Clark Receives Capital League Official of the Year Honor

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by Ken Brown

NORTHEAST KINGDOM – Capital League honors were announced last week after another dominating season that crowned two more state champions in Division II and III boys’ soccer.

Boys’ high school soccer in the Capital League has featured some of the best teams in the entire state the last few years and this past fall was no exception with Stowe and Harwood capturing state titles. The quality of players and teams in the Capital rivals all leagues in any division, making it difficult to earn recognition. Hazen Union’s Xavier Hill epitomized this, with a breakout senior campaign that earned him Vermont All-State honors but failed to break through a loaded stable of Capital League all-stars.

Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union alum Mike Clark was named Official of the Year of the Capital League.

Montpelier’s Brio Levitt was named Capital League Player of the Year after leading the Solons to a 12-2-1 season, including the top seed in Division II. The senior net minder posted 10 shutouts this past fall and will graduate with a pair of state titles under his belt.

Stowe head coach Shane Bufano captured Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Raiders to a 17-win season and their first state title since 2019.

Harwood captured the Division II crown with a 13-win season and was rewarded with four First Team selections that included Matthew Fiaschetti, Eamon Langlais, Zachary Smith and Caleb Brookens. They also placed three more players on the Second Team roster as well as a pair of Honorable Mentions.

Peoples Academy had a valiant defense of their 2022 Division III state championship under head coach Angie Faraci, winning 13 games before falling to Stowe 3-0 in the title match. Zander Waskuch and Daniel Manning earned First Team selections for their stellar play for the Wolves, Derek Baxter and Cooper Shove earned Second Team honors, and Noah Lynch, Aidan Slayton, Sam Stutz, and Max Kuhnle garnered Honorable Mention selections.

Stowe’s Aaron Lepikko, Brock Roick, Cody Lilly, and Leo Jercinovic were all First Team selections for the Raiders, with Wyatt Lilly, Hugo Jercinovic and Parker Guffey earning Second Team honors, and Honorable Mentions Wyatt Sigler and George Thompson.

Rounding out the Capital League First Team selections were: Montpelier’s Clayton Foster, Josiah Phillips, and Levitt, U-32’s Shiloh Weiss, Zephyr Low, and Bennett Clark, North Country’s Levi Brewer and Max Nolan, Lake Regions’ Liam Oliver, Thetford Academy’s Mitchell Parkman, Spaulding’s Matt Remond, and Sebastian Kreuger of Lamoille.

Harwood, Stowe, Montpelier, U-32, and Peoples Academy had an impressive, combined record of 66-12-8 on the soccer pitch this past fall and the Capital League as a whole has crowned four state champions the past two seasons.