Editor’s note: This story on West Rutland High School’s Brooke Raiche is part of a four-part series about three-sport senior athletes in Rutland County.
So, how did Brooke do?
It’s the question high school sports fans have been asking ever since Brooke Raiche established herself as one of the Marble Valley League’s marquee players.
So, whenever West Rutland plays a basketball, soccer or softball game, it’s: So, how did Brooke do?
Brooke’s doing just fine.
She’s assembled a glittering athletic résumé since appearing on the sports scene as an eighth-grader. Even when you chop off a year for her getting to the varsity soccer and basketball teams in the eighth grade, it’s impressive: she’s the first West Rutlander to score 100 goals in soccer; she has 1,477 points for the all-time lead in girls basketball; and with her final softball season in progress, she’s well past the 100-hit and 20-home-run marks.
And along with three varsity sports’ worth of all-state and all-Marble Valley League honors, she’s her class valedictorian and president of the National Honor Society.
Next fall, she’ll be off to Castleton University, where she’ll trade in her three-sport stripes and be reunited with twin sisters Morgan and Taylor on the basketball floor.
“It’s going to be a lot harder than it was playing as an eighth-grader with them,” Raiche said last week. “Just getting used to a new style of coaching and practices and stuff. I think it’s going to be real helpful having them there, because if I have question I can ask them, because they’ll be seniors next year. I don’t know how much I will be able to play with them in a game, but I’ll go to practice every day, so I’m excited. It will be a cool and unique experience.”
And for the first time in her life, she’ll adapt to the demands of collegiate athletics and focus on one activity.
“I like changing it up, because basketball is a long season and it’s cool to go to softball,” she said. “So it’s going to be so weird going from three different sports to one that’s almost all year-round, but it will be fun.”
Sports play a profound role in the Raiche family, where parents Michael and Bobbi have six children in all: three of them younger than Brooke. Brooke had the benefit of years playing with and against two older, bigger, stronger siblings by the time she was coming off coach Carl Serrani’s basketball bench as an eighth-grader.
“Them and my parents,” Brooke Raiche said, spreading the credit for her success. “My mom coached Morgan and Taylor in the sixth grade, so I went to all their practices and I was always around it.”
“They’re two years older than me, and I always had them there to help me improve or to beat up on me or something. It got pretty competitive sometimes because they’re older and bigger than me and better than me and there were two of them. And even between Taylor and Morgan it got competitive, but it was a lot of fun.”
Not to mention all the enjoyment West Rutland High fans have experienced since the Raiche family appeared. Team after team had successful seasons and were tournament forces. While no state championships have come in the Raiches’ tenure at Westside, there have been numerous close calls, and plenty of nights where Westside athletes and fans went home happy.
As an eighth grader, Brooke Raiche helped the Golden Horde reach the Division IV basketball semifinals, and in her first trip to Barre Auditorium, she was Westside’s high scorer with 14 points. After that, it was expected the Horde would be back.
“I liked being the underdog,” Raiche said. “I miss it. If I could have any year to do over it would be eighth grade year, because no matter what you do, it’s great in everybody’s eyes.”
Raiche is part of a superb senior class that includes athletes like Julia May, Kelsey Wedin, Kayla Coombs and Katie Callahan, and for all their successes together, they have never hoisted a state championship trophy in high school (Westside went to the soccer finals last year and the basketball finals the last two seasons). This group has been together, in some cases, since the third and fourth grade.
Many of them are together for the current softball season, and Westside, 6-1 at this writing, is right in the mix once again.
“I’m happy to have gotten (to the finals) twice in basketball and once in soccer. As an athlete, it’s your goal,” Raiche said. “To fall short of that is really painful, but in the big picture it’s not that big of a deal. Our community still thinks a lot of us. You feel like you let them down, but they still love us just the same.
“Softball is more of our fun sport. It’s not the high-intensity game. I think we have the mindset not to think about (a state title), but just to enjoy ourselves in our last season together.”
If nothing else, there could be some hardware on the horizon for Raiche, because coach Tim Barrett’s teams are known for winning North Atlantic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. One of his teams even went to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16, so the three Raiches will find themselves a long way from going tooth-and-nail in the backyard.
And Brooke and her followers will have four more years of, So, how did Brooke do?
- Played on varsity since eighth grade
- All-Marble Valley League Team — sophomore, junior and senior years (honorable mention freshman year)
- Reached 100-goal milestone (first athlete at West Rutland to do so)
- Selected to the All-State Team sophomore, junior and senior years
- Selected as a member of the Lion’s Cup Team to play New Hampshire on July 15, 2017
- Played varsity since eighth grade
- All-Marble Valley League Team — freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years
- Member of the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen — freshman, sophomore and junior years
- Played in the VBCA Senior All-Star Game
- Scored 1,000 points as a junior and finished with 1,477 points (ranks first for West Rutland girls)
- Other career statistics:
- 438 foul shot attempts (first for West Rutland girls)
- 288 made free throws (first for West Rutland girls)
- 65.75 percent (second for West Rutland girls)
- 76 3-pointers (fourth for West Rutland girls)
- Played varsity since freshman year
- All-Marble Valley League Team — sophomore and junior years
- As a junior, had a batting average of .670 with an average of .540 since freshman year.
- As of the end of junior year, has 17 home runs, 15 triples, 24 doubles and 50-plus singles.
- ACADEMIC HONORS
- Valedictorian of the Class of 2017
- President of National Honor Society
Follow Bob on Twitter: @Bob_Fredette