The top seeded Colchester Lakers utilized a potent rushing attack, led by Devon Grammo, to hold off the third seeded Champlain Valley Union High School Redhawks and capture the Division II High School Football State Championship with a 22-14 win last Saturday in Essex.
Grammo had 26 carries for 177 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Sophomore Alec Kozlowski had a half dozen attempts for 82 yards, while junior Jared Vetters rounded out the rushing attack with 13 carries for 48 yards and a critical fourth quarter touchdown. Colchester's other touchdown came on a deflected 11-yard completion from junior quarterback Jack Leclerc to Kozlowski in the third quarter. The Lakers defense added two points to the win when they executed a safety courtesy of a CVU bad snap.
J.P. Benoit had a 2-yard touchdown run at the end of the first half for CVU's first touchdown. Their final score came early in the third quarter when quarterback Konnor Fleming connected with Ryan Busch for a 12-yard scoring pass. Busch had four catches for 79 yards. Flemming himself ran 17 times for an impressive 103 yards, including a two-point conversion. The Redhawks, despite the championship defeat, wrap up a successful 2009 campaign with a solid 9-2 record.
The Lakers finish a perfect 11-0 and claim their first ever Division-II crown. They did win the state championship in the now extinct Division IV back in 1998.
Lake Monsters update
St. Johnsbury native Nate Cloutier has been named general manager of the Vermont Lake Monsters, the New York-Penn League baseball team announced this week.
Cloutier, who has worked for the Lake Monsters since 2002 and has been the team's Assistant General Manager since 2007, is just the fourth General Manager in the franchise's 17-year history. He replaces C.J. Knudsen, who resigned as Vermont's G.M. on Oct. 29.
"I have spent the last eight seasons with this ball club preparing to be in this spot. It is bittersweet not being able to work with CJ any longer, but he prepared me very well to pick up where he left off," said Cloutier. "It's a great opportunity and a great challenge that I welcome. I look forward to bringing affordable entertainment to the families of this great state for years to come."
Cloutier, 30, got his got his start in professional sports when he volunteered for the 2000 USA Olympic track and field team in Australia and then joined the Lake Monsters as a spring intern in 2002. Over the last eight years, Cloutier has run the team's ticket operations, merchandise operations and publications & graphic design department. Cloutier was named Assistant General Manager prior to the start of the 2007 season.
A 1998 graduate of St. Johnsbury Academy, where he was a two-time Vermont State Decathlon Champion and member of the 1997 Division One State Championship basketball team. Also a 2002 graduate of the University of Vermont's Self-Designed program (where he focused on Advertising) and was a member of the UVM Track and Field team for three years.