VSMA recognizes McKearin, Bigelow for September performances

VERMONT — The Vermont Sports Media Association has chosen a high-scoring senior soccer player and a productive senior two-way football player as its Athletes of the Month for September.
In statewide balloting of VSMA members, the VSMA elected Proctor High School’s Abby McKearin as its September Female Athlete of the Month and Winooski’s Brandon Bigelow as its September Male Athlete of the Month.
A VSMA member first nominated each for his and her outstanding performances in September.
Local nominees for the honors were two Otter Valley athletes, junior field hockey player Allison Lowell and senior football player Carson Leary.
McKearin, a senior captain and honor roll student, recorded 19 goals and three assists as her Proctor girls’ soccer team went 7-1 in September. She finished the month with 143 career goals, just five short of Nicole Levesque’s Vermont record for girls’ soccer players, and went on to break the record in early October.
Her coaches praise her work ethic and attitude just as much as her talent and skill. “It’s always a pleasure having one of your best players being your hardest working player,” said Proctor co-coach Chris Hughes. “Abby doesn’t think or talk about this record accomplishment, she has always been a selfless player, putting team and championships above all else.”
Lowell was nominated after scoring 11 goals and added an assist as the OV field hockey team finished September with a 5-1-2 mark. Lowell scored in every game except one, including the only goals in two 1-0 wins and in 1-1 ties against D-I foes Mt. Anthony and Hartford. She capped the month with four goals in a 4-3 win at Rutland.
Also nominated for the female honor was junior Missisquoi soccer goalie Jenna Boudreau and Bellows Falls senior field hockey defender Emily Stoddard.
Bigelow, a senior co-captain and two-way player for a team that suits up no more than 15 players for games in the program’s final season, scored nine touchdowns and amassed almost 1,000 yards of total offense in just three September games.
Bigelow ran for 215 yards and three TDs in a 46-28 win over Spaulding, rushed for 424 yards and four TDs in an 84-70 loss to Mount St. Joseph, and caught two touchdown passes and accounted for almost 200 yards of total offense in 34-12 loss to Poultney.
Leary, a quarterback and defensive end, was nominated after rushing for 828 yards on 63 carries (13.1 per) and 13 touchdowns for the undefeated Otters. He also completed half of his passes for 287 yards and 7 TDs and no interceptions. Leary also led the Otters with seven sacks through the end of September.
Also nominated for the male honor was sophomore Lake Region soccer player Riley Urie and two football players: Rutland quarterback and defensive back Andy Kenosh and Brattleboro junior running back Cheick Diakite.
More information about the VSMA is available from organization president Andy Kirkaldy of the Addison Independent at andyk@addisonindependent.com.

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