January 5th, 2015
ADDISON COUNTY — In recent years, young Addison County athletes have won more than their fair share of state championships — and 2014 was no exception.
Teams or individual athletes from each of the four local high schools — Middlebury, Mount Abraham, Otter Valley and Vergennes — earned banners.
Picking only 10 top stories in 2014 proved to be a challenge. Addison County saw many important, interesting, touching and fun stories last year that the Independent staff kept going after compiling the first 10. Here are some of the other stories of 2014 that caught our eyes.
BRISTOL — If the clue was “The Mount Abraham Union High School graduate who appeared on Jeopardy! last week,” the answer would be “Who is Daniel Eling?”
Eling, 36, earned a spot on the popular quiz show after three years of trying. He said it was a lifelong dream of his.
“I wanted to be on the show for a long time, for 25 years,” he said.
MIDDLEBURY — Spas are one barometer of a community’s mental and physical health, and last winter the staff at Waterfalls Day Spa, on the lower level of the Middlebury Inn, saw that their clients were suffering.
“Last winter was brutal,” says Sara Daly, one of the spa owners. “It was so icy; we noticed an increase in fractures. People didn’t want to be in Vermont.”
So Daly, along with Waterfalls aesthetician and co-owner Laurie Webb, and massage therapist Sarah Kuhl, got to work.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury junior Nathan Gebo and Vergennes junior Jeb Hodsden wrestled their way to titles at this past Tuesday’s 42nd annual Hubie Wagner Invitational at Middlebury Union High School.
Gebo pinned all five of his opponents in dominating the 113-pound weight class, while Hodsden recorded one pin, one major decision, and three tough wins in demanding tactical matches.
Also reaching a final was Otter Valley sophomore Tyson Cram, who lost a tight, 3-1 decision and settled for second.
BRISTOL – Early-season trends continued when the Mount Abraham Union High School boys’ basketball team hosted Otter Valley on Saturday.
The 6-1 Otters, who returned most of their key players from last winter’s winning team, picked up their sixth straight victory, 65-39, leaving the rebuilding Eagles still searching for their first positive result.
ADDISON COUNTY — Mount Abraham defeated visiting Vergennes to highlight last week’s local high school girls’ basketball action.
In other games, Mount Abe won, while Middlebury and Otter Valley dropped contests.
EAGLES VS. VUHS
On Friday, host Mount Abe topped VUHS, 46-30, as the Eagles reached .500 at 4-4. The Commodores dropped to 1-4 despite what Coach Billy Waller called a competitive effort.
ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school boys’ basketball action last week, Otter Valley won, Vergennes took its first loss but won another game, Middlebury dropped a game to a top Division I team, and Mount Abraham lost on the road.
The Eagles also hosted the Otters on Saturday; see story.