Coach: Stephanie Beck (first season)
Last season: 14-6; lost in the Division I quarterfinals
Key returnees: Gabi Ambrosino, guard, junior; Abby Collins, forward, junior; Maddy Collins, forward, junior; Christina March, forward/guard, junior; Colby Casey, point guard, sophomore.
Key newcomers: Megan Knudson, guard/forward, sophomore; Maggie Scarpa, forward, sophomore; Ava MacDonough, point guard, freshman; Mercedes Rozzi, point guard, freshman; Greta Heldmann, guard, freshman.
Outlook: After the Wolves graduated a large senior class, this year’s younger team is focused on the goal of making it to Patrick Gym for the final four, said coach Stephanie Beck. “We are hungry, energetic and quick – this will help us defensively and in transition offense,” the first-year coach said. “They know what I expect out of them and I’ve gotten nothing short of it so far. It really should be a fun team to watch.” The team will have to mature, as the players come into the season more inexperienced and need to learn to play together on the court. The coach has instilled a Big Sister/Little Sister program to help with the transition for the younger group. “Our goal is to be bigger, stronger and faster basketball players and people by the end of the season,” Beck said.
Opener: Friday, Dec. 14, at Mount Mansfield at 7 p.m.
Coach: Sol Bayer-Pacht (fifth season)
Last season: 13-7, lost in the Division I playdowns
Key returnees: Hakeem Fuad, guard, senior; Brendan Bridge, guard, senior; Cam Yee, forward, senior; Evan Parker, guard, junior; Owen MacDonough, forward, junior.
Key newcomers: Tyler Gammon, guard, sophomore; DeVonte Jackson, guard, sophomore; Michel Bergeron, forward, junior.
Outlook: Motivated from an overtime loss in the D-I playoffs last season, the Wolves are returning a motivated group to the court this winter. The team returns five players with significant varsity experience but will have to replace foot speed lost to graduation – and will have to do without Hakeem Faud for the first 6-8 weeks, who is out with injury. “We’re keeping in simple to start by focusing on the basics,” coach Sol Bayer-Pacht said. “I love the identity this group is taking on already.” One of the team’s strengths, the coach said, was the high basketball IQ. The coach pointed to their ability to read scouting reports and game plans. The Wolves look to be a high-scoring group and will look to take advantage of some size and strength that was added this season. “We are focused on getting the team to a level of play come playoff time that is capable of beating any team in the state,” Bayer-Pacht said. “We are focused on improving tangibly daily.”
Opener: Thursday, Dec. 13, at BFA-St. Albans at 7:30 p.m.
Coach: Erin Farmer-Trinti (third season)
Last season: 14-5-2, lost in the Division II semifinals
This year: 1-1
Key returnees: Kate Hall, forward, senior; Emma Havers, forward, senior; Elise Norotsky, defense, senior; Lyssa Tan, goalie, junior. Lilly Truchon, forward, sophomore.
Key newcomers: Sophie Richland, forward, freshman; Mia Angwin, forward, freshman; Hope Brunet, forward, freshman; Reese Bailey, forward, freshman.
Outlook: After advancing all the way to the D-II semifinals last season, the Wolves are looking to build on the success. With some of the team’s top scorers – Kate Hall, Emma Havers and Lilly Truchon – returning this season, South Burlington will be a force on offense. Hall in particular will be relied on to put up a lot of goals this season. The team’s players all bring speed to the front line and some depth. In addition, the Wolves have experience on the back end with Lyssa Tan in goal and Norotsky to anchor the back line. “We aim toward being a top contender for a playoff run,” coach Erin Farmer-Trinti said. “We will continue to work hard and get closer our goals each week in practice.”
Up next: Thursday, Dec. 13, at Rice at 3 p.m.
Coach: Sean Jones (17th season)
Last season: 5-13-2, lost in the Division I quarterfinals
Key returnees: Dylan LeClair, forward, senior; Jared Baron, defense, senior; Ty Berndaet, defense, senior; Isaac Toupin, forward, junior.
Key newcomers: Too early to tell
Outlook: The Wolves return a solid core from last year’s D-I quarterfinal team and is looking to take a step forward and qualify for a final four spot at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Longtime coach Sean Jones pointed to the team’s experience at each position, with LeClair and Toupin back to lead the offense and Baron and Berndaet to anchor the defense. “Our team success will be dependent on team chemistry,” Jones said. “If the guys can come together in working toward a common team goal, we have potential to make some noise.” The Wolves will take some time to identify where the new talent will contribute this season but are excited to see what a strong core can do this year.
Opener: Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Stowe at 3 p.m.
Coach: Ali Gingras (fourth year)
Last year: Pom and Jazz State Champions
Outlook: After defending the pom title at the Vermont state championship dance competition – and adding a jazz title to the trophy case – the Wolves are looking at a rebuilding year as they start this year. South Burlington graduated 11 of its 22 varsity dancers and come into this season with some work to do in order to repeat. The team will work on conditioning, flexibility and two new routines as the season progresses, coach Gingras said. While the early part of the season will be spent learning the new routines, the team hopes to be ready to defend their titles as the season progresses. “Historically, we have done quite well, whether it would be at the state championships or competitions,” Gingras said. “The girls are hungry. The returners are trying to pass on what it’s like and to want to defend the titles.”
Opener: Friday, Jan. 11, at Colchester at 7 p.m.
Coach: Lynn Kynoch
Key returnees: Shawnae Langlois, senior; Lindsey Stafford, junior; Haley Drown, junior; Arisia Huff, junior; Maggie Coolidge, junior; Breanna Wright, sophomore.
Key newcomers: Anais Carpenter, sophomore; Alita Sourdiff, junior; Linsey Chatfield, freshman.
Outlook: The South Burlington cheer team has some lofty goals this season and has the experienced squad to pull it off, said coach Lynn Kynoch. With a group that has been cheering since middle school, the Wolves expect to have strong performances and compete well. South Burlington has a clear plan for the season, starting with improving at every competition, moving into a top three spot at the state competition, and finishing off with a score strong enough to earn a spot in the New England competition. With the teamwork that Kynoch is seeing, the longtime coach is convinced her group can do it. “Overall I feel the season will be great,” Kynoch said. “The girls are determined to show their peers what they are capable of. They are determined to place in the top three in each competition and I feel that they will do that.”
Coach: Andy Weiss
Last year: BOYS - 14th in the Division I state championships. GIRLS - Did not qualify for D-I state championships
Key returnees: BOYS - Cam Chiari, junior; George Huffman, sophomore; Sean Boyer, sophomore; Lucas Pendolino, sophomore. GIRLS - Emma Shedleur, sophomore; Katherine Hankes, sophomore; Annabella Bond, sophomore.
Key newcomers: BOYS - Patrick Sweeny, freshman. GIRLS - Too early to tell.
Outlook: Both the boys and girls alpine ski teams will take some time to integrate new members after losing nearly half the team to graduation this year. On the girls side, returning skiers Shedleur, Hankes and Bond will be joined by seven newcomers as they look to improve over last season’s finish. On the boys side, a strong core remains but inexperience will be the key to their season. Sweeny will make a push to be in the top five, coach Andy Weiss said, but five other new skiers join the returning group. “The team is looking at a rebuilding season after losing almost half the team to graduation and adding 12 new skiers,” Weiss said. “Inexperienced and devoid of seniors, the team will be aiming to qualify for states and build for the future.”
Opener: Friday, Dec. 14, at Mad River Glen at 9 a.m.
Coaches: Kevin Murakami and George Rooney
Last season: Division I state champions (exhibition sport)
Key returnees: Cam Angwin, senior; Jacob Gelfenbein, senior; Jeremy Little, senior; Jordan Baker, senior; Sean Carlson, senior; Ethan Hood, senior; Alex Lefebvre, senior; Duncan Scott, senior; Tyler Willard, senior; Jack Zagursky, senior; Kip Zinn, senior; Courtney LaFleche, junior; Aaron Murakami, sophomore.
Key newcomers: Barrett Brady, sophomore; Matt Campbell, sophomore; Taylor Lewis, sophomore.
Outlook: After winning the state championship last season, the Wolves return 11 seniors to this year’s squad. The returning bowlers include captains Angwin, Gelfenbein and Little, as well as Murakami, who finished third in the individual state tournament. With so much experience, the Wolves were already a favorite to repeat. But the team also added new members who they hope will contribute this season. “With this many returning players and improving newcomers, we have lofty goals this season,” coach Kevin Murakami said. “Certainly the other teams in the state are improving, so it won’t be an easy task to repeat as champions.”