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H.S. Notebook: Cards’ Desilets Loses Interim Tag

Kent Dahlberg

Kent Dahlberg

Claremont — Ivy Desilets has a vision for improving the fate of the Stevens High girls basketball program, and it’s one she’s looking forward to implementing now that she’s been officially given the reins of the team.

Desilets agreed to step into the breach of the Cardinals’ coaching void when Middleton McGoodwin, superintendent of the Claremont school system, fired coach Ross Dole in January over a Facebook picture that allegedly showed teens — reportedly including two Cardinal basketball players — at an adult birthday party at which alcohol was present. Dole appealed the dismissal but was not reinstated.

Desilets, a 2006 Stevens graduate and daughter of former coach Carl “Chiefy” Desliets, stepped up from the junior varsity and guided the Cards through the bulk of a 3-17 campaign. After missing the NHIAA Division III tournament, the younger Desilets is ready for the rebuild.

“It’s my passion for basketball,” Desilets said in a phone interview last week. “I grew up a big gym rat and absolutely loved basketball. It’s not only the passion of wanting to be a great coach like my dad, but to also have really strong bonds with the girls. I want them to be successful.

“I want Stevens basketball to become what it used to be. That’s one of my big goals, to get back and rebuild from the youth up.”

At the time of the social media controversy, Desilets couldn’t see anyone else filling the void left by Ross’ departure. She admitted the experience had its difficult moments.

“I had a lot of support not only from the basketball girls but from the parents and from other coaches we played against,” she said. “I have a great support system with my dad being a coach. I wouldn’t have made it through the season without that support; it was definitely rough early on.”

Although not a teacher, Desilets regularly sees her players through her job as a fitness coordinator at the Claremont Community Center. It’s from that platform that she hopes to rebuild Stevens basketball fortunes from the middle school level forward.

“I want to get more involved in the youth program, to have them work at building team chemistry,” Desilets said. “We have a lot of basketball to learn.”

The new coach’s first full season in charge won’t start without a reminder of how social media has changed the world.

“You have to be smart about what you post, about what you do,” Desilets said. “If you want to go to college and play, the first thing a coach will do is look up your name on social media. If they see anything, it’s an automatic no for them.”

This Is How It’s Done, Guys: Mid Vermont Christian golf co-coach Kent Dahlberg has a date with his Eagles on Wednesday in the VPA Division III state golf championship at the Country Club of Vermont. His charges can do a lot worse than follow his example during a Quechee Club practice round on May 23.

Playing in a threesome with MVCS golfers Isaac McIntire and Colin Filiault during a team practice round, Dahlberg dropped a hole-in-one on the 175-yard 12th hole of Quechee’s Highland layout. It was the second ace of Dahlberg’s career.

“It was a raw and rainy afternoon with a light breeze in our face,” Dahlberg wrote in an email. “I drew a well-struck 4-iron shot onto the green. The ball checked up and then rolled into the cup.”

Dahlberg said his previous hole-in-one came 10 years ago, during a round at the Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Dahlberg, co-coach Gary Ott and the Eagles are one of three teams to qualify out of last week’s D-III south district tournament to states. MVCS finished second to Rivendell at last year’s state championship at Woodstock High School.

Seeds Planted: The Upper Valley’s two defending state softball champions enter as favorites for repeats, if seeds reflected in Monday’s tournament field releases from the VPA and NHIAA are to be believed.

New Hampshire Division IV softball champ Woodsville returns as the top seed in its division following a 15-1 campaign, with a first-round date with No. 16 Eping on Wednesday. Oxbow also went 15-1 in the regular season, earning the No. 2 slot in Vermont D-III behind undefeated Green Mountain; the O’s are off until Friday’s quarterfinals.

As expected, Hanover girls lacrosse dropped to No. 2 in N.H. D-II after its season-ending loss to new No. 1 Windham on Saturday; the Marauders entertain Merrimack in Wednesday’s quarters. Other top-three teams included Kearsarge girls lax (No. 3 in N.H. D-III), Woodstock boys lacrosse (No. 3 in Vt. D-I) and South Royalton’s diamond teams, both of which earned No. 3 in their respective tournaments.

Full tournament fields and schedules can be found in the charts on page B4.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.