Wildcat State Title Teams to be Honored at Dave Morse Classic

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Craftsbury’s Silas Hunt (No. 11) reaches for control of the ball against Jaxon Couture (No. 9) of Enosburg during action on Dustan Field September 7. Enosburg outscored Craftsbury 12-1.

HARDWICK – The seventh installment of the Dave Morse Classic (DMC) will be extra special this coming winter as head coach Aaron Hill and his 2022 Division III state title team will hang their championship banner as well as honor the seven other basketball state championship teams in school history.

Ceremonies for the event will take place on the second night of the DMC, Friday, Dec. 16. It will be Hill’s sixth championship banner hung in the rafters as head coach at Hazen Union, but he also wants to celebrate the 1996 team coached by Steve Pratt and the 1981 team coached by Dan Hudson. All championship team players, coaches, managers, and contributors will be recognized and are encouraged to attend.

“I’ve wanted to do something like this for quite a while,” said Hill. “I can’t think of a better night to do it then on Banner Night at the Dave Morse Classic. He meant so much to this program and to this community, it just felt right. I’ve already gotten an unbelievable response from people who plan on attending and we have several past players and coaches flying in from all around the country. I’m excited to celebrate Hazen Union basketball with the community and to catch up with some special people that I haven’t seen in a very long time,” added Hill.

Hill and his Wildcat basketball program will also be deeming their December 30 home game against rival Peoples Academy as Hardwick Academy Purple & Gold Night. They will be honoring the past state champion and runner-up teams from Hardwick Academy that include the 1931 basketball state title team and the 1964 and 1966 baseball state title teams. His late father Dan Hill was a freshman on the ‘64 team and Jack Strong was a junior on the ‘66 team. Strong remains the only person in school history to win a state championship as both a player and a head coach.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Craftsbury Charger Calvin Cacciamani (left) and Michael Murphy (right) of Enosburg race to drive the ball up the field Wednesday in Craftsbury. The Hornets beat the Chargers 12-1.

“The restoration of the Hardwick Academy Bell through Finn Rooney’s vision really made this past championship run special for me and all of the players. It brings families, friends, and communities together and we wanted to do something to recognize those teams from the past that started it all,” said Hill.

Chargers Fall to Enosburg in Opener

CRAFTSBURY – The Craftsbury Academy boys’ soccer team and first year head coach William Garske had a tall task in their season opener as they fell to Division III power Enosburg last week.

Danny Antillon led a balanced Hornet attack as they blitzed the Chargers on the road last Wednesday 12-1. Senior keeper Silas Kane made two stops in the win for Enosburg who returned nine players from their 2021 division III state title team. The Hornets look poised to defend as they routed division II Lamoille 7-0 later in the week to improve to 2-0 on the season.

The Chargers will face divisional rivals this week as they traveled to Blue Mountain on Tuesday and will stay on the road Friday in a match-up with Danville.