Champlain Valley Union football coach Jim Provost likes what he sees when he looks at the Vermont roster for this summer’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.
Provost, who will coach Vermont in the all-star game against New Hampshire, sent out invitations to 36 players and all 36 committed to play in the contest. Vermont wasn’t able to put its best team on the field last year, when Essex quarterback Max Librizzi – the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year − declined to participate while he prepared to begin his college career at Holy Cross.
“We were 36 for 36,” Provost said. “I was very happy about that. I like our depth at the receiver position. We’re hoping that will be a position of strength for us. We like the backs we took too.”
Rice quarterback Christian McCormick and Hartford running back Trevor Wood are among the players on the Vermont roster, which was announced last Friday. McCormick, who guided Rice to last year’s Division II state championship, was named the 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year. Wood helped Hartford win the Division I state title.
“Picking the linemen was the toughest part,” Provost said. “New Hampshire has more kids to pick from, so hopefully our depth will be as good as their depth. I think our starters have been comparable to their starters the last few years. It always comes down to that second group.”
New Hampshire extended its winning streak to 10 games when it posted a 34-20 victory over Vermont last year. New Hampshire leads the all-time series 42-13-2.
This year’s game will be played Aug. 6 at Windsor High School.
This is the second time Provost has served as Vermont’s head coach. He was also Vermont’s head coach for the 1990 game. New Hampshire prevailed 35-0 that year.
Chris Childs will serve as New Hampshire’s coach. Childs steered Lebanon to the Division IV championship last season.
Each team will begin practicing July 28 at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H.
The Vermont team will meet for the first time March 6 at the Lebanon (N.H.) Elks Club.
“I know nothing about New Hampshire except what I’ve read,” Provost said. “If we play our best and play mistake-free, hopefully it will be enough to beat them.”
Here is the complete Vermont roster by school:
Bellows Falls: Ryan Hayward (RB/DB)
BFA-St. Albans: Cullen Howrigan (OL/DL)
Burlington: Ben Vachereau (WR/DB)
Champlain Valley: Cam Fitzgerald (OL/DL); Konnor Fleming (QB/DB); Eric Palmer (FB/DE/LB).
Essex: Taylor Amato (LB); Michael DiMambro (WR/DB); Trey Hudson (OL).
Colchester: Ryan Crowley (OG); Isaac Delabruere (WR/DB); Devon Grammo (RB); Jay Morgan (LB).
Fair Haven: Luke Lendway (OG).
Hartford: Tyler Frink (OG/DT); Alex Rowe (FB/LB), Jake St. Sauveur (LB), Trevor Wood (RB/LB); Jackson Young (FB/DL).
Milton: Dino Georgakis (OL/LB).
Rice: Nickey Elderton (WR); Alex Linde (OL/DL); Christian McCormick (QB).
Rutland: Andrew Borkowski (OL/DL), Troy Davine (QB/WR/DB); Jon Sullivan (RB/LB); Nate Swahn (WR/DB); Mike Triller (WR/DB).
South Burlington: Josh Cassarino (OL); Pat Dun (OL); Kareem Hines (WR/DB).
Spaulding: Brandon Ducey (RB/DB); Adam Reed (OL/DL).
Springfield: Billy Wheeler (RB/LB).
U-32: Jesse Burke (RB/LB).
Windsor: Jacob Page (WR/DE).
BERNARD NAMED STATE’S BEST
Colchester’s Lauren Bernard was named Vermont’s Gatorade Player of the Year for girls soccer last week.
Bernard collected 18 goals and 11 assists last season, when South Burlington defeated Colchester in the Division I championship game.
“She’s one of the most determined and committed soccer players I’ve seen in a number of years,” South Burlington coach Tom Schaefer said. “She has amazing pace, she’s very quick and she’s very smart. She also has a tremendous, tremendous left foot.”
Bernard, a junior, has committed to play soccer at Boston College.
MESSIER HEADED TO WAGNER
Burlington resident Kevin Messier will continue his football career at Wagner College, a Division I (FCS) program located in Staten Island, N.Y.
Wagner, who signed a national letter of intent last week, is a 6-foot-5, 295-pound lineman who played for the New Hampton School in New Hampton, N.H., the last two seasons. Messier led New Hampton to two NEPSAC Bowl appearances in the last two years. He was an Evergreen Conference First-Team selection last season.
“The last two seasons at New Hampton got me prepared physically and mentally,” Messier said. “We play against better competition and I think we have one of the best coaching staffs in New England. They really prepare us for the next level. They run practices like college practices."
MONTPELIER WILL FIELD COOPERATIVE TEAM
Montpelier High School will form a cooperative football team with Northfield and Williamstown starting with the 2011 season. The Vermont Principals’ Association approved the proposal earlier this month.
Vermont has two other cooperative football programs: Mount Abraham and Vergennes; and Harwood and U-32.
Montpelier school officials said the program would not have had enough players to field a team this season.
Stowe’s Jaren Scrubb scored 24 points – including the 1,000th-point of his high school career – during a 66-45 victory over Richford. On Feb. 9. Scrubb’s sister, Julia, reached the 1,000-point plateau for Stowe in 2009.
Trinity Baptist senior Alex Barton surpassed the 1,000-point mark during a 52-20 triumph over United Christian Academy last weekend. Barton scored 10 points in the victory.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.