RUHS Ghost Athletics

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Strand Takes First at Essex InvitationalNatalie Strand on podium

In what was a first for the school's Track and Field program, an RUHS athlete found her way to the top spot of the podium at the prestigious Essex Invitational this past weekend. Competing against the states' top athletes from 46 other Vermont schools, junior Natalie Strand won the 400-meter dash in a time of 60.88 seconds.

Strand, last year's 3rd-place finisher in the 400 at the Division 3 State Championship meet continued her strong season with a convincing win only a week away from this year's State Championship meet. Later in the meet, she added a sixth-place finish in the 200-meter dash. These two results qualify her to compete in the New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships, which will be held on June 8th in Saco Maine.

Strand is only the eighth Randolph athlete to qualify for Outdoor New Englands in an individual event, and the first since phenom distance runner Mint Henk to qualify in two events in one season. 

Coach Ben Weir was excited by Natalie's success. "Before the season, Natalie and I sat down and talked about goals for the season. One of her 'reach' goals was to qualify for New Englands, and as the season has progressed, that goal has become more and more attainable, and now, she's made it happen. Her offseason work ethic and understanding of how to race the 400 have made her a force to be reckoned with." 

Wrestling is a way of Life for Coy Lyfordpicture of wrestler coy lyford
The Randolph Wrestling Team wrapped up its season weeks ago, but for one Wrestler it marks the end of one of the most prolific youth wrestling careers in Vermont State History.  Coy Lyford, an 8th grader at RUHS, happens to be that Wrestler.

Coy started wrestling in kindergarten, and mostly just did it because his older brother did it too.  Coy soon fell in love with the sport and even has dreams of becoming an Olympic wrestler.  His hard work and perseverance have paid off, and he has made quite a name for himself with many division 1 coaches, across the nation. That’ right… as an 8th grader!

And with his wins also came State Titles.  Lyford is a  6 time Vermont State Champion, and 8 time Vermont State Finalist.  Because of his epic career record of 287 wins and 16 loses, Lyford received the national ranking of the #2 seed in the country for the Virginia Beach Nationals held this past weekend in Virginia. This is Lyford’s second time qualifying for this tournament, wrestling competitors from all 50 states. This tournament marked the end of his Youth Career.

Coy continues to train in the offseason with the Barre Wrestling Club and will be traveling to other national tournaments this summer with that team, in preparation for next season’s varsity season as a freshman. 
Lyford by the Numbers:      

  • Career Record  287 wins 16 losses
  • 6X VT State Champion
  • 8X VT State Finalist
  • 6X New England Qualifier
  • 8X All-State Wrestler
  • 2X New England Place Winner
  • Ranked #2 in the Nation for the 2019 Virginia Beach National Tournament

2015-2017....  117 matches win streak.........117 in a row!!.....18 months without a loss.

RU Bowlers Roll to Victory.
Stockwell Takes First, is Named State Champ

RU qualified 5 bowlers for Saturday's Top 32 Individual State Bowling Tournament at Champlain Lanes (a program record) - Howard Stockwell, Joe Warner, Logan Lumbra, Jarid Wheeler, & Adam Messier. Three bowlers advanced to the sweet 16, and two advanced to the elite 8 rounds. One Ghost roller advanced to the final 4 round where, after tournament re-seeding, was the #4 seed. He won 3 step-ladder style head-to-head games against the #3 seed, then the #2 seed, and eventually the tournament's #1 seed. In winning his 9th game of the day, Howard Stockwell prevailed and was named the 2019 individual state bowling champion!

Watch the WCAX News video recap here.

Ghost Gymnasts Close Out Successful Season

The Ghosts’ 7 person varsity gymnastics team traveled to Essex High School on Saturday, February 16th to compete in the state championship.  Despite facing powerhouses like Essex High School and Champlain Valley Union, the Ghosts showed great improvement from the beginning of the season and found success on all four events.

Sophomore Isabell Graham began the season competing just on beam, but added a floor routine and a strong vault to the team lineup.  Graham scored second highest on beam for the Ghosts with a 7.025. Fellow sophomore Phoebe Hickin took the high beam score for the team with a confident no fall 7.225 routine.  Rounding out the team beam scores were Christin Nolan’s 6.6, Olivia Campbell’s 6.5, Lilly Myrick’s 7.0 and Courtney Clement’s 6.75. Earning all scores above 6.5 was a season high for the team!

On the bars, senior Courtney Clement returned from a month long break from injury to compete a 7.8 start value routine.  Fellow senior Lilly Myrick raised her start value to a 9.7, just one move shy of a routine that could score a potential 10.0.  Hickin added a bar change to her routine and looks strong for next year.
Hickin competed on floor as well, earning a 5.375.  Senior teammate Olivia Campbell also earned a 5.375. Yelena Merriam competed a hoedown inspired routine with her teammates dancing along the side of the floor and earned a 5.925.  Clement and Myrick performed their last floor routines of their career, scoring 6.35 and 6.25 respectively.

Myrick, Clement and Campbell have set high standards over their four years on the varsity team as athletes and team leaders.  Clement and Myrick regularly contributed upwards of 50 points across all four events toward the team score, and Campbell has been a reliable force on beam and floor.  The program is left in strong hands as this year’s strong sophomore cohort will be joined by an equally strong group of eighth grade gymnasts.

Sam Tullar Named NAIA Player of the Year

RU grad Samantha Tullar was named the 2018 Player of the Year by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes, a high and rare honor for a player in her sophomore year. But it doesn't come as a surprise to her former Coach, Jamie Connor (JKC).

"As her former High School coach, it is with pure joy that I watch her success from afar. She was a standout player in Vermont, and her current success is no surprise to those that witnessed her passion for the game, her competitive drive, and her incredible athleticism."

RU Athletic Director Steve Croucher agreed. "Sam Tullar played Varsity Girls Lacrosse on both the RU-only and the RU/Chelsea cooperative teams," he said. "She was a 100pt. scorer during her HS career."
Learn more here: Tullar Named Player of the Year.

RU Grad Dakota Garrow Shines at Little East ConferencePicture of Dakota Garrow running on a track

Following a school record-breaking performance in the 500-meter run, RU grad and Castleton University freshman Dakota Garrow of the Castleton men's indoor track and field team has been named the Little East Conference Indoor Track Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 13.

According to coach Ben Weir, “no one who knows Dakota well would be surprised to hear that he has been successful at the collegiate level. If there was ever a student-athlete at RUHS who was willing to put in the extra time, it was Dakota.”
Read the whole story here: Castleton Indoor Track

RU – Gifford Athletic Training Partnership is Making a DifferenceRUHS Athletic Trainer Karissa McCoy

Timely and proper prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation are key to keeping high school athletes healthy

You find them at the collegiate sports level. You find them at a growing number of division I and II schools. But it’s very rare to find a division III school district with the means – or the resources – to even consider adding one to the roster.

So that must make Randolph Union High School, and its new part-time Athletic Trainer pretty rare indeed.

Through a partnership with Gifford Health Care conceived and organized by RU Athletic Director Steve Croucher, Randolph athletes now have – on the sidelines of every home game – a certified athletic trainer who specializes in sports medicine and injury prevention. But Karissa McCoy brings more than just band aids and ace bandages to the field, she also brings a passion for helping student athletes understand the importance of training, prevention, and, should they be injured, proper treatment and rehabilitation.

“Student athletes get hurt more than you might think,” said McCoy, a graduate of Castleton University’s Athletic Training and Physical Therapy program. “But if you’ve ever raised a teenager, you know they’ll look you straight in the eye and tell you ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’ even as the pain is shooting down their arms and legs.  Now when a student gets injured in a game, I’m right there. I can test them for a concussion. I can apply proper first aid. I can get them into the Kingwood or Sharon clinic within 24 hours, and I can help prevent an injury from causing problems for them later in life.”

In addition to sideline care, McCoy and AD Croucher are also in the process of converting an old locker room into a training space that even some Division I schools might envy.

“Through donations of equipment and tables from Gifford,” he said, “plus some shelving, mats, and other equipment we already had on hand, we’ve been able to build a training room where students can begin to practice preventative care prior to games in order to be in the best shape possible when their season begins. We’ve still got a ways to go, but the room is really starting to come together.”

“Using the training room,” McCoy added, “I am able to do Functional Movement Screening of students prior to games to help prevent on court or on field injuries. Functional Movement Screening is a pre-participation screening tool designed to identify compensatory movement patterns that can help predict an increased risk of injury, as well as inefficient movement that can cause reduced performance.  If we can identify a potential source of injury and mitigate it before an athlete hits the court or field, we not only improve their chances of staying healthy, but we improve the team’s chances of winning.”

“At RU,” Croucher said, “we see our athletic programs as an integral part of a student’s total education. Whether it’s learning how to work as part of a team; how to prepare physically or mentally for a challenge; or simply learning how to take care of our bodies; athletics help build character and perspective. Adding Karissa to our program simply underscores our commitment to this important component of our students’ learning.”

“And if that’s where this story ended,” Croucher added, “we’d feel pretty good about the story. But it doesn’t end there. Just last week we received the news that Karissa earned a very special recognition from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). Out of all the certified athletic trainers in New England, Karissa won the Gatorade Secondary School Athletic Trainer Award for District I (covering all of New England).  The award recognizes a certified athletic trainer from each NATA district who has made outstanding contributions in furthering her or his high school’s athletic care program, while also advancing the overall profession of secondary school athletic training.”

“As a division III school in a small town, we are extremely fortunate to have someone with Karissa’s knowledge, experience, and expertise on board,” Croucher said. “What’s more, part of Karissa’s winning the NATA award includes $1,200 that will go directly toward improving our school’s athletic training program and will be earmarked for specialized equipment, tables, medical kit supplies, etc.”

“Bringing Karissa on board has been an incredible addition to our athletic program,” Croucher said, “and if all goes well, it is just the beginning.”

Grout Brothers Lead The way for Randolph Wrestlers!!

The Randolph Wrestling Junior Varsity and Middle school wrestling team traveled to Otter Valley Saturday for the team’s first tournament of the year.  The day got started off a little slow but soon the team found their bearings and made up for it.  The team got huge upset wins from brothers Colby and Kody Grout, in the semi-finals that would send them both to the Championship match. 

Randolph also got huge wins from their team Captains Coy Lyford and Bryce Thamert.  Both won the tournament Championship at their weight classes. Reagan Papp and Aaron Paroline also picked up their first High School wins of their career, and Owen Schulz had a six second pin in one of his matches. Overall it was a great day sending six out of nine wrestlers to the tournament finals.  

Other place finishers were as follows.  Fourth Place: Ally Ashline, Third Place: Aaron Paroline, and Pearl Porter, Second Place: Reagan Papp and Owen Schulz, and Tournament Champions:  Colby Grout, Kody Grout, Coy Lyford, and Bryce Thamert. 

RUHS MS Girls Soccer Tie U-32 in Their Final Game of the Season

he RUHS Middle School Girls Soccer (mixed 7th- and 8th-grade) team played its last game of the season against the U-32 all-8th-grade girls team. They played hard to a 2-2 tie. The tie felt like a win, though, because it was not only the first game between these two teams in at least three years that wasn’t a U-32 win, but the first game in at least three years where RUHS were able to score against the U-32 8th-graders (with the past three games being 0-8, 0-4, and 0-2 losses for RUHS). And RUHS scored twice in this game!
One RUHS goal was scored by captain Vivvy Davis on a direct free kick that sunk in just under the crossbar, just nicking the U-32 keeper’s fingertips as she jumped up to attempt a save. The other RUHS goal was scored by forward Daisy Houle ending a scuffle near the U-32 goal area.

The RUHS Most Valuable Player for this game was midfielder Beatrice Lake, who was one of just a few players who did not take a break in this game. RUHS came very close to ending with a 3-2 win on a brilliant weak-foot shot in the second half by forward Cadence Mailhiot aimed for a corner that just missed the goalpost by maybe 10 inches. The RUHS girls were then invited to share the bench with the RUHS 8th-grade boys, whom they cheered on enthusiastically to a similar outcome, another 2-2 tie. The girls are ending their fall season with a won/tied/lost record of 5-1-6, their best such record in at least three years.
These numbers are deceptive relative to other teams because the girls’ games this season have been handled through a partially developmental prism, with about 60% of game time being treated as simply a youth developmental tool and the remaining 40% of game time being treated as a game in the adult sense whose sole objective is to be won. (But the prior two years of MS Girls Soccer have also engaged this same approach.) Apart from a few hours of laser tag and pizza next week, the girls are now moving on to the next chapter.

Bass Fishing Team Finishes 2nd at State Tournamentfishing award

A big congratulations goes out to RU's Bass Fishing Team. The team finished 2nd overall out of 15 competitors at Vermont's inaugural bass fishing exhibition state tournament, hosted in South Hero! Four RU students bagged an impressive 16.86 pounds (net weight) of fish to edge out Twinfield to take 2nd place.

Thanks and kudos to volunteer coaches Keyes & Jacobs for coordinating the team's 1st year of competition and for getting our kids involved! The Randolph team was touted by one of the lead event organizers as showing "exemplary sportsmanship" at the September 15th invitational and at the October 6th state event.

Harwood, Northfield, & RU Begin 2-Year Agreement in Girls Ice Hockey

Harwood Union High School (HU) and Northfield High School (NHS) recently received approval from the VPA’s Activity Standards Committee to begin a 2-season cooperative team for varsity girls ice hockey beginning this winter 2018-19. Randolph has traditionally played with Northfield High School, and will be part of the combined team.

The cooperative team was passed by the Committee on Friday, August 3rd with representation from HU’s Chris Langevin, Athletic Director. Cooperative agreements between schools are designed to provide relief to school districts experiencing shrinking student bodies and, as a result, athletic teams with fewer participating student-athletes. By nature, a cooperative team is rooted in the premise that both schools would otherwise not be able to sponsor a specific sports team without working together with a nearby school(s).

Considering shrinking team numbers at HU and NHS & the smaller number of athletes playing youth ice hockey in those school districts, a cooperative girls ice hockey team provides a way for athletes to continue competing at the high school level. “When we looked at our numbers for the upcoming girls hockey season, it was clear that we had to look at what our options were for the betterment of our programs and the safety of our players,” explains Harwood Athletic Director, Chris Langevin.

Northfield/Williamstown Athletic Director, TJ Powers, offers “Northfield has a proud history of competing in girls’ hockey and it’s hard to see the numbers as low as they are.  In an effort to keep interest in hockey for the future, it is important to have an option for our girls to keep playing.  This cooperative team with Harwood looks to be the best, but hopefully temporary, solution for now.  We are excited to work together!” 

The Harwood/Northfield cooperative team will practice daily at the Ice Center in Waterbury. The team’s home games will primarily play at the Ice Center, but the schools’ ADs will also look to bring home games to the historic Kreitzberg Arena in Northfield. While the newly combined team may be comprised of athletes from all three schools – the rest of the state can expect to see the team competing in the newly formed
“Tier 2” of Girls Hockey (playing a mix of both Division 1 & 2 opponents). The new cooperative team looks forward to having head coach Mike Vasseur leading the girls in 2018-19. Coach Vasseur was previously the head coach for the Harwood varsity girls ice hockey team.

About RU Athletics

Athletics are an important component of the RUHS experience and its athletic programs are designed to help students develop sportsmanship, school spirit, and good physical health. Because of the wide range of athletic programs offered at the school, students are provided with the opportunity to work towards excellence in several areas of athletic interest. RUHS athletes play in the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference.

RUHS offers varsity and junior varsity boys’ and girls’ athletic clubs, as well as programs geared to students at the junior high school level.

Among the programs we currently offer are:

Boys’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer
Girls’ Varsity Soccer
Junior High Boys’ Soccer
Junior High Girls’ Soccer
Varsity Boys' Cross Country
Varsity Girls' Cross Country
Junior High Boy's Cross Country
Junior High Girls' Cross Country
Varsity Girls’ Volleyball

Boys’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball
Girls’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball
Junior High Boys’ Basketball
Junior High Girls’ Basketball
Boys' Varsity Ice Hockey (cooperative with Northfield)
Varsity Girls' Ice Hockey (member to member with Northfield)
Varsity Gymnastics (co-ed)
Junior High Gymnastics (co-ed)
Varsity Wrestling (co-ed)
Junior High Wrestling (co-ed)
Varsity Indoor Track (club sport)
Varsity Bowling (co-ed)
Junior High Bowling (co-ed)

Boys’ Varsity Baseball
Junior High Boys’ Baseball
Girls’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Softball
Junior High Girls’ Softball
Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse
Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse (cooperative team with Chelsea)
Junior High Boys’ Lacrosse
Varsity Boys' Track & Field
Varsity Girls' Track & Field
Junior High Boys' Track & Field
Junior High Girls' Track & Field