Courtesy Vermont Sports Media Association
COLCHESTER – A standout football player from Windsor High School and a four-year star field hockey player from Bellows Fall Union have been voted as the state’s top male and female Athletes of the Month for October by the Vermont Sports Media Association.
The VSMA selected Hunter Patenaude, a senior at Windsor, and Murphy Hicks, a senior at Bellows Falls, in statewide balloting for the top high school athletes for the month.
Association members submit detailed nominations about top individual performances by student-athletes across the state for the previous month, VSMA President Andy Kirkaldy of the Addison Independent said. All fulltime and part-time sportswriters and sportscasters, including play-by-play announcers and analysts covering Vermont, are eligible for VSMA membership.
Patenaude, a standout running back, scored five touchdowns, at least one in each game, as the Yellow Jackets went 4-0 in October. But he saved his best for the showdown of VPA Division 3 unbeatens – against Woodstock. Patenaude had TD runs of 45 and 55 yards, and had the Jacks’ only pass completion, to Dakota Page, to put Windsor on top to stay in the fourth quarter in a 27-20 victory. Patenaude also was a key contributor in the defensive secondary during the month.
Patenaude edged three other finalists: Football players Shane Clark, a Bellows Falls junior, and Brent Nickerson, an Otter Valley senior, along with soccer player Skyler Boyd, a Twin Valley senior.
Hicks, a senior halfback for the Bellows Falls Terriers, had an outstanding month of October for the undefeated field hockey team. Murphy is a leader for the Terrier defense that allowed only two goals in six games – including four shutouts. The Bellows Falls goaltenders had fewer than four saves per game. As a four year starter at halfback, Hicks helped BF to 58 wins, 5 losses and 3 ties. Head Coach Bethany Coursen said, “Murphy is a solid defender with great timing on the ball.”
Hicks edged two other finalists: senior soccer players Ashley Bates of Leland & Gray Union and Kassidy Cummings of Green Mountain Union.
Patenaude and Hicks will be eligible for the VSMA Athletes of the Year award when the honors are voted at the end of the 2016-17 year. They join all the statewide monthly honorees, including previous winners: for September, soccer players Mack Walton, a Green Mountain Union senior and Brooke Raiche, a West Rutland senior.
More information about the VSMA is available by calling(802) 654-2442.