Enosburg beats Winooski in rematch of heated September contest

Local News

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Enosburg High School’s men’s soccer team beat Winooski 3-2 on Tuesday in a playoff rematch of a September tilt that is still being investigated due to several alleged incidents between players and spectators.

The game took place without fans in attendance. Initially, the Vermont Principals’ Association barred media from the event too, seeking to protect the “physical and emotional safety of all student athletes involved.”

The September 18 match between the teams ended with Winooski players claiming to be the target of racial slurs. Meanwhile video from the County Courier appears to show a Winooski player head butting an Enosburg player.

The incidents remain under investigation, and following a complaint from an Enosburg parent, law enforcement was briefly involved in the headbutting incident.

Rick Hebert, Chief of the Winooski Police Department, said his department was obligated to collect statements and provide all of the available information to the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s office for review. They ultimately decide if criminal charges are justified.

“Last week, they provided a letter stating they did not feel the incident met the threshold for criminal charges and that it was better served to be reviewed by the school and athletic association for any further action,” Hebert said Tuesday.

The initial decision to close the match off to media did not sit well with the Vermont Press Association. Executive Director Mike Donoughue blasted the unprecedented decision, and on Tuesday, he said he was prepared to sue. Shortly after attempting to reach an attorney representing the Vermont Principals’ Association, Donoghue said the VPA reversed its decision.

“I think we’ve got to keep the conversation going,” Donoghue said. “You know, this is not a one-and-done or something like this, I think what is critical here is that we talk about this and make sure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen, that one school district can commandeer or take over a state tournament or something like that. We just want to make sure people understand there is a First Amendment right.”

Enosburg will go on to face top-seeded Green Mountain in the Division 3 title game.

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