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It may be a while before we see this scene — high school baseball coaches Chris Groeger of Brattleboro and Bob Lockerby of Bellows Falls exchanging line-up cards and reviewing ground rules with the umpires — in Vermont. The Vermont Principals’ Association has postponed the start of the spring sports season until April 6.


VPA postpones spring high school sports season

As it has on so many other aspects of our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the Vermont high school sports scene.

The Brattleboro Union High School Unified Basketball team was to have opened its eight-game season on March 16 against Burr & Burton.

However, it was announced on March 11 by the Vermont Principals’ Association that all Unified Basketball games were suspended until March 31.

The suspension affected upcoming scheduled games for Brattleboro against Hartford (March 18), Springfield (March 24), and Rutland (March 27), according to BUHS Athletic Director Chris Sawyer.

According to a letter sent to athletic directors by VPA Assistant Executive Director Bob Johnson, the decision was made after Special Olympics Vermont (SOV) sent a letter to the VPA that they were strongly advised by Special Olympics International to suspend all activities through the end of this month.

As a result, Special Olympics Vermont canceled its Winter Games on March 22-24 and a Unified Snowshoe Tournament on March 25.

“Obviously, this is a difficult decision to make, but as most of you know, the SOV student population are considered to be at a higher risk and as is mentioned in the letter, ‘the health and safety of our athletes and of the entire SOV community is paramount and cannot be compromised.’ I totally agree with this statement and with the postponing of competitions.”

Whether the postponed games will be made up, and the remainder of the Colonels’ regular season games against Leland & Gray (April 8), Middlebury (April 17), Mill River (April 20), and Otter Valley (April 23) will be played is still to be determined.

• As for the rest of the spring sports, March 16 was to be the first day of practice in Vermont for baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, ultimate disc, and track & field.

However, with Gov. Phil Scott’s emergency order asking for school closings and the cancellation of school-related activities, the spring sports season is now on hold until at least April 6.

The VPA, in a March 16 letter to its members, said “any changes in guidance from the Governor’s Office and/or the Vermont Department of Health will be reviewed ahead of April 6 to determine if the season can get underway, or we need to further postpone, or if cancellation becomes necessary.”

In a letter to students and parents, BUHS Principal Steve Perrin said school staff is working with the VPA and other schools “to determine what the spring sports season could look like. At this time, there are no practices, tryouts or scrimmages at least through April 6.”

Other sports cancellations...

• The annual North/South all-star basketball games, scheduled for March 21 at Windsor High School, have been cancelled. “We are saddened to do this, but feel safety is a priority,” wrote Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Executive Director Dave Fredrickson in a press release on March 12.

• The semifinals and finals of the Vermont high school girls’ basketball tournament were also canceled by the VPA last week.

• As for the Gibson-Aiken Center, all Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department programming is has been canceled, as have the playoffs for the men’s and women’s basketball leagues. Participants will receive a credit on their account for program cancellations.

The Rec. Dept. is accepting mail-registration for its spring youth sports programs. If there are questions, visit their website at, “like” them on Facebook, or call 802-254-5808.

• Mount Snow in West Dover is closed until March 22. Stratton Mountain Resort says it has suspended operations until further notice, while Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow says it is closed until March 23.

Five area players named to Vermont Shrine team

• Three key contributors to Brattleboro’s first state football championship since 1973 have been selected to play in the 67th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl football game on Aug. 1 at Castleton University.

Quarterback Tyler Millerick, running back Chris Frost and offensive lineman Jem Cohen will play for Vermont against their counterparts from New Hampshire in this annual all-star game that features the top graduated seniors.

The team that Brattleboro defeated for the 2019 Division II championship, Bellows Falls, will be sending two representatives — tight end Dylan Clark and guard/linebacker Hunter Smith.

St. Johnsbury’s Rich Alercio will coach the Vermont all-stars in this game, which also raises money for the Shriners children’s hospitals.

Reshuffling Vermont’s American Legion baseball teams

• American Legion Baseball in Vermont saw a bit of reshuffling a few weeks ago during a meeting in Rutland.

As reported by the Rutland Herald’s Tom Haley, the creation of a new team, Mount Mansfield, in the Stowe region for the 2020 season left the Northern Division with 10 teams while the Southern Division was down to seven teams.

So, after reviewing several options, it was decided to move Addison County into the Southern Division, giving it eight teams, while the Northern Division will have nine.

That means Brattleboro Post 5 will be facing a new team this summer, along with their regular Southern foes Bennington, Bellows Falls, Lakes Region, Randolph, Rutland, and White River Junction.

Mount Mansfield now joins Northern teams Barre, Colchester, Franklin County, Montpelier, OEC Kings, Post 91, SD Ireland, and South Burlington.

This will be the alignment for 2020, and Vermont American Legion Baseball Commissioner Scott Stevens said that it will be revisited in 2021.

Hunter Safety Course offered at Sportsmen Inc.

• Sportsmen Inc. will be offering a Vermont State Certified Combination Hunter Education Course at the club’s facilities on Guilford Street Extension in Guilford, beginning April 13 and continuing on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, and 24th.

Classes will be held evenings from 7 to 9. The lead instructor will be Don Rosinski, along with others from the area. Traditional firearms safety training, as well as archery, will be covered in this class.

To register for this class, you must do so on line at If there are any questions, contact Rosinski at 802-257-5442, evenings, or visit

Senior bowling roundup

• The March 12 gathering of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League, which meets Thursdays at Brattlboro Bowl on Putney Road, may be the last one for some time. The league announced on March 13 that it is suspending its season until further notice.

So, here’s how the standings look for the winter/spring season if the rest of the season is cancelled. Stayin’ Alive (32-18) is in first place, despite a 1-4 week. They are tied with Keglers (32-18), who had their second straight 5-0 week.

4 D’s (31-19) is now in third place, followed by Trash-O-Matic (30-20), Bowling Stones (26-24), Pin Droppers (24-26), Magic in Motion (23-27), Ageless Wonders (20-30), No Names (18-32), and Pin Strikers (15-35).

Carole Frizzell had the women’s high handicap game (240) and series (644), while Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap game (255) and series (668). No Names had the high team handicap game (906) and series (2,547).

In scratch scoring, Corriveau had games of 241 and 214 to complete a 626 series to lead the men. Four men had a 500-plus series: Jerry Dunham (539), Robert Rigby (538), Marty Adams (526), and Les Wigdor (525).

Bowlers with 200-plus games included Wigdor (214), Dunham (212), and Rigby (205). Gary Montgomery rolled a 197, Adams had games of 185 and 183, and Wayne Randall and Fred Ashworth both rolled a 181.

Josie Rigby rolled a 170 as part of her high scratch series of 500 to lead the women. Carole Frizzell had the women’s high score with a 183, while Nancy Dalzell had a 172 game.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #553 (Wednesday, March 18, 2020). This story appeared on page B4.

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