Union High School.  His coaching experience, however, goes back even further.  Mr. Gonyaw is also the coach of the North Country Falcons junior varsity squad.

“I coached my first time when I was 18 years old,” Mr. Gonyaw told the Chronicle on Tuesday.  “So I’ve been around baseball and coaching baseball a long time.”

What Mr. Gonyaw has noticed lately is that his young athletes often aren’t quite in the condition they should be.  To remedy that, he’s introduced an unlikely new element to his coaching regimen — yoga.

A number of factors contribute to the fact that  kids aren’t as limber as they once were.  They range from the widespread use of technology to a more stringent focus on single or double sport athletic training.

“You see it when a kid transitions from playing in one sport season and switching over to a different one in the next season,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “They have to be in great shape to play at a high level in one sport, but when they switch they end up sore.  They’re going from working one group of muscles to a completely different group of muscles, and their bodies just aren’t ready for that.”

The ability to adapt from one sport to the next has also declined as varsity athletes begin to focus more on a single sport instead of the two or three sports that athletes of his generation played, Mr. Gonyaw said.  Working on the muscle groups that are used most ignores the benefits that a more complete workout experience delivers to those muscle groups you use less frequently.

Back in the day when outdoor activities formed a major part of a child’s life, multiple muscle groups were always being tested.  Kids rode bikes through town, played soccer in the park, or swam at the local beach.  As “free-play” activities have diminished, so has exposure to different kinds of body workouts.  And that has affected the ability of athletes to meet the physical demands of their sports, Mr. Gonyaw said.

“I see a lot of kids coming into my clinic or at the start of the season and they are pretty stiff,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “It got me to thinking that the traditional stretching routine maybe isn’t working as well as it used to.  So I started to think outside the box.”

So Mr. Gonyaw and his fellow trainer Eric LeBlanc arranged for yoga instructor Rebecca Marcotte of Barton to come in and work with his players.  The first 30 minutes of each weekly session are dedicated to yoga stretching and the final 60 minutes to pitching and catching.

“We’ve been at it for five weeks of our seven-week clinic and we’re already seeing a big difference,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “I’ve had kids ask me why we didn’t do this sooner, so they’re really buying into it.  They’re seeing the value of what we’re doing.”

While the clinic focuses on pitchers and catchers, the benefits of yoga would apply equally across the diamond and the outfield, Mr. Gonyaw said.  Pitchers and catchers are the only players with direct interaction with every pitch but that doesn’t mean that the position players, or batters for that matter, wouldn’t benefit as well.

“A centerfielder or a left fielder might go a couple of innings without needing to do anything,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “But then they need to be ready to run at full speed and make the catch or make a throw right away.  That puts a lot of strain on the body.”

Not only will yoga help players perform at a higher level of readiness, but it should also help to avoid some of the more common injuries that occur during the season.  As short as the high school baseball season is in Vermont, by the time an injury has healed the season is effectively over for that player.

“I think we will see some early results when we start the daily practices in the spring,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “The real test will come at the end of the season when we see how many injuries we have or how many sore arms we have.  I really think that this is going to make a huge difference.”

Mr. Gonyaw intends to bring back yoga for his clinic in future years, and he also hopes to incorporate a ten- to 15-minute yoga routine in his daily practices and pre-game regimen.  As the student athletes become more comfortable with the yoga routines, he expects that players may also start to recognize the meditative benefits of yoga as well.

“I know of yoga mostly as a good way to stretch out your muscles and joints,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “But I can see a time when a batter or pitcher can step back and refocus for the next at-bat.  The mental part will come.”

Mr. Gonyaw’s annual pitching and catching clinic is open to a wide range of ages from 12 years old to 17 years old and to kids from all over.  This year’s group includes four catchers and 13 pitchers who work with Mr. Gonyaw and Mr. LeBlanc, a former pro baseball player.

“Eric really has an amazing understanding of what it takes to pitch at all levels,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “He understands the mechanics of each pitch and the benefits of a good stretching routine.  That really enhances the experience for everyone.”

The positive feedback from players so far indicates that Mr. Gonyaw’s unorthodox yoga regimen has hit a home run.  How well the yoga stretching philosophy extends beyond the kids in his clinic is yet to be seen.

“I definitely think there’s something here that would benefit all players in all sports,” Mr. Gonyaw said.  “If it helps them perform better and avoid injuries, it’s been totally worthwhile.”

 contact Richard Creaser at nek_scribbler@hotmail.com

For more free stories like this one, please see our Sports pages.

Share

Sargent joins friends in Sochi for Olympics

Ida Sargent of Barton will ski in her first Winter Olympics next month.  Photo courtesy of Dave and Lindy Sargent

Ida Sargent of Barton will ski in her first Winter Olympics next month. Photo courtesy of Dave and Lindy Sargent

copyright the Chronicle January 29, 2014

by Natalie Hormilla

 

On the week of her twenty-sixth birthday, Ida Sargent of Barton got some very big news — that she had officially been named to the U.S. Olympic women’s cross-country ski team.

“I think when I found out I couldn’t stop smiling,” Ms. Sargent said in a telephone interview Friday from Toblach, Italy, where she will compete in two World Cup races this weekend. 

The weekend’s events are the last for Ms. Sargent before she heads to her first Olympic games, in Sochi, Russia.

“Then on Sunday, we’ll drive to Munich, then Monday we do all the processing — fill out the forms, get the visas figured out, and get our uniforms.  Then on Tuesday, we fly to Sochi.”

Even with the Olympics around the corner, Ms. Sargent is still focused on the tasks at hand.

“Right now, I’m still kind of focusing on these next World Cup races and trying to just take each moment in stride,” she said.

Her birthday plans included hard training sessions in the morning, followed by fun with a couple of friends who just happen to be in Italy, too.

“Hannah Dreissigacker and Susan Dunklee are training about 30 minutes from here, which is really unique, because we usually don’t cross paths,” she said.  “That’ll be a really special way to celebrate my birthday.”

Ms. Dunklee and Ms. Dreissigacker are newly named Olympians themselves, having been nominated to the U.S. women’s biathlon team.

The three women have known each other most of their lives, through skiing together at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, first as kids in the Bill Koch League, then as young women in the Craftsbury Green Racing Project.

Continue reading

Share