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Reinstatement of UVM Baseball and Softball

On February, 20, 2009, in response to the need for budget cuts, the University of Vermont athletic department chose to eliminate the varsity baseball and softball programs after the 2008-2009 academic year.

Each of the programs has been a loyal mainstay on baseball and softball scenes within the state, as well in department lore. Baseball was the first program started at the university and consistently has one of the highest amount of native Vermonters on its roster.



Trapani: ‘I Kind of Felt Trapped’ (At Vermont) PDF Print E-mail
Written by VT Sports Network Article   
Wednesday, 31 December 2008

There’s a tradition that Charlie Trapani and his son, Joe, have had for years.

No matter how far apart they may have been, whether Charlie was traveling for business or Joe was up at school in Vermont, they would always make sure to get together to watch one of college basketball’s greatest rivalries.

“It was kind of a tradition, no matter where we were in our lives, that we’d watch the Duke-North Carolina game,” Charlie said. “We’d come together and watch that game.”

It grew out of their love for college basketball and, more specifically, their love of North Carolina basketball. Charlie has long been a huge Tar Heel fan, since playing against them while a standout forward at the University of Vermont in the mid-1970s, and he passed that love on to his son.

Over the next few years, however, neither Charlie nor Joe will be rooting for the Tar Heels. They are now the opposition.

Joe Trapani, the Madison resident and Hand High graduate, is now a sophomore at Boston College. He had to sit out last season after transferring from Vermont — yup, dad’s alma mater — but has picked up right where he left off in his first 10 games at BC. Trapani is currently averaging 13.5 points, second only to first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard Tyrese Rice on the Eagles, and his 7 rebounds per game lead the team.

Soon, however, BC (8-2) will veer off from the relative comforts of non-conference play and into the dangerous terrain of the ACC. And that, of course, means a date with North Carolina.

On Jan. 4, the Eagles will kick off conference play down at Chapel Hill against the consensus No. 1 team in the land. Naturally, Joe Trapani can’t wait.

“It’s a dream of mine,” he admitted.

Like his father did more than 30 years earlier against UNC legends Bobby Jones and Walter Davis, Trapani will be bodying up against Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and the rest of the stacked Tar Heels.

“There’s going to be some nerves, obviously,” Trapani said. “It’s going to be crazy being able to play there. I’m going to have to go in there and keep my composure.”

But then, that’s never been a problem for Joe Trapani on the basketball court. And anyway, this is one of the reasons he decided to transfer to Boston College from Vermont — the toughest decision he’s had to make in his young life.

‘I Kind of Felt Trapped’

Although he was a two-time Register Player of the Year and an All-Stater, a 6-foot-8 forward with good springs and an even better outside shot, Trapani didn’t attract a lot of attention from major programs while at Hand — partly because he never got too involved in the AAU circuit.

UConn assistant coach Patrick Sellers saw Trapani play and liked him, but not enough for the Huskies to offer him a scholarship.

“I was curious about that,” Charlie said. “Like a lot of big-time college programs, they recruit globally for players. Sometimes they miss underneath their nose what was there. But I don’t know if that would have been a good mix for Joe. He wanted to move out of Connecticut.”

Davidson coach Bob McKillop came to visit Trapani and offered him a scholarship, as did Fairfield and Vermont. Boston College and West Virginia also liked him, but both wanted Trapani to play a year of prep school first.

Vermont coach Mike Lonergan told Trapani he would play right away, however, so Trapani was bound for Burlington.

“They had an excellent tradition after (Taylor) Coppenrath and (T.J.) Sorrentine,” Trapani said. “One of the main reasons I wanted to go there was to keep up the tradition. And my dad, obviously, was in dream land. He loved going back to his old stomping grounds.”

At first, it seemed like a pleasant dream for Joe. He scored 20 points in his collegiate debut against New Orleans and was the Catamounts’ leading scorer through their first 16 games. Then things started to unravel.

Trapani broke his foot during a game against Maine in mid-January and missed Vermont’s next nine games. When he returned, Trapani was out of the starting lineup — and, essentially, out of the loop.

“I couldn’t get my groove again,” he recalled. “I kind of felt out of place, playing spot minutes here and there. Coach really tried to have confidence in me and put me in. He always could trust me in the beginning of the season and was hopeful I could get back to form, but it was really frustrating to me. I had never felt like that on the court, never played like that, scoring two, four points. It was terrible.”

Worse, it put into focus that he wasn’t very happy at UVM off the court, as well.

“I kind of felt trapped,” Trapani said. “Just the scene in Vermont wasn’t really for me. If I had basketball, it was OK, but when I had basketball taken away, it wasn’t my scene. It’s way up in Burlington. I’m not an outdoorsy kind of guy. I needed somewhere where there’s more commotion going on, like in a city.”


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