Photo of the Year Contest

A year full of championships, a year full of memories and a year full of photos.

We went through our files and narrowed down the 2021-22 school year photos — high school and University of Vermont teams — to 20 photos that caught our eye. To celebrate the headlines and great plays caught in action, we’re now putting the Photo of the Year award in your hands.

Vote for one of the following photos to be the inaugural Free Press Sports Photo of the Year. Voting began on Tuesday, July 5 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12.

Editor’s note: See the bottom of the page to vote.


The Marquardt winner decides the championship

Essex’s Joel Marquardt fought through injuries and in the biggest spot of the season lifted the Hornets over South Burlington in the final minutes of the Division I boys soccer championship game.

Rewind:DI Boys Soccer Championship: Essex scores in last minute to shock South Burlington

Rozzi’s South Burlington Mafia

Members of the South Burlington Wolves goaltender Mercedes Rosie after beating CVU in the 2021 D1 State Championship game at Buck Hard Field.

Mercedes Rosie’s four saves in regulation and overtime led South Burlington to its second straight title over CVU.

Look back: South Burlington grabs shootout to outlast CVU, retains DI girls crown

Rice soccer wins the title

Rice celebrates after the Division II girls high school soccer championship game.

Rice girls soccer picked up the game ball after winning the D-II girls soccer championship. Accordingly, the ball was green and white.

Championship:Rice blanks Woodstock to return to the top

Orvis sneaks through the snow

Essex senior running back Oliver Orvis breaks a long streak late in the 4th quarter of the Hornets' 21-19 win over CVU in the D1 state championship game at Rutland High School.

Essex rode Orvis 22 times in the second half of the DI Championship en route to the Hornets’ first title since 2009.

Title: Essex beats Champlain Valley in snowy thriller

South Burlington celebrates first title since 2017

South Burlington head coach Angie Soucy celebrates with her team as the D1 field hockey championship between the Wolves and Bellows Falls Terriers ends Saturday afternoon at UVM's Moulton Winder Field

After losing to Bellows Falls three years in a row, the Wolves swept the Terriers for the DI field hockey championship and an Anjie Soucy photobomb ensued.

History: The fast start takes South Burlington past Bellows Falls

The Eagles complete a four-game sweep of field hockey

The Vermont D2 field hockey champion Mt Abraham Eagles at UVM's Moulton Winder Field.

Field hockey Mount Abraham celebrated its 4-peat after defeating Hartford 2-1.

More ▼:Mount Abraham knocks off Hartford to claim the four-peat

Basa elevates UVM women to historic heights

Montpelier's Cricket Bassa (black headband) scores the only goal of the contest as UVM defeats UNH in the America East Women's Soccer Championship Sunday afternoon at UVM's Virtue Field.

Montpelier’s Cricket Bassa scored the lone goal to win the Catamounts’ first-ever America East women’s soccer title.

Summary:Basa lifts Vermont to historic conference crown


Milton upsets Hartford in OT

Milton celebrates its game-winning goal in overtime after a dramatic 4-3 win over Hartford in the D2 Championship game Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Milton Boys hockey team made a furious comeback to defeat undefeated Hartford in the D-II hockey championship. Owen Severy was declared the winner.

Title: ‘Dedicated’ Milton mounts furious comeback to upset Hartford for D-II boys hockey title

Essex hockey makes rice for the title

Essex seniors Max Foster (left) and Toby Cram (right) embrace moments after their 2-1 win over Rice in the D1 state championship game at UVM's Gutterson Field House.

Toby Cram rushes his senior goalie Max Foster to celebrate the Essex boys hockey championship. Foster made 26 saves for the Hornets in the 2-1 win.

Look:Essex’s late goal secures the boys hockey title against rival Rice

BFA hockey ends perfectly

BFA Comets celebrate Mob goalie Makenna Montgomery moments after their 3-2 win over Spaulding in the D1 championship game at UVM's Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Comets’ strong defense, including goaltender Makenna Montgomery’s 19 saves, led BFA to a 3-2 victory over Spaulding in the DI girls hockey championship. BFA finished 22-0 for the first perfect season in program history.

Rewind: BFA girls hockey holds off Spaulding to complete perfect season; first DI title since 2018

Kane towering for Rice

Rice's Mo Kanneh blocks a shot by Rutland's Luke DelBianco during the Green Knights' 45-41 win over the Raiders in the D1 Championship at UVM's Patrick Gym.

Mo Kanneh jumped to deny Rutland a chance at the DI boys basketball championship. The Green Knights were able to play three shots behind Kane’s defense.

History:Rice derails Rutland’s Division I boys basketball title hopes

Shafzal shines for the Catamounts

UVM's Theresa Schafzahl has a shot blocked by UConn's Chloe Gonsalves during the Catamounts' Hockey East semifinal game against the Huskies at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Teresa Shafzal led Vermont women’s hockey to its most successful season in program history. The Catamounts fell to UConn in the Hockey East semifinals, but Schafzahl, pictured battling through a sea of ​​blue, set UVM single-season records for goals and points.

Semifinals:Connecticut defeated Vermont in a Hockey East semifinal

Quarter Finals:UVM women’s hockey defeats Providence in the Hockey East quarterfinals

UVM Men’s Basketball Kickoff Ticket

Members of the UVM men's basketball team celebrate after winning the America East title 82-43 over UMBC on Saturday, March 12 in Patrick Gym.

Vermont men’s basketball punched its ticket to March Madness after defeating UMBC 82-43.

Game History: UVM men’s basketball dominates UMBC for record-setting sweep in America East championship game

Feature of Shungu Game: UVM men’s basketball’s Ben Shungu is rewriting history for his final game at Patrick Gym

Rice Trophy for girls basketball

Rice head coach Ori Thibault gives the game ball to his team after the Green Knights' 47-30 victory over MMU in the D1 championship game at UVM's Patrick Gym.

A spirited Green Knights team lifts the girls’ DI trophy and the basketball after defeating Mount Mansfield.

Championship: Determined Rice ends decade-long title drought to claim DI girls basketball crown


Connected:Free Press All-Championship Team for the Vermont HS Spring Playoffs

Gintoff celebrates in the DI baseball championship

Scott Gintoff celebrates scoring the first goal of the game in front of a fired-up Essex student section during the Hornets' 9-0 win over Brattleboro at Centennial Field.

Essex’s Scott Gintoff scored the first run of the game for the Hornets in the DI Championship.

Read more:Essex defeated Brattleboro for first baseball title in 12 years

CVU boys lacrosse cruised to its ninth straight title

The CVU Redhawks celebrate their 13-11 D1 boys lacrosse championship win with families and fans at UVM's Virtue Field.

Members of the CVU boys lacrosse team rushed to celebrate the ninth straight title for the Hinesburg program.

How they did it: CVU boys lacrosse trips Burr and Burton to make record streak nine straight

UVM men’s lacrosse hosts the America East Championship

UVM's David Klosterman scores after being tackled to the ground during the Catamounts' America East Championship game against the Retrievers at UVM's Virtue Field.

David Klosterman fights through traffic to score in the America East championship against UMBC.

Game Title: Vermont men’s lacrosse fends off UMBC to win back-to-back America East championships

BFA claims first girls lacrosse title

BFA's Sophie Zemianek leaps into the air to shoot during the Comets' 10-9 victory in the D1 Championship game Friday night at UVM's Virtue Field.

Sophie Zemianek takes to the air for this shot during the DI girls lacrosse championship.

History: BFA-St. Albans holds off Burr and Burton for its first girls lacrosse championship

Dooley scores for CVU girls lacrosse

CVU's Stella Dooley shoots and scores during the Redhawks' game against the South Burlington Wolves in South Burlington.

Champlain Valley’s Stella Dooley’s shot finds the net during the Redhawks’ regular season game against rival South Burlington.

Rice’s Gatorade tub

Rice coach Luke LeBlanc gets a gator shower after the Green Knights' 10-7 win over Hartford in the D2 state championship game at UVM's Virtue Field.

Rice boys lacrosse celebrates D-II championship with a Gatorade bath for first-year coach Luke LeBlanc.

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