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St. Johnsbury Academy senior football player Colton Hudson and
Williamstown High School senior soccer player Dani Jesmonth were
chosen as the Athletes of the Month for October by the Vermont Sports
Media Association.

VSMA members in statewide balloting elected Hudson as the VSMA Male
Athlete of the Month and Jesmonth as the Female Athlete of the Month.
They were first nominated by one or more VSMA members for their
outstanding efforts during the month of October.

Hudson, St. Johnsbury’s dual-threat quarterback, had a scintillating
October on his way to a record-breaking season for the Hilltoppers. In
October, Hudson threw for 1,004 yards and eight touchdowns in four
victories, including 300-yard passing games against Hartford and North
Country.

Hudson outpolled nine other nominees: senior Hilltopper teammate Caleb
Stowell; two other football players, Otter Valley junior Carson Leary
and Spaulding senior Dylan Wilkin; senior cross-country runner Sam
Nishi of Harwood; and five soccer player, Mount Anthony senior Brad
Anair, Sharon Academy senior Tanner James, Arlington junior Lucas
Stroffoleno, Rice senior Hussein Hussein, and West Rutland senior
Joshua Smith.

Jesmonth capped her soccer career in October by leading the Blue
Devils to their first-ever soccer state final by tallying the Division
III semifinal game-winner on Oct. 29, a 25-yard blast. She also scored
the lone goal in a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Windsor and assisted in a
4-0 playdown win over Northfield. She also scored four goals in a 5-0
win over Blue Mountain on Oct. 10. Jesmonth ended her career as
Williamstown’s all-time leading girls’ soccer scorer with 46 career
goals.

Jesmonth prevailed in a field that included eight other nominees:
senior field hockey players Abby Daniels of U-32 and Michelle Bolger
of Rice; Champlain Valley sophomore cross-country runner Sophia
Gorman; and five soccer players, Mount St. Joseph sophomore Bryn
McClallen, Middlebury Union junior Kelsey Smith, Proctor junior Abby
McKearin, Burr & Burton senior Daisy Sullivan, and Arlington senior
Julia Lacoste.

More information about the VSMA is available from organization
president Josh Kaufmann of the St. Albans Messenger at
josh@samessenger.com.

The Marble Valley League All-League cross country teams have
been announced:

On the team from the Rutland area on the girls side are:
In “A” Division; Rutland High’s Jillian Ladabouche, Katherine
Slawinski, Martina Comas-Altland and Emma Kimmel
“B” Division: Otter Valley’s Kendra Stearns
On the boys side:
“A” Division: Rutland High’s Brendan Wright, Matt Lorman and Nathan Cozzens
‘B” Division: Fair Haven’s Luke Turner and Otter Valley’s Emmett Thurston.

The Rutland Post 31 American Legion baseball team was
recently honored at its annual banquet at the Legion Club rooms
The Most Valuable Player Award to Andy Cassarino. He also won the
batting title award hitting .415.
The Most Valuable pitcher Award to Andy Kenosh
The Most Improved Player Award to Jake Alercio
The Ray Regimbald Sportsmanship Award to Jordan Godfrey
The Rookie of the Year Award to Dalton Hotchkiss
The Paul Terenzini  Dedication Award to Colin Clark
The Hustle Award to Dylan Hotchkiss
The Ray Murphy Defensive Award to Skylar Lafierriere
The Bill Flory Coaches Award to Ryan Bellomo
$200 scholarships awards going to Ryan Bellomo and Colin Clark. Also
special  thanks going out to Burt and Laurie McMahon.

The Marble Valley League All League field hockey teams
have been announced.

From the Rutland area named to the teams are: in the “A” Division
Allison Lowell, Maia Edmonds and Laura Beth Roberts from Otter Valley
and Rutland High’s Catherine DiPalma and Abbie Foley. Otter Valley’s
Stacey Brickell-Edmunds is the Coach of the Year. In the “B” Division
was Fair Haven’s Elly Maynard.

Middlebury quarterback Austin Robinson has been
named the Vermont High School Gatorade Player of the Year. Robinson
led the Tigers to back to back perfect seasons going 22-0 and two
straight Division 1 state championships. Robinson totaled over 1000
yards of offense and 24 touchdowns while playing a key role in the
Tiger’s secondary

A “Night To Honor Lenny Burke And The Burke Family”
will be this Friday December 12th at 7PM at the Paramount Theatre in
Rutland. It is  a free event that will tell the story of a remarkable
individual, a remarkable family and a remarkable community back in
January of 1979 and the years since. It will be a special night.

Catch you next week!

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Don Chioffi

I call this the thank you edition for many, many reasons. First of all it is that time of year when many emotions come together in a season of wonder, beauty, and, for some, spirituality. Unlike many, I never deny my spirituality, nor do I generally wear it on my lapel. But in a true spirit of political uncorrectness, I have no qualms, whatsoever, wishing all of my friends, my readers, my constituents, and my fellow members of our County Agricultural Society a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and all the wonders that accompany this spirit and season of giving.

I particularly want to thank my loyal readers on behalf of Sams and my column, and want you all to know that the many, many conversations that I have throughout the year with literally hundreds and hundreds of you in venues all over the Rutland County region are so valuable to me, both personally and professionally. I always welcome your comments, your support, and also your critique as all is valuable to me in making my trade better, my approach to many topics more broad, and, in the long run, making my articles more relevant. And I have to say, honestly, that the success of this column has rested as much on the valuable input I have gained from others in the sporting world as it has on any pure talent of this writer. So, again, thank you.

Even though this is not particularly sports related, I have to also say that I am humbled by the support of this community and all who cherish it when the chips were down in planning the Vermont State Fair. I have told my board, and I am telling you all now, that it has been the greatest privilege to serve as President of the Rutland County Agricultural Society and one that I will cherish forever in spite of the tremendous challenges that it presented. It always lifts me up to feel the spirit of "can do" in this community, and I never got to feel it as greatly as when things were bleak, dark, and very negative. At these adverse moments it was the strength, the positive spirit of Rutland, the dedication of its elected representatives at both the local and state level, and many, many more business and professional people of this community who helped me and my board get through a "year from hell" as we rescued a very proud organization. I am going to tell you all, especially those who said to me many times, "Don--are you crazy?", that NO, contrary to some of your beliefs, I was not crazy, but most assuredly, this past year was the most gratifying I have experienced in terms of the accomplishments that we were able to make, and most especially in spite of the great hurdles that were in front of us. Though I would do it again in a heartbeat, I would not recommend it to the faint hearted, nor would I subscribe for a second term. Thanks to all of you who helped me through the tough slog, the dark hours, and the penniless mess.

And lastly, thank you to all my good town friends who have helped me to become a better public servant. I value your advice. I seek your counsel. I value your thoughts on town matters. As most of you know, and for those who don't , I could care less whether you voted for me or not-----as a selectboard member my job is to represent all townspeople to the best of my ability and that is what I try to do every day of my office. I think I am mostly successful in achieving that goal but when and if I do not-----I fully expect that you will tell me, and whether I like it or not, I will thank you for that, as well.

And that is it for the THANK YOUS, and NO, I did not get a deer this year and I don't really care, either. I had a great time hunting, as I always do. I love the woods, and mostly, as a four time cancer survivor, I am happy to be here. Until next week, good sports.

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