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VSMA honors Middlebury athletes

MIDDLEBURY — Recent Middlebury Union High School graduate Sara Boe and Middlebury College junior Katie Ritter were among recently announced Vermont Sports Media Association Athlete of the Month winners.
In statewide balloting of VSMA membership, Boe was elected the March Female High School Athlete of the Month, and Ritter was chosen as the April Open Division Athlete of the Month.
Boe helped spark the MUHS girls’ hockey team to its first-ever title. In the D-II semifinal on March 1, Boe scored the game-winner in double overtime as the Tigers outlasted Stowe, 2-1. She also assisted the team’s first goal. Boe then scored both Tiger goals in their 2-1 win over Burr & Burton in the title game at Gutterson Arena four days later, and made key defensive plays as the Tigers held off the Bulldogs down the stretch.
Ritter, a two-way midfielder, helped the Panther women’s lacrosse team off to a 7-0 start in April. They finished the month at 7-1, losing at Amherst by one goal when Ritter was ailing and could not play. As well as covering opponents’ top midfielders defensively, in April Ritter scored 11 goals, assisted seven scores, scooped 13 ground balls, controlled 11 draws and forced 10 turnovers. This is the second Athlete of the Month award for Ritter.
Also for March, the VSMA elected Rochester senior basketball player Pavin Parrish as the March Male High School Athlete of the Month, and University of New Hampshire freshman and Richford High School graduate Elle Purrier as the March Open Division Athlete of the Month.
In March, Parrish broke the all-time Vermont high school basketball scoring record when he poured in 45 points in a Division IV semifinal in the Barre Auditorium. He needed 43 points going into the game to tie St. Johnsbury graduate Henry Dalrymple’s 30-year-old record of 2,477 points. Parrish was also named the Vermont Gatorade Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year and the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year during the month.
Purrier, a Montgomery resident, on March 2 qualified for UNH in the NCAA Division I championship in the mile with a 4:36.14 run in Boston. The time is believed to be the fastest mile ever run by a woman from or in Vermont. It was also the 11th fastest NCAA women’s mile this year. Purrier had already won the America East mile in 4:41.8 in late February and went on to finish 15th in D-I mile in Albuquerque in April.
Also for April, the VSMA chose Williamstown High junior Dani Jesmonth basketball player as the Female High School Athlete of the Month and Rutland senior lacrosse player Joe Couture as the Male High School Athlete of the Month.
Jesmonth netted 46 points in two games in Barre in the Division III girls’ basketball tournament in April, leading Williamstown to its second straight finals appearance. After scoring 18 in Williamstown’s semifinal victory, Jesmonth tossed in 28 in the final, the highest-scoring title game in D-III history.
Couture sparked the Raider lacrosse team by scoring 17 goals and setting up 13 more during in seven April games. Couture also scored his 100th career goal during the month.
All candidates were first nominated by a VSMA member for his or her outstanding performances and winners were chosen for the honors over other nominees.
The six March and April winners will receive plaques from the VSMA’s sponsor of the organization’s Athlete of the Month program, Initial Ideas of Rutland.
More information about the VSMA is available from organization president Josh Kaufman of the St. Albans Messenger at josh@samessenger.com

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