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Mark Speno, Principal of Green Street School, makes a virtual appearance in the 2020 Virtual Tulip Trot. The 5K race, an annual fundraiser for the school, will be a virtual event again this year.

Sports

Local winter athletes receive All-Star honors

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column for more than a decade and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at news@commonsnews.org.

We’re just a few days away from starting the spring high school sports season in Vermont, but we still have a few things to wrap up from the winter season.

• There were no North-South basketball all-star games this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Vermont Basketball Coaches’ Association (VBCA) still put together their 2021 All-Star teams consisting of the top seniors in the state.

Local players named to the Boys’ Division I-II All-Stars included Greg Fitzgerald and Gabe Packard from Brattleboro, while Izaak Park and Colin McHale of Twin Valley, Matt Emerson of Leland & Gray, and Ty Merrill, Jack Boyle, and Sawyer Pippen of Green Mountain were selected to the Division III-IV team.

Sadie Boyd and Jayden Crawford of Twin Valley and Tierney O’Brien and Hailey Pierce of Green Mountain were named to the Girls’ Division III-IV All-Star team.

Selected to the VBCA’s Dream Dozen teams of Vermont’s top players in grades 9-11 were Jamison Nystrom of Bellows Falls and Kim Cummings of Green Mountain.

Twin Valley’s Chris Brown was also honored for earning his 200th career victory as a head coach. Fair Haven’s Ryleigh Coloutti and Rice’s Michel Ndayishimiye were named Vermont’s players of the year.

• Twin Valley’s Luke Rizio and Sadie Bell of The Putney School were each named to an All-State Nordic ski team. Rizio placed second in the Division I boys’ state meet, while Bell finished ninth in the Division II girls’ state meet.

Brattleboro’s Sam Freitas-Eagan, Nolan Holmes, Magnus vonKrusenstiern, and Ava Whitney all received Honorable Mention.

• In ice hockey, Bellows Falls Union High School students Grace Bazin and Izzy Stack — who both played on Hartford’s girls’ hockey team this season, were named to the All-State team.

Broadley wins national honors

• There was also one tidbit from the fall sports season last week. Bellows Falls junior Abby Broadley was named the 2020-21 Gatorade Vermont Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. She was the first BF runner to be honored in the 36-year history of the award.

Broadley raced to her third consecutive Division III individual state championship in 2020 with a time of 19 minutes, 43.9 seconds, leading the Terriers to a state team title, She also won the state Meet of Champions in 18:42.3.

Also a talented artist, Broadley has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives through her church, according to the Gatorade news release.

“Abby’s work ethic is at an elite level, which is the reason for her success,” Bellows Falls coach Josh Ferenc said in a news release. “She holds herself to a supreme level of accountability and elevates everyone around her.”

Brattleboro Little League to hold sign-ups for 2021 season

• Sign-ups for new and returning players for the 2021 Brattleboro Little League baseball season will be held on April 14, 15, and 16, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Little League field on South Main Street.

New players should bring a birth certificate or passport to prove date of birth. Players should be 9, 10, 11, or 12 on Aug. 31, 2021, to meet the age requirement. All players and parents should be masked and practice social distancing. League fees are $60 for the season.

Tryouts will be held on Saturday, April 17, at 9 a.m. Only new players need to try out. Returning players will remain on their previously assigned teams.

Regular season games are expected to begin on or about May 10, depending on state COVID-19 guidelines.

Green Street School gets ready for Tulip Trot

• Tradition, commitment and creativity are driving forces behind this year’s ninth Annual Tulip Trot at Green Street School in Brattleboro.

Since 2013, the school has held this annual 5K event that incorporates family, fitness, fun and community. It has been the school’s primary fundraiser each year, organized by a dedicated and revolving group of parents and staff, and grew into a widely known and anticipated annual event.

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to make it a virtual event. A video montage of Green Street School families and staff, set to music, can be viewed at www.tuliptrot5k.com.

During this current school year, students are enrolled in either fully remote or hybrid learning platforms. Teachers are engaged in intense training with online educational modules to meet the needs of all students. Students are sorely missing friends, traditions, and rites of passage in many of their usual settings. Parents are managing at-home learning, work, and family health.

It’s been a challenge for everyone, but the Green Streeters met it. Given the extraordinary demands on families this year, the Parent-Teacher Organization at the school considered whether it would be possible to pull off another virtual Tulip Trot.

The PTO met earlier this year to ponder how to best support the students, and to build community, when being together physically as a community is not possible. They settled on the idea of blending multiple Green Steeet traditions into one virtual experience: “Tulip Trot, The Musical, a Virtual 5K Cabaret Mash-up.”

Families will be able to simply sign up electronically for their commitment to outdoor runs or walks, keeping track of their healthy efforts on a Tulip Trot chart. And Green Street students in grades 4-6 will rehearse a unique and humorous play on Zoom, which will be recorded, and merged with a photo/video montage of outdoor activity images submitted by families.

The final product will be hosted live on Zoom by the student cast, with a link to a final video. The live Zoom event will take place on Saturday, May 1, when the Tulip Trot 5K normally would have occurred.

Local businesses will be given an opportunity to purchase “advertisements” in 10-second video snippets, which will be edited into the final video product, therefore maintaining a fundraising goal as well as a wider community support system for the annual Tulip Trot effort. Go to www.tuliptrot5k.com for more information.

Big Brothers Big Sisters plans virtual fun fun

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont has opened registration for its first-ever For Kids’ Sake Virtual Fun Run. They say all proceeds “will support the mission of creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.”

This fundraiser is not just for runners. It’s designed to be flexible, with options such as walking around your neighborhood, treadmilling, or hiking, all the way up to running a 10K or a half-marathon.

Participants who share photos of their activities on social media will be entered to win gift cards. Prizes will be awarded during the final stretch of the campaign, April 24 to May 8.

Early bird registration runs through April 17. Registration is open through May 8. Participants recruit family and friends to join in their activity or to sponsor with donations.

All details are at www.bbbsvt.org and any questions should be directed to 802-689-0092 or info@bbbsvt.org.

Grace Cottage hosts ‘Spring Into Health’ 5K event

• Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital’s Spring Into Health 5K has been a family-friendly tradition in the West River Valley for years. Make plans to join them in Townshend on Saturday, May 8.

“You can participate in person by reserving a time slot, or you can do the 5K at your convenience virtually, by running, walking, rolling your wheelchair, pushing your baby in a stroller, or riding your horse at your own choice of time and location, even on your treadmill, if you wish,” said Grace Cottage spokesperson C.J. King.

Registration ($15 per participant) is at www.gracecottage.org. If you register by Friday, April 30, Grace Cottage will mail you an official Spring Into Health 5K numbered runner’s bib. Wear your bib while doing your 5K, then send us a photo of yourself wearing it by May 10, and they’ll post your photo on Grace Cottage’s Facebook page.

Proceeds will help Grace Cottage continue to provide essential healthcare services. For more information, contact Grace Cottage Foundation at info@gracecottage.org or 802-365-9109.

A public service announcement...

• As many of you may know, putting this column together is a side job for me here at this newspaper. My primary job here is news editor — the person who wrangles all the news and information that flows into The Commons on any given day.

For the past year, I’ve been sitting in on Gov. Phil Scott’s news briefings and updating the daily COVID-19 statistics on our website. I’ve been monitoring the progress in the fight against the virus, both here and nationally, while doing the things that have been necessary to keep myself and my spouse COVID-free.

Because all of us have done such a good job protecting one another, Vermont has had among the fewest deaths and the fewest COVID-19 cases of any state in the nation, and there is hope that things are going to be better very soon.

The good news for Vermonters is that the vaccines are here, nearly everyone has access to them, and they are doing their job in controlling the virus. I got my first shot last week and, by the end of May after my second shot kicks in, I hope to be able to see my new grand-niece come into the world and cradle her in my arms.

So, if you haven’t signed up yet, go over to healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine and make an appointment. The sooner we all get our shots, the sooner we bring this virus under control, and the sooner we can start enjoying the things we’ve all missed — big crowds at the ball games, graduations and weddings that aren’t virtual, and seeing the friends and family whom we’ve been separated from for months.

The Scott administration has set a target of July 1 when all these things can happen again. In the meantime, please wear your mask, keep your distance when you’re around people, and wash your hands often so we can all have a great spring and summer.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #608 (Wednesday, April 14, 2021). This story appeared on page C4.

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