Both the girls’ and boys’ teams exceeded all expectations and accomplished a multitude of feats that each and every player, coach, and parent can be proud of. The girls’ team went 16-4, winning four more games than even their coach had predicted, won the Marble Valley League for the first time in nearly a decade, and hosted a home playoff game. During the amazing 10-game win streak, which they ended their season on, Savannah “the bionic knee” Nesbitt, Hannah Swanson, and Sammy Cunningham-Darrah, the team’s co-captains, defined the term “leadership,” and helped spur their younger teammates to compete at a higher level. While they fell before reaching the Aud, their final goal, and had a long bus ride back from Eneosburg to think about it, one can only hope that they kept in mind the part they played in making that old Twin Valley gym absolutely rock for over two months. While their three captains, the “tres amigos,” will graduate this year, they have a very talented group as a following act, and many players who used the 2013-2014 campaign as their coming out party.
And then there are the boys. Number one seed for the first time ever, 22-2, a school record for wins, co-champs of the MVL, and two trips to the Aud. While all of this may not console them after their defeat in the final, they, like the girls, can take comfort in what they meant to the community in that short period of time. Every last one of those guys is a champion, they set a remarkable standard in soccer that will never, and I mean never, be repeated, and set a standard so high they nearly repeated it. They played with heart, they played with determination, and they played with so much class that, after they suffered their only regular season loss, a Poultney parent wrote to the school to say how impressed she was with their sportsmanship.
While I don’t like singling out players, I think it is important to note the individual accomplishments of Colin “the great facilitator” Lozito, Dal “the sniper” Nesbitt, and “Swattin’ Sam” Molner. Lozito and Nesbitt each reached 1,000 points this year, and Lozito blew straight past the school’s all-time assist record, becoming the first player to pass 500. Molner became the school’s all-time block leader, and the scary part is, he is only a junior, with room to put him in a league of his own. But he’s a goalie after all, it’s in his DNA. Like the girls’ team, there is a lot of talent to keep this team a force to be reckoned with in the future. It will be hard to fill the shoes of a group of seniors who are as unselfish as Lozito, Cade and Dal Nesbitt, Eli Park, Jeremy Hunt, Keegan Reed, and Dylan Johnson. I came into this job as the Deerfield Valley News’ sports writer at a very important time when this group of guys started to come of age and etch their names into the school’s history.
So, keeping in mind the victories and struggles of the past two seasons, it’s time to move on, and for these seniors to finish their Wildcat careers strong. Onward to baseball, golf, track and field, and softball.