Top four teams advance in CRVBL playoffs

The final four is now set after the opening round of the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League playoffs over the weekend.

Third-place Claremont defeated fifth-place Putney Fossils in their best-of-three series. Putney won the first game on Saturday at Dummerston School, 5-4, but the Cardinals rallied to win both of Sunday's games at Barnes Park in Claremont - 6-2 in the morning and 4-3 in the afternoon.

Fourth-place Sunapee also rallied to win its series against sixth-place Newport. The Polar Bears won the opener, 8-5, on Saturday, but the Old Lakers tied the series on Sunday morning, 5-3, rolling to an 11-3 win in the afternoon to clinch the series.

First-place Chester/Saxtons River Crush swept the last-place Brattleboro River Rats in their series on Sunday at Vermont Academy, with a 5-1 win in the morning and an 11-2 win in the afternoon.

Second-place Walpole swept their series against seventh-place Keene on Sunday afternoon, as the Wild Blue beat the Black Dawgs, 8-0, in the first game and 5-0 in the nightcap.

The four series winners will now meet in one-game semifinals on Saturday, Aug. 17 in Walpole. The Crush play the Cardinals at 1 p.m., while the Wild Blue take on the Old Lakers at 4 p.m.

Saturday's winners will then play each other for the CRVBL Cup the following afternoon at 1 p.m. Visit CRVBL at for this weekend's complete schedule.

Harris Hill committee honored by USSA

• The Harris Hill Ski Jump committee, which manages the annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition in Brattleboro, was awarded Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year at the 2013 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) Congress.

The annual USSA Congress awards not only clubs, but also coaches, athletes, and resorts evincing exemplary service to the sports of skiing and snowboarding.

Peter Graves, a former Putney resident, Harris Hill committee member, snow sports announcer, and current communications director for USA Ski Jumping, accepted the award on behalf of the organization at the Congress, held in Park City, Utah in May.

According to the awards dedication, “The club has an unparalleled dedication to promoting the sport of ski jumping with their annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping Tournament, held in Brattleboro every February for nearly 100 years. For the last two seasons, the club has undertaken the greater responsibility of hosting prestigious FIS Cups in ski jumping, allowing the U.S. Ski Team to jump in front of American fans while earning FIS points.”

“We are delighted to be recognized by the USSA as the top ski jumping club in the U.S.,” said Betsy Farley, Harris Hill Ski Jump co-chair. “The Harris Hill committee, volunteers, sponsors and fans are all responsible for the success of our event. Our sense of community, paired with an international venue, keeps athletes coming back year after year.”

The Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition started in 1922, thanks to the vision of Fred Harris of Brattleboro, who founded the Brattleboro Outing Club and the Dartmouth Outing Club. Only an occasional snow drought, World War II and a hiatus from 2006 to 2008 to re-build the jump have interrupted the annual tradition.

Today, Harris Hill Ski Jump, designed to International Ski Federation (FIS) specifications, is the only 90-meter ski jump in New England, and the newest Olympic-sized 90-meter jump in the country.

The event is run by a volunteer organizing committee and is supported by hundreds of community volunteers on the two days of the event. Sponsorship and donations make the event possible.

The 2014 Harris Hill Ski Jumping competition is scheduled for Feb. 15 and 16. Learn more at

Retreat's golf tournament raises $37,000

• More than 110 golfers played in picture-perfect conditions on Aug. 7 to help make the Brattleboro Retreat's eighth annual Golf Tournament at the Brattleboro Country Club a big success. The event raised $37,000 to benefit services for children and adolescents receiving care at the Retreat.

Winner of the tournament's First Gross was the team representing gold sponsor Economy Mechanical: Andrew O'Brien, Matt Holbrook, Tim Manwaring, and Adam O'Brien.

Winner of First Net was the team representing platinum sponsor Sodexo: Dave Marquis, Pat Varner, Tim Sheehan, and Jack Varner.

The team taking Second Gross included representatives from platinum sponsor Sodexo: Dan Bassett, Jim Bassett, Vinnie Melendez, and Norm Morris.

Second Net went to Rob Simpson, Michael Krupa, Gary Grandonico, and Chris Yuan.

Tracy Sloan and Andy Courchesne won the Women's and Men's Longest Drive. Tammy Morse and Larry Cassidy of Silver Sponsor Bast Investment Co., won the Women's and Men's Closest-to-the-Pin Competition.

Bette Abrams and Steve Ratti won the Women's and Men's Straightest Drive. At the end of the evening, Dave Marquis of Platinum Sponsor Sodexo, was the only finalist out of 17 to sink the winning putt in the putting contest.

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