BBA announces three new coaches

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MANCHESTER — Burr and Burton Academy will have some new faces in the athletic department, as BBA athletic director Dave Miceli announced the hiring of three varsity coaches.

Two of the positions filled, softball and girls tennis, compete in the spring. Boys soccer was also filled, which competes in the fall.

Ezra Caron will take over as the varsity softball coach, while Frank Bonte has been hired as the girls varsity tennis coach. Patrick Zilkha is the school's new varsity boys soccer coach.

Caron, 24, attended Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, where he studied sport management and played on the baseball team. He also minored in coaching. He graduated from Thomas College in 2019. Caron is from Bennington and played football, wrestling and baseball at Mount Anthony in high school. Miceli is excited to bring the first-year coach on board.

"Caron's positive attitude, his knowledge of the game, and his enthusiasm are strengths that will lead to a successful season for the softball program," Miceli said.

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Caron will take the spot from Nikki Dexter.

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Bonte has been coaching tennis since 1996. Before his time as a coach, Bonte was a top-rated player himself in Belgium. More recently, Bonte has spent his time as the tennis pro at Manchester Country Club as well as the tennis director at Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester.

Bonte spent years studying zen meditation at a Buddhist monastery in Japan. He uses that knowledge to build his coaching style.

"I try to implement meditation and yoga into coaching. Being aware of what happens in the moment and using breathing and other exercises helps athletes to be more alert in the moment," Bonte said in a press release.

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Bonte moves into the coaching position vacated by Jeff Grimshaw.

Zilkha will be a familiar face in a new position. He spent the past year as the junior varsity boys soccer and basketball coach at BBA. In total, he offers more than a decade of coaching experience, including a four-year stint as the assistant soccer coach for Southern Vermont College.

Zilkha strives to "create an atmosphere in which each player is appropriately challenged so that they can be the best self they were meant to be- as an athlete, a teammate, and a community member," according to the press release.

Zilkha takes over for long-time coach Peter Mull, who finishes his career with three state championships.


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