Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Panther Pride

I'm about two weeks late on this update, but I meant to congratulate the 2011 Thetford Academy Panthers on a great season. My proud alma mater came up just short, once again, falling to Winooski in the Division 3 state championship game, 49-43. The fourth-seeded Panthers upset two-time defending champion Hazen -- a longtime Barre foe -- in the semifinals.

This season's campaign marked the eighth time in the last ten years that Thetford advanced to the semifinals, a great run for any school. No team in divisions 2-4 ever takes a trip to the Barre Auditorium (the neutral site of Vermont's semifinal and championship rounds) for granted, and Thetford is definitely no different.

The loss is Thetford's third straight loss in a state championship game. On the heels of state championships in 2002 and 2004, the Panthers were state runners-up in 2006, 2007, and now 2011 is added to that list. Being runner-up is obviously hard to swallow, but it is a proud achievement nonetheless. Someone once told me a little secret about sports: if you make it to the championship, you've got a fifty percent chance to win, no matter who you play. I agree. One of these years the Thetford Academy Panthers will be state champs once again, and the team will parade down Route 113 in firetrucks, and it will be made all the sweeter by those three close calls.

So despite this being a Vermont Catamounts blog -- or, perhaps, because of this being a Vermont Catamounts blog -- we pause to congratulate this year's Panthers.

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