The hoopla that surrounded the centennial edition of the Harris Hill ski jumping competition last month focused on the rich history that has been made on Cedar Street over the past 100 years.
But there is just as much excitement about the future of ski jumping, and Brattleboro’s role in keeping the sport viable in the United States. The great season that the Harris Hill Junior Jumpers had this winter is proof of that.
Coach Todd Einig, Harris Hill’s Chief of Competition and former elite jumper, revived the Junior Jumping program in Brattleboro in 2019 after it had been dormant for more than a decade.
“It was something that needed to be done,” he said last fall. “Harris Hill is a great event, but we didn’t have local jumpers.”
Youngsters start out on a 7-meter hill at Living Memorial Park, then move up to an 18-meter hill. If they master that, they start jumping off bigger hills around the region. No one from the revived program has tackled Harris Hill, but it’s only a matter of time, Einig said.
At the New Hampshire State Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined Championships at the Proctor (Blackwater) Ski Area at Proctor Academy in Lebanon, N.H., on Feb. 27, the Junior Jumpers all came home with medals in their events.
In the U-8 Boys, 10-meter jump, Miles Becker of Guilford came in first and Myles Billings of Brattleboro was third. Max Becker of Guilford placed second in the Open Boys, 30-meter jump. Spencer Jones of Putney was first in the U-12 Boys, 30-meter jump, and Ava Joyal of Brattleboro won the U-10 Girls, 18-meter jump. In the U-12 Nordic Combined event, Jones finished second.
The Junior Jumpers followed that up with another great performance at the Lebanon Outing Club’s “Mud Meet” on March 6 at Storrs Hill Ski Area in Lebanon, N.H.
Spencer Jones led the way by winning the Junior Skimeister K25. He finished first in the U-12 ski jumping event, Nordic race, and Alpine race, while Putney’s Alyssa Jones was second in U-12 ski jump and third in the Alpine race.
Guilford’s Ava Einig was second in the U-14 Nordic race and third in the Alpine race, while Miles Becker and Joyal were both third in their respective U-10 ski jump evens. Max Becker was ninth in the Open ski jump, and Billings tied for eighth in the U-10 ski jump.
Their final competition of the year came on March 12 in the Lake Placid Norwegian Open in Lake Placid, N.Y. Alix Joyal, Ava’s mom, wrote in to tell me that it was “an awesome weekend of jumping!”
For Ava, it was chance to do some training at the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex with coaches from the New York Ski Educational Foundation. Alix said this was “primarily practicing skill work and running jumps on the 20-meter hills” on March 11.
Ava’s teammates, Miles and Max Becker, joined her the next day for the competition, and the big storm that hit the East Coast on March 12 came in early to Lake Placid with lots of fresh snow and wind, not ideal weather for ski jumping. But Ava and the Becker brothers were game, and had a good day. Miles placed second in the U-10 Boys jump, Ava placed second in the U-10 Girls jump and fourth in the U-12 Girls group, and Max placed 12th in the Open Boys class.
Alix said everyone stuck around the next morning to take in more training on the competition hills, and that the Junior Jumpers are looking forward to the Summer Grasshopper Jumping Camps this summer in Lake Placid’s Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.
Yes, the next generation of local ski jumpers is coming along nicely and, perhaps a few Februaries from now, they will be soaring off Harris Hill to the roar of the crowd.
Local skaters to compete in All-Star game
• Several Brattleboro players, plus a Bellows Falls athlete who played for Hartford’s girls’ hockey team, have been selected to play in the 36th Rotary Key Bank All-Star Hockey Classic.
The event will take place Saturday, March 19 at the Essex Skating Facility. The girls’ game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m., with the boys’ game to follow at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and the price includes admission to both games.
Brattleboro forward Will Taggard will play for the Harris Conference team in the boys’ game, while forwards Jenna Powers, Sophia Mikijaniec, and Julianna Miskovich of Brattleboro and BF’s Grace Bazin, representing Hartford as a defender, will play for the Austin Conference in the girls’ game.
All proceeds from this event are donated to charity by the Essex Rotary Club. Contact Jason Ruwet at 802-876-7147 for more information.
Little League sign-ups begin this week
• Sign-ups for Brattleboro Little League baseball will be held on March 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24 at American Legion Post 5 on Linden Street, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., on March 16, and from 4 to 6 p.m. all other days.
Players from Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Dummerston, and Putney, as well as Chesterfield and Hinsdale, N.H., are eligible to participate. Tryouts are scheduled to be held on March 26 at a site to be determined.
Spring sign-ups begin for Rec. Dept. programs
The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department is currently accepting registrations for the following spring sports programs:
• Youth softball is for those in grades 3-6. The cost will be $45 for Brattleboro residents and $60 for non-residents. A t-shirt is included in the registration fee. The program is designed to teach the players the fundamentals of softball and provide them with an enjoyable experience. Practice and games will be 2-3 times a week. Games will be played in Brattleboro and neighboring towns.
• Boys’ and girls’ youth lacrosse is for those in grades 3-6. The cost for either program is $20 for Brattleboro residents and $35 for non-residents. Youth lacrosse will have 1-2 practices a week focusing on fundamentals and skill building. A minimum of 10 participants are required to run each age group.
• Youth T-Ball is open to all those who were born between Sept. 1, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2017. The cost will be $30 for Brattleboro residents and $45 for non-residents. A t-shirt is included in this fee. Youths will learn the fundamentals of baseball in an appropriate way, stressing safety, skills, and fun. Players will be assigned a team and will have one practice and one game per week. Each child will need to bring their own glove.
• Small Fry Baseball is open to all those who were born between Sept. 1, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2015. The cost will be $40 for Brattleboro residents and $55 for non-residents. A t-shirt is included in this fee. Youths will learn the fundamentals of baseball. Players will be assigned a team and will have 2-3 practices and games a week. Each child will need to bring their own glove.
Those interested can register three different ways: in person Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m., at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street; at an extended in-person registration on Wednesday, March 16, from 1:30 to 6 p.m., at the Gibson Aiken Center, or online at register1.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/vtbrattleboro.wsc/splash.html. For more information, call the Gibson-Aiken office at 802-254-5808.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 10 of the winter/spring 2022 season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on March 10 saw Trash-O-Matic (36-14) have a 5-0 week to stay in first place. Bowling Stones (30-20) had a 3-2 week to hang onto second place, followed by Stayin’ Alive (28-22), The 844s (26-24), The Anythings (23-27), A Rose/Tulips and Slow Movers (both 22-28), and Good Times (12-38).
Jeanne Czuy had the women’s high handicap game (252), while Josie Rigby had the high handicap series (655). Gary Montgomery had the men’s high handicap game (255) while Chuck Adams had the high handicap series (700). Stayin’ Alive had the high team handicap game (879) and series (2,575).
In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams again led the men with a 700 series that featured games of 245, 234, and 221, while Montgomery had a 586 series with games of 235 and 206. Marty Adams had a 550 series with games of 199 and 182, while Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 541 series with games of 200 and 180, and Jerry Dunham had a 534 series with a 187 game.
Josie Rigby had the women’s high scratch series (536), with games of 187 and 182. Nancy Dalzell rolled a 184 game.