17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (2024)

With our annual features on the Vermont high school athletes of the year posted, now it's time to giveproper credit to other outstanding performances and accomplishments from the 2023-24 year.

After a full year of watching games and combing through our Burlington Free Press All-State teams and coaches' all-league and all-state teams, here are a batch of boys standouts — 17 in all — who also caught our attention in the fall, winter and spring months.

'Built different':North Country star repeats as Free Press girls athlete of the year

'Always in the game':Burr and Burton captain named Free Press boys athlete of the year

Our endeavor with this feature is to recognize athletes who shine in multiple sports throughout the school year.



Tobey Bellows, Harwood Union High School

After placing in the top 10 at the Division II golf state championships in the fall, Bellows was a singular force in basketball for the Highlanders. The 6-foot-4 Bellows averaged nearly a triple-double with a 20-plus point scoring average. He also scored his 1,000th career point this winter and made the All-Capital first team. In the spring, Bellows was a key player for Harwood's D-II state finalist club for lacrosse.

Joe Buxton, Fair Haven Union High School

The senior quarterback guided Slaters football to an undefeated regular season in the fall, landing on the coaches' all-state team and an honorable-mention spot for BFP All-State. In the winter, Buxton made BFP All-State honorable mention in basketball. And in the spring for baseball, he was a Southern Vermont League selection for honorable mention in 'B' Division.

Jamo Couture, Mount Abraham Union High School

Couture landed on BFP All-State honorable mention at running back in football. In wrestling, Couture surpassed 50 wins on the season and captured an individual state title at 215 pounds with an early pin at the championship meet at Otter Valley. And in the spring, Couture was a D-III coaches' first-team selection at short stick defensive midfield, helping Mount Abraham/Vergennes seize the program's first state title.

More:17 outstanding Vermont high school girls athletes who left their mark in 2023-24

Ahmed Diawara, Burlington High School

The junior dazzled under center for the SeaWolves football squad, earning a spot on the BFP All-State honorable mention as a quarterback. In the winter and spring months, Diawara concentrated on sprints in track and field. For the indoor season at states, Diawara raced to first place in the 300-meter run (35.98 seconds) and runner-up in the 55 (6.71) and was a member of the victorious 4x200 and 4x400 relay quads for the Seahorses. For outdoor track, Diawara sped to a 100-200 sweep at the D-I state meet, with times of 10.88 and 22.17, respectively.

17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (2)

Clayton Foster, Montpelier High School

The junior defender was a D-II coaches' all-state selection in soccer, helping the Solons earn the No. 1 seed for the playoffs. In the winter, Foster averaged 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.3 steals a game while shooting 43.7% on 3-pointers as Montpelier claimed a D-II championship four-peat. In the spring, Foster was an honorable-mention selection for All-Capital for Montpelier baseball, which won its most regular-season games (12) since the 1984 season.

Maddox Heise, U-32 High School

The junior was a three-sport standout for the East Montpelier school. In the fall, Heise landed on All-Capital second team for soccer. In the winter, Heise racked up 32 goals and 34 assists in hockey, surpassing 100 career points in the process, to be named the Times Argus player of the year. And in the spring, Heise made All-Capital first team in baseball.

Jerrick Jacobs, Richford High School

The junior was a second-team pick for All-Mountain in soccer. Then in the winter, the guard reached the 1,000th-point plateau and shared player of the year honors for the Mountain Division while also being named to the coaches' Dream Dozen D-III-IV list for top underclassmen. In the spring, Jacobs capped his year with a third-team spot for All-Mountain in baseball.

Nick Kelly, South Burlington High School

The senior was one of state's top forwards in hockey, making the BFP All-State first team after tallying 14 goals and 21 assists during the Wolves' run to their first D-I championship appearance in nine years. Kelly finished his hockey career with 80 points in 63 games. In the spring, the lefty Kelly twirled back-to-back gems in the D-I semifinals and title games, guiding South Burlington to the state crown. The Fairfield-bound Kelly shared Metro pitcher of the year honors.

17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (3)

Owen Kross, Woodstock Union High School

After finishing in the top 10 at the Division II golf state championships in the fall, Kross had another top-10 finish in slalom at the Alpine skiing state championships at Burke Mountain. Kross was also a coaches' Alpine all-state selection. In the spring, Kross was named to the D-II coaches' second team as a defenseman in lacrosse for the D-I semifinalist Wasps.

Trey Lee, Fair Haven Union High School

The senior was named the Rutland Herald's football player of the year for his play on both sides of the ball. He had 46 receptions for 812 yards and 12 touchdowns at receiver and made 71 tackles with two interceptions in the secondary, where he was slotted for BFP All-State first team. In the winter, Lee won his second straight wrestling state crown, a 9-0 win in the finals at 132 pounds. And in the spring, Lee was a first teamer for SVL 'B' Division in baseball.

17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (4)

Aaron Lepikko, Stowe High School

A first-team BFP All-State soccer selection as a center back, Lepikko anchored Stowe's defense and added nine goals and eight assists, leading to the D-III crown over rival Peoples. The senior was also an All-Lake second-team defenseman in hockey this winter. And in lacrosse this spring, Lepikko was named to the D-II coaches' first team for defense.

Ezra Mock, Hartford High School

The senior was an all-state player in three sports for the Hurricanes. In the fall, Mock was a two-way star who made BFP All-State first team as a defensive back, helping Hartford reach the D-I title game. In the winter, he landed on second team at forward for BFP All-State, collecting 29 goals and 23 assists as Hartford claimed the D-II crown. And in the spring, Mock was a D-II lacrosse coaches' first-team midfielder and Green and Gold recipient who racked up 49 goals and 14 assists in leading Hartford to the second of back-to-back state crowns.

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Gavin McNulty, Middlebury Union High School

The senior earned a spot at first-team linebacker for BFP All-State, pacing a strong Tigers' squad that reached the D-I semifinals. In the winter, McNulty was a standout hockey player. And in the spring, McNulty served as a long stick midfielder who made the D-I coaches' first team for MIddlebury, which reached its second straight championship game.

17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (6)

Deagan Rathburn, BFA-St. Albans

In the fall, the senior was an honorable-mention selection at receiver for BFP All-State football. In the winter, Rathburn was the first-team goalie for BFP All-State hockey as well as the Metro Division's player of the year. In the spring, Rathburn was a D-I lacrosse coaches' second-team pick in the midfield.

17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (7)

Carter Thompson, Mount Anthony Union High School

The two-time BFP All-State football first-team selection made the squad in the secondary as a senior. In the winter, Thompson, who surpassed 1,000 career points, was a SVL 'A' Division first-team pick. And in the spring, Thompson earned an honorable-mention nod for SVL 'A' Division in baseball.

Brayden Trombly, Hartford High School

The Hartford signal-caller rushed for 1,290 yards and 16 touchdowns while passing for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 more scores in guiding the Hurricanes to the D-I final. Trombly was also one of Hartford's leading tacklers, earning a spot on BFP All-State first team as a defensive back. In the winter, Trombly was a first-team pick for SVL 'B' Division in basketball, helping the Hurricanes advance to their first final since 1933. And in the spring, Trombly was a D-II lacrosse coaches' first teamer on Hartford's second straight title-winning club.

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Lucas Van Mullen, South Burlington High School

Named BFP's Mr. Hockey this winter, the junior Van Mullen totaled 15 goals and nine assists from the blue as the Wolves raced into the D-I title game. Van Mullen was also an All-Metro first-team selection in baseball, batting .380 with 10 extra-base hits during the regular season, as the Wolves captured the D-I state crown.

17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (9)

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17 outstanding Vermont high school boys athletes who left their mark in 2023-24 (2024)
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