VSMA lauds North Country skater, Spaulding wrestler

VERMONT — The Vermont Sports Media Association has selected North Country Union High School senior Whitney Bernier and Spaulding senior Sam Kuckuk as its December Athletes of the Month.
In statewide balloting of VSMA members, Bernier, a hockey player, was named the December Female Athlete of the Month, and Kuckuk, a wrestler, was named the December Male Athlete of the Month.
Each was first nominated by a VSMA member based on his or her accomplishments in December
Whitney racked up 21 goals and four assists in December, including at least one point in each of the Falcons’ eight games. Her performances included four-goal, five-goal, and six-goal games as North Country, first place in Division II, went 5-2-1.
Also nominated for the female December honor was South Burlington basketball player Emma McDonough.
Kuckuk went undefeated in 10 December matches at 182 pounds — all by pin, and most often in the first period. “Sam has lots of mat experience and a winning combination of toughness, hard work and natural ability,” said Spaulding Coach Mick Kerin.
Among the other nominees was OV senior basketball player John Winslow. Winslow scored at least 16 points and hauled in at least 13 rebounds in each of six December games to help OV off to a 5-1 start, averaging 19.8 points and 16.7 rebounds. Included was a 25-point, 16-rebound effort in a tight win at Mount St. Joseph, and a rare 20-point, 21-rebound night in a victory at Green Mountain Union.
Also nominated for the male December honor were Milton hockey player Brendan Green, Mount Anthony wrestler Troy Gassaway, and two more basketball players, Burr & Burton’s Joey Shehadi and Proctor’s Nick Swane.
More information about the VSMA is available from organization president Josh Kaufmann of the St. Albans Messenger at [email protected].

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