The Brattleboro and Bellows Falls football teams had their final dress rehearsals before their opening games this Friday night. The results of the team’s scrimmages couldn’t have been more different.
On Friday night, the Colonels went to Keene, N.H., to play the Blackbirds. Brattleboro’s starters had no luck at all either moving the ball on offense or stopping Keene on defense in the first half. In the second half, the Colonels fared a little better against Keene’s second team.
The Colonels were 5-4 last year and just missed out on a playoff spot. They will be leaning heavily on quarterback Tyler Higley, who threw for 1,700 yards last year in his first season as a starter. Coach Mike Hatt, now in his third season at the helm, is tweaking the offense to take advantage of Higley’s arm.
The Terriers played their first game under the lights at Hadley Field on Saturday night against the Newport (N.H.) Tigers, and shut them out on defense while scoring two rushing touchdowns.
Bellows Falls has a very young team, and preseason injuries have already forced coach Bob Lockerby to make some changes on the fly. His opening night quarterback will be sophomore Ethan Illingworth, and he’ll be relying upon senior running backs Zach Rawling and Ethan Amidon for the Terriers’ ground game.
While the scrimmage was a success, the biggest success story of the night was the Hadley Field lights. The field was well-lighted from end to end and the stands had more fans than you might expect for a preseason scrimmage.
“It’s a whole different atmosphere,” said former longtime BF football coach Bis Bisbee.
Both the Colonels and the Terriers open their season on the road. The Colonels will be at Essex, while the Terriers travel to Fair Haven. Both games start at 7 p.m.
With the start of the fall high school sports season this week comes a new emphasis on concussions.
A new Vermont law, Act 58, calls on coaches not to permit athletes to train or compete with a school athletic team if they have suffered a concussion or other head injury unless they have received medical clearance to play.
Coaches are now required to receive regular training on how to recognize symptoms of a concussion or head injuries, and remove athletes from play immediately if a concussion is suspected.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 4 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. It is the most commonly reported injury for children and adolescents who play sports.
With all the attention being focused on the effects of traumatic brain injuries from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the playing fields of professional sports, it is definitely time to pay attention to this issue at the middle and high school level, particularly in contact sports such as football and soccer.
The CDC has a must-read fact sheet for parents and student-athletes regarding concussion treatment and prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html.
Time for Walk, Run & Roll
The 17th annual “Walk, Run & Roll” fundraiser to benefit the Brattleboro Walk-In Clinic will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15. The event includes a 5K run, a 5K walk, a kid’s fun run, and 34-mile cycling event.
The first 50 adult bikers and first 50 adult walkers/runners will receive a free race t-shirt. Top-finishers will be eligible for a variety of prizes from area restaurants, shops and retail outlets. Additional prizes will be awarded in raffles. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in several categories, as well as randomly raffled. All kids participating in the fun run will receive a medal. Refreshments will be provided.
Registration takes place behind the Dunham Building in the parking lot of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Bikers will register at 7 a.m., with a 7:30 a.m. start time.
Run, walk, and fun run registration begins at 7:45 a.m. The fun run event starts at 8:30 a.m., while the 5K walk starts at 8:45 a.m., and the 5K run begins at 9 a.m.
The walk and run events will be professionally timed by 3C Race productions.“Walk, Run and Roll” is sanctioned by the New England Association of USA Track & Field (USATF). There is a non-refundable entry fee of $20 for adults (free for youths under 12.) Pre-register for this event by Sept. 13 at www.3craceproductions.com. More information and entry forms are available at www.BrattleboroWalkInClinic.com.
All proceeds go to support the Walk-In Clinic, a nonprofit organization providing free medical and dental care to those without health insurance.