Area players lead Vermont Academy to girls’ soccer title
Vermont Academy’s Maggie Hodgson (2) scored the only goal of the game as the Wildcats defeated Christian Heritage School of Trumbull, Conn., 1-0, to win the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class D girls’ soccer championship on Nov. 17.

Area players lead Vermont Academy to girls’ soccer title

The Vermont Academy girls' soccer team has won the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class D Championship tournament.

On Nov. 17, the VA Wildcats defeated Christian Heritage School of Trumbull, Conn., 1-0, in the finals. Saxtons River junior Maggie Hodgson scored the goal and sophomore Elizabeth Pitts from Raymond, N.H. earned the assist.

Sophomore midfielder Grace Bazin from Westminster, senior midfielder and Captain Ella Bushee from Walpole, N.H., and sophomore midfielder Hillary Berry, also from Walpole, contributed to the win.

This is the fifth straight year that Vermont Academy has played for the NEPSAC Girls' Soccer Championship, and the third time in five years that they've won it. This year's team finished with a 15-5-2 record.

NEPSAC was founded in 1942 as an organization of athletic directors from preparatory schools in New England. It has 155 member schools. NEPSAC sanctions elite New England championship events in many sports and provides guidance in a variety of issues involving interscholastic athletics.

For more information about Vermont Academy's sports programs, visit

Late start for winter season for high schoolers

• Girls' and boys' basketball teams will be reporting to their school gymnasiums on Monday, Dec. 2, as the first practices are held for the Vermont high school season. The games themselves won't start until Dec. 13.

However, Twin Valley got special dispensation from the Vermont Principals' Association to start a day early so they could participate in the annual Bob Abrahamson Tip-Off Tournament at Green Mountain Union High School on Dec. 12.

It promises to be a pretty showcase for Division IV boys basketball, with Proctor, Twinfield, and Poultney joining Twin Valley in the tourney.

• Hockey gets a one-week head start, as the Brattleboro Colonels have already begun their practices and will have their first games next week.

The Colonel girls head north to Highgate Arena on Dec. 7 for a 1 p.m. contest against Missisquoi, while the Colonel boys open at home on Dec. 4 with a 7:15 p.m. game against Monadnock at Withington Rink.

• The bowlers won't get started until Dec. 14, when Brattleboro opens with the Rutland Holiday Classic at Rutland Bowl.

• The nordic skiers will have to wait until Dec. 28, when the Colonels will have their first meet at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, weather permitting.

Farewell, Jake Burton

• Snowboarding's founding father, Jake Burton Carpenter, died on Nov. 20 in Burlington of complications from testicular cancer. He was 65.

Burton, who went by his middle name, started making snowboards in a barn in Londonderry in 1977. From that humble beginning, he created a global sport.

Before Burton's boards was something called a Snurfer. Invented in the mid-1960s, it had the shape of a surfboard, but no bindings. You held onto a rope tied to the tip, stood upright and balanced on the middle and end of the board, and hoped you got down the hill without breaking any body parts.

By tinkering with the original Snurfer and adding metal edges and bindings, Burton turned a children's sled toy into a serious snow sport. He organized the first U.S. Open Championship in 1982 at Suicide Six in Woodstock. Six years later, snowboarding was an Olympic sport.

While Burton chafed at the idea that snowboarding was being turned into an institutionalized team sport, and worried doing that threatened the sport's ethos of rebellion and nonconformity, his company reaped the benefits of Olympic exposure and snowboarding became big business.

The snowboarding progeny of Jake Burton - including local stars who were Olympic medalists such as Londonderry's Ross Powers, West Dover's Kelly Clark, and Stratton Mountain School's Lindsey Jacobellis - all helped to push the sport to levels he never dreamed of.

Burton leaves his wife, Donna Carpenter, and three adult children. He also leaves a towering legacy as one of the most important figures in the history of Vermont snowsports.

BOC gets new ski hut

• The Brattleboro Outing Club will start the 2019-20 cross-country skiing season with a new ski hut at the Brattleboro Country Club.

The BOC, which uses the country club for its ski trails during the winter, had been using the Golf Pro Shop for its ski hut. After recent renovations, the country club said the pro shop would no longer be available, but offered a site at the back of the upper parking lot if the BOC wanted to put a building there.

As luck would have it, the Construction Trades Program at the Windham Regional Career Center had a 14-foot by 36-foot unfinished “tiny house” that they finished in June and was available for sale.

It took some doing - between working out a purchase agreement, getting the appropriate permits, preparing a foundation, and doing the finish work - but earlier this month, everything was ironed out and the new ski hut was delivered to the country club.

A lot of volunteer work went into making the BOC's new ski hut a reality. It's yet another example of how Brattleboro can pull together with money and effort to complete worthwhile projects for the public to enjoy.

Save the Lake Monsters!

• U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., took time out from the impeachment hearings last week to join a bipartisan group of 105 House members who signed a letter demanding that Major League Baseball (MLB) abandon a proposal to restructure its minor league system and potentially eliminate 42 teams.

According to a report in the Oct. 18 edition of Baseball America, MLB is currently negotiating with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) on a new Player Development Contract, and part of that proposed contract is the elimination of 25 percent of the current 160 minor league teams, starting with the 2021 season.

Teams that MLB wants to drop are in the rookie and short season Single-A level leagues. Targeted for elimination is the New York-Penn League, a short-season league that traditionally is the first stop on the long journey to the majors.

On the extinction list are the Vermont Lake Monsters, an Oakland Athletics affiliate in the New York-Penn League, along with two other New England teams in the league - the Lowell (Mass.) Spinners, a Boston Red Sox affiliate, and the Connecticut Tigers, a Detroit Tigers affiliate.

Within hours of the letter from House members, MLB deputy Commissioner Dan Halem responded that the proposal was merely a long overdue attempt to streamline the minor leagues to improve the quality of play, as well as the pay and playing conditions for prospects.

Halem also said some of the teams targeted for elimination could end up in a new independent “Dream League” that MLB would help to operate.

However, it is pretty safe to say that the Lake Monsters would not likely be part of this new set-up.

Burlington is a long way from Oakland, but the Athletics now pick up the tab for the salaries of the players and coaches. Team owners in the proposed “Dream League” would have to pay salaries out of their own pockets, and the Lake Monsters' ownership doesn't have that kind of money.

Built in 1906, Burlington's Centennial Field is one of the oldest baseball parks in the nation. It recently received $2 million in renovations but, for all its history, MLB believes that it is barely adequate for professional baseball and is not the type of venue that it wants for its prospects.

The Lake Monsters are well supported. They drew an average of 2,300 fans a game for its 38-game home schedule. It also provides a certain amount of economic impact for the Burlington area, employing more than 225 full- and part-time employees and filling more than 1,000 hotel rooms in the region each summer.

MLB's proposed restructuring of the minor leagues is still under negotiation, but it would be a shame if lower-level minor league teams like the Lake Monsters are allowed to die just to save a few bucks for the big league team owners.

Killington is ready for Women's World Cup

• Killington Resort has been open for skiing since Nov. 3, but being the first ski resort in the Northeast to open for skiing is more than about bragging rights. It's also about making sure they have more than enough snow to be able to successfully stage this weekend's Women's World Cup ski races.

The International Ski Federation (FIS), the sanctioning body for the World Cup, gave their thumbs up last week to the Killington snowmaking crews, who have been cranking out the snow for the Superstar trail, where the Killington Cup giant slalom and slalom races will be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.

More than 100 racers from 21 countries, including Vermont favorite and current overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin, will be at Killington for this event. This is the fourth year that the World Cup has come to Vermont, and more than 30,000 fans are expected to turn out for the biggest sporting event in Vermont.

General admission tickets and parking are free. For more information, visit

Senior bowling roundup

• Magic in Motion (41-19) maintained its three-game lead over Crash & Burn (38-22) after Week 12 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl. Stayin' Alive, Ageless Wonders, and Us'ns (all 36-24) are tied for third place.

Whatevers (35-25) is in sixth place, followed by Trash-O-Matic (33-27), One Pointers (31-29), The Drifters (28-31), Delayed Reaction (23-37), and Split Ends (18-42).

Beverly Middlestadt had the women's high handicap game (257) while Nancy Dalzell had the high handicap series (668). Wayne Randall had the men's high handicap game (264), while Jerry Dunham had the high handicap series (724). One Pointers had the high team handicap game (953) and series (2,521).

In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby had a 206 and a 205 as part of his 594 series, while Warren Corriveau Jr. had a 206 as part of his 571 series and Gary Montgomery had a 191 and 190 as part of his 542 series. Dunham rolled a 215 in his 529 series, while Wayne Randall rolled a 220 as part of his 523 series. Marty Adams had a 508 series.

Dalzell led the women by rolling a 189 and a 191 as part of her 509 series. Middlestadt had a 181 game.

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