RUHS Ghost Athletics

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RU Welcomes New Athletic DirectorAthletic Director Ben Diller

The RU faculty and staff welcomed new A.D. Ben Diller to the school in November following the departure of longtime A.D. Steve Croucher, who moved to South Carolina to take on a new position.

Ben earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Alvernia University in 2013, where he was four-year member of the Golden Wolves men’s soccer team.  He earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Lock Haven University in 2017, where he also served as a two-year graduate assistant coach for the men’s soccer program. He previously worked as an assistant coach at Widener University throughout the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

In the spring of 2018, Diller was named the Assistant Director of Admissions for Athletic Recruitment at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. He also served as the admissions counselor for first-year students who were interested in participating in intercollegiate athletics, and he was the point of contact for coaches and prospective students throughout the recruitment process.

“I am more than excited to start my professional career as an Athletic Director here at Randolph Union,” he said on his arrival here in early November. “I have always known that I would be an AD and I could not be in a better place to start this chapter of my life. I know that time and effort that (former AD) Steve Croucher put into the athletics here at RU and I am going to do everything I can to maintain that level of professionalism and success that the school and the community has come to know from our athletic office and athletic programs.”

Strand Takes First at Essex InvitationalNatalie Strand on podium

In what was a first for the school's Track and Field program, an RUHS athlete found her way to the top spot of the podium at the prestigious Essex Invitational this past weekend. Competing against the states' top athletes from 46 other Vermont schools, junior Natalie Strand won the 400-meter dash in a time of 60.88 seconds.

Strand, last year's 3rd-place finisher in the 400 at the Division 3 State Championship meet continued her strong season with a convincing win only a week away from this year's State Championship meet. Later in the meet, she added a sixth-place finish in the 200-meter dash. These two results qualify her to compete in the New England Interscholastic Track and Field Championships, which will be held on June 8th in Saco Maine.

Strand is only the eighth Randolph athlete to qualify for Outdoor New Englands in an individual event, and the first since phenom distance runner Mint Henk to qualify in two events in one season. 

Coach Ben Weir was excited by Natalie's success. "Before the season, Natalie and I sat down and talked about goals for the season. One of her 'reach' goals was to qualify for New Englands, and as the season has progressed, that goal has become more and more attainable, and now, she's made it happen. Her offseason work ethic and understanding of how to race the 400 have made her a force to be reckoned with." 

Wrestling is a way of Life for Coy Lyfordpicture of wrestler coy lyford

The Randolph Wrestling Team wrapped up its season weeks ago, but for one Wrestler it marks the end of one of the most prolific youth wrestling careers in Vermont State History.  Coy Lyford, an 8th grader at RUHS, happens to be that Wrestler.

Coy started wrestling in kindergarten, and mostly just did it because his older brother did it too.  Coy soon fell in love with the sport and even has dreams of becoming an Olympic wrestler.  His hard work and perseverance have paid off, and he has made quite a name for himself with many division 1 coaches, across the nation. That’ right… as an 8th grader!

And with his wins also came State Titles.  Lyford is a  6 time Vermont State Champion, and 8 time Vermont State Finalist.  Because of his epic career record of 287 wins and 16 loses, Lyford received the national ranking of the #2 seed in the country for the Virginia Beach Nationals held this past weekend in Virginia. This is Lyford’s second time qualifying for this tournament, wrestling competitors from all 50 states. This tournament marked the end of his Youth Career.
Coy continues to train in the offseason with the Barre Wrestling Club and will be traveling to other national tournaments this summer with that team, in preparation for next season’s varsity season as a freshman. 
Lyford by the Numbers:      

  • Career Record  287 wins 16 losses
  • 6X VT State Champion
  • 8X VT State Finalist
  • 6X New England Qualifier
  • 8X All-State Wrestler
  • 2X New England Place Winner
  • Ranked #2 in the Nation for the 2019 Virginia Beach National Tournament

2015-2017....  117 matches win streak.........117 in a row!!.....18 months without a loss.

RU Bowlers Roll to Victory.
Stockwell Takes First, is Named State Champ

RU qualified 5 bowlers for Saturday's Top 32 Individual State Bowling Tournament at Champlain Lanes (a program record) - Howard Stockwell, Joe Warner, Logan Lumbra, Jarid Wheeler, & Adam Messier. Three bowlers advanced to the sweet 16, and two advanced to the elite 8 rounds. One Ghost roller advanced to the final 4 round where, after tournament re-seeding, was the #4 seed. He won 3 step-ladder style head-to-head games against the #3 seed, then the #2 seed, and eventually the tournament's #1 seed. In winning his 9th game of the day, Howard Stockwell prevailed and was named the 2019 individual state bowling champion!

Watch the WCAX News video recap here.

Ghost Gymnasts Close Out Successful Season
The Ghosts’ 7 person varsity gymnastics team traveled to Essex High School on Saturday, February 16th to compete in the state championship.  Despite facing powerhouses like Essex High School and Champlain Valley Union, the Ghosts showed great improvement from the beginning of the season and found success on all four events.

Sophomore Isabell Graham began the season competing just on beam, but added a floor routine and a strong vault to the team lineup.  Graham scored second highest on beam for the Ghosts with a 7.025. Fellow sophomore Phoebe Hickin took the high beam score for the team with a confident no fall 7.225 routine.  Rounding out the team beam scores were Christin Nolan’s 6.6, Olivia Campbell’s 6.5, Lilly Myrick’s 7.0 and Courtney Clement’s 6.75. Earning all scores above 6.5 was a season high for the team!

On the bars, senior Courtney Clement returned from a month long break from injury to compete a 7.8 start value routine.  Fellow senior Lilly Myrick raised her start value to a 9.7, just one move shy of a routine that could score a potential 10.0.  Hickin added a bar change to her routine and looks strong for next year.
Hickin competed on floor as well, earning a 5.375.  Senior teammate Olivia Campbell also earned a 5.375. Yelena Merriam competed a hoedown inspired routine with her teammates dancing along the side of the floor and earned a 5.925.  Clement and Myrick performed their last floor routines of their career, scoring 6.35 and 6.25 respectively.

Myrick, Clement and Campbell have set high standards over their four years on the varsity team as athletes and team leaders.  Clement and Myrick regularly contributed upwards of 50 points across all four events toward the team score, and Campbell has been a reliable force on beam and floor.  The program is left in strong hands as this year’s strong sophomore cohort will be joined by an equally strong group of eighth grade gymnasts.

Sam Tullar Named NAIA Player of the Year

RU grad Samantha Tullar was named the 2018 Player of the Year by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes, a high and rare honor for a player in her sophomore year. But it doesn't come as a surprise to her former Coach, Jamie Connor (JKC).

"As her former High School coach, it is with pure joy that I watch her success from afar. She was a standout player in Vermont, and her current success is no surprise to those that witnessed her passion for the game, her competitive drive, and her incredible athleticism."

RU Athletic Director Steve Croucher agreed. "Sam Tullar played Varsity Girls Lacrosse on both the RU-only and the RU/Chelsea cooperative teams," he said. "She was a 100pt. scorer during her HS career."
Learn more here: Tullar Named Player of the Year.

RU Grad Dakota Garrow Shines at Little East ConferencePicture of Dakota Garrow running on a track

Following a school record-breaking performance in the 500-meter run, RU grad and Castleton University freshman Dakota Garrow of the Castleton men's indoor track and field team has been named the Little East Conference Indoor Track Rookie of the Week for the week ending Jan. 13.

According to coach Ben Weir, “no one who knows Dakota well would be surprised to hear that he has been successful at the collegiate level. If there was ever a student-athlete at RUHS who was willing to put in the extra time, it was Dakota.”

Read the whole story here: Castleton Indoor Track

RU – Gifford Athletic Training Partnership is Making a DifferenceRUHS Athletic Trainer Karissa McCoy

Timely and proper prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation are key to keeping high school athletes healthy

You find them at the collegiate sports level. You find them at a growing number of division I and II schools. But it’s very rare to find a division III school district with the means – or the resources – to even consider adding one to the roster.

So that must make Randolph Union High School, and its new part-time Athletic Trainer pretty rare indeed.

Through a partnership with Gifford Health Care conceived and organized by RU Athletic Director Steve Croucher, Randolph athletes now have – on the sidelines of every home game – a certified athletic trainer who specializes in sports medicine and injury prevention. But Karissa McCoy brings more than just band aids and ace bandages to the field, she also brings a passion for helping student athletes understand the importance of training, prevention, and, should they be injured, proper treatment and rehabilitation.

“Student athletes get hurt more than you might think,” said McCoy, a graduate of Castleton University’s Athletic Training and Physical Therapy program. “But if you’ve ever raised a teenager, you know they’ll look you straight in the eye and tell you ‘I’m fine, I’m fine’ even as the pain is shooting down their arms and legs.  Now when a student gets injured in a game, I’m right there. I can test them for a concussion. I can apply proper first aid. I can get them into the Kingwood or Sharon clinic within 24 hours, and I can help prevent an injury from causing problems for them later in life.”

In addition to sideline care, McCoy and AD Croucher are also in the process of converting an old locker room into a training space that even some Division I schools might envy.

“Through donations of equipment and tables from Gifford,” he said, “plus some shelving, mats, and other equipment we already had on hand, we’ve been able to build a training room where students can begin to practice preventative care prior to games in order to be in the best shape possible when their season begins. We’ve still got a ways to go, but the room is really starting to come together.”

“Using the training room,” McCoy added, “I am able to do Functional Movement Screening of students prior to games to help prevent on court or on field injuries. Functional Movement Screening is a pre-participation screening tool designed to identify compensatory movement patterns that can help predict an increased risk of injury, as well as inefficient movement that can cause reduced performance.  If we can identify a potential source of injury and mitigate it before an athlete hits the court or field, we not only improve their chances of staying healthy, but we improve the team’s chances of winning.”

Bass Fishing Team Finishes 2nd at State Tournamentfishing award

A big congratulations goes out to RU's Bass Fishing Team. The team finished 2nd overall out of 15 competitors at Vermont's inaugural bass fishing exhibition state tournament, hosted in South Hero!
Four RU students bagged an impressive 16.86 pounds (net weight) of fish to edge out Twinfield to take 2nd place.

Thanks and kudos to volunteer coaches Keyes & Jacobs for coordinating the team's 1st year of competition and for getting our kids involved! The Randolph team was touted by one of the lead event organizers as showing "exemplary sportsmanship" at the September 15th invitational and at the October 6th state event.

About RU Athletics

Athletics are an important component of the RUHS experience and its athletic programs are designed to help students develop sportsmanship, school spirit, and good physical health. Because of the wide range of athletic programs offered at the school, students are provided with the opportunity to work towards excellence in several areas of athletic interest. RUHS athletes play in the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference.

RUHS offers varsity and junior varsity boys’ and girls’ athletic clubs, as well as programs geared to students at the junior high school level.

Among the programs we currently offer are:

Boys’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer
Girls’ Varsity Soccer
Junior High Boys’ Soccer
Junior High Girls’ Soccer
Varsity Boys' Cross Country
Varsity Girls' Cross Country
Junior High Boy's Cross Country
Junior High Girls' Cross Country
Varsity Girls’ Volleyball

Boys’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball
Girls’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball
Junior High Boys’ Basketball
Junior High Girls’ Basketball
Boys' Varsity Ice Hockey (cooperative with Northfield)
Varsity Girls' Ice Hockey (member to member with Northfield)
Varsity Gymnastics (co-ed)
Junior High Gymnastics (co-ed)
Varsity Wrestling (co-ed)
Junior High Wrestling (co-ed)
Varsity Indoor Track (club sport)
Varsity Bowling (co-ed)
Junior High Bowling (co-ed)

Boys’ Varsity Baseball
Junior High Boys’ Baseball
Girls’ Varsity and Junior Varsity Softball
Junior High Girls’ Softball
Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse
Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse (cooperative team with Chelsea)
Junior High Boys’ Lacrosse
Varsity Boys' Track & Field
Varsity Girls' Track & Field
Junior High Boys' Track & Field
Junior High Girls' Track & Field