Sports Nuggets

by Ken Brown

Championship Weekend Fun Facts from Centennial 

BURLINGTON – This past Sunday, exactly forty years from the day, Hazen Union looked to win their second Division III baseball state championship. Jack Strong’s 1982 team still remains the lone baseball title at Hazen Union, but there were a lot of historical facts floating around the ball park that day.

On Sunday Spencer Howard became the first to play for a title at Centennial as a Hazen Union Wildcat (2007) and coach a team to Centennial as a Hazen Union Wildcat (2022). The late, great Dan Hill won a state title at Hardwick Academy in 1964 and coached Howard in the 2007 title game. Recent graduate and 2022 Division III basketball state champion Carter Hill is Dan’s grandson and wore his state championship jersey to the game. 

Craftsbury Academy’s Jas Zendik played in his second straight title game at Centennial on Sunday for the Wildcats in left field. Zendik was on U-32’s roster last spring and part of their Division II 2021 championship run. 

Junior slugger Tyler Rivard accounted for one of Hazen’s 17 strikeouts on Sunday, giving him a grand total of six over 18 games this season. 

Spencer Howard took over a Hazen Union baseball program in 2019 that had won 15 games combined from 2015-2018 and hadn’t won a playoff game since he was on the roster as a player in 2007. His program has won 31 games in his first three seasons at the helm, including 27 the last two seasons, six playoff wins, and two trips to the Division III Final Four with a runner-up finish in the 2022 title game. 

Chargers Wrap up Historical Season at NE Track and Field Championships

NEW BRITAIN, Conn.  – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) track and field team put a bow on a record breaking season over the weekend by competing in the 75th Annual New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Senior Noah Mckibben competed in the 110m hurdle event and the Division IV state record team of Alex Califano, Charlie Krebs, Linden Stelma-Leonard, and Alan Moody competed in the 4X800m relay event on Saturday at Willow Brook Park. The weekend capped off a historical season for the Chargers who captured their first ever Division IV boys’ state championship in Manchester on June 3. Mckibben won an individual state title in the 300m hurdles at states for his fifth title of the season. Califano, Stelma-Leonard, and Moody took home an individual title at States along with teammate Matthew Califano in the 4X800m event. Krebs was part of 4X400m relay team with both Califano brothers and Moody who clinched the final eight points to secure the championship. 

“I just want to say thank you to my athletes and their parents,” said first year head coach Abby Schaible. “I am a very green coach and that shows every day, however both the athletes and their parents were so supportive and encouraging every step of the way. I had an absolute amazing time this season and we had so many great individual and team performances throughout the year, ending with a great weekend at States by both the girls and the boys. I am really going to miss this team and am already planning and looking forward to next season. I will miss our seniors and those moving on from CA greatly and wish them luck in all of their future endeavors!,” added Schaible.