In girls basketball: Chargers defense stifles Warriors

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Craftsbury Charger Mackenzie Blaney (center) takes a shot against Websterville Warrior Abby Fifield (left) as fellow Charger Janet Bohannon looks on.  Photos by Richard Creaser

Craftsbury Charger Mackenzie Blaney (center) takes a shot against Websterville Warrior Abby Fifield (left) as fellow Charger Janet Bohannon looks on. Photos by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle February 5, 2014

by Richard Creaser

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — The Craftsbury Chargers girls varsity basketball team (13-1) executed a total lockdown defense on Monday night enroute to a 61-5 win over the visiting Websterville Baptist Christian School Warriors (3-11).  Craftsbury Coach Rick Thomas said that he has always focused on defense as part of his team’s strategy and that focus certainly showed on Monday night.

“In a 120-minute practice, we spend about 80 minutes on defensive drills,” Coach Thomas said.  “I’m not too worried about our offense.  We have such a great depth of offensive talent that I would rather focus more on what we need to do defensively to win games.”

A lack of bench depth certainly hampered the Warriors.  Of the nine players on the roster, only six suited up for Monday’s contest with a seventh attending though on crutches.

“I think that alone speaks to the great conditioning on that team,” Coach Thomas said of his opponents.  “With only one sub, they were still able to play through the whole game.”

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Sterling College hosts Governor’s Institute on Farms, Food and Your Future

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High school student Toby Marx-Dunn of Jericho attempts to plow a straight furrow under the guidance of Sterling College draft horse manager Rick Thomas (at left), while Sterling students Lee Droste (at right) and Dave Martorana (immediately to the right of Mr. Marx-Dunn) help with the animals.  Sterling hosted the first Governor’s Institute on Farms, Food, and Your Future.  Photos by Bethany M. Dunbar

High school student Toby Marx-Dunn of Jericho attempts to plow a straight furrow under the guidance of Sterling College draft horse manager Rick Thomas (at left), while Sterling students Lee Droste (at right) and Dave Martorana (immediately to the right of Mr. Marx-Dunn) help with the animals. Sterling hosted the first Governor’s Institute on Farms, Food, and Your Future. Photos by Bethany M. Dunbar

by Bethany M. Dunbar

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Toby Marx-Dunn, a high school student from Jericho, was listening to National Public Radio one day, and it got him thinking about the food he eats.  He decided he wanted to know more and get better, healthier food.  This impulse led him to sign up for a brand new summer Governor’s Institutes of Vermont — one called Farms, Food and Your Future.

Last week the impulse left him standing behind the back ends of a pair of large, patient workhorses in a farm field at Sterling College.

Sterling was one of the hosts of this year’s institute, the first one to focus on these subjects.  Mr. Marx-Dunn seems to be not alone in his impulse, judging by admissions numbers at Sterling.  Last year the college — which teaches sustainable agriculture and food-related topics — had about 90 students.  This fall the doors will open to a full class of 110.  Tim Patterson, director of admissions and financial aid, said the dorms are full.

The Governor’s institutes are residencies for high school students with accelerated learning on college campuses in specific subject areas.  This year’s institutes included ones on the arts, engineering, information technology, mathematics, and Asian cultures.

On Wednesday, July 31, Toby Marx-Dunn picked up the handles of a plow behind two big horses named Daisy and Rexi.  His new job was to try to make the thing go straight.

“It doesn’t go straight by itself,” he reported shortly after plowing his very first two furrows.  Asked if it was fun, he said vehemently, “No.”

Not fun, Mr. Marx-Dunn explained, because it’s much harder than it looks.

Even so, Mr. Marx-Dunn and a dozen other high schoolers did get the basics on how fields are plowed, and why good soil is important, and how Sterling plans to enrich the soil on the particular field they were plowing that day.  Draft horse manager Rick Thomas explained that plows can only dig so deep, and the soil was hard below the furrow.  In order to loosen it up and add some organic matter to the hardpan, they would plant daikon radishes as a cover crop.  These radishes grow fast and have deep roots.

High school students at the Governor’s Institute on Farms, Food and Your Future walk through the turkey pen to see the pasture at Sterling College in Craftsbury.

High school students at the Governor’s Institute on Farms, Food and Your Future walk through the turkey pen to see the pasture at Sterling College in Craftsbury.

Also that day, the students met a flock of young turkeys destined for a flock of Thanksgiving tables, and they learned about the difficulty of growing turkeys to the right weight, why pasture is good for them and why they are good for pasture, and a little about heritage breeds.

Sterling raises 1,000 birds a year on its farm.  The young turkey poults the students saw that day had already grown 12 pounds in a month and a half, so the farm manager explained they would have to be processed and frozen well before Thanksgiving, so they would not be too big to fit into a regular oven.

In between these outdoor adventures, the students heard about how the cafeteria works at Sterling College.

The college grows 20 percent of its own food, and 44 percent of the food in the cafeteria is grown on local farms.  Faculty, staff, and students all eat together and each helps with the work of putting that food onto the tables.

Anne Obelnicki, director of food systems, explained to the group that last year the college grew 760 pounds of rutabagas and because of the skill of cooks at Sterling, no one got sick of rutabaga.  She said they used it in all sorts of unusual ways, even mashed as an ingredient in cake.

“I think that deliciousness is part of sustainability,” she said.  If the food doesn’t taste good, people won’t keep eating it.

She said another part of sustainability is making the food affordable.

“The food at Sterling doesn’t cost any more than at any other college,” she said.  She said people are always saying local food is more expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.  Sterling has great cooks, she said, who can make a delicious meal out of rice and beans, for example.

Ms. Obelnicki passed out free samples of salami made at Sterling, which she explained is made with raw meat and bacteria so it will ferment.

At Sterling, she said, “We don’t just eat to eat.  We eat because we’re trying to live our education here.”

Ms. Obelnicki said students at some colleges have started a “real food” challenge.  They go into their college cafeterias and start asking questions about how much of the food is local, organic, and fair trade.  If a series of questions can be answered in the affirmative, she said, the food can be called real.  The students who came up with the idea set a goal, she said, “Let’s get real food into our college — 20 percent by 2020.”

Under these guidelines, Sterling’s cafeteria has about 70 percent real food, one of the highest percentages in the country.

Jonathan Kaplan, lead faculty for the Governor’s Institute on Farms, Food, and Your Future, teaches biology and history at Lyndon State College.  He is a former state advisor for the Future Farmers of America (FFA).  Lyndon State is also a participant in the real food challenge.

After hearing Ms. Obelnicki’s discussion of Sterling’s food system, he told the students they might want to take that real food challenge back home with them.

“There’s nothing stopping you from going back to your high school and making this happen,” he said.

Christian Feuerstein, director of communications for Sterling, noted the college now offers minors in draft horse management, climate justice, and sustainable food systems.

contact Bethany M. Dunbar at bethany@bartonchronicle.com

For more free articles from the Chronicle like this one, see our Featuring 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 girls basketball: Craftsbury Chargers hang tough in loss to Richford

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Janet Bohannon goes up for a shot against Richford. Photo by Harris Kinsey

by Harris Kinsey

copyright the Chronicle 12-12-2012           

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Coming off a nice win against United Christian Academy, the Craftsbury Academy girls basketball team was hoping to win their first game in their brand new gym.  They fought hard through four quarters, but came up short in a 42-36 loss to Richford on Monday night, December 10.

Elle Purrier paced Richford with 10 points and the Richford Falcons rode well balanced scoring to the victory.

Janet Bohannon led all scorers with 23 points but didn’t have much help on the scoring, as other players just couldn’t get their shots to fall.

The game started slowly, with the teams trading misses until the 3:38 mark of the first quarter.  Richford scored first with a layup.  Richford 2, Craftsbury 0.

Craftsbury then scored two field goals to take the lead at 4-2.

The score stood that way for a while until Craftsbury scored three more points, and Richford got a free throw.  After the first quarter the score stood Craftsbury 7 Richford 3.

The teams traded misses again to start the second quarter, until a three-pointer by Richford cut the lead to seven to six. Scoring really picked up in the second quarter of play. Janet Bohannon led all scorers in the second quarter scoring 11 points to pace Craftsbury.  Craftsbury held the lead throughout the second and ended the first half of play with an 8-point lead, Craftsbury 23, Richford 15.

The third quarter also started with a scoring lull with the teams trading misses again until Craftsbury made two field goals to take a 27-16 lead three minutes into the third.  Craftsbury 27, Richford 16.

But Richford would then close the gap considerably.  With good defense and good shooting, they were able to get to the basket for layups, and got to the foul line.  They closed the gap to four by the end of the third.  After three quarters the score stood Craftsbury 30, Richford 26.

At the beginning of the fourth, the teams were still fighting hard and Richford hung close.  They traded baskets to start the quarter.  Then Richford began to really make shots and they ended up taking the lead by a point.  Craftsbury answered with a basket of their own to take the lead right back.  Craftsbury 36. Richford 35.

Richford took a 3-point lead with 2:07 left in the game 39-36.  Craftsbury just couldn’t make their shots fall.  The game ended with Craftsbury losing by six, Richford 42, Craftsbury 36.

After the game, Craftsbury coach Rick Thomas said,  “We are very young.  We played well and we played hard.  To hang with a veteran team as long as we did is an accomplishment in itself.  Everybody contributed.  It was a team effort.”

Craftsbury is a very young team with only four juniors and no seniors.  They have two eighth-graders, four ninth-graders, and two sophomores.  Richford on the other hand has a lot more experience with three seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman.

Craftsbury played a great game, but came up just short.  Their next game is on December 18 when the varsity girls host Stowe at home.  The game starts at 5:30 p.m..

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