It may be called the Green Mountain State, but Vermont is known for its ice and snow. As a result, the athletes who compete in those elements also rank among the best the state has ever produced.
MaxPreps is taking at look at the five most dominant high school athletes from every state in the nation, counting down a different state each week. This week, a pair of skiers and an ice hockey standout are among the best to ever come from Vermont.
Five most dominant high school athletes in Vermont historyRay Collins, Burlington, 1905
A standout pitcher from Burlington in 1905, Collins went 8-4 and for the high school while starting every game of the season. He went on to win 37 games at the collegiate level at University of Vermont before joining the Boston Red Sox. Collins played seven seasons in the Major Leagues, posting an 84-62 record with 511 strikeouts and a 2.51 ERA.Billy Kidd, Stowe, 1961
One of the nation's all-time great Alpine skiers, Kidd got his start at Stowe, where he ranked as one of the top prep skiers. He qualified for international competition while still in high school and eventually went on to compete in two Olympic Games. He won a silver medal at Innsbruck in 1964, becoming the first American skier to do so. He is a member of the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame.John LeClair, Bellows Free Academy (St. Albans), 1987
The state Player of the Year in ice hockey in 1987, LeClair led his team to a state championship and had 44 goals and 40 assists on the season. The Montreal Canadians drafted him in the second round with the No. 33 pick, which is the highest a Vermont athlete has ever been drafted by the NHL. He played 16 years in the league with three different teams, scoring 406 goals and registering 413 assists. He also played in five All-Star games.Bill Koch, Putney, 1973
As a senior at Putney, he led the school to the state championship in cross country skiing, finishing nearly three minutes ahead of the next closest competitor. He is generally considered the greatest Nordic skier in U.S. history, competing in four different Winter Olympics. He won the silver medal in the 1976 Olympics and the bronze medal at the World Championships in 1982.Bob Yates, Montpelier, 1956
In leading Montpelier to a state championship, Yates, who played on the offensive line and was also a kicker, earned All-State and All-American honors. He played at Syracuse in college and earned Sporting News All-American honors while a member of the Orangemen's 1959 national championship team. He signed with the Boston Patriots and played six seasons in the American Football League.Also considered:
Jen Carlson, Champlain Valley Union, soccer; Albert Gutterson, Springfield, track and field; Nicole Levesque Andres, Mount Anthony, basketball; Keith Cieplicki, Rice Memorial; Ollie Dunlap, Bellows Free Academy, football/track/basketball; Ray Fisher, Middlebury, football/baseball; Larry Gardner, Enosburg, baseball; Ralph Lapointe, Winooski, baseball/football; Ernie Johnson, Brattleboro, baseball; Jade Huntington, Oxbow; Carl Christensen, Essex Junction, soccer; Jim McCaffrey, Rutland.