Mid-September in Bellows Falls for cross-country fans means that it’s time for the annual Pickering Invitational, named for longtime coach Russ Pickering and run over the superb course at Bellows Falls Union High School in Westminster.
The “Terrier Harriers” are in a state of transition this year. No boys went out for cross-country and only six girls are running with the varsity team.
With senior Abby Broadley, the three-time individual Division III state champion, deciding to take a mental health break and not compete this season, her teammates have had to step up in her absence.
It’s safe to say they aren’t hurting too much. The Terriers placed four runners in the top 20 to take the girls’ team title over runner-up Burr & Burton, third place Woodstock, and Brattleboro at this year’s Pickering Invitational on Sept. 17.
Steph Ager led all the way and cruised to a first-place time of 19 minutes, 25 seconds. Teammates Aubrey Maxfield (10th, 23:18), Lilly Ware (13th, 23:28), and Tatiana Artyukhova (18th, 24:46) rounded out the scoring for the Terriers.
Ava Whitney finished sixth in 21:23 to lead the Brattleboro girls, followed by teammates Priya Kitzmiller (34th, 26:57), Anna Cummings (37th, 27:24), and Matyida Salisz (42nd, 30:35).
In the boys’ race, Brattleboro finished third behind Woodstock and Burr & Burton. Tenzin Mathes was the top Colonel in 18:50, followed by Noah Hed (11th,19:50), Oskar Lehnartz (12th,19:51), and Brinley Woodcock (15th in 20:30).
• Brattleboro and Bellows Falls both journeyed to the Northeast Kingdom for their respective Week 3 games, and both came away winners.
Brattleboro got their first win of the season with a 34-0 thrashing of the North Country Falcons in Newport on Sept. 17, while Bellows Falls stayed undefeated with a 35-0 victory of the Lyndon Vikings.
• For Colonels fans, this was the game they had been waiting for. The three biggest playmakers on the team — quarterback Devin Speno, wide receiver Aaron Petrie, and running back Cam Frost — put on a show against the overmatched and winless Falcons.
Speno threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 25 of his 34 passes and threw one interception. Petrie caught 13 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, while Frost carried the ball 17 times for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Wide receiver Tristan Evans caught three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Willem Thurber had six catches for 89 yards as the Colonels racked up 457 yards of total offense to North Country’s 87. The defense played well too, as the Colonels forced four turnovers.
It took a bit for the Colonels offense to get going. After defensive lineman Noah White tackled a North Country player inside their goal line for a safety to start the second quarter, Brattleboro got its first touchdown on a 14-yard catch by Petrie. The point after kick was no good to make it 8-0 with 7:08 left in the quarter.
White came up on the Falcons’ next possession, as he recovered a fumble following a high snap on a punt attempt with 4:44 left in the half. The Colonels immediately turned the mistake into points as Speno lofted a pass toward the end zone and hit Petrie in stride for a 36-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the Colonels went into the break with a 14-0 lead.
It was all Brattleboro in the second half, as Evans reeled in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Speno with 6:01 to play in the third quarter. Frost scored on a 1-yard run to start the fourth quarter and Noah Perusse got the final touchdown with a 1-yard run with 1:44 left in the game.
Now 1-2, the Colonels play their only afternoon game of the season this Saturday when they host Mount Anthony for the annual Elwell Trophy game at 2 p.m.
• In contrast to the air show put on by the Colonels, the BF-Lyndon game was a display of old-style power football. The Terriers threw the ball once, but that one pass by quarterback Jonathan Terry was a 39-yard touchdown grab by tight end Max Hooke in the third quarter.
The Terriers got their first score with 6:01 left in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Jed Lober. Despite the Vikings having some success running the ball, they had nothing to show for it as BF led 7-0 at the half.
BF got rolling in the second half. Lober scored his second touchdown of the day with a 34-yard burst up the middle with 7:51 left in the third quarter. A blocked punt by Jeb Monier that was recovered by Lober on the Lyndon 13 was quickly turned into points as Caden Haskell scored on a 13-yard run. Monier missed his only extra point of the day for a 20-0 lead with 6:07 left in the quarter.
A fumble recovery by lineman Dillan Perry set up the Hooke touchdown reception to make it 27-0 with 5:28 left in the third. Monier scored the final BF touchdown with a 4-yard run, and Haskell caught the 2-point conversion pass with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter.
Lober finished with 101 yards on 13 carries, while Monier gained 47 yards on eight carries. Terry picked up 36 yards on seven carries as the Terriers improved to 3-0. BF will be on the road this Friday night when they take on Fair Haven.
• Brattleboro pulled off a first against Bellows Falls in their game on Sept. 14 in Westminster. Erika Favreau became the first player to score a goal against the defending state champions.
Favreau’s tally in the 10th minute of the opening quarter tied the game at 1-1. BF responded to that goal by scoring 10 unanswered goals on the way to an 11-1 rout of the Colonels.
Maya Waryas, Emma Bazin, Sadie Scott, and Ari Wunderle all scored two goals each for the undefeated Terriers, and Ashlynn Boucher, Ashlin Maxfield, and Emma Hillock each added a goal.
On Sept. 17 against Windsor, Bellows Falls kept the Yellowjackets off the board in a 4-0 road win. Goalie Jaia Caron got the shutout victory, and Bazin, Ava LaRoss, Boucher, and Wunderle all scored goals. The Terriers ended the week at 5-0.
• Brattleboro started last week with a loss in overtime, 3-2, to St. Johnsbury in a road match on Sept. 14. Emilo Ogden converted a penalty kick and Jordy Allembert also scored for the Colonels.
Their attention then turned to the John James Tournament in Bennington. In the opener on Sept. 16, the Colonels beat Mount Anthony, 5-3, at Spinelli Field.
Freshman Charlie Kinnersley scored three goals, while Ogden added a goal and two assists. Tucker Sargent also scored off a header and Tate Chamberlin and goalkeeper Paul McGillion each had an assist. McGillion had a big game in goal, stopping a penalty kick.
The Colonels lost in the championship game against Burr & Burton on Sept. 18, but it took a penalty kick shootout to decide the title.
The game’s only goals in regulation time came in the first half. Kinnersley scored for Brattleboro, set up by a Zinabu McNeice throw-in. Carson Beavin got the equalizer just before the end of the half.
It was scoreless the rest of the way in regulation, as well as in the two 10-minute overtimes, as both McGillion and Burr & Burton goalkeeper Will Morell — a reserve who finished the game after starter Emmett Edwards was injured in the 15th minute of regulation — turned in stellar performances in goal.
It stayed even through the first round of penalty kicks, as the teams scored on four of their five chances.
Now, the next successful kick would win the game. Brattleboro’s Ryder Sullivan slipped as he attempted his kick, and failed to convert. Burr & Burton’s Judd Gourley made his kick to give his team the tourney title. The Colonels ended the week at 3-1-1.
• Leland & Gray lost to Rivendell, 3-1, in the opening game of the Josh Cole Tournament in Ludlow on Sept. 17. In the tournament consolation game against Proctor the next night, the Rebels lost, 2-0. Green Mountain beat Rivendell, 3-0, to win the tourney title.
• Twin Valley beat Stratton Mountain School, 2-1, on Sept. 17. A Stratton defender knocked in the deciding goal in overtime. Luke Rizio scored the Wildcats’ other goal off an Aidin Joyce corner kick. Goalkeeper Liam Wendell had 16 saves as Twin Valley improved to 3-2.
• Bellows Falls got their first win of the season on Sept. 17, beating Long Trail, 2-1. Jenna Dolloph scored both goals. Her first came late in the opening half on a penalty kick, and she would score the game-winner with two minutes left in regulation.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 3 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Sept. 14 saw Alley Katz (13-2) go 5-0 to take sole possession of first place. Old Farts (12-3) went 4-1 to slide into second place. Stayin’ Alive (10-5) moved into third, followed by Team Four (7-8), Pin Setters, Trash-O-Matic, and Rolling Stones (all 5-10), and Pin Falls (2-13).
Carole Gloski had the women’s high handicap game (251), while Nancy Dalzell had the high handcap series (679). Bob Unccello had the men’s high handicap game (252) and series (725), and Rolling Stones had the high team handicap game (955) and series (2,637).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby led the men with his second straight 639 series, with games of 226, 212, and 201. Chuck Adams had games of 223, 211, and 192 as part of his 626 series, while Warren Corriveau Sr. had games of 214 and 192 as part of his 595 series. Marty Adams had games of 214 and 192 as part of his 541 series, Uccello had a 186 game as part of his 527 series, and Duane Schillemat had a 183 game as part of his 517 series. Al Dascomb rolled a 186 game.
Gloski had the high scratch game (203) and Dalzell had the high series (550) to lead the women. Dalzell had games of 202 and 188, while Carole Frizzell rolled a 175 game and Shirley Aiken had a 170 game.