Vermont Girls’ Basketball Team With Transgender Center Loses State Championship Game

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A high school girls’ basketball team in Vermont with a male player on it was unable to win a state championship this past weekend.

The Long Trail School girls’ basketball team lost the Vermont Principals Association Division 4 state championship game to West Rutland 49-38 at Barre Auditorium (a neutral site in Barre, Vermont) on Saturday, March 9, according to The Barre Montpelier Times Argus. With the loss, Long Trail finished the season with a 22-2 record.

The win marked the third straight year that West Rutland won a state title, the recap said.

Rose Johnson, a 6-foot-1 senior who identifies as transgender, is the male player on Long Trail School. The senior was the team’s starting center this winter, as NewBostonPost previously reported.

The defensive-minded Johnson had five points and three steals in the championship game, according to The Times Argus.

West Rutland head coach Carl Serrani praised his team for the way it competed against the male player.

“I thought my kids did an excellent job on Rose,” Serrani told The Times Argus

However, Serrani did not weigh in on the debate over males in girls’ sports in his answer.

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

Here are some highlights of the center’s performances from this season and last season 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 participated in against Poultney on January 12, 2024. Long Trail won the game 55-20. In the blowout victory, Johnson had eight points, five rebounds, four steals, and three blocks. Long Trail subbed Johnson out late in the third quarter of the one-sided game, and the center did not return.

Long Trail School head coach Courtney Stasny 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 newspaper 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 became popular due to 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.

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

“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, according to that same recap.

Johnson and Long Trail School were the subject of controversy last year when Vermont Mid Christian School refused to play Long Trail last season because the center was on the team. The game counted as a forfeit for Vermont Mid Christian School, and the Vermont Principals Association banned the Christian school indefinitely from competing in its athletic events.

The player’s name was not widely reported at the time, but a Vermont Daily Chronicle column mentioned it. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NewBostonPost last month that the male player was Johnson.

Vermont allows student-athletes to 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.”

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


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