Valley Coaches Earn Honors

Hartford High boys soccer coach Steve Sass, left, talks to his team during halftime of the Hurricanes' Vermont Division I semifinal loss to Colchester on Oct. 29 in Colchester, Vt. Valley News -- Greg Fennell

Hartford High boys soccer coach Steve Sass, left, talks to his team during halftime of the Hurricanes' Vermont Division I semifinal loss to Colchester on Oct. 29 in Colchester, Vt. Valley News -- Greg Fennell Purchase photo reprints »

Hartford High boys soccer coach Steve Sass and his Woodstock High counterpart, Tom Avellino, have been selected by their peers as coaches of the year in their respective Marble Valley League divisions.

Sass’ Hurricanes won the MVL A Division title and reached the VPA state semifinals for the first time in 15 years during a 14-3-0 campaign. Hartford’s success landed four players — forward Connor Brooks (12 goals, three assists, 15 points), midfielders Jed Sass (11-8—19) and John Lewis and defender Mitchell Simmons — on the all-league first team.

Avellino’s Wasps tore through the MVL B Division early in the year, winning their first six matches and seven of their opening eight until injuries and a compacted late schedule netted a final 9-7-0 mark. Woodstock center midfielders Doug Avellino (11-7—18) and Connor McCarthy were joined by defender Ben Orr on the B Division’s first-team list.

One other Upper Valley player landed an all-MVL spot. Shining for a young Windsor team that managed zero wins and one tie in 15 starts, team-leading scorer Connor Collins (four goals) was named to the C Division first team.

MVL girls soccer selections included:

A Division: Moriah Palmer (5-4—9), Hartford (first team).

B Division: Annie Arthur (10-2—12), Woodstock (first team).

D Division: Maddy Morse (5-12—17) and Maryam Orogi (9-3—12), Windsor (first team); Rebecca Rumrill, Windsor (second team).

Deschaine Named Twin State Coach: Stevens High field hockey coach Patty Deschaine will team up with Merrimack Valley’s Kim Kenney to guide the New Hampshire roster at next summer’s Twin State Field Hockey Classic.

The announcement of the Granite State’s coaching staff and roster coincided with the release of the New Hampshire Field Hockey Coaches Association’s all-state teams last week. Deschaine will get to coach her daughter, Jenna, in the game as well as Lebanon’s Brooke Whitaker, the two Upper Valley residents to make the New Hampshire squad.

Both players landed on their respective divisional all-state teams. In Division II, Whitaker was joined on the first unit by Raider teammates Emily Perryman and Rachel Berg along with Hanover’s Sumner LeBaron-Brien and Mason McNulty. The Marauders’ Grace Cruitoru was the area’s sole second-team selection.

In D-III, Jenna Deschaine represented the Cardinals on the first team along with teammate Cassandra Cutts, Newport’s Nikki Gardner and Mascoma’s Catie Kondi. The Cards’ Cassonda Dale, the Royals’ Brooke Pushee and Kialah Reeder and the Tigers’ Chrissy Merritt and Hannah Merrow made the divisional second team.

Among the Sticks: A run to the Division I championship game and a share of divisional honors brought the Hartford High field hockey team three spots on the Marble Valley League’s A Division all-league team.

Seniors Allison Courtemanche, Rachel Fogg and Jenna Yee also earned spots on the top squad to cap a 12-4-0 campaign finished by a 3-0 loss in the state finals to Essex, the Hurricanes’ first championship game appearance in three years. Hartford also shared the A Division league title with Mount Anthony and Otter Valley.

Windsor placed two girls on the B Division all-league team, senior Mariah Marsh and junior Haley Wood.

Speaking of Sticks: Hanover matched St. Thomas with a league-best two players on the NHIAA Division II all-state golf team.

Seniors Mattson Rosenbaum and Nathan Roth both made the nine-member team selected by the state’s D-II coaches. The two were integral parts of a Hanover squad that finished third in last month’s state championship.

Windham’s Connor Greenleaf, who led the Jaguars to their first state title, was chosen winner of the division’s Spirit of the Game award. The Marauders also put sophomore Patrick Dyroff and junior Chris Lehmann on the division’s honorable mention squad.

Kearsarge also enjoyed some recognition after making the field for the Division III state tourney. Junior Andrew Arnold represented the Cougars on the seven-golfer all-Division II first team, with sophomore teammate Lucas Muzzey landing on the second team.

Greg Fennell can be reached at or 603-727-3226.