On the Field - Sports after High School

Organized sports don’t end with high school graduation; there are many opportunities at Vermont colleges and in local communities to satisfy your drive to compete

Even if you’re not planning to play varsity sports in college, high school graduation does not have to be the end of your playing career. Whether you want to keep up the same sport or take a new one to a new level, Vermont has opportunities for you.
For starters, there might be more colleges than you think that have competitive varsity programs in a number of sports. Just because you’re not playing on scholarship at UVM, the state’s only Division I school, doesn’t mean you are out of luck.
Vermont’s smaller colleges have some of the most competitive programs in the northeast when it comes to most sports and are often competitive nationally in sports like field hockey, rugby, soccer, ice hockey, tennis and lacrosse. Going further than that, almost every school has club programs in which you practice and train to compete against similar teams at other universities.
In 2009, Castleton State College will be adding football to its varsity sports program, making it the third Vermont college –– Middlebury and Norwich are the other two –– to field a football team. The college is building a brand-new turf field and lighted stadium to serve as the home for the football team and for several other sports like soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.
It may seem a long way into the future, but a tremendous amount of work is required to make that a reality.
The introduction of football at Castleton provides yet another reason to consider staying in Vermont. The program is starting from scratch and is probably going to require upwards of 100 players –– 20-30 of whom the coaching staff wants to find already enrolled at Castleton –– most of whom will be freshmen or transfers in 2009. Even if you don’t play football, the addition of the sport will add tremendously to the atmosphere and buzz on campus.
In March 2008 the school hired its first head football coach, Rich Alercio, to lead the program and also added a full-time assistant coach a couple of months later. The first conference game is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2009 and its first potential “rivalry game” with Norwich will be Nov. 7, 2009.
And if you’re not going to school, there are still more options! Many communities have recreational leagues for adults in popular sports like basketball, baseball, soccer and ice hockey. Northwest and central Vermont are home to the Green Mountain Baseball League (18+), while southeast Vermont is home to the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League (25+).
Most golf clubs also hold member tournaments and have a weekly competitive league, tennis facilities help organize and foster competition, and bowling facilities help make competition affordable and accessible.
Vermont has five semi-pro football teams, a very competitive amateur soccer club, a minor league baseball team and a professional basketball team that won the national championship in its first season. Impressive, right?
The bottom line is, the chances to continue to play sports are out there –– and waiting –– for you! Don’t let that competitive fire die –– below are lists of opportunities you may not have known existed, ones of which you can take full advantage.

COLLEGE SPORTS –– Intercollegiate sports at Vermont Colleges for men and women
Division I:
University of Vermont
Men: soccer, cross country, basketball, skiing, ice hockey, indoor track, baseball, lacrosse, track and field
Women: soccer, cross country, field hockey, basketball, skiing, ice hockey, indoor track, swimming and diving, softball, lacrosse, track and field

Division II:
St. Michael’s College
Men: soccer, cross country, golf, swimming, skiing, ice hockey, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, tennis
Women: soccer, cross country, field hockey, swimming, skiing, ice hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball, lacrosse, tennis

Division III:
Castleton State College
Men: cross country, soccer, golf, football, basketball, ice hockey, skiing, tennis, lacrosse, baseball
Women: cross country, soccer, field hockey, basketball, ice hockey, skiing, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse, softball
Green Mountain College
Men: cross country, soccer, golf, basketball, skiing, lacrosse, tennis
Women: cross country, soccer, basketball, skiing, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis
Johnson State College
Men: cross country, soccer, golf, basketball, lacrosse, tennis
Women: cross country, soccer, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis
Lyndon State College
Men: soccer, cross country, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, baseball
Women: soccer, cross country, basketball, volleyball, tennis, softball
Middlebury College
Men: soccer, cross country, golf, football, basketball, skiing, indoor track, squash, swimming and diving, ice hockey, tennis, baseball, lacrosse, track and field
Women: soccer, cross country, golf, field hockey, basketball, skiing, indoor track, squash, swimming and diving, volleyball, ice hockey, squash, tennis, softball, track and field
Norwich University
Men: soccer, cross country, rugby, tennis, wrestling, swimming and diving, ice hockey, basketball, football, lacrosse, baseball
Women: soccer, cross country, volleyball, rugby, swimming and diving, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, softball
Southern Vermont College
Men: cross country, soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball, baseball
Women: cross country, soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball, softball

NAIA:
College of St. Joseph
Men: soccer, basketball, baseball
Women: soccer, basketball, softball
Vermont Technical College
Men: soccer, cross country, golf, basketball, volleyball, baseball
Women: soccer, cross country, golf, basketball, volleyball

SEMI-PRO and PROFESSIONAL
Football
Central Vermont Rampage (Rutland County)
Green Mountain Mud Dogs (Rutland County)
Vermont Ice Storm (Chittenden County)
Vermont Ravens (Barre)
Vermont Storm (Bennington)

Soccer
Vermont Voltage (St. Albans)

Basketball
Vermont Frost Heaves (Burlington, Barre)