VSMA lauds athletes for October efforts

VERMONT — St. Johnsbury Academy senior football player Colton Hudson and Williamstown High School senior soccer player Dani Jesmonth were chosen as the Athletes of the Month for October by the Vermont Sports Media Association. Each outpolled a field of nominees that included a local athlete.
VSMA members in statewide balloting elected Hudson as the VSMA Male Athlete of the Month and Jesmonth as the Female Athlete of the Month. They were first nominated by one or more VSMA members for their outstanding efforts during the month of October.
Hudson, St. Johnsbury’s dual-threat quarterback, had a scintillating October on his way to a record-breaking season for the Hilltoppers. In October, Hudson threw for 1,004 yards and eight touchdowns in four victories, including 300-yard passing games against Hartford and North Country.
Also nominated for the October male award was Otter Valley Union junior running back Carson Leary. Leary rushed for 807 yards and scored 15 touchdowns in October as the Otters went 4-0. In the process, Leary broke the school’s all-time single-season rushing mark by topping 1,500 yards. Leary, at 6-foot, 2-inches and 215 pounds, has been timed at 4.6 at 40 yards.
The remaining field of male nominees included Hudson’s senior Hilltopper teammate Caleb Stowell; Spaulding senior football player Dylin Wilkin; senior cross-country runner Sam Nishi of Harwood; and five soccer players, Mount Anthony senior Brad Anair, Sharon Academy senior Tanner James, Arlington junior Lucas Stroffoleno, Rice senior Hussein Hussein and West Rutland senior Joshua Smith.
Jesmonth capped her soccer career in October by leading the Blue Devils to their first-ever soccer state final by tallying the Division III semifinal game-winner on Oct. 29, a 25-yard blast. She also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Windsor and assisted in a 4-0 playdown win over Northfield. She also scored four goals in a 5-0 win over Blue Mountain on Oct. 10. Jesmonth ended her career as Williamstown’s all-time leading girls’ soccer scorer with 46 career goals.
Among the female nominees was Middlebury Union soccer player Kelsey Smith. Smith, a junior sweeper, anchored a defense that allowed six goals in seven October games and posted four shutouts, including three straight to end the season — the Tigers were eliminated in a D-II quarterfinal on penalty kicks after 110 minutes of scoreless play. In all, the Tigers allowed 14 goals in 16 games. Smith was named the Lake Division Defensive Player of the Year.
The field of female nominees also included senior field hockey players Abby Daniels of U-32 and Michelle Bolger of Rice; Champlain Valley sophomore cross-country runner Sophia Gorman; and four more soccer players, Mount St. Joseph sophomore Bryn McClallen, Proctor junior Abby McKearin, Burr & Burton senior Daisy Sullivan and Arlington senior Julia Lacoste.
More information about the VSMA is available from organization president Josh Kaufmann of the St. Albans Messenger at josh@samessenger.com.

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