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Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Leland & Gray second baseman Riley Barton takes the late throw as Bellows Falls baserunner Dominic Kendall dives into second base in third inning baseball action on April 22 in Westminster. Backing up the play is Leland & Gray shortstop Trevor Plimpton.

Sports

Colonels come up short in lacrosse doubleheader

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.

A breezy and beautiful late April day, fans in the stands, and the first varsity lacrosse games on Natowich Field in nearly two years. All that was missing was a victory for the Brattleboro Colonels as the boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams played a doubleheader on April 24. Both came away with losses.

The Colonel boys started strong, but faded in the final quarter in an 8-5 loss to the Otter Valley Otters in the opener. It was a rougher day for the Colonel girls as they were overwhelmed by the Champlain Valley Redhawks, 19-6, in the second half of the doubleheader.

• After getting clobbered 18-2 at Rutland in their opening game on April 22, the Colonel boys needed to regroup against Otter Valley.

The Colonels looked good in the first three quarters as the teams traded goals. Brattleboro led 2-1 after one quarter and 4-3 at the half.

After three quarters, the game was tied at 5-5, but the Otters started the final quarter with four straight goals to take a 9-5 lead with 4:23 left in the game. The Colonels picked up a pair of goals in the final three minutes to make the outcome a little more respectable.

Aiden McMahon scored three goals and assisted on another to lead the 0-2 Colonels. Colonels goalie Thad Sawyer had a busy day between the pipes as he faced 23 shots. Hayden Bernhardt led the Otters with three goals.

• The Colonel girls played the Redhawks even for the first five minutes of the opening half, but CVU pulled away for good by scoring seven unanswered goals in 11 minutes to turn a 2-2 tie into a 10-2 lead with 5:35 left in the first half.

CVU had a 12-5 lead at intermission, and then scored three goals in the first four minutes of the second half. The remainder of the half was played under a running clock under the 10-goal mercy rule. Gretta White scored five goals and had two assists for the Redhawks, while Chloe Snipes had four goals and Ave Bartlett scored three.

Brianna Paul scored five of the Colonels’ goals. Ally Foard also scored. Abbey Squires and Isabelle Studley split the goaltending duties and combined for 11 saves.

The Colonel girls are now 0-3. On April 17, they lost their opening game at Middlebury, 13-2. Paul scored both of Brattleboro’s goals and Squires and Studley combined for 17 saves. On April 23, the Colonels lost to St. Johnsbury, 12-7. Paul scored five goals and Willow Romo and Juliana Miskovich each added a goal. Squiers finished with 10 saves.

Baseball

• An illustration of the old baseball adage, “you can never have too much pitching,” was presented at Hadley Field on April 22 as three Bellows Falls pitchers chipped in on a joint mound effort as the Terriers defeated Leland & Gray, 12-3.

The BF pitcher who was supposed to get the start, Elliot Graham, was out with a balky hamstring. Grady Lockerby was unavailable due to innings limitations. That forced BF coach Bob Lockerby to carefully deploy his three other pitchers — Jeb Monier, Jack Cravinho, and Jamison Nystrom — so he could get through the game with the Rebels and still have them available for BF’s next game.

Monier was the starter and went two innings as the Rebels got a run when Trevor Plimpton scored on a balk in the first inning and got two more runs when Matt Emerson drew a bases-loaded walk and Plimpton drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. But that would be the only runs for the Rebels as Cravinho and Nystrom shut out the Rebels the rest of the way.

“We got the win, and all three of them can pitch on Saturday [against Burr & Burton],” Coach Bob Lockerby said. “It all worked out.”

Against the Rebels, BF got a run in the first on a RBI single by Grady Lockerby. Jack Burke drove in a run with an infield hit in the second inning, an inning that saw the Rebels make three errors that led to two more BF runs and a 3-3 tie.

The Terriers broke the game open when they scored five runs in the third inning off losing pitcher Dylan Greenwood, who was pitching in relief of starter Kristian Pierson. BF scored their last run of the game in the fourth inning.

Dominic Kendall and Grady Lockerby each had two hits for the Terriers.

The win was a relief for the Terriers, after starting the season on April 17 by dropping a 10-9 decision to Mount Anthony and then losing to Hartford, 4-2, on April 20. Starting pitcher Grady Lockerby went six innings and held Hartford to just five hits in a hard-luck loss. He struck out seven batters.

The Terriers lost to Burr & Burton, 11-1, on April 24 to fall to 1-3 on the season.

• A correction: Twin Valley will not have a varsity high school baseball team this season. However, the middle school is fielding a team, which may bode well for the return of varsity baseball at Baker Field in Wilmington for the 2022 season.

Softball

• Brattleboro ran into a buzzsaw of a pitcher in Lyndon’s Kelleigh Simpson in the Colonels’ opener at Sawyer Field on April 20. Simpson struck out 16 and held the Colonels to just two hits in an 8-0 win for the visiting Vikings.

Taylin Bauer was the only Colonel who had Simpson’s number, as she hit a pair of singles. It was a fairly close game until Lyndon scored five runs in the fifth to give Simpson more than enough runs to win.

Leah Madore, the Colonels’ starting pitcher, had a rough afternoon. She gave up nine hits and walked seven batters, but Madore also struck out eight batters and helped keep the Colonels in the game until the fifth inning.

• Leland & Gray couldn’t overcome a sloppy defensive start and lost their opening game to Burr & Burton, 25-16, in the season opener on April 22 in Townshend.

Hannah Landers led the Rebels’ attack with two ground-rule doubles and three RBIs. Ruthie Wright doubled, drove in two runs and scored three runs. Ninth-grader Ava LeCours made her pitching debut for the Rebels, and took the loss.

• Bellows Falls opened its season in Rutland on April 17 with a 25-9 win over Mount St. Joseph in a five-inning game cut short by the 15-run rule.

BF pitchers Taryn Darrell and Abby Joslyn combined on a seven-hitter, while Jenna Dolloph hit an inside-the-park homer. Dolloph went 3-for-4, scored four runs, and drove in five runs, while Emma Graham and Joslyn each had three hits.

Track & field

• Bellows Falls opened its season with a win in a three-team meet against visiting Green Mountain and Mid-Vermont Christian on April 20.

In the girls’ meet, BF’s Maya Waryas won the 100 and 300 hurdle events and tied teammate Breanna Stockman for first in the pole vault.

Abby Broadley swept the distance events with wins in the 800, 1500, and 3,000 meter races. Stockman also won the javelin, while Tela Harty took the triple jump, and Grace Bazin won the long jump. Victoria Bassette and Eryn Ross were fastest in the 100 and 400 meter sprints, respectively.

In the boys’ meet, BF’s Tylar Stanley won the 300 hurdles, javelin, and pole vault. Elijah Ghia was victorious in the 800 and 1,500 meter runs and Owen LaRoss took the shot put and discus events.

Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge begins

• Vermont State Parks has begun the 2021 edition of the Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge, a statewide outdoor scavenger hunt designed for kids (but anyone can participate). The challenge runs through Oct. 15, and participants earn points by completing fun outdoor activities.

To get started, go to www.vtstateparks.com/venture-vermont.html and download the 2021 score sheet. Choose the activities from each section that you’d like to do, and take a photo of yourself (or have someone else take a photo of you) doing that activity. Once you reach 250 points, send in your score sheet, photos, and any accompanying materials, and you’ll get a gold VIP pass good for free day entry for 2021 and 2022.

Most of the activities can be done anywhere and include things like hiking to a waterfall, skipping stones, or creating a nature journal. You can also earn bonus points by completing weekly bonus activities posted on Vermont State Parks’ Facebook page or on the Venture Vermont web page.

Miscellany

• Congratulations to John Broadley, who was recently named the new principal of Bellows Falls Union High School, succeeding Chris Hodsden.

Broadley served as assistant principal under Hodsden for the past 12 years, but people who read this page best know him for two things — coaching varsity girls’ soccer at BFUHS and being the proud father of the one of best cross-country runners in Vermont, three-time Division III state champ Abby Broadley.

With his new job, Broadley won’t be able to coach girls’ soccer any more, but his love for the sport is deep and abiding, and he says he will find a way to contribute to the program, one way or another.

• Jerry Jasinski of Springfield died on April 12 at the age of 80. Local high sports fans knew him as a football, basketball, and track & field official in Southern Vermont for four decades, and as a founder of one of the most fun events on the sports calendar — the Vermont State Heptathlon and Decathlon Championships.

A longtime chemistry and physics teacher at both the high school and college level, Jasinski came up with a winning formula for a sports event — give Vermont’s track & field athletes a chance to try something they never tried before in a relaxed setting at the end of the regular season. Always held in June after the state meets, it had a mellow vibe and it was just as enjoyable for the athletes as it was for fans.

• Reading Bill Holiday’s write-up last week of the newest members of the BHS/BUHS Athletic Hall of Fame reminded me of the personal connections I had with many of the inductees.

I got to see Kari Greenbaum at BUHS and at the University of Vermont, one of the best female basketball players Brattleboro has produced.

I missed Ben Gilbert’s exploits on the football field, but I saw him as a star in baseball.

On a trail, a track, or a road course, I saw Jason Dunklee establish himself as one of the best male distance runners in BUHS history.

Drew Richards was as good on a tennis court as he was hurtling down a ski jump, and I can’t help but think his athletic successes primed him for his successes in the business world.

And Art Freeman was one of the first coaches I met when I got to Brattleboro, and I am happy to say that he is big fan of this newspaper. To say his legacy as a teacher as well as a basketball and track coach is considerable is an understatement.

In other words, it was a reminder that I’ve been doing this a long time, and players and coaches I wrote about 30 years ago are now hall-of-famers.

• These aforementioned folks make up the second class of the BHS/BUHS Athletic Hall of Fame. It fell through the cracks during the worst days of the pandemic last spring, but this space never got to recognize the first class, which was selected last April.

In that group were ski jumping legend Dana Zelenakas; the undefeated 1965 state champion Colonel football team; coaches Darrel Sawyer and Andy Natowich; track & field stars Heather Pancake and Jan Carlson; three-sport standouts Barb Barrett, Dave McGinn, and Dave Faridoni; former big league pitcher and longtime Braves broadcaster Ernie Johnson; and football standouts Ray Smith, Joe Shield, and Grady Vigneau.

Special recognition was given to the girls’ athletic programs at BUHS, which formally began varsity play in field hockey and basketball in the 1967-68 school year, or five years ahead of the federal Title IX mandate for female athletics.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #610 (Wednesday, April 28, 2021). This story appeared on page C4.

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