American Legion Baseball returns to Vermont this week, after losing the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While several programs, such as Brattleboro and Bellows Falls, put together independent teams last summer to play a facsimile of Legion ball, it wasn’t quite the same.
There are a few changes for the 2021 Legion season. Addison County has moved in the Northern Division. Taking their place in the Southern Division will be a new team, Manchester Union Underground. They will join Brattleboro, Bennington, Bellows Falls, Lakes Region, Rutland, and White River Junction.
In the Northern Division, Addison County joins Barre, Colchester, Franklin County, Montpelier, Essex, S.D. Ireland, and South Burlington.
The top four teams in each division will play each other in a double-elimination tournament for the state Legion title on July 27-30 in Rutland. The state champ advances to the Northeast Regional tournament.
Brattleboro, which won the state title in 2016 and 2019, opens its 2021 season on June 17 at Bennington, and then heads to Keene, N.H., for the annual Gubby Underwood Tournament on June 19 and 20.
• The Brattleboro Little League regular season wraps up this week, but unlike last year, there will be a statewide tournament.
Brattleboro Little Leaguers had to settle for playing a truncated in-town regular season last year, with no out-of-town tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That took a big chunk of joy out of the summer for players and fans alike.
Watch this space for more details for where and when the district and state Little League tournaments will be played.
It was a battle between David and Goliath, and David had no chance whatsoever.
Fourth-seeded Leland & Gray, one of the smallest high schools in Vermont with just under 300 students, found itself facing the fifth-seeded Champlain Valley Redhawks, the largest high school in Vermont, in the Division I Ultimate quarterfinals, and the visitors cruised to 15-4 win in Townshend on June 7.
As a Division III school, this was likely the first time that a Leland & Gray team ever played Champlain Valley in any sport. The Redhawks dominate Division I in so many different sports just by virtue of their numbers — when you have nearly 1,300 students, you can’t help but have more athletes.
CVU led 8-2 at the break, and were never seriously challenged at any point of the game.
Liam Towle and Christian Cannella, the only seniors on the Rebels’ team, did what they could as both figured in the scoring. Towle had one goal, Cannella had two assists, Warren Roberts had a goal and an assist, and Trevor Hazelton and Alex Parker-Jennings also scored.
The Rebels, who weren’t sure they were going even have a season due to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, finished with a 7-2 record in a milestone season that features the school’s first playoff win (over Bellows Falls in the first round) and first playoff home game.
Gerard, Howard to play in All-Star Hockey Classic
• Brattleboro defenseman Ryan Gerard and forward Gavin Howard will be playing for the Vermont squad on June 26 in the 29th annual All-Star Hockey Classic in Stowe.
The game at Stowe Arena features the top graduating high school seniors from Vermont and New Hampshire. Gerard and Howard helped lead the Colonels to their first state hockey championship this year.
Proceeds from the game benefit the Make-A-Wish programs in both states. Find out more at www.allstarhockeyclassicvtnh.org.
Senior bowling roundup
• In Week 7 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on June 10 at Brattleboro Bowl, Team 2 remains in first place at 25-10, three games ahead of second place Team 3 (22-13), as both teams had 4-1 weeks. Team 7 moved into third place (20-15) followed by Team 6 (19-16), Team 5 (18-17), Team 1 (13-22), and Team 4 (12-23).
Pam Greeblott had the women’s high handicap game (245) and series (641), while Pete Cross had the men’s high handicap game (263) and series (705). Team 2 had the high team handicap game (874) and series (2,510).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with a 669 series that featured games of 244, 231, and 194. Cross had a 212 game as part of his 552 series, and Warren Corriveau Sr. had games of 201 and 191 as part of his 552 series.
Nancy Dalzell had a high scratch series of 514 to lead the women, and her 183 game was the women’s high scratch score. Josie Rigby had a 473 series, and Greenblott and Carol Gloskie rolled games of 178 and 176, respectively.