AuSable Valley has been hovering just above the line between Class B and Class C schools for years now.
The Patriots had captured five consecutive Champlain Valley Athletic Conference Division II titles coming into this year, but were unable to capture sectional titles during that span against the larger Class B schools.
High School Sports Magazine
This year, however, AuSable Valley was under that line and participated in the Class C sectionals — capturing its first since sectional title since 1991-92.
The move to Class C certainly helped the Patriots’ chances this season, but it would mean nothing without the players to make a sectional championship happen.
A lot of the players on the team knew they were going to be good, but they didn’t know they would be this good.
“I knew we had a good team,” senior Haley Taylor said. “But, I didn’t think we’d make it to the final four.
“Once I started seeing the outcomes, with how many wins we had compared to losses, I thought it could be a possibility.”
That was echoed by sophomore Madison Rondeau.
“I thought we’d be really good,” Rondeau said. “We have all played together for a long time. But, I didn’t expect to be in the final four.”
The season started off with a bang for AuSable Valley, capturing seven straight wins, including going 5-0 in the month of December.
“We actually started off with a tough schedule to begin the year,” Patriots coach Roger Long said. “In a lot of those games we were challenged, especially by Peru and Plattsburgh, but we were able to pull away in the second half.
“Then came the Beekmantown game. We executed, but we exerted a ton of energy in that game and it just didn’t work out.”