The Brattleboro Police and members of the Brattleboro Union High School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams got together last Friday for a friendly exhibition game at the BUHS gym.
Despite neither team giving any quarter to the other, there were plenty of smiles on the court. The BUHS players got a chance to run circles around the cops, and the police had a chance to show a few flashes of athleticism.
The BUHS kids had a 40-8 lead at the end of the first half, but they decided to flop the score in the police team’s favor for the second half. Thus, the game ended with a 58-38 “win” for the men and women in blue.
However, the real winner of the game was Home at Last, the local all-volunteer nonprofit that finds permanent housing for homeless veterans.
Last Friday’s game raised nearly $500 for Home at Last. Several BUHS students have helped Home at Last over the past couple of years, forming a group called Students Helping Veterans to do fundraising, help with maintenance of the housing units, and raise awareness of the issue of homelessness among veterans.
According to Home at Last, nearly 60,000 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States, and about 1.4 million veterans are considered at risk of homelessness.
Home at Last now maintains six mobile home units in the Brattleboro area. Tenants pay a maximum of 30 percent of their annual income toward their rent and utility costs. The goal is to give veterans a chance to re-establish their lives and regain a sense of community and personal dignity.
Besides helping homeless vets, last Friday’s game was part of a busy day of community outreach for the Brattleboro Police. Earlier in the day, they hosted another well-attended edition of “Coffee with a Cop” at the Restless Rooster on Elliot Street, and many of the same personnel who were meeting with residents in the morning were on the basketball court in the evening.
“This was a lot of fun for us, and I hope we can do it again next year,” said Brattleboro Police Chief Mike Fitzgerald.
For those who weren’t at the game, you can still help out Home at Last. Mail your tax-deductible contributions to Home at Last, P.O. Box 6104, Brattleboro, VT 05302.
Bullard, Diakite star in North-South game
• The last football game of the season in Vermont is the North-South Classic, a game that features the top seniors in the state and usually serves as the audition for the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl next summer.
The 16th edition of the classic was played at Castleton University’s Spartan Stadium last Saturday, and the North squad narrowly prevailed, 14-13. The North now leads the series, 9-7.
The South team, which was coached by Bob Lockerby of Bellows Falls, was well-represented by Brattleboro and Bellows Falls players.
Representing BF, the Division II champions, were Jahyde Bullard, Brian Green, Liam Hackett, Brady Illingworth, Jacob Lober, and D.J. Snide.
Brattleboro players selected included Korie Cliche, Cheick Diakite, Matt Gaboriault, Conor Hiner, and Kolton Ravenna.
Bullard and Diakite had starring roles for the South team. Diakite ran for 65 yards on 12 carries and scored on a second-half touchdown, while Bullard rushed for 62 yards on 13 carries.
‘Poody’ Walsh inducted to NHIAA Hall of Fame
• A belated congratulations to former Eagle Times sports editor Lawrence “Poody” Walsh, who was inducted into the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Nov. 13.
Last year, Walsh, a North Walpole native and graduate of Bellows Falls High School, was inducted into the Vermont Principal Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2015 in a ceremony in Montpelier, making him one of the few people involved in high school sports to be honored by both states.
Walsh started at the then-Claremont Daily Eagle right out of high school. He is among the last newspapermen who learned his trade on the job, rather than in college. Aside from a brief stint in the Army, he spent his entire professional career at the Claremont, N.H., daily before retiring in 2001. He never completely retired, however, as he works as a freelancer for the Rutland Herald and the Valley News.
Besides being a booster of high school sports of both sides of the Connecticut River, Poody was known for mentoring dozens of young sports reporters who later went to make their mark elsewhere.
I worked with Poody for five years at the Eagle Times, and can personally attest to what a honorable and generous colleague he was to me and many others.
Poody was a pro, and a pleasure to work with. And now, he’s a two-state Hall of Famer.
Honors galore for local athletes
• With the end of the fall high school sports season come the all-star team selections for the various sports.
Five local soccer players were All-State selections. Leland & Gray senior Ashley Bates, who scored 49 goals in her varsity career, was joined by teammate Rachel Borgesen on the Division III girls’ All-State team. The duo helped the Rebels reach the semifinals for the first time since 1997.
Leland & Gray’s Patrick McDonald, along with Twin Valley’s Skyler Boyd and Troy Felisko were all named to the Division 3 boys’ All-State team.
Twin Valley’s Brett Swanson joined Felisko, Boyd, and McDonald on the Marble Valley League’s C Division First Team, while Twin Valley’s Logan Park and Leland & Gray”s Bryce Karg were named to the Second Team. Brattleboro’s Ian Fulton-Black made it on the MVL A Division First Team.
Twin Valley’s Karlee Walkowiak led the selectees to the MVL girls’ soccer all-stars. Walkowiak and teammate Caitlin Hunt made the C Division first team.
Leland & Gray’s Caroline Tietz and Emma Bourne joined Borgesen and Ashley Bates on the C Division first team, while Leland & Gray coach Lucas Bates was named Coach of the Year.
Brattleboro’s Kai Boyd was selected to the A Division first team, while Twin Valley’s Callie Dix was picked for the C Division second team along with Keri Ticino of Bellows Falls.
• Bellows Falls, the state champs in Division III field hockey for the second straight year, were well represented on the MVL’s A Division all-star team.
Bethany Coursen was named Coach of the Year, while defenders Paxton Santorelli and Murphy Hicks and forward Abbe Cravinho were all selected to the A Division squad.
Brattleboro’s Maddie Fortier and Kharisma Boyd both earned B Division honors.
• Brattleboro’s Sarah Gallagher, Annie Takacs, Elery Loggia, and Liz Morse were all named to the MVL Large School girls’ cross-country team. The Colonels’ quartet were all part of a sixth-place finish at the Division I girls’ state meet.
The Brattleboro boys finished eighth in the Division I state meet and four members of that team made the MVL Large School boys’ cross-country team. Isaac Freitas-Eagan, who was fifth overall in the Division I race, led the way, followed by Colin Costa-Walsh, Spencer Loggia, and Trevor Kipp.
Cody Tallent, who placed 11th to lead the Bellows Falls boys to a second-place finish in Division III, was selected to the MVL’s Large School boys’ team.
Time for the Turkey Trot
• A longstanding tradition in Brattleboro, the annual Turkey Trot is a run/walk event held each Thanksgiving Day, with a 1-mile kids’ run at 9 a.m., followed by a 3-mile run at 9:15 a.m.
Both courses are out-and-back on Upper Dummerston Road, starting and ending near the Brattleboro Country Club. There’s no entry fee, but you must pre-register by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, if you want to be officially timed. There is no race-day registration.
Participants can pre-register online at www.redcloverrovers.com. Check-in time on race day is between 8 and 8:45 a.m.
There is one big change for the race this year. Instead of the traditional bring-a-prize, take-a-prize table of goodies, runners are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate for the Groundworks Collaborative Food Shelf. You can learn more about the food shelf at Groundworksvt.org.