Here are six takeaways from the still very early high school falls sports season.
1. We knew Rutland would be a very good football team this fall but to be put a twist on a Mike Ditka’s famous quote, “They are better than who we thought they were.”
It’s way too early to call the Ravens the team to beat in Division I but they are in that conversation.
Among the others are Hartford. The Hurricanes come to Rutland for the last game of the regular season on Oct. 22.
2. The Mount St. Joseph Academy boys soccer team is really good. The influx of some talented players from Mill River have to make the Mounties a red hot contender in Division IV.
You know they are good when the grumbling begins about them being a Division IV team and we’ve already heard it from a couple of coaches.
MSJ’s Tyler Corey has a good chance to break the Mill River record for career goals and the opinion here is that, yes, the goals at MSJ should count toward that record.
Don’t hand the trophy to the Mounties yet. There are other D-IV teams out there capable of winning it also and you can put Rivendell on that list. The Mounties defeated Rivendell by a goal last week, 4-3.
3. Hey, Mr. Ditka, the Proctor girls soccer team might also be even better than who we thought they were.
Newly minted 100-goal scorer Maggie McKearin already has 15 goals in just four games but she also has a lot of help.
The unheralded player on the team is Jenna Davine. Her runs down the wing are a catalyst for the offense and one official noted during one game that she makes the Phantoms go.
One of the Phantoms’ more serious challenges could come from Rutland County rival Mount St. Joseph.
4. The West Rutland boys soccer team is struggling like everyone knew they would. They are young, inexperienced and learning lessons each time out.
When they do break through and get that first win, it will do wonders for their psyche.
The good news: If there is a blueprint for a coach to lead a young and learning team, it would be Westside coach Dillon Zaengle.
5. Who gave us this schedule, anyway?
That is what Windsor field hockey coach Jody Wood and her players must be asking these days.
They could very well be 1-3-1 after playing Division I state champion Bellows Falls on Thursday.
Playing Bellows Falls twice, along with Division II contenders Burr and Burton Academy and Otter Valley is not a great way to start the season for the defending Division III state champions.
It is only going to make them better and you can look for them back in the D-III state title game again on Nov. 6.
6. The 1-3 Rutland girls soccer team has scrapped and come close after a season-opening win over Mount Mansfield. They dropped the last two by scores of 1-0 to Burlington and Essex.
After Colchester coach Jeff Paul’s team dealt Rutland a 5-0 defeat, he made the comment that the Ravens were going to give the teams in the southern part of the state a lot of trouble.
When Rutland begins mixing it up with SVL A Division foes Mount Antthony, Burr and Burton and Brattleboro, they should do well.
The first SVL divisional game is a tough one, though. BBA comes to Alumni Field on Sept. 21.
This Rutland team has a lot of potential and Lori McClallen’s squad still has plenty to play for.