Not even a pandemic could keep the Bellows Falls Terriers field hockey team from their rendezvous with destiny.
The undefeated and top-seeded Terriers added to their legacy as the best field hockey program in Vermont with a 2-0 win over the third-seeded Champlain Valley Redhawks in the Division I state championship game at Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester on Oct. 31.
It was BF’s second Division I title in three years and their fifth championship across three divisions since 2015. That stretch also included three undefeated seasons and a 58-game winning streak.
The Redhawks had a 16-9 advantage on penalty corners, but the Terriers made the most of their chances in the second half. Grace Bazin finished off two penalty corners late in the third quarter for the game’s only goals. Goalie Jaia Caron made five saves in the last 15 minutes to make Bazin’s goals stand up.
But that wonderful feeling of winning a state title almost didn’t happen. Three days earlier, on Oct. 28, it took a dramatic play from Maya Waryas, who scored the game-winning goal with two seconds left in regulation time, to help Bellows Falls advance to the final with a 4-3 win over fourth-seeded South Burlington in a semifinal match in Westminster.
BF’s Ashlin Maxfield scored that game’s first goal, but it was South Burlington that had a 3-1 lead at the half on goals by Abbe Guenther, Lindsey Booth, and Sam Crane.
In the second half, the script was flipped as the BF defense held the Wolves scoreless while the offense struck for three unanswered goals to win it. Ashlin Maxfield and Grace Wilkinson got the tying goals and Waryas finished the comeback that gave the Terriers a date with CVU.
BF outscored its opponents by a 47-11 margin in this COVID-shortened season. Coach Bethany Coursen and her staff kept the teams focused despite all the disruptions of this year.
And, now, they’ve got another championship banner to hang in Holland Gymnasium.
Terrier Harriers repeat as D-III champs
• For the second year in a row, the Bellows Falls girls’ cross-country won the Division III championship at Thetford Academy on Oct. 31.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, the race was held without spectators.
Bellows Falls’ Abby Broadley successfully defended her individual title, winning the Division III girls’ race on the hilly 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 43.9 seconds. It was her third straight state championship in Division III as she finished just six seconds ahead of runner-up Emily Bloom of Rice.
Bellows Falls placed three other runners in the top 20 to win its third straight Division III team championship: Steph Ager (fourth in 21:10), Victoria Bassette (fifth in 22:45) and Birgess Schemm (17th in 24:56). BF finished with 27 points, edging out runner-up Thetford with 33 points. Next up for the BF girls is the All-State champions meet in St. Albans this Saturday.
In the Division III boys’ race, BF’s only two male runners, Logan Comstock and Jared Atkins, placed 85th and 89th, respectively.
Competing for Leland & Gray in its first state cross-country meet were Emma O’Brien (41st), Abbie Hazelton (60th), Peter Broussard (76th), Alex Parker Jennings (80th), and Nick Petronic (83rd).
• Playoffs for boys’ and girls’ soccer began last week. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was an open tournament and all teams were eligible regardless of how many games they were able to schedule and play in the compressed four-week fall season.
While the local schools had early exits, Twin Valley had the last team standing heading into the weekend.
• The Twin Valley girls got the 14th-seed in Division IV and headed north to Wells River on Oct. 28 to face third-seeded Blue Mountain in a first-round game. The Wildcats pulled off a shocker with a 1-0 overtime victory.
The game’s only goal was scored by Kylie Reed in the first overtime. Sadie Boyd was credited with the assist. Goalkeeper Halee Cole earned the shutout.
The Wildcats advanced into the quarterfinals with another trip to face at sixth-seeded Hazen (4-5) on Oct. 30, where they lost, 2-1. Macy Molleur scored the winning goal for Hazen, while goalkeeper Alleigh Gabbier made 10 saves. Boyd got the lone goal for Twin Valley, and Cole made eight saves in goal. The Wildcats finished with a 3-9 record.
• Leland & Gray had the shortest trip of the local schools in the first round as the 12th-seeded Rebels (3-6) traveled to Chester on Oct. 28 to face the fifth-seeded Green Mountain Chieftains in a Division III playdown.
GM scored four goals in the first half and cruised to a 5-1 win. Kim Cummings had a goal and two assists for the Chieftains. Grace Tyrell, Riley Paul, and Abby Williams also scored and Mckenzie Martin had two assists. Abby Towle scored the Rebels’ only goal in the second half. Leland & Gray finished the season at 3-7.
• Brattleboro (4-5) was seeded 12th in Division I and traveled to Barre to take on fifth-seeded Spaulding in a Division I playdown on Oct. 28. The Colonels lost, 1-0, on a first-half goal by Emily Wilson in the 35th minute.
It was the first playoff win for the Crimson Tide in eight years. Colonels goalkeeper Bella Powell made 10 saves as Brattleboro finished the season with a 4-6 record.
• Bellows Falls, the 15th seed in Division III, traveled north to face second-seeded Thetford in a playdown on Oct. 27 and lost, 3-0. Madi Powers scored the first two goals, and Emma Colby also scored for the Panthers.
Thetford goalkeeper Emma Berard made five saves to earn the shutout for the defending Division III champions. BF finished its season at 2-8.
• As the top seed in Division IV with a 7-1 record, Twin Valley avoided the first round and beat No. 9 Blue Mountain, 11-0, in a quarterfinal game at Hayford Field on Oct. 31.
That game ended up being pushed back a day as an Oct. 30 snowstorm left several inches of snow on Hayford Field in Wilmington. Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford and his crew had shovel off the field to get it into playable condition.
Twin Valley took a 6-0 halftime lead as the Wildcats peppered Blue Mountain goalkeeper Hollis Munson with 21 shots. Colin McHale and Finn Fisher each scored three goals. Aiden Joyce got two goals, Aaron Soskin and Matt Hammond each scored a goal, and Blue Mountain scored an own goal.
Wildcats goalkeeper Liam Wendell only needed to make one save to earn the shutout. The 8-1 Wildcats are scheduled to host No. 13 White River Valley (3-5) in a semifinal on Nov. 4 at Hayford Field.
• Fifth-seeded Leland & Gray got a home game in the first round of the Division III playoffs as the Rebels beat 12th-seeded Bellows Falls, 2-0, in Townshend on Oct. 27. Riley Barton and Trevor Stillwagon were the goalscorers for the Rebels. Matt Emerson assisted on both goals and Theo Kelloway earned the shutout in goal as Bellows Falls ended its season at 4-7.
The Rebels advanced to face fourth-seeded Peoples Academy in the quarterfinals on Oct. 30. Unfortunately, Peoples had no problem defeating Leland & Gray as they rolled to a 5-0 win. The Rebels finished with a 5-3-1 record.
• Brattleboro was seeded 10th in Division I and took on seventh-seeded Rutland in a Division I playdown on Oct. 27, which the Colonels lost, 2-1. Brattleboro trailed 2-0 at the half. Nick Bingham scored for the Colonels in the 59th minute, but Rutland held on to advance.
The Colonels finished with a 6-5 record and will lose seniors Alex Lier, Keegan Allembert, Ben Diamondstone, Owen Bailey, and Bingham to graduation.
• Good placekickers are hard to find in Vermont high school football, but Brattleboro’s Reed Sargent has been Mr. Reliable for the Colonels for the past couple of seasons.
Sargent came through for the top-seeded Colonels on Oct. 30 with a 25-yard field goal with 1.5 seconds left to give Brattleboro a 34-31 win over No. 4 Bellows Falls in a 7-on-7 touch football semifinal on a frigid night at Natowich Field.
Henry Thurber was one of the Colonels’ heroes on both sides of the ball. On defense, he intercepted a pass in the first half and returned it for a touchdown. At quarterback, he completed 21 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns.
Trinley Warren was also a two-way standout for the Colonels, playing solid pass defense as well as notching eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns on offense.
This was a back-and-forth game that the Terriers certainly the opportunity to win. BF trailed 24-21 at the half, and led 31-24 in the third quarter after a 9-yard TD pass from Jon Terry to Walker James and a 23-yard field goal by Jeb Monier.
But the Colonels came back as Aaron Petrie caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Thurber. Sargent kicked the last of his four extra points to tie the game and then booted his second field goal of the game to win it.
Monier had a great night for the Terriers. He had four extra point kicks to go with his field goal, and caught two touchdown passes, including a 70-yard strike from quarterback Grady Lockerby.
Other BF standouts included Jack Herrington, who had five catches for 72 yards. Terry threw for two touchdowns, with Caden Haskell as one of the recipients.
Now 7-3, the top-seeded Colonels will face No. 3 Windsor in the championship game for the Hartford Region title. Windsor beat Hartford, 48-36, in the other semifinal on Oct. 30.
Ski & Skate sale canceled
• The annual Phil & Mary Dunham Ski, Skate, Snowboard & Hockey Equipment Sale, directed by the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department and the Brattleboro Outing Club will not be happening this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They hope to try again in November 2021.
Open Gym, Game Room hours resume
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department is again running its Open Gym and Game Room offerings at the Gibson-Aiken Center.
This free and supervised program will run six days a week until April 23, 2021 with the schedule as follows: Grades K-6, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 3 to 4:30 p.m.; grades 7-12, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 4:30 p.m.; and grades 7-12 and adults, Saturdays, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Note that masks will be required, temperatures will be taken daily, and children will be required to sign in every day. In addition, parents will be required to sign a COVID-19 release form and registration form so that the Rec. Dept. has important contact information on hand for anyone 18 years old or younger. The gym is closed Sundays and some holidays.
Open Gym is for recreational basketball, sneakers must be worn on the gym floor. The Game Room is open for pool, foosball, ping pong, and air hockey. For more information, call the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808 or visit www.brattleboro.org.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 4 (29.5-15.5) again went 1-4 but still hung on to first place after Week 9 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl. Team 6 (29-16) is now just a game behind in second place, followed by Team 1 (25-20), Team 3 (22.5-22.5), Team 5 (18-27), and Team 2 (15-30).
Doris LaFortune had the women’s high handicap game (258), while Nancy Dalzell had the high handicap series (705). Doug Switzer had the men’s high handicap game (242) and series (673). Team 3 had the high team handicap game (892) and series (2,511).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby had games of 236 and 204 as part of his 628 series to the lead the men. Jerry Dunham had a 203 game as part of his 546 series, while Wayne Randall had a 197 game as part of his 532 series, Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 192 game as part of his 507 series.
Dalzell had the high scratch game of 197 as part of her high scratch series of 528 to lead the women. Josie Rigby had a 181 game as part of her 528 series.