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Jack Healey and I were on I 91 early one morning a bunch of years ago, between Springfield, Mass. and Bradley International, on the way to catching a plane. It was still dark and we were bleary eyed. Too tired to talk, we were listening to WFAN.

Then a mention of a familiar name shook us from our lethargy. Joe Pignatano,
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the old Dodger catcher and owner of the Coors Silver Bullets, was being interviewed. The Silver Bullets were a professional women baseball team and Piggy mentioned Elizabeth Burnham as his favorite player on the club.

Healey and I looked at one another. We couldn believe it. Piggy has singled out one of the finest athletes ever to come out of Oxbow Union High School and Vermont.

It wasn surprising that he would choose her as his favorite. She had a cannon for an arm and red hair emblematic of her fiery style of play. She was also one heck of an athlete.

I thought back to interviewing her underneath one of the baskets at the Barre Auditorium after her team had won a state championship. She was one of the Northeast top softball catchers at the University of Connecticut before transferring to Lyndon State. She is in the Lyndon State Hall of Fame for basketball, softball, soccer and tennis.

Now, if you were to have a table of Oxbow Union High School sports fans at the Hungry Bear Pub Grill debating the best female athlete to come out of the school just down the road,
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you would go through quite a few of the wings and burgers the establishment is famous for.

Burnham would be in the conversation, but the competition is incredible. Jade Huntington scored 2,114 points for the Olympians before going on to an outstanding career at Vanderbilt, where she was a three year starter as the point guard.

Sister Jasmyn Huntington piled up 2,079 points for the O before heading to North Carolina State to play basketball.

Then there is Karin Dwyer. She was not only a 1,
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000 point scorer in basketball but was the Vermont state pentathlon champion in 1980 with 3,100 points. Then when the event was changed to the heptathlon she became the state champion in 1982 with 4,543 points. She finished her basketball career at Cornell as the program all time leading scorer and also set records for free throws attempted and made.

I am not suggesting Mikyala Hodge be put on this list of Oxbow luminaries, but with what she is doing right now at Lyndon State, her name could surface at the Hungry Bear roundtable discussion.

Hodge,
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a senior at Lyndon State, was named the NCAA Division III Player of the Week for her recent performance. The senior, who eclipsed the 1,000 point standard at Lyndon back in November, had a week for all time. Her best performance came in the double overtime upset victory over Husson University where she played all 50 minutes,
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scoring 40 points and pulling down 27 rebounds. Now, that is one whale of an afternoon.