The Brattleboro Colonels varsity football program is on the rise, and other coaches around the state are taking notice.
Seven members of this season’s squad were named to the all-State team, a direct consequence of the 4-5 Colonels reaching the Division I playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Junior running back Cheick Diakite, who ran for five touchdowns against both South Burlington and St. Johnsbury, was named to the Division I first team.
Senior tight end Evan Perkins, the Colonels’ top receiver, also was a first team selection, as were the senior defensive duo of defensive back Taylor King and linebacker Aleks Harrison. Harrison and King both had outstanding games in the recent Vermont Senior Bowl.
King also earned first-team honors as a kick returner and second-team honors at wide receiver. Senior linebacker Tyler McKinney was also a second-team selection.
Despite missing most of the season to injury, junior offensive lineman Conor Hiner earned honorable mention, as did junior defensive back Seth Rhodes.
All in all, these honors are but one sign that first-year coach Chad Pacheco did a fantastic job building a winning football culture at BUHS.
Richards, Rooney win Turkey Trot
• Cole Rooney, 14, of Bedford, N.Y., and Tammy Richards, 41, of Williamsville, were the overall winners of the 2015 Brattleboro Turkey Trot 3-mile road race that took place on Upper Dummerston Road on Thanksgiving Day.
Youth was served in the mens’ division as Rooney finished in 16 minutes, 46 seconds. Three other runners behind him finished under 17 minutes: Rob Lind, 29, of Brattleboro (15:51); Ethan Milsark, 16, of Northampton, Mass. (16:53); and Ryan Gilligan, 18, of Vernon (16:53).
Richards, fresh off a great performance in the New York City Marathon, won the women’s division for the third straight time in 18:47, she was the 15th fastest runner overall. Lizzy Briskin, 22, of Weston, Mass., was the second-fastest female and 22nd overall in 19:35. Julianne Eagan, 42, of Guilford, was third in 21:26.
With temperatures in the 40s, it was a perfect November morning for running, and 221 entrants finished the three-mile race. There were also 57 runners in the one-mile race, which was won by Rory Milsark, 16, of Northampton, Mass., in 6:30. Juliana Miskovich, 11, of Brattleboro, was the top female finisher. She placed fifth overall in a time of 7:19.
Ski season begins in southern Vt.
• Although the thermometer touched 60 degrees in Brattleboro last Friday and it rained here on Saturday, it was more like winter up in the mountains as the 2015-16 skiing and snowboarding season began in earnest.
Cold weather before Thanksgiving gave the snowmakers a chance to get a good base coat down for the first ski holiday of the season.
Stratton Mountain Resort had its opening day last Saturday. They reported top-to-bottom skiing and riding on Black Bear, Old No. 8, Runaway, Lower Tamarack, and Village Walk on a base that was 12 to 16 inches in depth.
The resort reports that their 250 snowguns made snow around the clock for six days before opening day. Stratton again offers their snow guarantee, where if you are not satisfied with the skiing and riding after your first hour on the mountain, they will give you a voucher for the same type of ticket good until the end of the current season. See www.stratton.com for details.
Mount Snow in West Dover opened before Thanksgiving. They said they made enough snow — 6 to 12 inches — to get seven trails open, including Canyon, Cascade, Deer Run, Lower Exhibition, Launch Pad, Long John, and The Gulch.
Conditions on these trails were reported as “variable.” Mount Snow rarely gilds the lily when comes to snow reporting, so you can take them at their word when they report that “although our open trails have good coverage, early-season conditions do exist and may include some bare/thin spots, water bars, snowmaking, etc...so stay safe and ski or ride with caution.”
That’s good advice at any resort this time of year.
Mount Snow plans to be open every day for the remainder of the season. Weekday hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and they’ll be open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends. Go to mountsnow.com for more information.
Okemo Mountain in Ludlow also opened for Thanksgiving. They reported 11 trails open on a variable loose granular machine-made base of 12 to 18 inches. What terrain was available was strictly for intermediate and advanced skiers only. Go to www.okemo.com for more information.
As for nordic skiing, none is available anywhere in Vermont, but that will change when temperatures become more seasonable for snowmaking at the resorts with that capability, such as Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center in Grafton.
Grafton Ponds hopes to have some skiing available by Dec. 12. Check in at www.graftonponds.com for updates.
As for the Brattleboro Outing Club, they say they’ll get their 33-kilometers of groomed trails at the Brattleboro Country Club open as snow and weather conditions warrant.
BOC volunteers did some trail clearing and bridge repair work in November, and they report that the trails are just about ready for use when the snow arrives. For more details on the BOC’s nordic offerings, visit brattleborooutingclub.org/x-country-skiing.
Winter sports equipment sale in BF
• On Saturday, December 5, the Bellows Falls Middle School annual Ski Sale will take place from noon until 3 p.m. in the BFMS Cafeteria. The side entrance to the sale is on Cherry Hill, right off School Street.
Skis, boots, poles, snowboards, clothing, goggles, and helmets will be available. Most equipment is suitable for adults and older children. Snacks and drinks (hot and cold) will be available for sale.
The sale is sponsored by BFMS Community Supported Activities, a group of parents and community members, and all proceeds from the sale are used to fund enrichment activities at the middle school for students in all grades. For more information, call 802-463-4366.