Brattleboro Union High School track and lacrosse teams have their rosters overflowing with players this spring.
Other spring sports teams, such as boys’ tennis, aren’t quite as fortunate.
“It’s getting tough to get people to come out for tennis,” Colonels boys’ tennis coach Justin Duncan said Friday as he looked out from the BUHS courts to a jammed Natowich Field, where track and lacrosse practices were going full-bore. “The numbers are down for boys’ and girls’ tennis this year.”
Duncan is struggling to get enough players to play a match without having to forfeit a game or two. It is a big reason why the Colonels have started the season 0-4.
The Colonels started last week by getting skunked by Rutland, 7-0, on April 21 at the BUHS courts.
Tony Acevedo lost at No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-1; Lachlan Francis lost at No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-2; Jake Gartenstein lost at No. 3 singles 6-1, 6-0; Spencer Butter lost at No. 4 singles 6-3, 6-0; and Mateo Vallejo lost at No. 5 singles 6-1, 6-3.
Doubles teams fared no better as No. 1 Nick Ahlgren and Nick Hallock fell 6-2, 6-2, and the Colonels forfeited the No. 2 match.
Burr & Burton came to town last Friday, and the result was the same, a 7-0 loss. Both Francis and Gideon May lost in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, while Gartenstein lost at No. 3, 6-0, 6-1. Butter lost his No. 4 singles match, 6-3, 6-1, and Nick Hallock fell at No. 5, 6-1, 6-3. Ahlgren and Vallejo lost their No. 1 doubles match, 6-1, 6-0, and the Colonels forfeited the No. 2 match.
• Chris McAuliffe and Kevin Tao drove in two runs apiece as Brattleboro felled Bellows Falls, 7-2, at Tenney Field on April 22.
The Colonels have been hitting well in the early part of this season. Hunter Smith, Rob Heileman, and Chris McAuliffe each had two hits, while Ryan McAuliffe went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Smith drove in a run as well.
The difference has been better defense. Although the Colonels don’t make mistakes in the field to give away runs to their opponents, they can usually score enough runs to win.
That was the case against BF. Their running game opens scoring opportunities and forces mistakes by their opponents. But you can’t score a lot of runs if you don’t have a lot of base runners, and Colonels pitcher Jimmy Mills made sure of that. He pitched a complete-game five-hitter, striking out six and walking two.
The Terriers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning before the Colonels got four runs in the second, off losing pitcher Zach Streeter. BF’s Carson Fullam, who relieved Streeter, drove in a run; Austin Stack had two hits.
• Josh Donna had two hits and two RBIs, and Jeremy Bovat doubled for Leland & Gray, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Green Mountain clobbered the Rebels, 13-6, in their season opener on April 22 in Townshend. The Rebels drew six walks and had seven hits, but these weren’t strung together into one big inning. Adam and Owen Beattie and Ryan Borgesen split up the pitching duties.
Last Thursday against West Rutland, Donna struck out 13 batters in his first varsity start on the mound as the Rebels won 16-1 in six innings. Nick Morrow and Owen Beattie had three hits each, while Donna and Corey Nystrom each had two hits and two RBIs.
• Twin Valley bounced back from season-opening losses to Woodstock and Proctor to get its first win of the season, a 6-4 victory at West Rutland on April 23.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 5-0 lead as pitcher Sam Molner scattered six hits over as many innings. Molner helped himself with a hit and an RBI, while his catcher, Colin Lozito, had three hits, two RBIs, and two stolen bases. Lozito also threw out two base runners.
• Leland & Gray pitcher Elizabeth Symanski struck out eight and walked no one as she threw a four-hitter to give the Rebels a 6-1 road win over Rutland on April 21. Symanski helped her cause with a 2-for-4 day at the plate, while Emily Stockwell had three hits, including a double and a triple. Leah Gokey and Emily Thibault drove in a run apiece.
Against Springfield last Thursday, the Rebels were stymied by Cosmos pitcher Sarah Locke, who struck out 11 and walked one batter over five innings in a 10-6 victory. An eight-run fourth inning by Springfield would be the Rebels’ undoing: Symanski gave up 10 hits to take the loss. Jordan Gouger had a double, a triple, and three RBIs for Leland & Gray.
• Kaylea Niles and Abby Putnam each went 3-for-4 as Twin Valley out-slugged Woodstock, 17-10, in their season opener on April 21 at Woodstock. Savannah Nesbitt socked a two-run homer, and Jordan Niles had two hits as Colton Butler, Niles, Nesbitt, and Putnam teamed up to drive in seven runs.
• Savananh Nesbitt got the only hit for Twin Valley as the Wildcats lost to West Rutland, 16-1, in an April 23 game cut short by the 15-run mercy rule.
Track and field
• The Brattleboro boys and girls swept their respective seven-team meets in Bellows Falls on April 22.
The BUHS boys edged out BF, 161-159. Woodstock was third with 79 points, followed by Hartford (53), Sharon Academy (32), Twin Valley (7), and Springfield (6).
Miles Goldenbird led the Colonels with wins in javelin and triple jump and a took a third in discus. Dakota Peterson was first in shot put, second in discus, and third in the 100-meter dash. Josh Parro was first in long jump and third in triple jump. Declan King was first in pole vault. John Lonardo (shot put) and Ryan Gilligan (3,000) each placed second, while Tyler Clement (200), Jack Ochukpue (110 hurdles), and Dan Burke (3,000) earned respective thirds.
The Brattleboro girls cruised to a team victory with 158 points, followed by Hartford (102), Bellows Falls (82), Woodstock (67), Sharon Academy (25), Springfield (21), and Twin Valley (19).
Eve Pomazi swept the 100, 200, and 400 sprints to lead the Colonels. Nevada Powers won the 3,000 and high jump and took second in the 1,500, while Conley Crowder was second in discus and shot put. Catey Yost (800) and Michaela Shea-Gander (300 hurdles) each finished second, and Asha DiMatteo-LePage (shot put), Gwendolyn Harris (400), Laura Freeman (300 hurdles), and Kira Boucher (triple jump) all were third.
• The Brattleboro boys won their home opener last Thursday with a 15-10 win over Amherst, Mass. This was a big win for the Colonels, their first victory over Amherst.
Sam Siegel (5 goals), Connor Elliott-Knaggs (4 goals) and Brennan Zolnoski (3 goals) carried the bulk of the scoring load. Tanner Freeman scored twice and Jake Atomanuk scored a key goal in the first half that sparked a Colonels rally. Brattleboro goalie Ian Cebek made 10 saves.