By Roger Brown
It’s been a long time since a Mike Hatt-coached team lost a football game. Hatt is hoping that trend carries through the summer.
Hatt, who guided Springfield to an 11-0 record and the Division III championship last season, was recently named the Vermont head coach for next year’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. The Vermont all-stars will face New Hampshire on Aug. 1 at Windsor High School.
“We have a lot of skill kids this year who not only have great athleticism, but great size,” Hatt told the Rutland Herald. “That excites me.”
Vermont will be attempting to end an eight-game losing streak in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, which was first played in 1954. New Hampshire won last year’s game 42-0 and has a 40-13-2 edge in the all-time series.
Hatt’s Springfield team scored 488 points last season. No other high school team in the state scored more than 381. The Cosmos have a 39-37 record in Hatt’s eight seasons as the program’s head coach.
Hatt was a three-sport athlete at Springfield High School and then earned a physical education degree at Springfield (Mass.) College.
Hatt and his Vermont team will have a rare edge next summer: home field advantage. The game is usually played at Dartmouth College’s Memorial Field, but was moved because of construction that will take place at Dartmouth this summer.
The 2009 game will be the second time the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl is played in Vermont. The 1967 game was played at Centennial Field in Burlington. New Hampshire won that game 27-12.
The 2009 teams will report for practice at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., on July 24.
New Hampshire is expected to name its head coach later this month.
Honors: Wong, Rohrig Named Top Athletes
Hartford’s Mick Wong and Black River’s Courtney Rohrig were named the Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters male and female athletes of the month for October.
Wong, a senior running back/linebacker, helped Hartford post a 5-0 record in October.
He rushed for 573 yards and seven touchdowns on 78 carries in those five games.
Rohrig scored 18 goals and assisted on five others in October. She finished her high school career with 132 goals and 40 assists.
Both Wong and Rohrig helped their team win a state championship in November. Both are now eligible to be named the Vermont Athlete of the Year. That award will be presented in June during a banquet at Norwich University.
Cross Country: Rowe Finishes Strong
St. Johnsbury Academy junior Hannah Rowe placed 18th in a field of 119 runners at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Cross Country Championships in the Bronx, N.Y. last weekend.
Rowe completed the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 43 seconds.
Haley Gray, Rowe’s teammate at St. Johnsbury, finished 66th in 19:56. Gray will compete in the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country championships in Mechanicsville, Va., on Dec. 13.