Virginia is for lovers. Apparently, it is for Blue Devils, too.
Poultney High graduates Jason Thomas and Kurt Hewes are a couple of guys making their mark in the Old Dominion State.
Hewes is in Fairfax, where he is the owner of Ignite Baseball LLC. Thomas is over in Oakton, where he is now the head football coach at Flint Hill School, a private school that is coming off a state championship season.
Thomas’ Burr and Burton Academy Bulldogs won the Vermont Division II crown last year with a convincing victory over Fair Haven at Rutland’s Alumni Field.
It’s easy to see why he prevailed over the field of candidates at Flint Hill. His resume screams success. He was 79-31 at BBA since taking over in 2008 and 47-5 from the 2014 season on.
Thomas told the Sun Gazette Newspapers in Virginia: “I was looking for a change and to go somewhere that high school football is a little more valued, like in Virginia.”
Thomas has coached in Virginia before at Randolph-Macon College. He loves the climate, another reason for the move south.
Hewes’ Ignite Baseball LLC offers one-on-one hitting lessons.
Hewes says he is always searching for the best way to swing while actively using science to guide and validate the research.
Hewes’ venture has been a full-time job for about two years now and his partners are about two months away from opening an indoor facility in Fairfax.
“It’s exciting. Things are starting to go well,” Hewes said.
It’s a small world. Fair Haven Union High School graduate Scott Allen is also in Fairfax, Virginia, where he is the highly successful girls basketball coach at Paul VI, another private school. His teams have won 16 state titles and he has reaped national coach of the year honors.
But his resume has never weighed him down when it comes to returning to his beloved Fair Haven and doing something for his hometown.
He has given a one-day basketball clinic in the Fair Haven Union High School gym for several years now, with the money raised benefiting some facet of the Slaters’ program. The money from the clinic replaced the antiquated side baskets in the gym that had been there for decades.
This year’s edition comes on Saturday with the girls and boys entering grades 4-8 having their session from 10 a.m. until noon. Players entering grades 9-12 have their clinic from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Check-in and registration for each group is set for 9:30 a.m. and noon.
There is also Rutland High graduate Cathy LaDuke, who just completed her 32nd year on the staff at Chatham Hall, an all-girls preparatory for grades 9-12 in Chatham, Virginia.
LaDuke’s credits there include the 2004 Athletic Director of the Year honor, as voted by her peers in the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association, as well as conference titles as a coach. She coached field hockey, softball and tennis there at various times.
And you might remember Ashton Mitchell, Castleton University women’s basketball coach Tim Barrett’s graduate assistant coach from a couple of years ago. She is the head girls varsity basketball coach at Liberty High School in Virginia.
Down in Ruckersville, Virginia, not far from Charlottesville, you can find former great Stowe High School athlete Gretchen Scheuermann.
She is the owner and operator of the Highlands Golf Park, a place where you can receive golf lessons and practice any shot imaginable.
Scheuermann once received the Honda Broderick Award for being the best college field hockey player in the country while playing for Northwestern University.
Today, she has an LPGA Class A teaching license and is carrying on the business started by her parents Ann Marie and Peter Scheuermann, who are also still fondly remembered in Stowe.
Mount St. Joseph Academy and Castleton University graduate Bob Rotella, recognized as one of the world’s foremost sports psychologists, had been known to come down from Charlottesville to play at the Highlands Golf Park with his daughter Casey.