June 23, 2017

EPHS's Alex Butler, Jennifer Dygon DeGroot Just Missed 1,000 Career Points

Butler Stars at R.I.C. - Scores 2,398 Points!

Posted by bobrod72

Alex Butler and Jennifer Dygon missed out on the EPHS 1,000 point club, but not for lack of talent. Butler was injured and both played when high school was a three, not four year school. Their careers were still nothing short of dazzling. Both Butler and Dygon DeGroot teach at ER Martin Middle School in EP. Here are their stories:

Alex Butler, '93:
Veteran EPHS volleyball and basketball coach Alex Butler, 1993, was one of the best players to dribble a basketball or slap a volleyball for EP. However Butler just missed scoring 1000 points for EP at a time when the high school was a three-year school, not four. Butler sustained an injury which sidelined him for a prolonged time during his high school days. Even with the time lost to injury, Butler was a prolific basketball and volleyball athlete at EPHS.

After high school Alex Butler went to Rhode Island College. A healthy Butler blossomed at R.I.C. "Alex Butler was one of the most dominant basketball players in New England during the early 1990s. He starred for the Anchormen from 1993-97, earning All-American honors as a junior and senior in 1995-96 and 1996-97," states the Rhode Island College athletic web site.

During his career, Butler was the biggest impact player in the Little East Conference. In addition, he earned First Team All-Star kudos and Robbins Scholar-Athlete honors in 1995-96 and 1996-97 from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at EP and at RIC," said Butler. "We've had great athletes in East Providence and continue to do so." At one point while Butler was at R.I.C., the team had 4 Townies starting on the team. Joining Butler back then were Kenny Bliss, Derek Campbell and Frank Minikon.

He closed out his career as RIC’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,398 points. He received the John E. Hetherman Award, signifying him as RIC’s top male senior athlete, in 1998. He ranks in the top ten all-time in numerous career, single-season and game statistical categories at RIC.

Butler was elected to the Rhode Island College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. His jersey number was retired by R.I.C. in 2005. Butler also was an assistant basketball coach for three years at RIC. He is currently a physical education teacher at Martin Middle School in East Providence and coaches EPHS volleyball and has recently retired from coaching Ep High boys basketball.

Jennifer Dygon DeGroot, 2000:
Again a key factor here is the change in high school years from three to four. Once the 9th grade was moved to the high school, certain sports and statistics were impacted. One former EPHS basketball player not officially in the 1000 point club, is current Martin Middle School teacher, Jennifer Dygon DeGroot, EPHS 2000 graduate.

Dygon DeGroot was part of a two-year undefeated State champion Riverside Junior High School team. She was a prolific scorer and ball handler for then coach George Sarganis' awesome Riverside Vikings. Because the 9th grade was not yet in the high school, her statistics only included grades 10-12. "Yeah, I missed out on that milestone because of that. But I still had a great run and a great time," Dygon DeGroot said. If her 9th through 12th grade points been combined, she would have amassed over 1400 points.

EPHS and Bay View 1,000 Point Club Members:
EPHS (Girls): Michaela Wiggins, Class of 2011; Angie Leonardo, Class of 2016. St. Mary's Bay View: Lisa Ercolano, 1244 pts., Kerri Augenstein, 1202 pts., Deirdre Fuller, 1123 pts., Meredith McGair, 1049 pts.

EPHS (Boys): Kevin Bliss, Class of 1992, Bobby Perry, Class of 2007, Derek LaCroix, Class of 2002 (Alex Butler and Kenny Bliss reached this goal in college ball).

(This story attempted to research all players known to have scored 1,000 or more career basketball points for EPHS or BayView. The writer regrets if anyone was overlooked. If you know of any athlete who is missing from this list, please forward that info to bobrodericks@gmail.com. An update will be published!)

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