When I was standing in front of some hotel in West Dover on March 22, getting ready to record a video of the parade that was approaching, I thought about naming Devin Logan the Reformer Athlete of the Year right then.
There were still eight months left for someone in the area to don the green jacket, drink some milk in Indy, or go win that bike race in France. Seriously, how else could someone one-up Logan’s ski slopetyle silver medal that she had captured on Feb. 11 in Sochi?
The 2011 Twin Valley High School graduate, who spent most of that day signing autographs and giving out hugs, is just the third Olympic medalist that I’ve come across in nearly 16 years of writing sports. I’ve seen snowboarder Kelly Clark earn a pair of bronze medals while here and I was working in the Bay State when UMass-Amherst pitcher Danielle Henderson came to town to show off her softball gold.
Some of you will lean toward a youngster -- especially when his names rhyme -- when it comes to Athlete of the Year voting. Will Hill, a member of the Brattleboro Swim Team, finished first six times and also shattered a district record in the 8 and under division at the recent meet in Rutland.
The next Michael Phelps? Let’s hope.
And what about the dynamic duo across the river that each scored over 1,000 career points and helped the Hinsdale girls basketball team to a perfect 22-0 record?
It seems like Allison Scott and Skylar Bonnette, backcourt mates that spent four years stealing, running, driving and burying shots, belong on the ballot together.
That’s where Mikey Batts’ check mark would go, guaranteed. The super fan could be heard yelling "come on, Al" or "way to go, Sky" from 2011-14.
Dana McClelland, 32, of Vernon, has used her legs and impressive endurance to get into this Athlete of the Year conversation. After all, she was the second female finisher in both the Catamount Half Marathon on June 29 in Brattleboro and the Mad Marathon on July 6 in Waitsfield.
Just for her 39 miles of racing in about a week, I feel like she deserves something -- new sneakers, an Ipod, maybe an award.
Also in contention right now are: David Dunbar, who won the 110 hurdles, high jump and long jump to lead the Bellows Falls boys to the Division 3 track title, and West Dummerston resident Cameron Wright, who scored 17 goals and dished out 31 assists for the Vermont Academy ice hockey team.
Bellows Falls-Hartford wrestler Nolan Viens went 46-0 on the mat including an individual state championship and Kate Pallardy finished first overall in the Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler road race in Brattleboro on July 4, but Viens is from the school in White River Junction and Pallardy is a New Yorker so the voting odds are not in their favor.
Speaking of that, Logan has to be the heavy favorite to be named 2014 Reformer Athlete of the Year at this point.
Maybe it’s because I was there for the celebration on March 22, that I feel like everyone else is battling for the runner-up spot. There’s just something about a person delivering for their town and country, and then returning home to share the prize.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.