By Jack Healey
This list is geared for the most part to the Rutland area so keep that in mind.
Taking a look back at the top local sports stories of 2018:
I have the Rutland boys basketball Division 1 state championship as the #1 sports story for the 2nd straight year.
1. Last year it was Rutland breaking a 50 year jinx and #1 in 2018 is winning another state championship, going undefeated and finishing with 40 straight wins after defeating Mt. Mansfield in the state title game at the UVM Patrick Gym
2. MSJ’s 4th straight Division 4 girls basketball state championship. MSJ defeated Blue Mountain for #4 in a row at the Barre Auditorium
3. Rutland High winning its 4th straight Division 1 state cheerleading championship and its 3rd New England championship in 4 years. Also Mill River winning its 2nd Division 2 state cheerleading championship in 3 years and also winning its first game day cheerleading state championship.
4. Fair Haven winning the Division 2 boys basketball state championship with a 2 point victory over Milton at the Barre Auditorium.
5. Vermont’s 3rd straight Shrine Game victory over New Hampshire The competition might not be as great as it once was, but I think it’s still special and warrants a top 5 in my book.
That’s my top 5, but also among the top local sports stories of 2018 in no particular order include:
Rutland’s Drake Hull winning his 2nd straight Vermont Mens Amateur state golf championship. Drake’s soon to be University of Connecticut teammate Logan Broyles of Rutland High winning the Division 1 high school boys state medalist honors.
Drake Hull and Rutland’s Jared Nelson winning the Pierce Invitational at the Rutland Country Club. Nelson is now playing college golf at Siena.
Rutland High’s Dylan Rousell winning the boys state alpine giant slalom championship and his brother Austin Rousell winning the boys state alpine slalom championship.
Burke Mountain Academy’s Mikaela Shiffrin winning her 3rd straight slalom at another successful World Cup at Killington before record crowds.
Proctor’s Gannon McKearin winning his 4th straight 10 K mens Crowley Brothers Memorial Road Race.
Mendon’s Kristen Carlson Courcelle, now of Colchester, winning the female 10 K. She is a multiple Crowley Brothers winner.
West Rutland’s Eric Maxham breaking the boys soccer state scoring record.
Rutland High girls hockey teammates Meghan Hamilton and Emma Mazzariello both scoring their 100th career point.Meghan Hamilton was named “Miss Hockey” by the Burlington Free Press.
Otter Valley’s Gabby Poalino winning the Vermont state female Wendy’s Heisman Award.
Rutland High’s Dakota Peters winning the 160 pound division in the state wrestling competition and we certainly have to acknowledge Mt. Anthony’s 30th straight state wrestling championship.
Castleton winning its 7th straight womens lacrosse championship and 5th straight baseball championship in the last year for the Spartans in the North Atlantic Conference. The Castleton field hockey team winning the first regular season championship in the Little East Conference.
The Castleton Jr. Spartans winning the Vermont U-14 football state championship and finished 2nd in the Northeast.
We also have to acknowledge the 4th straight state championship for the Bellows Falls field hockey team. Bellows Falls in winning its first Division 1 state championship has won 57 straight games.
And on a sad note the passing of legendary Rutland Post 31 baseball coach Bill Flory in April and former MSJ basketball standout Lenny Burke in July. Lenny was an inspiration to all of us!
Those are my top local sports stories of 2018. What are yours? Drop me an email with your opinions at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Jack Healey