There was still snow on the hillsides and in the woods around Hadley Field in Westminster last Saturday morNing. It was mostly cloudy and in the low 50s with an occasional sunny break, and a stiff breeze blew from the northwest.
As far as Bellows Falls tennis coach Dave Chesley was concerned, it was a perfect day for tennis.
“We’re just glad to be outside,” he said.
The BF girls’ tennis team was playing host to Brattleboro, the first match for both teams this season. Even though conditions were less than ideal, both teams were happy to finally get the season started.
Brattleboro ended the day happier, however, with a 6-1 win.
The Colonels took four of the five singles matches. No. 1 Taylor Bird defeated McKenzie Brandon, 6-2, 6-3, while No. 3 Alicia Loyola skunked Keisha Wilcox, 6-0. 6-0. No. 4 Jaida Henry also rolled in her match with Tessa Howe, 6-0, 6-0, and No. 5 Greta Larson beat Sophoa Carin 6-0, 6-2.
The Terriers’ lone win of the day came in the No. 2 singles match as Taylor Westfall defeated Haley Marcil, 6-4, 6-0.
Brattleboro swept the doubles matches in straight sets as No. 1 Kimberley Rau and Jazmin Smith beat Sophie Guerrin and Hannah Harlow, 6-1, 6-0, and No. 2 Aliza Racine and Kelsea McAuliffe got by Sarah Scarlett and Mikayla Sudarsky, 6-4, 6-2.
“We were a bit nervous coming in, but for the most part we settled in and focused,” said Colonels coach Tom Weber. “We hit a lot of good balls, and didn’t have many double faults. By no means are we where we want to be, but we got the job done.”
Chesley said he was missing several of his top players Saturday due to other commitments. That’s one reason why Weber said he expects a much more competitive match when Bellows Falls faces the Colonels again at the BUHS courts.
The Colonels will have a lot of time to prepare for the rest of their season. They have a two-week layoff before their next match due to the spring vacation.
“It will be good to get two more weeks of practice in and then see what we can do,” said Weber.
McAnuff named to Shrine team
• Bellows Falls wide receiver/defensive back Brian McAnuff has been selected to represent Vermont in the 62nd Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.
It’s a testament to McAnuff’s skill at both positions that he was able to crack a 36-player lineup of Vermont’s top high school senior football players that is dominated by three schools much bigger than BF — Division I champ Middlebury (five players), Division I runner-up St. Johnsbury, and Division II champ Rice (four each).
A three-sport athlete, McAnuff is a pretty good basketball player and a standout sprinter in track and field. In 2014, he was named to the Vermont Interscholastic Football League’s All-State Division II team at both wide receiver and defensive back.
The Vermont squad, led by Middlebury’s Dennis Smith, will face their counterparts from New Hampshire in this year’s Shrine game, which will be played on Aug. 1 at Castleton State College.
Skills Camp was a big hit
• Approximately 50 area youths were awarded a Certificate of Achievement last week for successfully completing the first ever Brattleboro Baseball Basics (B3) Skills Camp, held at the Hilltop Montessori School gym.
The camp was designed to help as many young baseball players as possible learn and improve fundamental baseball skills through high repetition practice with continuous feedback from B3 coaches. Players practiced throwing, hitting, catching, batting, pitching and situational play.
“Our huge turnout shows that kids want more opportunities to play baseball in Brattleboro,“ said coach Brad Holcombe.
Holcome, together with Mike Bingham, Hal Lier, and Dave Cyr, created the camp for the Brattleboro Little League. Chad Emery and Eugene Frost assisted as coaches.
Lier said that the camp was a great success and they are planning to expand the program for 2016. It’s not too soon to volunteer, contact Lier at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-254-6826.
Chasing a dream
• Logan Morton of Brattleboro is a freshman and playing junior varsity baseball for the Colonels. For now.
Morton is showing a lot of promise as a ballplayer. His grandfather, Mike Morton, says that Logan is working hard to improve his skills with the goal of playing college baseball and, possibly, making it to the majors.
Logan has been working with the Baseball Factory, a player development program to prepare young players for college baseball and a chance at being a professional. According to their website, www.baseballfactory.com, since 1994 they have helped to get more than 75,000 players signed to college teams.
More than 5,000 Baseball Factory alumni have been drafted by professional teams, and nearly 400 have played or are playing in Major League Baseball — including CC Sabathia, David Wright, Mark Teixeria, Bryce Harper, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Logan was invited to be part of the Under Armour Cape Cod Select Training Program in Wareham, Mass in July. He’ll have the opportunity to train all day with coaches and staff of the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League — the summer showcase for many college stars seeking a chance to play in the majors. Players not only see what it takes to play at the highest level of collegiate baseball, but also have the chance to make mechanical adjustments to improve their games.
Right now, Logan is raising money to help cover the cost of the program. If you wish to help, make your checks out to the “Baseball Factory” and send them to Logan Morton, 44 Martel Way, Brattleboro, VT 05301.
Out for trout
• The Vermont trout fishing season opened last Saturday, and those who battled the cold, high water in streams swollen with snow runoff from a rough winter were rewarded with good fishing.
Vermont is known far and wide as having quality habitat for trout, and the state Fish & Wildlife Department says some of the biggest brook, brown, and rainbow trout are caught during early spring in many streams throughout the state.
If you haven’t gotten your fishing license yet, you can apply online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/buylicense.cfm, or stop at the town clerk’s offices in Brookline, Dummerston, Grafton, Guilford, Londonderry, Newfane, Readsboro, Townshend, and Westminster.
Local retailers that carry licenses include Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters in Brattleboro, J & H Hardware in Bellows Falls, C&S Beverage & Dairy in Wilmington, Circle K convenience store in Westminster, D&R General Store in Cambridgeport, and Londonderry Hardware.