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Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons

Lakes Region baserunner Matthew Heisler slides in ahead of the tag by Brattleboro first baseman Jeremy Graves during a pickoff attempt in the second inning of the second game of a June 19 American Legion Baseball doubleheader at Tenney Field.

Sports

Post 5 opens Legion season with a 3-1 record

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.

Brattleboro Post 5 started the 2022 American Legion Baseball season with a 3-1 record in the first week of play.

In the home opener at Tenney Field on June 19, Post 5 swept a doubleheader from Lakes Region, winning the first game, 15-9, and taking the nightcap, 18-13.

An extremely windy afternoon made every fly ball an adventure for outfielders, and turned a couple of fly balls into home runs. The doubleheader wins were not games to objectively measure the strength of the Post 5 squad, which is mostly comprised of the Brattleboro Union High School team that made it to the state finals two years in a row.

But there were signs of the one thing that BUHS coach Chris Groeger fretted most about during this past varsity baseball season, which was giving teams too many opportunities through fielding errors and mistakes on the base paths.

Post 5 escaped paying the price against Lakes Region, and in a 5-4 win over Rutland Post 31 on June 22 at St. Peter‘s Field. Catcher Turner Clews, who didn’t have a hit in the Lakes Region sweep, had two singles, a double, and a walk in four trips to the plate. He drove in three runs against Rutland’s pitching.

Aidan Davis and Caden Wood also had multiple hit games, and Alex McClelland had a RBI single in the seventh that proved to be the margin of victory. Brandon Weeks went six innings on the mound for Post 5, striking out eight while allowing two runs and five hits, and Willem Thurber pitched in the seventh to earn a save.

Post 5’s good fortune ran out on June 23, with an 8-2 loss to Bennington Post 13 at Tenney Field. Brattleboro was undone by several mistakes in the field. At the plate, Post 5 was stymied as Post 13 pitchers Mathew Wasieleuski and Nat Greenslet combined on a five-hitter. It didn’t help that Post 5 left 10 men on base.

“We hit the ball hard, but we had too many fly balls and left a ton of guys on base,” said Post 5 manager Eric Libardoni.

Parker Richardson was the losing pitcher. He gave up seven runs in the second inning on an error, a hit batsman, and four hits, and was lifted with one out in the third inning after Post 13 loaded the bases with no outs. Jolie Glidden and Wood finished up the game in relief.

Brattleboro’s only two runs came in the fifth inning. Weeks walked and Zinabu McNeice drew a walk and both scored on a Thurber groundout and an RBI single by Alex Bingham, respectively.

Post 37 honors Bill Lockerby

• Bellows Falls Post 37 opened its season on June 21 at Hadley Field by paying tribute to its late manager, Bill Lockerby.

Lockerby, who led Post 37 from 2016 to 2021 and was a longtime youth coach in Bellows Falls, died in a hunting accident in Ohio on Oct. 28. 2021. His No. 17 Post 37 jersey was retired in an emotional pregame ceremony, and it will hang in a place of honor at the Legion hall.

Grady Lockerby, Bill’s son, was the starting pitcher for Post 37 against Lakes Region, and he was staked to a 3-0 lead after the first inning. That would be all the runs Post 37 would score as Lakes Region rolled to a 14-3 win in five innings due to the 10-run rule.

Lakes Region scored four runs in the third, four in the fourth, and six in the fifth as nine Post 37 errors fueled those big innings. Lockerby finished with four strikeouts.

Post 37 then evened its record to 1-1 with a 10-0 win over Rutland Post 31 in a five-inning game stopped by the 10-run rule.

Jack Cravinho got the win. He threw five innings and gave up three hits. Jamison Nystrom and Cam Boardman got the key hits in the victory.

Brattleboro wins Vermont All Star Football Camps 7v7 tournament

• Colonel football fans got a preview of what the 2022 high school football season might be like at the second annual Vermont All Star Football Camp 7v7 tournament at Judy McCormick Taylor Field in Manchester on June 24.

The quarterback-wide receiver combo of Devin Speno to Tristan Evans led Brattleboro to a one point victory over Burr & Burton in the championship game of the tournament. Speno was named tournament MVP.

Speno, last year’s starting quarterback, and Evans, one of last season’s top pass catchers for the Colonels, will be seniors this season, and they showed how dangerous they could be this fall.

Brattleboro, one of two new teams in this tournament, earned the No. 4 seed in the playoffs after a 1-3 record in round robin play. They beat last year’s 7v7 champion Mount Anthony (3-1), the top seed, in a close game to advance to the championship match-up against No. 2 Burr & Burton, who beat No. 3 St. Johnsbury to advance into the final.

U-32, the other new team in the tournament, did not make the playoffs after going 0-4 in the round-robin portion of the tourney.

While the Brattleboro team’s success in this tournament was good to see, it comes with the caveat that it is the seven-on-seven football format, which is played without helmets and pads. It’s a faster game than regular 11-on-11 football, with lots of passing and no running plays or tackling on defense.

Vermont high school varsity teams played this style of football in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and growing safety concerns about tackle football might see the 7-on-7 game return for varsity play in the near future.

It’s not going to happen in 2022, but if does in future years, it would be bad news for the “ground-and-pound” football programs such as Bellows Falls, but it might benefit the programs such as Brattleboro’s that embrace the aerial approach to the game.

Twin State field hockey game returns

• After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the top graduated seniors from Vermont and New Hampshire faced each other in the Twin State Field Hockey Classic on June 25 at St. Michael’s College in Winooski.

Bellows Falls head coach Bethany Coursen led the Vermont team, assisted by Brattleboro head coach Erin Cooke.

Coursen, whose Terriers won six consecutive state titles before falling 3-1 to South Burlington in the 2021 Division I state championship game, has four of her own players on the team — goalie Jaia Caron, midfielders Grace Bazin and Grace Wilkinson, and forward Maya Waryas.

Despite all of the Terrier talent on the Vermont side, New Hampshire scored three unanswered goals to win this year’s Twin State Cup, 4-1. After St. Johnsbury’s Clara Andre scored on a penalty stroke with 5:48 left in the first half for Vermont’s lone goal to tie the game at 1-all, the Granite Staters took control of the game.

Caron made three saves in her time in goal, while Clara Gorman’s five saves led the way for New Hampshire.

Vermont sweeps Twin-State baseball

• Vermont took the opener 9-7 and won the second game 19-4 to complete a doubleheader sweep of New Hampshire in Saturday’s Twin State Baseball Classic at Norwich University’s Garrity Field.

Brattleboro pitcher-infielder Alex Bingham and catcher Turner Clews were on the Vermont squad. Clews had a pair of hits and scored three runs in the second game.

Sully Beers of South Burlington earned MVP honors for Vermont, while Fall Mountain’s Dominic Van Laere-Nutting was New Hampshire’s MVP.

Vermont, N.H. split Make-A-Wish Classic

• The Vermont girls struck for a late winner in a 2-1 victory, while the New Hampshire boys used an empty-netter to seal a 5-3 win in the Make-A-Wish All-Star Hockey Classic on June 25 at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Middlebury’s Avery Gale got the winning goal scored with under two minutes to play to give Vermont a 11-10-3 all-time lead in the series. Sophie Zemaniek of BFA-St. Albans had Vermont’s other goal. The Vermonters outshot New Hampshire, 41-14.

In the boys’ 30th matchup, Essex’s Trenton Sisters, Spaulding’s Jamison Mast and BFA’s Collin Audy scored the goals for Vermont. The teams each registered 22 shots. Brattleboro’s Will Taggard was the lone local representative on the Vermont squad.

North-South Softball Classic also returns

• Also returning from a two year pandemic enforced absence is the Vermont North-South Softball Classic, which will be played July 1 and 2 at Castleton University with two seven-inning games getting starting Friday at 4 p.m., and a nine-inning game on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Brattleboro pitcher Leah Madore and catcher Brittney Wright are on the South squad, along with Green Mountain’s Kim Cummings.

Little Leaguers prepare for playoffs

• The rosters and schedule have been announced for the Brattleboro Little League 12-year-old All-Star team for the 2022 tournament season.

Chad Gundry is the head coach of the 12-year-old All-Stars. His assistants are Tucker Leary and Brian Casey. The players are Colby Robinson, Senji Kimura, Kason Gundry, Ryan Peloso, Briar Cutting, Kaden Cole, Landon Zinn, Sebastian Garro, Logan Waite, Yignyen Wangchuk, Logan Casey, Cooper Leary, and Wylie Nelson.

Brattleboro will begin district play in the 12-year-old tournament at South Main Street field against Rutland on July 5 at 6 p.m. Brattleboro will play games home and away against Rutland and Bennington in the round-robin stage from July 5-12.

The team with the best record from this stage will face the winner of a one-game playoff between the second and third place teams in a best-of-three series scheduled for July 15-17. The winner goes on to the state tournament.

The Brattleboro 10-year-old All-Stars will play a similar format for their tournament on July 5-17 against teams from Bennington and Rutland, while the 11-year-olds will play Rutland head-to-head in a best-of-five series.

Grace Cottage earns second in Red Sox IMPACT Awards

• Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital recently was awarded second place in the annual Red Sox IMPACT Awards competition. The IMPACT Awards, presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, support organizations raising awareness and improving outcomes surrounding mental health.

Red Sox Foundation Development & Partnerships Manager Matt McCarthy congratulated Grace Cottage, saying, “The work you all undertake on a daily basis is incredible.”

Grace Cottage says it will use its $3,000 IMPACT award to expand the safety net of mental health services that it provides in its primary care clinic, Suboxone clinic, and Emergency Department.

The IMPACT Awards give Red Sox fans the opportunity to nominate their favorite nonprofits to receive support and funding. The awards provide the winning nonprofits with either a first-place $10,000 grant, second-place $3,000 grant, or a third-place $2,000 grant. Eligible organizations with the most online votes from fans are the designated winners, with three nonprofit winners selected from each New England state.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 4 of the Brattleboro Senior Summer Bowling League on June 23 at Brattleboro Bowl saw Angus & Company (17-2) move into first place, with Good Times (15-5) falling into second, followed by The Keglers (11-9), The Strikers (10-10), The Anythings (9-11), and the Number 1’s, Stayin’ Alive, and Trash-O-Matic (all 6-14).

Pam Greenblott had the women’s high handicap game (240), while Carole Gloski once again had the high handicap series (644). Chuck Adams had the men’s high handicap game (256) and series (690). Stayin’ Alive had the high team handicap game (861), while The Anythings had the high team handicap series (2,488).

In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams again led the men with a 690 series with games of 256, 223. and 211. Robert Rigby had a 596 series with games of 213 and 199. Jerry Dunham had a 568 series with a 225 game, while Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 558 series with games of 199 and 190, and Gary Montgomery had a 527 series.

Gloski had the women’s high scratch series (527) with games of 179, 179, and 169. Josie Rigby had a 162 game, while Greenblott rolled a 160 game.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #670 (Wednesday, June 29, 2022). This story appeared on page A6.

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