BRATTLEBORO -- Five years after their legendary run into the New England Regionals, eight members of Brattleboro’s 2009 Little League All-Star baseball team had a memorable varsity season.
Four of them -- Kassidi Ramirez, Rob Heileman, Ryan McAuliffe and Chris McAuliffe -- helped the BUHS baseball team turn things around. The Colonels went from missing the playoffs completely a year ago to going 11-7, including a playdown victory, in 2014.
And the other four -- Tanner Freeman, Johnny Curtis, Brennen Zolnoski and Sam Siegel -- were part of a Brattleboro boys lacrosse team that earned a first-round bye and finished with a dozen victories.
The Brattleboro Union High School baseball, softball, girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse teams had a combined 41-26 record.
Shannon Garrett went 8-7 in her first year as BUHS girls lax coach and super sophomore Hannah Wilson earned 10 victories in the circle one year after the great Kayla Wood graduated.
Of course, it wasn’t a bad spring season at all for South Burlington, which was represented in five of the six Division 1 finals.
The Rebels captured state crowns in girls tennis, boys tennis and girls lacrosse, and were the runners-up in both boys lacrosse and baseball. Their most impressive runs came on the courts, where their two tennis teams were a perfect 20-0.
The school probably wasn’t expecting to do much damage in the softball bracket, anyway, considering their team managed just four wins and was seeded 12th. Not to mention, Brattleboro and Essex had hogged the last seven titles.
But in 2014, it was the Colonels’ arch rival that won it all. Mount Anthony Union, which had split with Brattleboro during the regular season, edged BFA-St. Albans 3-2 in the semifinals and then nipped Missisquoi Valley 4-3 in the championship game.
The south has now struck gold in four of the last five Division 1 softball tournaments. Wood pitched the Colonels to titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and MAU rode the bat of Makayla Farrara -- three RBI’s in the last two rounds -- to this year’s title.
It had been 50 years since Rice ran the table in a D-1 baseball tournament, so the fact that the Green Knights routed South Burlington 15-3 for all the marbles was possibly the biggest surprise of all.
Matt Palmer (5 goals) and Elliott Mitchell (4 goals) were on fire for top-seeded CVU in an 11-8 victory over South Burlington in the D-1 boys lax finale. And Courtney Barrett made 11 saves as South Burlington trumped No. 1 Burr and Burton 14-4 in the D-1 girls showdown.
And the Rebels simply owned the courts.
Marco Cepeda, Gabe Katz, Matt Jenkins, Jack Graham and Eli Rachlin swept the singles matches, leading the 20-0 South Burlington boys tennis team to a 6-1 decision over Stowe in the title tilt. The 20-0 South Burlington girls tennis team got singles wins from Emily Sprague, Romona Bartsova and Aster O’Leary to help them down CVU 5-2 in their championship match.