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Saturday’s Division I boys lacrosse final was the last high school sporting event of the year for the Banner sports staff and it capped off a year of “Are we or are we not going to play?” because of the unknown nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So as one of the craziest years in history comes to a close, I wanted to recognize many different people and groups that have persevered through this last year.

First, I want to thank all of the athletes from our seven schools — Mount Anthony, Burr and Burton, Arlington, Long Trail, Stratton, Hoosick Falls and Cambridge. In the face of everything: losing a year for the spring athletes in 2020 or having shortened seasons or even having some of the winter sports canceled, as a group, you endured all the changes and the nearly constant unknown.

At the same time, almost all of you were able to compete in your sports, except a handful, and it was reassuring to cover not only your successes but also failures, knowing you can’t take it for granted.

With all of the confusion regarding the rules this year, the next group I need to thank is our athletic directors.

I’m sure nearly all of them were pretty annoyed with us at times this year as we would call, text and email to find out about practices, games and other important things.

So to Ashley Hoyt (MAU), Dave Miceli (BBA), Reg Trayah (Arlington), Mike Olson (Long Trail),

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Tom Husser (Hoosick Falls) and Deb Lauver (Cambridge) — you guys are awesome and you all went above and beyond this year to get the kids on the field.

Of course, the next group of people to thank is the parents and families. Once athletes were able to safely take the field or the court or the ice, most events were played with no spectators. But in the face of that, creativity reigned. Need a way to watch the kids? Let’s live stream it.

Using the technology to continue supporting your athletes, your children was so great to see, proving that it’s all about the support from those who are closest.

It even made my job easier a couple times! I was able to keep an eye on events that were 90 minutes or two hours away because of the technology to stream events! If there’s one silver lining from the pandemic regarding school sports, it’s that I hope schools will continue to live stream events for family and friends who are away.

Last but not least, I want to thank our readers. Without you, I don’t get to do what I do on a daily basis — recording the kids’ athletic endeavors for posterity. Not being able to do that for a while reminded me why local sports are so important to small communities like ours.

We’ll be busy this summer with American Legion baseball and Vermont Fusion soccer and lots of camps and all of the things happening in the Shires and nearby New York, so you’ll see us around.

But there’s only 63 days until fall practice begins in Vermont … and we’ll be there!

Adam Samrov can be reached at asamrov@benningtonbanner.com or on Twitter @banner_sports

Adam Samrov is the sports editor and part-time news reporter for the Bennington Banner. He has been at the Banner since 2008 and sports editor since 2010. He can be reached at asamrov@benningtonbanner.com


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