Thursday November 02, 2017
The South Burlington Rebel Athletic Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2017 at the Sunset Ballroom the evening of October 21. Inductees included Barbara S. Fitterer ‘82, Deanna “DeeDee” Leonard Sivret ‘89, Jasen Boyd ‘90, Brennan Carney ‘00, Peter James Leonard ‘75, Lee “Chip” Esckilsen ‘76, Robert “Bob” LaBerge ‘75, Judy Schlemmer Alyward ‘87, and Sheila Burleigh - coach 1973-2016.
Over 80 people were in attendance including 11 current Hall of Fame members: Kristine Gay Clark, Renee DeVarney, Steve DeVarney, Tammy Hussels, Coach Barbara Jordan, Coach Paul Jordan, Shawn Carney Lefebvre, Anna Bell McGrath, Katie O’Brien, Becca Bright Pugh, and Patricia Tuxbury Salem.
Each one of the 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees left a lasting impression on South Burlington High School (SBHS) athletics.
Jasen Boyd ‘90
Cross Country, Nordic
Skiing, Track and Field
Boyd was a highly accomplished three sport athlete at SBHS. A 1990 graduate, who earned 11 varsity letters in cross country running, Nordic skiing, and track and field, he was recognized as the Most Valuable Competitor in both cross country and Nordic skiing, as well as serving as team captain in all three sports. Described by his coach as a “hard worker and fierce competitor,” who qualified and competed in many state and New England competitions, Boyd had both individual and team successes, culminating in a Division 1 State title in cross country his senior year. He then went on to compete in college at the University of Arkansas and Norwich University where he also became a coach.
Sheila Burleigh – Coach 1973-2016
Field Hockey, Basketball, Softball
Better known to most as “Burls,” Sheila Burleigh is, in short, a South Burlington icon. There are not many structures named after people in the city, so one knows her contributions to the community had to be both appreciated and exceptional when in 2016 the South Burlington School District named the basketball court the “Sheila Burleigh Court.” Here’s why; Burleigh has coached three sports over the last 44 years; field hockey with two Vermont State Championships, softball, and, most importantly, girls’ basketball, with 597 wins, 10 Metro Division Titles, 20 Final Fours, and five state championships. Already a member of five other Halls of Fame, Burleigh’s accolades speak for themselves, but that is not all that makes her so special. She is a tireless advocate for girls’ and women’s sports.
Brennan Carney ‘00
Football, Basketball, Baseball
In 2000, Brennan Carney was named Outstanding Athlete of his class. His coaches describe him as a terrific player, a great leader, and a privilege to coach. Carney was a three-year starter in basketball and played catcher for the baseball team, where he earned All-State Honorable Mention recognition. However, it was on the football field where he left his mark. Carney was a three-year starter at quarterback where he set a team record for 48 career touchdown passes. Garnering two state championship berths and the 1997 Vermont State Championship title, Carney was named to 1st team defense by The Burlington Free Press and also led the defensive side of the Vermont team to a victory over New Hampshire in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. Carney went on to be the starting quarterback for four years at Wesleyan University. Today he is a teacher and the head varsity football coach at Burlington High School, where his season record currently stands at 7-1.
Lee “Chip” Esckilsen ‘76
Soccer, Hockey, Golf, Track and Field
As a four sport athlete and a starter on three varsity sports his freshman year, Lee Esckilsen, better known as Chip, made his presence known at South Burlington High School. In soccer and track, Esckilsen won Vermont State Championships, was named to All-State teams, competed in New England competitions, and represented Vermont as the starting midfielder in the Twin State Soccer Cup. In hockey, he was known as the “enforcer” and was named to the 2nd All-State team. In Esckilsen’s senior year, after an injury, he transitioned to golf in the spring, which actually led to a lifelong passion for the sport and a career in sports management and development. He was recognized with a Special Athletic Council Award at SBHS Athletic Awards night his senior year. Esckilsen went on to play soccer, golf and tennis at Dean College.
Barbara S. Fitterer ’82
Soccer, Basketball, Softball
Fitterer was a three-sport star athlete who left her imprint upon Rebel sports. In 1982, she was named Outstanding Athlete of her class. Fitterer was a leading scorer in soccer, named to the 1st team Division 1 All-Star team, and selected to play on the Vermont All-Star squad. Her coaches describe her as a “steadying influence and a leader who held her teams together.” In basketball, known for her “natural instincts on the floor,” she won back to back state championships, and was named to the 1st team All North and Vermont State All-star teams. Fitterer played in the Alhambra game versus New Hampshire, and was selected as a National High School Coaches Association Girls Basketball All-American. In softball, she was versatile as a pitcher and hitter, and also played shortstop, second base, and third base. After high school, Fitterer played soccer at Ithaca and the University of Vermont, and was named co-captain her senior year.
Robert “Bob” LaBerge ‘75
Football, Basketball, Baseball
Robert “Bob” LaBerge was one of those extraordinary athletes who coaches described as having “a strong sense of leadership, a willingness to play any position, and an instinct to come through in a clutch.” He won a state championship in football, with an undefeated season in 1974, where he was starting safety and wide receiver. LaBerge was named first and second team All-North and received All-State honors on defense his senior year. Bringing his industrious attitude to the baseball diamond, he batted .410 and played shortstop all four years under Coach Woods. LaBerge was named Outstanding Athlete of his 1975 class and went on to play football at the University of Maine. He later coached both football and baseball at SBHS.
Leonard Sivret ‘89
Deanna Leonard Sivret, better known as “DeeDee,” was a three-sport athlete who found success in all seasons. Described by her coaches and teammates as “a competitor, team leader, and a coach’s dream,” she received Team Spirit honors and coaches’ awards. Sivret was chosen by her teammates to captain each of her three sports. Although some of her high school days were hampered by injury, she was recognized for many achievements including being named to the Metro All-Star Field Hockey team and the Vermont Basketball Alhambra All-Star team, where once again she was selected as a team captain. In softball, Sivret was named to the All-League 2nd team. Not only was she selected as the Class of 1989 Outstanding Athlete, she also excelled in the classroom and was honored as the class Salutatorian. Sivret played intramurals in college and later returned to SBHS to coach JV girls basketball.
Peter James Leonard ‘75
Football, Basketball, Baseball
Peter Leonard was a three-sport athlete at SBHS. His four years on the basketball team culminated in the state finals at UVM Patrick Gymnasium, a first for SBHS. Recruited by Coach Woods, so he could have a “lefty” in his bullpen, Leonard pitched for the baseball team for one year, but football was where he excelled. Best described as “totally dominating,” he played both offensive and defensive line. Leonard’s contribution helped SBHS win a Vermont State Championship in 1974 and he was named first team All-State for his outstanding play on the offensive and defensive lines. Later he was selected to co-captain the Vermont Shrine team and went on to play football at the University of Maine. According to Coach Jordan, Leonard was “the best lineman to have ever played for him.”
Judy Schlemmer Alyward ‘87
Field Hockey, Basketball, Softball, Track and Field
“Intensity personified” describes Judy Schlemmer Alyward both on the field and on the hardwood. She played four sports at SBHS, including softball and track in the spring. Having transitioned to track her senior year, she threw the javelin to finish second in the State meet, but it was field hockey and basketball where Alyward excelled. She won three state championships, two in field hockey and one in basketball, where she herself put in two free throws at the end of the game to win with five seconds left on the clock. Named to Metro Conference All-Star teams and the Vermont Alhambra All Star team, Alyward was chosen as the Outstanding Athlete of her 1987 Class, Gatorade Vermont State Girls Basketball Player of the year, and USA Today’s Vermont Athlete of the Year.