DORSET — Because of the COVID-19 pandemic there will be no fans to witness it, but Long Trail School is moving forward with plans to elevate girls basketball from junior varsity to a varsity sport this season. The Mountain Lions will play a full varsity slate this winter, pending guidelines from the Vermont State Health Department.
“We are delighted that we have the numbers, resources, and facility to promote our program to varsity status and play a full Southern Vermont League schedule,” said LTS Director of Athletics Mike Olson.
Olson remarked that LTS emphasizes robust athletics participation opportunities for all students. With enrollment at an all-time high of 225 students — including a large contingent of first-year athletes, the new Fieldhouse, which Olson referred to as the “crown jewel of southern Vermont,” plentiful resources, and the cognizance that girls should have the same opportunity to compete in state playoffs as the boys, the timing was right to advance the program.
Olson also announced that former Mount St. Joseph and New York University basketball standout Sean Dillon would lead the program. The all-time leading scorer at MSJ, Dillon was a three-time All-State selection and a two-time Vermont Gatorade “Player of the Year.” He played in the NCAA Division III national championship game while at NYU. Following graduation, he joined the NYU athletics department where he served in various roles.
“Sean is the right person to guide this transition. He is not only a knowledgeable basketball teacher, but he is extremely patient—a trait that will serve him well this winter as the team will comprise mostly ninth-graders,” Olson said.
LTS expects to play an 18 game schedule beginning in early January.