BHS/BUHS athletes, girls’ tennis team named to Athletic Hall of Fame

BHS/BUHS athletes, girls’ tennis team named to Athletic Hall of Fame

Inductees’ ‘outstanding contributions have enriched the athletic programs and brought honor to the school’

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro High School/Brattleboro Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame announces its creation and the induction of its class of 2021.

All went through an official nominating process that culminated in their selection by the 10-member Hall of Fame Committee.

According to the organization's website, “The purpose of the BHS/BUHS Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize, honor, and provide an enduring memorial for those persons whose outstanding contributions have enriched the athletic programs and brought honor to the school.”

• David Lantz was a four-year, four-sport athlete at BUHS, lettering in cross country (co-captain), skiing (co-captain), track and field, and golf. Lantz was particularly outstanding in the sport of nordic skiing. He went on to become a student-athlete at Middlebury College, where he lettered in cross country (co-captain), skiing (nordic captain), and track and field. He was named to the NCAA All-American team (nordic combined skiing) in 1973.

During his college career, Lantz also earned a spot for six consecutive years as a member of the U.S. National Ski Team (1971–1976) and narrowly missed traveling with the U.S. National Team to both the 1974 FIS Nordic World Championships in Falun, Sweden (first alternate) and the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

His community involvement and enthusiastic support for Nordic skiing has carried on long after his retirement from competitive skiing in 1976.

• The 19701974 BUHS Girls' Tennis teams, over those five seasons, put together an unprecedented 64–0 winning streak in regular season play.

In addition, the 1973 team captured the state championship.

During these years, girls' sports at BUHS was emerging and evolving, and the girls' tennis teams were at the forefront of the successful development of women's athletics.

This achievement brought great credit and pride to Brattleboro, BUHS, and the players and coaches. The depth of talent, dedication to a team effort, and camaraderie created an unparalleled recipe for success, setting the tone for excellence in BUHS girls' sports for years to come. Confidence gained from this achievement led these individuals to success in later life.

• Geoff (Jeff) Sather was one of the best athletes in Vermont in three sports: soccer, basketball, and track and field.

Recruited by multiple Division I colleges in all three, Sather was the starting striker in the inaugural Lions Club Twin State soccer game in 1975 and assisted on the game-winning goal.

He was named a Prep-All-American in basketball, and he won and defended his state championship in the high jump and set the Vermont state record in that event.

During his high school career, Sather set school records in the high jump, triple jump, high hurdles, and low hurdles. He broke the Southern District triple jump record as a freshman, and the Southern District high jump record as a sophomore.

As a junior, he won the high jump at the state meet with a new state record of 6 ft., 4 in. in 1974, an event he won again as a senior while placing second in the high hurdles and third in the triple jump.

In soccer, rotating between playing striker and center half, Sather recorded four hat tricks in a 12-game season on the way to setting the school scoring record of 18 goals, more than any previous Brattleboro team had scored.

In basketball, he scored 986 points in 2{1/2} varsity seasons. Coach Art Freeman called him “the best basketball player to come out of BUHS in the past 20 or 30 years.”

At Middlebury College, Sather was a four-year starter on the basketball team, a leading scorer and rebounder, a captain, and an All-New England Honorable mention. He also won the Vermont state collegiate high jump championship.

• Ben Gilbert was another great three-sport athlete who graduated from BUHS in 1998.

Co-captain of both the basketball and football teams his senior year, he was a member of the 1997 state baseball champions, made first-team All State in basketball in 1997, and was selected to the North-South All-Star Team in 1998.

Gilbert was selected to the Vermont Shrine football team, where he was one of the captains and started at quarterback, leading Vermont to a 21–13 victory over New Hampshire in the 1998 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, the first win for Vermont in a decade.

He received the Diedrich Stolte Memorial Cup in 1998, given to the top male athlete in the graduating class at BUHS. After graduating, he continued to play football at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., where he started quarterback in every single game.

He was named the MVP of the ECAC Northwest Championship game and made the UCAA All Conference Second Team. During his junior year, 2000, Gilbert was named the UCAA All Conference Offensive Player of the Year, made the UCAA All Conference First Team and the ECAC Second Team, with Union making the NCAA playoffs. During his four years at Union College, the Dutchmen had a .786 win percentage.

Gilbert was named a captain his senior year at Union and was named to the UCAA All Conference Second Team in 2001, as well as receiving the ECAC Northwest Championship Game MVP.

Several of his records still stand after almost 20 years - touchdown passes in a season (27 in 2001) and in a career (75, from 1998 to 2001), total offense in a game (457 in 2001), total offense in a season (2,911 in 2001), career rushing yards by a quarterback (865 from 1998-2001), career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (15, from 1998 to 2001), and consecutive completions in a game (17 vs. RPI in 1998).

• Art Freeman was a dedicated three-sport athlete at BUHS, lettering in football, basketball, and track. As a junior, he was given honorable mention as an All-State quarterback for the 1956 season.

In basketball, Freeman was runner-up in the Southern Vermont League for individual scoring with 211 points his senior year (1957–58 season).

He was a four-year member of the BUHS track team and, as a senior in 1958, he won the 880 at the state track meet. At the New England meet, Freeman won his heat, which prompted the Boston University coach in attendance, Doug Raymond, to offer him a scholarship.

At BU, Freeman majored in physical education and set the BU track record for the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 23.4 seconds as a junior in 1961, which he held for more than a decade. At the IC4A meet at Madison Square Garden, he was fourth in the mile indoors and third outdoors.

In his senior year, 1962, Freeman was named co-captain of the track team and would win at the New England track meet for the 880-yard run with a time of 1:54:9 at Boston Garden. At the same meet, he also ran a leg of the one-mile relay, with the BU team winning the heat with a time of 3:24:4. In the IC4A meet, he was fourth in the 1,000-yard indoor event.

After graduation, Freeman returned to Brattleboro to teach physical education at BUHS. He held that position for 40 years. He coached three sports - football, basketball, and track and field - and was assistant varsity and freshman football coach under Andy Natowich from 1963 to 1968.

Freeman was head varsity basketball coach from 1969 to 1977. He then coached JV basketball for more than a decade, then moved on to freshman and middle school for many more years.

Working with Bob Parro, Freeman was instrumental in starting and maintaining the youth basketball leagues in Brattleboro that are still running today. He also coached Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams over the years, and ended his coaching career by leading his grandson to a state AAU championship in 2009.

Freeman was an assistant track and field coach for six years, with two state championships in 1964 and 1965. He was head coach for 26 years, 1969 to 1994, winning two more state championships. His teams had 31 individual state champions.

Coach Freeman helped hundreds of young men and women to strengthen their minds and bodies, to work for common goals, and to achieve as much success for themselves as possible. His many years of service and dedication were honored when the BUHS track was named the Freeman Track.

• Frank Marshall Taylor was perhaps the most accomplished athlete ever to graduate from Brattleboro High School. Taylor lettered in four sports: football, basketball, baseball, and track. In his junior and senior years, he was named to the Southern Vermont League first team in basketball and was captain of the all-state football team.

At the University of Vermont, he also lettered in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He captained the football, basketball, and baseball teams at the University of Vermont. If he had had more time, he likely would have lettered in more sports since he was a skiing specialist, too. He won the intramural bowling competition at UVM and won UVM's grueling hexathlon championship.

In 1941, he joined the Navy after graduation and served in World War II. After the war, Taylor served as coach of several high school sports, played semi-pro football, basketball, and baseball, and was a member of the inaugural class of UVM's Hall of Fame in 1969.

• Jason Dunklee placed second in the Southern Vermont League boys' cross country championship in his sophomore year in 1989. As a junior in 1990, he achieved what only three previous Vermonters had: winning the New England Cross Country Running Championships as well as the Vermont state cross-country title.

He then went on to New York City, his first visit, to race at the 1990 Kinney Northeast Regional Championships at Van Cortlandt Park. In this race - a qualifier for the National High School Championships - he finished 12th.

Dunklee was among 50 runners named to the High School All-American honorable mention team by Harrier, a national running magazine.

As a senior, he was the premier distance runner in Vermont and was named Gatorade Circle of Champions boys' track athlete of the year. He qualified for the New England meet, chose to run both the 1,600 and the 3,000, and placed second in the 3,000 despite a nagging groin injury.

He went on to compete at Dartmouth College and, in 1993, in the U.S. Junior National Championships in Oregon, where he placed sixth and earned a spot on the U.S. team to compete in the Junior World Cross Country Championship in Bilbao, Spain.

Dunklee finished in 2:49:26 in the New York Marathon and 2:48 at Boston Marathon.

• Drew Richards was a three-sport standout at BUHS. Known primarily for the art of ski jumping, Richards spent winter semesters of his sophomore, junior, and senior years studying at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid. He graduated with the highest GPA of all the boys in his class.

Richards was 12 when he accomplished the “jump of a lifetime,” winning the overall title at an Eastern Union ski jumping tournament at Laconia, N.H.

In 1993, competing as a 16 year old, he took on the Austrians at the 71st annual Fred H. Harris Memorial Ski Jumping Tournament in Brattleboro and finished third. The following year, he placed second.

As a junior at BUHS, Richards finished ninth in his first U.S. Olympic trials, and he joined the U.S Developmental Ski Team. By his senior year, he was one of the top junior ski jumpers in the nation.

Richards was an accomplished soccer player for BUHS and was named to the 1994 Vermont All-State boys soccer team as a midfielder. Tennis was another sport where he excelled. As the Colonels' No. 1 singles player, he led the boys' tennis team to the Vermont Division I state title his senior year.

At graduation, Richards was awarded the Austine Prize, Lundburg Prize, and Stolte Cup. Although he was being heralded as 'the next great American ski jumper,” Richards decided to go to college instead of seeking an Olympic Team berth.

• Kari Greenbaum's accomplishments as a student-athlete at BUHS from 1987 to 1991 are staggering.

As a four-year varsity field hockey player, she was captain her senior year and, in 1987, led the Colonels to a Division I championship.

As a four-year varsity basketball player, she was captain her senior year, most valuable player her sophomore, junior and senior years, and scored 1,420 points, setting a school record.

She was named to the Burlington Free Press state All-Star team in 1991 and played for Vermont in the 1991 Alhambra Classic, where she was named the game's MVP.

As a three-year varsity softball player, she was captain and team MVP her senior year, and she contributed to state Division I titles for BUHS in 1989 and 1991.

Greenbaum was recruited by the University of Vermont as a basketball player and had a tremendous career there from 1991 to 1995. She was team MVP in 1995 and a key contributor to the Catamount teams that won the North Atlantic Conference championship three seasons in a row in 1992, 1993, and 1994. She earned the school's first berths into the NCAA women's basketball tourney in each of those seasons.

Her individual and career UVM basketball records include being 11th all-time in career points, eighth in career assists, seventh in career steals, 17th in career field goals, 14th in career three-pointers, 10th in career three-point percentage, 16th in most games played, 17tth in most points in a season, nine in most free throws in a season, and 12th in most steals in a season.

Greenbaum was known as a dedicated student-athlete who was a positive role model both on the field and in the classroom. Her goal was to be the best player she could be, as well as being a supportive teammate who never made excuses and acknowledged both her successes and mistakes.

“I'd like to be remembered as a hard worker,” she once said. “I hope that people remember me as a whole person and not just an athlete.”

• Ann Wheelock, a 1983 BUHS graduate, was a four-year varsity player in both field hockey and softball, and she was a three-year varsity player in basketball. Over those years, she played an integral part in those teams' successes.

But her greatest accomplishment was in helping the 1983 softball team to a perfect 18–0 record and the top seed in the Vermont softball tournament, culminating in the Vermont State Championship.

During this run, she completed her senior season with a perfect 15–0 record from the mound, and she pitched all three of the playoff games en route to that state championship.

She was a co-captain of all three teams during her senior seasons and playoff runs.

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