Are the Brattleboro Colonels in for another tough year in Division I football? After watching the Colonels lose to the Rutland Raiders, 35-0, in the season opener at Natowich Field on Aug. 31, you can’t help but feel discouraged.
To the Colonels’ credit, they played the Raiders to a scoreless tie through most of the first half. But with five minutes left in the second quarter, Rutland all but put the game away with three touchdowns before the halftime whistle.
Rutland quarterback Ryan Moore (11-for-16, 235 yards) threw for three touchdowns on the Raiders’ last three possessions in the first half.
Eric Coughlin started the barrage when he scored on a 41-yard touchdown reception. Ethan Notte followed up with a 43-yard touchdown catch. The back-breaker came as time expired when Moore heaved the ball into the right corner of the end zone and Lucas Hubbard came down with the ball after it deflected off the hands of a teammate.
Moore scored on a nine-yard scramble on the Raiders’ first possession of the second half and Joe Anderson scored late in the fourth quarter with a six-yard run.
The Colonels were not able to get much traction on offense. Quarterback Tyler Millerick ran for 45 yards and passed for 131 yards, but spent most of the game trying to elude the Raiders’ pass rush and getting hit hard when he couldn’t. He was sacked three times and threw for an interception.
Millerick nearly had a long touchdown run in the final two minutes of the game, but it was called back due to a penalty to preserve Rutland’s shutout bid.
The 0-1 Colonels host Colchester at Natowich Field this Friday at 7 p.m.
Terriers roll over Spaulding
• The Bellows Falls Terriers learned a lot in their season-opening 30-8 football victory over the Spaulding Crimson Tide on Aug. 31 at Hadley Field.
The biggest lesson learned was that BF can take a punch, and come back harder. Spaulding dominated the first quarter with a long, clock-chewing drive, but just when it looked like the Terriers were wobbling, the defense blocked a 26-yard field goal try and then the offense reeled off 30 unanswered points.
BF scored immediately after the blocked kick, capping a 55-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run by running back Jed Lober. The Terriers later took advantage of a botched snap near the goal line to score a safety and make it 9-0 at the half.
The Terriers opened the third quarter with a long drive, and Julian Christiansen finished it with a six-yard run. Christiansen scored again on a one-yard run on BF’s next possession. Lober then closed out the Terriers’ third possession of the half with a 19-yard touchdown run to complete the scoring barrage.
Spaulding quarterback Jackson Pierson spoiled the shutout bid with a touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the game.
The Terriers now will face another lesson that will unfold in the coming weeks, as they lost running back McGregor Vancor to an apparent knee injury in the second half. He had six rushes for 36 yards and a 15-yard reception before his injury. Losing Vancor will force the Terriers to jiggle its offense a bit.
Fortunately for BF, the most experienced area of its team is the offensive line — the key to making the traditionally run-centric Terriers’ offense work. Quarterback Griffin Waryas threw five passes for 80 yards, while Lober had 11 runs for 94 yards and Brady Clark had 12 runs for 76 yards.
The 1-0 Terriers travel to Lyndon on Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.
• Gracie Frost scored a pair of goals and Kalin Noble added a goal and an assist as Brattleboro got its field hockey season off to a good start with a 3-2 road win over Springfield on Aug. 31.
Brattleboro scored first early in the game, but Springfield’s Paige Condone got the equalizer. The Colonels then responded with a pair of goals to make it 3-1 at the half.
Springfield’s Chloe Jerman-Brown cut the Brattleboro lead in half with a goal late in the second half, but the Colonels’ defense held off the Cosmos the rest of the way.
Rachel Rooney had a pair of assists for the Colonels, and goalie Natalya Forkin had four saves.
• Bellows Falls got shut out, 4-0, by Springfield in the Terriers’ home opener on Sept. 1.
Jenna Veysey got the Cosmos’ first goal in the third minute of the game, and BF never recovered. Hannah Crosby added another goal in the 43rd minute, and Veysey and Emily Benson both scored in the second half.
Ever the optimist, BF coach John Broadley said after the game that he and his team were not discouraged. “Springfield is one of the best teams we’ll see all season,” he said. “But we didn’t play all that badly, and we’re in a better place than we’ve been before.”
That’s because the Terriers have 34 girls out for soccer, enough to field what Broadley called “a fully functional JV team.” With a surplus of ninth- and 10th-graders, Broadley said he is able to spread the playing time around between two teams and develop the skills for future seasons.
“We’re where we want to be,” he said. “We just have to get enough girls to buy into it.”
• Leland & Gray goalkeeper Sydney Hescock and the Rebels’ defense shut down Mill River in a 2-0 opening day win in Townshend on Aug. 31.
Ellie Longo got both goals off of corner kicks. Arin Bates set both tallies up with two of her nine corners that she took in the game.
• Brattleboro knew it was in for a tough match when they faced St. Johnsbury on Sept. 1 at Tenney Field. And last season’s Division I runners-up wasted no time in pouring on the goals as the Hilltoppers rolled to a 5-0 win.
Colonels goalkeeper Emmett Dews made 16 saves as he faced a barrage of shots, and the Brattleboro defenders did what they could to keep the game under control early before the Hilltoppers’ quality asserted itself.
• Bellows Falls got its season going early by going across the river to Langdon, N.H., and sweeping a meet against five New Hampshire schools on Aug. 31 at Fall Mountain.
Ian Wallace was second in 17 minutes, 58 seconds to lead the BF boys to a first place finish with 40 points, Conant was second with 53 points.
BF’s Tim Salter-Roy was fourth in 18:25, Stone Bradbury came in ninth in 20:15, Gabe Hakimoglu finished 11th in 20:59, Isaac Wilkinson was 14th in 21:09, Collin Robertson took 16th in 21:25, and Quin Farmer ended up 21st in 23:13.
In the girls’ meet, BF swept the top three spots as Abby Broadley (19:19), Stephanie Ager (20:24), and Lia Clark (20:25) led the Terriers to victory.
Megan Banik was seventh in 22:51, Abby Dearborn took eighth in 23:18, Jasmine Boucher was ninth in 23:31, Haley Covillion came in 13th in 24:36, and Molly Hodsden was in 15th in 24:57.
Got me a big ’un!
• Last week, I wrote about how football is struggling at some schools, partly because of falling enrollments and partly because there are more alternative activities for students, such as the newest fall high school sport in Vermont — bass fishing.
Yes, bass fishing.
The Vermont Principals’ Association has approved a two-year trial to see if it can be a viable sport at the high school level. Bowling, volleyball, and Ultimate are the last three sports in Vermont that went through the trial process. All earned varsity status.
At last count, there are 16 Vermont schools fielding bass fishing squads this fall, most of them in northern Vermont. Two tournaments are scheduled for Sept. 15 and Oct. 6 on Lake Champlain. For the rest of the season, schools can determine whether they want to fish on the water or the shore for practices and scrimmages.
How will it work? In the tournaments, competitors will go out for a six-hour period to fish. Only artificial lures will be allowed. Each team can catch up to six fish, and all must be alive for the end-of-tournament weigh-in. The fish will be weighed collectively to determine an overall winner, and will be released right after the weigh-in.
New Hampshire has offered varsity bass fishing for several years, and they are offering help to the Vermonters. All the fishing is done on private bass boats, and the local fish and game clubs provide the coaching and the captains for the boats.
As anyone perusing the cable sports channels will attest, professional bass fishing is a thing, and the top anglers make a good living on the pro circuit. It’s also one of the fastest-growing collegiate sports in the United States.
It may be hard to imagine it as a high school sport, but unlike football, you’re likely to still be fishing in middle age as opposed to trying to play tackle football in your 40s. Why not give kids a chance to earn a varsity letter in bass fishing?
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 2 (59-31) withstood a late-season charge by second place Team 4 (55-35) to win the Brattleboro Senior Bowling Spring/Summer League.
After 18 weeks, Team 1 (52-38) finished in third place, followed by Team 9 (47-43), Team 6 and Team 5 (tied for fifth at 46-42), Team 3 and Team 7 (tied for sixth at 44-46), and Team 8 (42-48).
Debbi Kolpa had the women’s high handicap game (255), while Mary Parliman had the women’s high handicap series (662). Peter Gilbert had the men’s high handicap game (248) and Gary Montgomery rolled the men’s high handicap series (668). Team 3 had the high team handicap game (885), while Team 6 had the high handicap series (2,554).
In scratch scoring, Montgomery (207), Jack Carlson (206), and Jerry Dunham (211) each had a 200-plus game, while Montgomery (593), Dunham (568), and Carlson (560) all rolled 500-plus series.
A well-deserved honor
• One of the nicest and best-maintained baseball fields in southern Vermont can be found at the Dummerston School. All of the credit can go to longtime resident Claude Gouin.
Not only was Gouin the designer of the field and the person responsible for its construction, it was also the skilled and tireless effort he put into the maintenance of the field for the past 25 years that has kept it such a jewel.
In recognition of his 25 years of service to the town and the community of baseball, the town of Dummerston, by unanimous votes of both its School Board and Selectboard, will dedicate the baseball field on Route 5 to Gouin.
A formal ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m., at the field. Contact Bill Holiday at 802-558-7454 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.