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Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Brattleboro’s Martin Cataldo, right, reaches for the disc as a Bellows Falls defender closes in during an Ultimate Disc game at Natowich Field on May 14.

Sports

In Ultimate, the game is the thing

Bellows Falls, Brattleboro build from the ground up in the most laid-back of spring sports

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.

Losing the entire high school spring sports season in Vermont in 2020 to COVID-19 has had a definite effect on this season.

The signs of rust from players who haven’t been able to play competitively in their respective sports for two years can be seen in the football-like scores in softball and all the baseball games shortened to five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

There is no formal Unified basketball season for the second straight year. And the newest of varsity sports in Vermont — Ultimate Disc — is definitely taking a hit.

It took longer than expected for Brattleboro to get an Ultimate Disc team together, so the Colonels weren’t able to get their season going until May 6, when they defeated Bellows Falls, 15-6, in Westminster.

The rematch was played May 13 at Natowich Field, which Bellows Falls won, 15-2.

Leading up to that contest, Brattleboro lost a 10-7 match on May 11 to Burr & Burton, while Bellows Falls dropped a narrow 12-11 decision on May 11 to Leland & Gray.

Unlike watching lacrosse and football at Natowich Field, an Ultimate game is as laid-back as you can get. For example, Brattleboro had only six players available for the May 13 game. BF had seven players. So Brattleboro coach Tokeem Talbot and BF coach Stuart Strothman agreed to have the teams play 5-on-5.

Yes, they keep score as in any other sport. But in a game with no officials, no formal clock, and few rules, Ultimate is a co-ed and democratic sport where the prime directive can summed up like this — don’t be a jerk.

Bellows Falls played with a little more polish, which was a reflection of the Terriers having a couple of more weeks of practice time than the shorthanded Colonels.

Martin Cataldo and Ada Melton-Houghton scored the only goals for Brattleboro, with Rio Coursen and Ronan Kennedy credited with assists. Linus Talbot had a pair of blocks, and Jasper Everingham, Coursen, and Cataldo each had a block on defense.

Both Talbot and Strothman acknowledge that they are building for the future of their respective programs. For now, they are recovering from a lost year and trying to keep their sport alive.

Softball

• Brattleboro started the week with an 8-0 win over Springfield on May 10. Alexa Kinley was 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run. Aliza Speno and Leah Madore had two hits each and Natalie Hendricks, Taylin Bauer, Brenna Beebe, and Brittney Wright each had a hit.

Madore continued her streak of dominance in the pitching circle, striking out 17 batters in a two-hit complete game victory. She walked just two batters.

On May 14, Madore threw another shutout as the Colonels blanked the Rutland Ravens, 4-0, at Sawyer Field. She struck out 10 and walked one batter in a complete game four-hitter. Only two Rutland baserunners made it as far as second base.

The Colonels weren’t slugging the ball, but didn’t need to. Kinley and Speno scored unearned runs in the second inning to give the Colonels a 2-0 lead; they reached base on a walk and an error, respectively, and both scored on errors. Brattleboro got their other two runs in the fourth as Beebe hit an RBI single and Greta Neddenriep scored the other run on a groundout.

It was the third straight win for the 4-3 Colonels, who are rounding into form as the team that nobody wants to face in the Division I playoffs.

• Bellows Falls prevailed in a 12-10 victory over Twin Valley on May 10 in Westminster. It wasn’t a crisply played game, with a combined 21 walks and 12 errors between the two squads. But the Terriers overcame deficits of 4-0 and 6-2 to rally to win.

Grace Wiikinson drove in a pair of runs for BF with a pair of sacrifice flies. Abby Joslyn hit a RBI single, Emma Graham tripled, and Savannah Sylvester stole home. Relief pitcher Aliya Farmer got the win. Hannah Sullivan led the Wildcats with two hits, including an RBI single. Jazmyn Dix drove in two runs and played a solid defensive game in center field.

Against Windsor on May 12, the Terriers lost, 16-1. Farmer was the losing pitcher, giving up six hits and a walk over five innings.

In a classy gesture, Green Mountain honored the late Jada Spaulding Doyle with her number painted on the field and a moment of silence before their game with the Terriers on May 14 in Chester. Concessions were sold and all proceeds went to the memorial scholarship fund established in her name.

But the Chieftains were all business once the game started, and GM won a 19-14 slugfest. Abby Williams went 3-for-5 with two doubles, driving in six runs to lead GM, while Tierney O’Brien went 4-for-5 with a double. Bellows Falls finished the week at 5-5, while Green Mountain improved to 6-4.

• Leland & Gray had a rough week with a 28-5 home loss to West Rutland on May 11 and a 10-4 road loss to White River Valley on May 13 to fall to 1-8 on the season.

Baseball

• Brattleboro’s Brandon Weeks threw five-innings of no-hit ball in a 18-1 rout of Springfield on May 10. Weeks struck out eight and walked one batter in his first start as a varsity pitcher.

Jack Pattison went 5-for-5, with a double, a triple, and four RBIs to lead the visiting Colonels. Turner Clews was 3-for-3 with an RBI, Greg Fitzgerald and Zinabu McNeice each hit a double, and Caden Wood had an RBI single.

The next day at Fair Haven, the Colonels rolled to a 13-3 win over the Slaters in five innings. Aaron Petrie drove in a pair of runs on sacrifice flies, Fitzgerald went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and McNeice and Pattison each had two hits. McNeice was the winning pitcher as he struck out six, walked two, and gave up four hits.

Brattleboro finished its week with a 14-1 win at Windsor on May 14. Winning pitcher Alex Bingham struck out nine, walked one and allowed three hits. Pattison had two hits, drove in three runs, and hit a two-run homer. McNeice also drove in three runs, Wood had two hits and drove in two runs, and Fitzgerald also had two hits. The Colonels ended the week at 6-1, having won four straight games.

• Bellows Falls rocked Woodstock, 13-2, in five innings at Hadley Field on May 12. Matt Hayes struck out 10 and walked one batter in a complete game five-hitter. Colton Baldasaro led the Terrier attack as he had two hits and drove in four runs.

At Adams Field in Chester on May 14, Green Mountain’s Ty Merrill shut down the BF bats as the Chieftains rolled to an 11-1 win over the Terriers in a six-inning game.

Merrill gave up just five hits, with seven strikeouts and one walk, to pick up the win, and helped his cause with two hits and two RBIs. Kagan Hance went 4-for-4 and scored three runs, while Everett Mosher, Travis Blake, and Sawyer Pippin each had two hits. Baldasaro had a base hit and scored the only run for the 6-5 Terriers.

• Leland & Gray is in a slump after a pair of home losses — 17-7 against Windsor on May 10 and 15-4 to White River Valley on May 13. The Rebels are 3-5.

Track & Field

• The Brattleboro boys and girls teams dominated their competition on May 15 at the Freeman Track, as both won their respective meets against Division IV schools Green Mountain, Twin Valley, and Sharon Academy.

The Colonel boys got wins from Nolan Holmes (1,500 and 3,000) and Alexander Shriver (110 and 300 hurdles), Finn LaMorder (200), Magnus von Krusenstiern (800), Jacob Girard (discus), and Noah Hed (pole vault). Max Lampe, LaMorder, Holmes, and von Krusenstiern took the 4x400 relay, while Jonah Bingham, Sam Freitas-Eagan, Stephen Haskins, and Tenzin Mathes won in the 4x800.

Ava Whitney (400 and long jump) led the Colonel girls, with wins from Genevieve Redmond (triple jump), Sylvie Normandeau (pole vault), Fiona Kidder (300 hurdles), and Katherine Normandeau (1,500). Caitlin Lonardo, Priya Kitzmiller, Alina Secrest, and Sylvie Normandeau won the 4x100.

Twin Valley’s Robert Mola (100) and Aaron Soskin (400) each finished third in the boys’ meet.

• The Bellows Falls girls’ and boys’ teams both finished second to Thetford Academy in a May 15 meet in Windsor.

The boys’ meet was a close one, as Thetford won by a single point. BF’s Jack Burke won the 100 and 200, while Tylar Stanley won the 400, and Elijah Ghia won the 800. The Terriers took a pair of relays in the 4x100 (Caleb Douglass, Harrison Gleim, Luke Parker-Jennings, and Stanley won the 4x100 and Owen LaRoss, Mack Ross, Douglas, and Ghia took the 4x400.

BF’s Tela Harty won the discus and shot put in the girls’ meet, Molly Hodsden was first in the 400, and the 4x800 relay team of Delaney Lockerby, Eryn Ross, Ashlynn Boucher, and Hodsden were victorious.

Tennis

• The Brattleboro boys lost to Rutland, 6-1, on May 10. The Colonels’ only win came at No. 1 singles, as Nathan Kim beat Rutland’s Augie Louras 6-1, 6-0. In the closest match of the day, Rutland’s Brady Kenosh battled Brattleboro’s Ben Luna at No. 2 singles and pulled out a 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 win.

The Colonels bounced back with a 7-0 over Mount Anthony on May 15. Kim, Luna, Ty Smith, Ben Berg and the doubles team of Will Taggard-Leo Bodett all won in straight sets, with a forfeit win in the other doubles match. In the closest singles match of the day, Max Naylor rallied for five consecutive points in a super tiebreaker to win the No. 4 match 6-7, 6-3, 11-9. The boys are now 6-4 on the season.

• The Brattleboro girls lost twice to Rutland last week. At the BUHS courts on May 13, the Ravens shut out the Colonels, 7-0. The closest match on the day saw Brattleboro’s No 2 singles player, Cearra O’Hern, slugging it out with Rutland’s Olivia Andrews before losing 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). The Ravens got another 7-0 win at home on May 15, as the Colonel girls fell to 1-6.

• The 4-7 Bellows Falls girls have lost four in a row, with a 5-2 loss to Mount Anthony on May 11 and a 7-0 loss to Woodstock on May 13.

Lacrosse

• The Brattleboro boys were shut out by Burr & Burton, 24-0, on May 11 at Natowich Field. Karter Noyes led the Bulldogs with five goals and an assist, while Emmett Edwards added four goals and four assists. On May 14, the Colonels dropped another home game, this time an 18-3 loss to Mount Anthony. The Colonel boys ended the week 0-7.

• The 0-8 Brattleboro girls are also looking for their first win of season. They lost 16-5 to Hartford on May 10, and 16-6 against Burr & Burton on May 12 at Natowich Field.

In the Hartford game, Brianna Paul and Juliana Miskovich each scored two goals, Sophia Mikijaniec added another goal, and goalie Abby Squiers made 15 saves. Against Burr & Burton, Paul scored three goals, Mikijaniec had two goals and two assists, and Willow Romo and Miskovich also scored. Squiers made seven saved in goal.

Senior bowling roundup

• In Week 3 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on May 13 at Brattleboro Bowl, Team 7 went 0-5 while Team 3 was 5-0, so those two teams are tied for first with 10-5 records, followed by Team 1 (9-6), Team 5 and Team 8 (both 8-7), Team 2 and Team 6 (both 6-9), and Team 4 (3-12).

Carol Gloski had the women’s high handicap game (241) and series (658), while Norm Corliss had the men’s high handicap game (268) and series (658). Team 3 had the high team handicap game (844), and series (2,454).

In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with a 585 series that featured games of 214, 190, and 181. Marty Adams had games of 222 and 200 in his 560 series. Wayne Randall had a 215 game and Corliss rolled a 188.

Josie Rigby rolled a 190 as part of her high scratch series of 521 to lead the women. Gloski rolled a 189 as part of her 502 series, and Nancy Dalzell had a 182 game.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #613 (Wednesday, May 19, 2021). This story appeared on page C4.

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