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Photo 1

Here’s this season’s Pleasant Valley Hockey Association (PVA) Squirt Team. Top from left: Troy Rabold, Elliot Groenewold, Max Vogel, Matt Hayes, Alex Leonard, Deke Davidson, and Julianna McDermid. Front from left: Henry Pennell, Trenton Fletcher, Tighe Hrabchak, Patrick Manning, Carson Vielguth, Reece Harriman, and goalie Eben Mosher.

Sports

Local teams prepare for winter sports season

Doug MacPhee and Suzanne Groenewold contributed to this column.

The time between the high school sports seasons can seem awfully short, especially the transition between the fall season of football, soccer, field hockey, and cross-country to the winter season of basketball, ice hockey, nordic skiing, and wrestling.

Scrimmages began this week for the basketball and hockey teams, and Brattleboro will have its first varsity hockey action on the ice next week. The boys’ hockey team will host Woodstock at Withington Rink on Dec. 2 at 7:15 p.m. The girls will be in Manchester on Dec. 2 to face Burr & Burton in a 5 p.m. game.

Boys’ basketball gets going on Dec. 2, as Leland & Gray starts the season on the road in Springfield. On Dec. 3, Bellows Falls travels to Arlington, while Brattleboro is also on the road to start the season at Fair Haven on Dec. 4. Twin Valley begins its season at home on Dec. 5, when it hosts Rivendell Academy.

Girls’ basketball begins on Dec. 3, when Leland & Gray hosts Arlington. Twin Valley hosts Rivendell on Dec. 5, while Bellows Falls heads to Rutland to face Mount St. Joseph. The Brattleboro girls open at home against Springfield on Dec. 9.

The Brattleboro nordic team is scheduled to open its season with a freestyle sprint race at Mountain Top Resort in Chittenden.

BF earns sportsmanship award

• Bellows Falls Union High School was selected by the Vermont Football Officials Association to receive the Jim Howard Southern Vermont Sportsmanship Award.

BF Head Coach Bob Lockerby accepted the award from Phil Zalinger at the Vermont Interscholastic Football Fall Meeting last week at Hartford High School. The Stan Amidon Northern Sportsmanship award was presented to U-32 Coach Brian Divelbliss.

The Vermont football officials vote each year to award one Northern and one Southern School to be the recipients of these prestigious awards.

Extended hours at rink, gym for Thanksgiving recess

• The Nelson Withington Skating Rink at Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro is open for public skating from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 25, 27, and 28. The rink is closed Thanksgiving Day.

The open gym and game room at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street are open Nov. 25 and 27, and 29 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. for all ages. There is no open gym and game room on Thanksgiving Day. For more information, call the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808.

Jingle Bell Jog returns

• The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce presents the second annual Jingle Bell Jog on Saturday, Dec. 5. The 5K run and walk road race will kick off at 9:30 a.m. at the Brooks House on Main Street and run along the Whetstone Brook.

All finishers will receive a commemorative mug full of hot chocolate. There will be prizes for the first three men and women finishers. Holiday-themed attire is encouraged, but not required. Jingle bells will be provided.

On-line registration is open at www.active.com. Search “Jingle Bell Jog.” Race day registration at the Brooks House begins at 8:20 a.m., and closes at 9:25 a.m.

The entry fee is $15 for members of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce and $20 for non-members. To receive the on-line password discount code, members should contact the Chamber at info@brattleborochamber.org or 802-254-4565.

Ski season kicks off Thanksgiving weekend

• As has been customary every season, Killington was the first Vermont ski resort to open for the 2015-16 season.

But they should have some company for Thanksgiving. Stratton Mountain, Mount Snow, and Okemo all plan to be open for skiing and riding this weekend, weather permitting.

Mount Snow in West Dover has been waiting for favorable snowmaking weather. The resort says it upgraded 11 miles of snowmaking pipe and built a new summit snowmaking valve house to push the water around faster.

Stratton has expanded its base lodge and will kick off its season with the annual Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K race on Thanksgiving Day.

Okemo Mountain in Ludlow says it has been making snow at every opportunity, with 125 snow guns blasting away.

Magic Mountain in Londonderry is going to wait until Dec. 19, weather permitting, to open. The resort says it has been doing a lot of work on its chair lifts, as well as updating the snowmaking lines and electrical systems.

Higley, Pelz-Walsh close out season with win

• Two Brattleboro Union High School alumni had themselves a big day for Castleton University, as they helped lead the Spartans to a 31-13 win over Norwich University on Nov. 14 in the Maple Sap Bucket Trophy game at Spartan Stadium.

Tyler Higley of Vernon played quarterback in his first two seasons at Castleton. This year, the junior switched to defensive back, and the move paid off big. Higley set the school’s single season interception record with seven, including one in the Norwich game. He broke up 11 other passes over the course of the season and blocked one pass. He was credited with 18 solo tackles and nine assists.

Soren Pelz-Walsh was the Spartans’ leading receiver in the game with six catches for 94 yards. The junior finished the regular season with 60 catches for 968 yards and seven touchdowns. Pelz-Walsh’s best game this season came Sept. 26 against Alfred State, when he caught seven passes — three for touchdowns — for 180 yards.

PVA starts 40th season of youth hockey at Vermont Academy

• Pleasant Valley Hockey Association (PVA) has started their 2015-2016 hockey season with the PVA Squirts (ages 9-10) hosting the Woodstock Wasps at the Choukas Rink on Nov. 15. The PVA Squirts won the game, 5-4, with Elliot Groenewold scoring two goals and one assist, Troy Rabold scoring a goal and an assist, Henry Pennell and Reece Harriman each scoring a goal and Max Vogel who had an assist.

The PVA PeeWees (ages 11-12) opened their season traveling to Lyndon for a game on Nov. 14. The PeeWee Team won the game, 5-1, with Owen Perry scoring 2 goals. Other goals were made by Brayden Ring, Alexander Hrabchak and Riley Ward. The following players rang up assists; Cameron Harriman, Riley Ward and Ryan Schadler.

The PeeWees traveled to Pittsfield, Mass., on Nov. 15 for a game against the Berkshire Bruins. PVA lost this game 5-3. The PVA goals were all scored in the first period. Perry scored two of the goals and Harriman made the third goal.

PVA Hockey is celebrating 40 years of providing area youth the chance to play the sport of ice hockey. The annual alumni game will take place on Saturday, Dec. 26, at 7 p.m., at Vermont Academy. Anyone who played for PVA as a child is welcome to come back and play in the alumni game or take part in the 40th anniversary festivities.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #333 (Wednesday, November 25, 2015). This story appeared on page E4.

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