Local league gets new name, new teams
SOUTHERN VERMONT- After nearly 90 years of existence in the southern Vermont interscholastic athletic landscape, the Marble Valley League is going to have a name change, and will be expanding to 25 schools for the start of the 2019-20 school year.
In a unanimous vote at the most recent MVL meeting on May 1 at Green Mountain High School, the athletic directors of the league voted to change the name to the Southern Vermont League. Joining the league for the 2019-20 season will be former Central Vermont League schools White River Valley, Sharon Academy, and Rivendell Academy.
According to MVL Executive Director Tim Brown, the Southern Vermont League is a more correct name for the league. He added that given the addition of the three new schools, and the fact that there are only a few schools in the league from the Marble Valley area, the timing for a change seemed appropriate.
According to notes from southern Vermont high school sports historian Frank Bioty, the MVL originally formed in 1930. Schools in the early years included Proctor, Ludlow, Brandon, Poultney, Wallingford, and Fair Haven. In fact, the winner of the first basketball league title in 1930 was Middlebury. The larger southern Vermont schools formed the Southern Vermont League in 1940 and at one point included as many as eight schools. But as enrollment numbers dropped at Bellows Falls, Windsor, Springfield, and Hartford, the decision for the few remaining SVL schools to join the MVL became a necessity. At the same time, the two southern Vermont girls’ leagues – the Central Vermont Girls Athletic League and the Molly Stark League, joined the MVL as well, forming one consolidated league.
With the addition of track and field this spring, and ultimate Frisbee next spring, the MVL will be expanding to 16 combined boys and girls sports (soccer, field hockey, golf, basketball, wrestling, Nordic skiing, baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, and ultimate Frisbee).
In other news, the Marble Valley League will be honoring five former MVL contributors with Lifetime Achievement Awards at their August pre-season dinner meeting at the Rutland Country Club on August 21. Athletic directors Bob Hingston (Windsor HS) and Kathi Bierwirth (Burr & Burton), cross-country coordinator John Dimick, softball assignor Milt Sanderson, and the late Bill Flory, who served as the longtime baseball umpire assignor, will all be feted for their service. Past honorees are Bob Abrahamson, Dean Houghton, Harry Loyzelle, Charles Memoe, Bob Taylor, Brian Trottier, and John Werner.