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Brattleboro lineman Conor Hiner (53) and fullback Kolton Ravenna (24) were the blockers who helped open holes for Cheick Diakite (25) for coach Chad Pacheco’s Colonels last season. Hiner and Ravenna were rewarded for their efforts by being selected to the Vermont team that will play in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl in August.


Five local players named to Shrine football team

When Bellows Falls football coach Bob Lockerby was named head coach of the Vermont team for this year’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, it was a foregone conclusion that BF and Brattleboro’s seniors would be well represented on his squad.

But don’t think that favoritism is why Lockerby and the Shrine’s screening committee selected Brattleboro’s Conor Hiner and Kolton Ravenna and BF’s Jahyde Bullard, Brady Illingworth, and DJ Snide to the Vermont team.

These five made it on merit as the best in the state at their respective positions. In the case of Hiner and Bullard, both were named to the Burlington Free Press All-State team, while Snide was on the honorable mention list. All five also played in the North-South all-star game.

Hiner, a three-year starter at guard and linebacker since his sophomore season, was a force on both sides of the ball. The 5-9, 200-pound senior finished his high school career with a total of 200 tackles, including 20 for losses. He is credited with 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one interception. Hiner had 113 tackles in 2016, and 11 of those were behind the line of scrimmage.

On the offensive line, Hiner and Ravenna, a fullback, opened up the holes for Colonels running back Cheick Diakite, who ran for 1,443 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016.

At 5-9 and 210 pounds, Ravenna was the power runner in the Colonels offense and played linebacker on defense.

Illingworth, a center, did the same thing for Bullard as the Terriers piled up the rushing yards on their way to the Division II state championship.

At 5-11 and 228 pounds, Bullard averaged 7.4 yards per carry. In the championship game against Burr & Burton, despite having one of his hands in a cast, he ran for 155 yards and a touchdown. He finished the 2016 season with 1,109 yards and 18 touchdowns in 11 games.

Bullard, who attends Vermont Academy but played football for the Terriers, is also as good a writer as he is a football player. He recently won a silver medal in the personal essay/memoir division of the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The 64th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will be played on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 5:30 p.m, at Castleton University.

Curtiss, LaPorte, Lonergan play in Rotary Classic

• Three senior stalwarts from the Brattleboro ice hockey teams were selected to play in the 33rd annual Rotary All Star Classic in Essex on March 25.

Sarah LaPorte and Hannah Curtiss were the starting defensemen during their four years on the ice with the Colonel girls, but their coaches found other ways to get the two on the ice as much as possible — using them on the power play, penalty kills, and occasionally on offense.

That’s how skilled and how versatile LaPorte and Curtiss were through their respective time with the Colonels. They were the leaders of the team.

Unfortunately, they had to play opposite one another in the Rotary girls’ game. LaPorte, playing for the Austin squad, scored an empty net goal late in the game in a 4-1 win over the Harris squad, which had Curtiss on the roster.

Senior forward and co-captain Declan Lonergan played in the boys’ game. The Colonel boys’ leading scorer this season, he finished his high school career with 53 goals and 40 assists. He combined his finesse on offense with a willingness to be physical as a scorer and a defender.

Lonergan didn’t show up on the score sheet of what was an epic finish in the boys’ game. The game was tied 4-4 at the end of regulation time, and the game remained tied after five rounds of a penalty shootout. North Country’s Alex Giroux finally ended the contest in the sixth round, where the first goal wins. He potted his goal on their third try for a 5-4 win for the Austin squad.

The boys and girls who played in this game will get one more shot at competitive hockey, as the Vermont team for the Make-a-Wish game against New Hampshire on July 1 will be drawn from the rosters of the Rotary games.

Local hoopsters earn MVL honors

• There were plenty of area standouts on the Marble Valley League’s All-Star teams this season.

In the boys’ A Division, Brattleboro’s Eli Lombardi was a first-team selection, while teammates Ian Fulton-Black and Tony Martinez were second-team selections.

Twin Valley’s Chris Brown was the boys’ C Division Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to the Division III final four. Twin Valley’s Skyler Boyd and Brett Swanson were both named to the C Division first team, as was Shane Clark of Bellows Falls and Mack Walton of Green Mountain. BF’s Cam Joy and Anthony Mueller, Twin Valley’s Ethan Fox, and Leland & Gray’s Caleb Thibault were all named to the second team.

In the girls’ A Division, Brattleboro’s Gabby Carpenter was a first-team selection. Teammates Devin Millerick and Hailey Derosia both received honorable mention.

Leland & Gray’s Rachel Borgesen and Hannah Buffum were first-team selections in the girls’ C Division, teammates Jesse Stockwell and Maris Linder both received honorable mention.

Also making the first team in the girls’ C Division were Hannah Kelley of Bellows Falls and Kassidy Cummings of Green Mountain. Other honorable mention selections included Kendall Howe and Tayler Courchesne of Twin Valley and Taylor Goodell, Murphy Hicks, and Keri Ticino of Bellows Falls.

VPA seeks officials

• High school sports in Vermont are facing a shortage of officials for varsity, junior varsity, and middle-school games, and the Vermont Principals’ Association, in conjunction with the various sports officials’ associations, are addressing the issue.

On Saturday, April 1, the VPA and the officials associations, will hold an Officials Recruitment Fair at Patrick Gymnasium on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you are interested in becoming an official, stop over during that time and meet with representatives of the various officials associations.

Officials are needed in baseball, boys/girls basketball, cheerleading and dance, field hockey, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, boys/girls lacrosse, boys/girls soccer, softball, boys/girls track & field, boys/girls volleyball, and wrestling.

If you can’t make it to the recruitment fair, contact the following associations for more information on becoming an official:

• Vermont Football Officials Association: Jon Reed, Southern Commissioner, or 802-254-6670.

• Vermont High School Softball Umpires Association: Joe Teegarden, or

• Vermont Lacrosse Officials Association: Paul Trono,

• Vermont Soccer Officials Association: Terry Harlow, or 802-356-3535 (cell) or 802-280-8896 (home).

• Vermont State Amateur Hockey Association:

• Vermont Track & Field Officials Association:

• International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Vermont Chapter 105: Dan Pause ( or Steve Ward (

Get ready for the Rabbit Run

• Timson Hill Preschool in Williamsville will host the Rabbit Run Half-Marathon and 5K run/walk on Saturday, April 8th at 9 a.m.

A fundraising event to benefit Timson Hill, the Rabbit Run will begin at Newbrook Elementary School in Newfane. This scenic route will take runners along the West River, across a historic iron bridge and through quiet picturesque roads in Brookline.

Timson Hill, a family cooperative, is a small, private, nonprofit, fully licensed and accredited preschool located in a historic schoolhouse overlooking the village of Williamsville. The light-filled schoolroom and scenic grounds — including trails, fields, and even a frog pond — provide a cheerful setting for learning through cooperative and independent play and exploration.

To register for the event, visit the Rabbit Run Half-Marathon Facebook Page. For more information, contact Kathie Gatto-Gurney at 802-348-6319 or

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 10 of the winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League saw Team 2 (31-19) still in first place, but Team 7 (30-20) moved into second, and Team 10 (29-21) and Team 6 (28-22) are not far behind. Team 9 (26-24) is now fifth, followed by Team 4 (25-25), Team 1 (24-26), Team 8 (21-29), Team 5 (20-30), and Team 3 (14-34).

Jeanne Czuy had the women’s high handicap game (258) and series (675), while Fred Bump had the men’s high handicap game (282) and Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap series (704). Team 10 had the high team handicap game (919), while Team 7 had the high handicap series (2,617).

Corriveau finished with a 600-plus series, rolling 216, 224, and 221 in his three games for a 661. Bump (552), Jerry Dunham (593), Fred Ashworth (558), Al Dascomb (510), and Peter Cross (523) all rolled 500-plus series. Bump (235), Dunham (204), Ashworth (215), and Cross (203) all had 200-plus games.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #401 (Wednesday, March 29, 2017).

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