Alexopoulos named Journal's Athlete of the Year
Burr and Burton Academy's Ben Alexpolous wrapped up his senior year last year by helping the alpine ski team win their fourth consecutive state championship and bring the state title back to the BBA lacrosse team for the first time in five years - playing instrumental roles in each team's run. That is why, when the school season came to close, Alexopoulos was named the Manchester Journal's Athlete of the Year.
Throughout the ski season Alexopoulos was routinely one of the team's top scorers. During districts, he took first place in the slalom event with a time of 1:05.45.
After having a bad first run in the slalom event at States, Alexopoulos believed that his next run was not going to matter as his teammates had all performed well during their first runs. But in the second run, two of his teammates skied out, resulting in their disqualification. It was then that BBA alpine ski coach Trey Spencer told Alexopoulos that in order for the team to score they needed his run.
That moment, Alexopoulos said, was the one that stuck out to him as perhaps the defining moment of his high school alpine skiing career.
"That was personally my favorite part of my ski season at BBA for all four years," said Alexopoulos. "I was just there, trying to support the others, just rooting them on and Trey told me 'You've got to make it down. Ski solid' and I just looked at the course from up top, did my thing and I actually won the run and finished seventh overall. So, it was ironic for me, but at the same time it was like the perfect ending to my career."
The run resulted in the culmination of everything Alexopoulos and several of his other teammates had been working towards since they first joined the team as freshmen - winning four consecutive state titles.
"The girls and boys team they came and tackled me and it was really exciting and it was exactly what me and my teammates have been talking about since freshman year, winning all four years," said Alexopoulos.
When spring arrived Alexopoulos was one of the captains of Burr and Burton Academy's lacrosse team. A change at the head coach position with the addition of Jason Pergament brought a change in philosophy and a message to the seniors that now was their time. Alexopoulos took ownership of his role as captain, becoming a leader both on the field and in the locker room.
Throughout the season, Alexopoulos led the team in total points, scoring 32 goals and adding 26 assists. He also picked up more ground balls (102) than any other member of the team.
When playoffs arrived, the Bulldogs were the number seven seed, but to Alexopoulos the rank was never a true reflection of the team's ability. Time and time again BBA upset their opponents in the playoffs to reach the title game against Green Mountain Valley School - a team that had not only beaten BBA earlier in the season and was undefeated, but had bounced the Bulldogs from the playoffs for three consecutive years.
This time around, the Bulldogs got revenge. With the game tied 7-7 and the clock winding down, BBA's Tom Morgantini scored with 3.1 seconds remaining to give BBA the championship. As he had throughout the season, Alexopoulos had his hand in the victory - scoring two goals in the contest.
The experience of finally winning the championship in his senior season and going out on top was one that Alexopoulos said he looks back on as one of the top moments of his high school athletic career.
"As opposed to playing a random team in the final, it just [gave us] that much more determination to win, and me and all the other seniors just really tried our hardest to follow through and leave it on the field," Alexopoulos said. "After three years of losing to GMVS in the playoffs and finally, my senior year just beating them at the Castleton field, [it] was just a staple to my graduation and BBA lacrosse."
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