Year in Review: High School Sports

We start at Vergennes where on a Saturday in February, South Burlington claimed two of the three categories of dancing titles, then later that night, Rutland racked up a fourth straight D1 cheer crown.

It was the end of an era in gymnastics, as CVU went into Essex's own gym and snatched the state title away from the 12-time defending champs.

But on the mat, no one was unseating Mt. Anthony for the wrestling title. The Patriots claimed an astounding 30th straight state championship dating back to 1989. For reference, that streak is older than I am!

Midd continued their dominance of both boys and girls D2 Nordic, while MMU claimed three of the four skiing titles available to them.

Boys alpine however went to St. J, the first of four titles they'd win last winter. The Toppers swept the D1 indoor track crowns and in March, Josie Choiniere, Sadie Stetson and the girls hoops team ended the Redhawk dynasty with a 15-point win at Patrick Gym.

On the boys side, it was Rutland completing an undefeated season to repeat as D1 champ. Windsor would sweep the boys and girls D3 hoops crowns. And in D4 boys hoops, the Sharon Academy took the school's first state championship in any sport.

Over at Gutterson, it was usual suspects Essex and BFA taking boys and girls D1 hockey respectively, while Woodstock and Stowe claimed D2 crowns.

In the spring, the St J girls resumed their dominance on the track winning a fourth straight crown, Lia Rotti took the decathlon as well. The John sisters led the way for the Rice girls in D2 while Bellows falls made it three in a row in D3.

Over on the boys side, Essex took the D1 title while U-32 and Bellows Falls each made it six straight in D2 and D3. D4 went to decathlon champ Connor Lambert and South Royalton. It would be the last state title SoRo ever won as an independent school.

The South Royalton Campus is now White River Valley Union, and it's also home to former students from Whitcomb and Rochester. The Whitchester combined softball team claimed the D4 state crown in its last year of existence. Mt. Abe and Oxbow repeated in D2 and D3, while Essex avenged last year's epic with a win over Mt. Anthony in D1.

Led by Seth Balch, the Windsor baseball team took the D3 crown, completing a school-year sweep of football, both basketballs, and baseball. South Burlington and Lake Region took the top two divisions, and after two straight title game losses to SoRo, the Danville Indians claimed the D4 crown.

CVU and Woodstock once again claimed girls tennis titles, and the Essex boys won an instant classic at Stowe for their first title since 2011

On the lacrosse field, it was redemption for Harwood's boys and U-32's girls in D2 with the Highlanders and Raiders bouncing back from title game defeats the year before. The Middlebury girls won their second straight in D1, and the CVU boys won a remarkable 6th straight in dominant fashion over BFA.

In the fall, Colchester laid claim to the inaugural Bass fishing state title while their rivals from Essex repeated in D1 boys cross country and girls volleyball.

CVU had yet another dominant fall, winning a 10th straight girls cross country state crown and led by a 5th place finish from Alice Larson, won the New England Championship as well.

The Redhawks remained the only boys volleyball champ Vermont has ever known with a third straight title.

CVU boys golf also claimed a state title in D1 with Harwood and Stowe repeating in the other two divisions. The North Country gilrs claimed a fourth straight as well.

And in soccer, CVU swept the D1 boys and girls titles, for the girls it was a seventh championship in eight years.

Arlington also swept in division 4, Harwood got redemption in D2 boys after falling in the 2017 title game, and Milton and Thetford's girls won their fourth and second straight titles respectively in D2 and D3.

But they've got nothing on Stowe's boys in D3. After a washout at Randolph on Championship Saturday forced their game against Twin Valley to be pushed to Castleton a few days later, the Raiders got a goal from Jace Boerger and won their 7th straight title with a 1-0 win.

On the field hockey pitch, Mt. Abe and St. J claimed titles in D2 and D3, but the real story was Bellows Falls. The Terriers won the D3 crown in 2015 and 16...then moved up and claimed the D2 title in 2017. Not satisfied to dominate the lower divisions, Bellows Falls made the leap to D1 this fall and edged 3-time defending champ South Burlington in the title game. The Terriers have won 4 straight state titles and 57 games in a row!

Finally, there was football. Woodstock ran the table in D3, beating all comers to reclaim their spot at the top. Burr and Burton made up for two years of playoff disappointment with a dominant run through division two to claim their second title in four years, and a wild and crazy season in D1 ended with a first time champ. Led by a strong senior class of guys like Jehric Hackney, Asa Carlson, Paco Burke, and Dylan Davis, the Mt. Mansfield Cougars recovered from a pair of stumbles at either end of the regular season to earn the number one seed, then beat Rutland on their homefield in the title game. The MMU program is just 15 years old, but for the Cougars, and all the other state champs this year, 2018 will live long in the memory.