ENOSBURG — The fall season at Enosburg Junior-Senior High School was going to be different, even if COVID hadn’t been involved.
Longtime athletic director, Chris Brigham, retired at the end of the 2020 school year.
‘Brig’ as he was affectionately called by many, invested countless hours each sports season ensuring that athletes, coaches, and parents had the best possible experience. Thank you, Brig!
Anthony Sorrentino, who has taken “Brig’s” place, has had plenty to do to prepare the fall teams for the upcoming season. Welcome, Anthony!
This fall, Randy Swainbank will begin his 28th year of coaching soccer and his 24th year coaching at EFHS.
Last season, the Enosburg Hornets were 11-4-0, competing in Division 3 and ending the season with a quarterfinal loss to visiting Mill River.
Swainbank shared his outlook for 2020, focusing first on the numbers and how they will play into the team dynamic.
“As of right now, I expect only four seniors on this year’s team, Brendan Deuso, Eric Antillion, Kam Lovelette, and Dylan Pattee,” said Swainbank.
“They will be joined by nine or ten juniors, two to three sophomores, and possibly a couple of freshmen.
“This team will be loaded with players that have substantial varsity and club experience. Flexibility will be the key to a smooth season this year.”
Shea Howrigan, Levi Webb, Blair Archambault, Ethan Hogaboom, Foster Hutchins, Ethan Jackson, Danny Antillion, and Ian Ross will all rejoin the Hornets for the abbreviated 2020 season.
Practices begin September 8th when students return to school, and the first game is currently scheduled to be played on September 25th against Danville.
“In a normal season, I would say this team has the potential to make a run for the Mountain League Title and a long run in the Division 3 playoffs,” said Swainbank.
“How we adjust to the late preseason, the COVID regular-season start, and the Covid guidelines will determine a lot.”
COVID restrictions have delayed the season and also added physical factors that will take getting used to.
“Players and coaches will need to wear proper masks during practice and games, which will certainly be a challenge for all of us,” said Swainbank.
Players and coaches aren’t the only ones who will have to make adjustments. At this time, everyone at the field, including spectators, will be required to wear a mask, per state guidelines.
Spectators will be limited to 150 total at the field (not including players and staff), and there is the possibility that some schools outside the county may choose to play games with no spectators present.
There will be plenty of changes, but thankfully, there will also be some things that remain the same.
“Our coaching staff is in place with assistant coaches Daren Rivard, Nate Gingras, and Rich Ross all returning,” said Swainbank.
The postponement of the soccer season for Castleton University brought one former Hornet back for the fall. Randy’s son, Noah, will be joining the Hornet coaching staff.
Billy Ovitt will also be joining the Hornets as the new JV coach.