In 1970, the Canaan Memorial High School boy's soccer team participated in the school's first trip to the Vermont State Finals in any sport, losing to Proctor 7-1 in the Division III/IV finals. Eight years later, the CMHS girls softball team was defeated 8-2 by Thetford Academy in the Vermont State Finals. Those were the only two finals appearances by any Canaan athletic team in the history of the school, until the beginning of "The Golden Age" of Canaan sports.
From the boy's soccer season of 1992 until the softball championship of 2006, basically four cycles of high school athletes, the Canaan Memorial Golden Eagles participated in no less than 24 Vermont state championship games, winning 12 titles in four sports. Very few schools in the State of Vermont can claim such a long and illustrious stretch of championship play. The girl's basketball team represented Canaan at the finals three straight years from 1993-1995, winning titles in 1994 and 1995, and four straight years, from 1997-2000, winning another championship in 1998. The girl's softball team had a stretch of five straight years in the finals, winning in 1999, 2000, and 2002. There were also back-to-back champions in 2005 and 2006. Sprinkled among these dynastics were single championships in boy's soccer (1992) girl's soccer (1993), and softball (1993) and (1996). Added to these team championships were a state wrestling title by Christopher Trockel in 1998 and a state cross-country championship by sophomore Kristin Dart in 1995.
These championship teams featured a number of outstanding athletes. Six girls who participated in Canaan sports from 1993 to 1996 won championship in all three team sports: Angie Cameron, Michelle Cote, Courtnee Eary, Kylee Eary, Angie Lepine, and Catherine Paul. The Eary sisters may be the only set of sisters in the state to each win championships in soccer, basketball, and softball during their high school years. Between them they can claim nine titles. The Coats sisters, Alysia and Nellie, can claim five. Alysia may be the only girl in the state who can claim to have been the starting pitcher in four straight softball finals, winning three of them (1999, 2000, 2002). Marissa Domanico is not the only one of ten 1,000 point scorers in girls basketball at Canaan, but went on to score 1,000 points in college as well.
During this period, Abby Labrecque, Chantel McKeage, Courtnee Eary, and Karissa Doyon all scored at least 150 points in soccer, with McKeage ending with 105 goals and a total of 240 points and Doyon more than 112 goals. Girl's basketball produced seven 1,000 point scorers, led by Doyon's 1700. Other girls to score more than 1,000 points during this period are: Michelle Cote, Kaitlin Daley, Marissa Domanico, Samantha Hughes, Angie Lepine, and Chantal McKeage. In softball, where state statistics are not as well documented, Alysia Coats struck out more than 450 batters during her four-year pitching career and compiled an 11 wins and 1 loss playoff record, including an 18 strikeout, 2 hits, performance in the 2002 finals.
Following high school, a number of these athletes went on to participate in college athletics. Karissa Doyon and Marissa Domanico starred in basketball. The Coats sisters, Kaitee Daley, Josee Pateanaude, and others played college softball (Daley is in the top ten of a number of Bowdoin College career and single year statistical leaders). Kristina Gray and Lyanne Vigneault both played college soccer. Some of the athletes of this period have become coaches or assistant coaches in the various sports, where they will hopefully instill the character and work ethic in their athletes that helped them become part of Canaan's Golden Age.
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