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Summer thoughts turn to football, basketball

— MUHS pre-season football

It’s Addison County Fair & Field Days week here in Addison County, another indication that the kiddies will be heading back to school soon. In fact, area high school fall athletic teams will start pre-season practices in just over a week. It should be an exciting autumn, sportswise. One of the more interesting stories to follow will be the return of the Middlebury Union High School football team to a revamped Division I level.

Two years ago, the Tiger program that was struggling with numbers dropped back to Division II.

The Tigers surprised many fans by making the Division II Playoffs the first year; last season the team went undefeated before losing to Rice Memorial High School in the Division II Finals.

With its numbers bouncing back up to around 90 players in the program, Middlebury—along with Colchester High, Mount Mansfield and Champlain Valley Union High School—will have an expanded eight team post-season playoff format.

This change now gives the Tigers a chance to renew acquaintances with old rivals Essex and Rutland while maintaining new rivals with the three schools that moved up the division with them.

UVM vs. Harvard?

I saw on the Internet that caught my interest. While the University of Vermont coaching staff hasn’t released its men’s basketball schedule yet, I did notice a post that listed non-league games that has Vermont hosting Harvard the beginning of December. There was a time when that was a competitive game, but not a big deal made about it. But over the last few years, however, former Duke standout Tommy Amaker has started turning Harvard into a good mid-major ball club. In fact, it could be argued the Crimson is the best college basketball team in Boston (with Harvard knocking off Atlantic Coast Conference member Boston College the last two years in a row).

The Crimson hasn’t won an Ivy League title yet (they lost to Princeton in playoff last season) or shocked anyone in the NCAA tournament (like Ivy compares Princeton, Penn and Cornell have). But that might not be too far down the road.

You can’t believe everything posted on the Internet, but if the UVM-Harvard game is going to happen, it could be a real treat for local fans of college hoops.

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