Vermont Girls’ Basketball Team With Transgender Center Advances To State Championship Game

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A high school girls’ basketball team in New England with a male player on it is set to play in the state championship game this weekend.

That’s because the Long Trail School girls’ basketball team won its Vermont Principals Association Division 4 state semifinal game in overtime on Monday night. The team played Williamstown at Barre Auditorium (a neutral site in Barre, Vermont) on Monday, March 4 and won 43-40 in overtime, according to The Bennington Banner. With the win, the team improved to 21-1 on the season. 

Rose Johnson, a 6-foot-1 senior who identifies as transgender, is the male player on the team. Johnson is the team’s starting center, as NewBostonPost previously reported.

Long Trail School is scheduled to participate in the Vermont Principals Association Division 4 state championship game at Barre Auditorium on Saturday, March 9. The time of the game and the opponent have yet to be determined. 

Johnson has been a key contributor to the girls’ basketball team at Long Trail School over the past two seasons, according to coverage of the team.

Here are some highlights of Johnson’s performances over the past two seasons that have been reported by two Vermont newspapers — The Rutland Herald and The Manchester Journal:


  • Eight points in the team’s 51-28 win over Springfield on February 7, 2024
  • Eight points in a 39-25 win over Poultney on February 14, 2023
  • Six blocked shots and six points in a 47-43 win against Proctor on February 7, 2023
  • Seven blocked shots and eight points in a 43-16 win over Mill River on January 31, 2023
  • Eight points in a 40-31 win against Poultney on January 27, 2023


Additionally, a NewBostonPost reporter watched video of a game Johnson played against Poultney on January 12, 2024, in which Long Trail won 55-20. In the blowout win, Johnson had eight points, five rebounds, four steals, and three blocks. Long Trail took Johnson out late in the third quarter of the lopsided game, and the center did not return.

Long Trail School head coach Courtney Stasny also praised Johnson’s defensive prowess in an interview with The Manchester Journal last season. 

“Rose brings such a great energy to the floor,” Stasny told the publication in an interview January 31, 2023. “We nicknamed her Rose ‘not in my house’ Johnson because she just does not let anything come through the lane.”

“Not in my house” is a phrase that gained popularity because of a Geico commercial featuring former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo, a 7-foot-2 center, blocking people’s shots in a wastepaper basket, a laundry bin, a toll booth coin collector, and a shopping carriage.

Johnson was also reportedly involved in a collision that hurt a Leland & Gray player in a December 14, 2023 matchup.

“The Rebels Samantha Morse, who scored eight points in the first half, was not available to play the second after a collision with Long Trail’s Rose Johnson at the end of the second quarter,” a game recap from The Manchester Journal reported at the time. 

Long Trail beat Leland & Gray, 30-28, that recap said.

The school and player were the subject of controversy last year when Vermont Mid Christian School refused to play Long Trail last season because Johnson was on the team; the game went down as a forfeit for Vermont Mid Christian School, and the Vermont Principals Association banned the Christian school indefinitely from participating in its athletic events. Although the player’s name was not widely reported at the time, a Vermont Daily Chronicle column mentioned it. A source with knowledge of the situation also confirmed to NewBostonPost last month that Johnson was the male player in question.

Vermont lets student-athletes participate in school sports based on their preferred gender identity, rather than their biological sex.

“Transgender and gender nonconforming students are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students,” states a document from Vermont Agency of Education titled “Continuing Best Practices for Schools Regarding Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.” “Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and sports in accordance with the student’s gender identity. Participation in competitive athletic activities and sports will be resolved on a case-by-case basis.”

Long Trail School is a private day school in Dorset, Vermont. It serves 199 students between Grades 6 and 12. Dorset is in southwestern Vermont, located a few miles east of upstate New York; it has a little more than 2,000 inhabitants.

Long Trail School athletic director Stephanie Moberg could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday; nor could Stasny.


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