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Life and Work

Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl weathers uncertain economic times

The 58th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, a showcase for the top high school football players from Vermont and New Hampshire, is set for this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at MacLeay-Royce Field in Windsor.

Last year, the event raised $30,000 for Shriners hospitals in Montreal, Boston, and Springfield, Mass. About 4,000 spectators attended the game.

This is the third straight year the game has been held in Windsor. For many years, it had been held at Memorial Field at Dartmouth and there is some speculation that it might return there next year. The Shrine committee is expected to make a final decision on the 2012 site this fall.

David Orr, the longtime head of media relations for the Shrine game, told the Burlington Free Press that despite the attendance being down from the event’s heyday, the event is “as strong as we’ve ever been in five or six years. These are not easy times, economically. I think if we can make it through these years and get to another swing, I think that’s going to help these games.”

It takes a lot of money to put on the Shrine game. It costs between $50,000 and $60,000 for the nine-day training camp at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. The rent for the field in Windsor is $8,000 and it costs another $5,000 to rent extra stands from Dartmouth. Orr told the Free Press that “you couldn’t run this all-star game for less than $150,000.”

There are also fewer Shriners than there used to be, but Orr told the Free Press that the game’s alumni association, which is made up of about 4,000 former players, coaches, and officials, has picked up the slack in selling tickets and supporting the event.

The only local representative to the team is Ryan Hayward of Bellows Falls. He’ll play at running back and defensive back.

Hayward scored four touchdowns in last fall’s Division III state championship game as the Terriers beat Windsor, 39-22. He ran for nearly 1,500 yards last season in helping BF win its 10th state football title. He was named Division III Player of the Year.

Vermont hopes to break a decade-long losing streak against New Hampshire on Saturday. The Green Mountain Boys haven’t won the Shrine game since a 47-40 win in 2000.

CVBL roundup

• The Claremont Cardinals clinched the top spot in the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League playoffs with a 11-2 win over the Chester Pirates on Sunday. Claremont is in sole possession of first with a 10-4 record, while Chester fell to 8-4. Bob Myers threw a complete game five-hitter for the victory; Jamie Spence was the losing pitcher.

The Brattleboro River Rats and Saxtons River Pirates are fighting for third place. Brattleboro now has the upper hand, thanks to a 7-6 win in Dummerston. The Rats now have a 7-6 record, with Saxtons River close behind at 7-7. Brattleboro’s Greg Elbaum got the win in relief of Marty Verlander; David Lockerby took the loss for the Pirates.

The Keene Black Dawgs and Putney Fossils are fighting to stay out of last place. Keene climbed out of the basement with a 12-8 win over Putney at Keene State College. Pitcher Tim Santaw went the distance for the win, despite giving up 11 hits. Richard Bissell took the loss for Putney. Keene is now 4-9, while Putney is 4-10.

The regular season finishes up this Sunday. Chester has a pair of road games as they face Saxtons River at 10:30 a.m. and Brattleboro at 1:30 p.m. The River Rats will also be hosting Putney at 10 a.m. Claremont travels to Keene for an 11 a.m. contest.

Youth Services golf tourney raises $22,000

Youth Services’ 26th annual Golf Tournament at the Brattleboro Country Club on July 27 was a big success, generating more than $22,000 to help underwrite the agency’s programs.

The team of Dave Anderson, Bill Pettingill, Cathy Coonan, and Rick Manson won First Gross, with the team of Ken Whitworth, David Ross, Eric Carpenter, and Brian Baker finishing First Net.

The team of Sparky Anderson, David Gates, Dave August, and Dan Zumbruski took Second Gross and Don Pizzoferrato, Greg Chase, Kirk Smallridge, and John Perreault took Second Net.

Nicole Pizzoferrato won the prize for the Women’s Longest Drive. Laura Barnett won the prize for Women’s Closest to the Pin while Eileen Ranslow won Closest to the Line.

In the Men’s Division, Kirk Nims took the prize for Longest Drive. Jim Lindsay took Closest to the Line with Dave Anderson winning Closest to Pin.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #112 (Wednesday, August 3, 2011).

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