Some things are just meant to be—like the wonderful convergence of a NEPSAC win with a deep alumni connection
“You couldn’t have written a better script for Hollywood,” Athletic Director Mark Conroy said while reflecting on the success of this year’s girls varsity hockey team. Not only did they take home the NEPSAC title, but they did so in a tournament with ties to Williston’s Victory Bell and its namesake, Chuck Vernon ’62.
Heading into the postseason with the best record in program history (24–1), Williston clinched the number one seed, which allowed them to host the NEPSAC Chuck Vernon Elite Girls’ Hockey Tournament at Lossone Rink. The tournament is named after Vernon, a longtime Loomis Chaffee coach, for his contributions to NEPSAC girls hockey. So, too, is Williston’s Victory Bell (at right), which was donated by an anonymous parent in 1962 in honor of Vernon’s sportsmanship and leadership as team captain in his senior year. Sixty years after the bell’s dedication, the girls were determined to ring it after the tournament, with wins over Kent (5–0), then Andover (3–2), and finally a 2–0 victory over Nobles, a team that had not lost a game in four years. After time elapsed and the crowd went wild, Vernon stepped onto the ice to present the award to the team.
Head Coach Christa Talbot Syfu ’98 said the accomplishment was something her program has been working toward for the last 10 years and credited the seniors on the team for demonstrating “tremendous leadership on and off the ice all year….In the final game, the team showed they were ready by getting a goal in the first shift,” she said. “From there, the team shut down Noble and Greenough’s offense and played smart, hard, and together for the remainder of the game. It was truly impressive!” She added, “Having Chuck Vernon there to present the award, and go with the girls to ring his bell made it even more special.”