National Ski Patrol honors Nick Collins for more than seven decades of service

National Ski Patrol honors Nick Collins for more than seven decades of service

A longtime supporter of the Brattleboro skiing community was honored posthumously with induction to the National Ski Patrol Hall of Fame.

Nick Collins, who died on Feb. 14, 2019, at the age of 87, served 73 years as a member of the National Ski Patrol in Brattleboro and Hanover, N.H. At the time of his death, he had been the the longest continuously-serving patroller in the nation.

Collins is the second member of the Brattleboro Ski Patrol to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and only the third from the Southern Vermont Region District.

He learned to ski at Brattleboro's Guilford Street Ski Tow in 1938, shoveling snow after closing to earn a 35-cent ticket for the next day. Collins started with the Brattleboro Ski Patrol in 1946 and was its patrol director from 1987 to 2015. Beside ensuring the safety of skiers and snowboarders, Collins was instrumental in keeping skiing alive at Living Memorial Park.

After helping form a new nonprofit known as the Living Memorial Park Snow Sports Corporation, Collins helped to secure the money to refurbish the ski lift and snowmaking system and purchase of the hill's first snow groomer.

His community service also included his untiring support of the maintenance, improvements (including snowmaking) and operational capabilities of the Harris Hill Ski Jump, where he regularly organized and lead active ski patrol coverage for competitors from throughout the world.

Collins also had an impact in many other areas. He was a graduate of Norwich University, earned an MBA from George Washington University, and enjoyed a highly-decorated career from 1955 to 1984 with the Army. When he retired in 1984, he was serving as the Deputy Director of the Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H.

In Hanover, where he lived for many years, he was well known for decades of passionate support for the Boy Scouts, serving as a Scoutmaster and committee chair for Troop 45. He served seven National Scout Jamborees and served as a Wood Badge Instructor, where he provided leadership and advanced training for tens of thousands of Boy Scouts throughout the United States.

Through the National Ski Patrol, Collins served as an American Red Cross Advanced First Aid and Outdoor Emergency Care Instructor. He held advanced instructor credentials in the ski patrol's Avalanche and Mountain Travel and Rescue education programs.

Starting in the mid-1980s, Collins elevated his personal contributions to the Avalanche and Mountain Travel and Rescue programs to the national level, where he orchestrated more than 25 years of high-level educational conferences directly benefiting the National Ski Patrol and the Army's 10th Mountain Division.

His enormous contributions not only helped the National Ski Patrol fulfill its mission of “Service and Safety” to the snow sports industry, it enhanced that service by ensuring the personal safety of all who have served, and all who continue to serve, as National Ski Patrol rescue providers.

Collins's induction into the National Ski Patrol Hall of Fame was celebrated on Nov. 8 at a small private gathering at the Brattleboro home of former Brattleboro Ski Patroller Milt Gilmore and his wife, Barbara. A larger gathering was cancelled due to recent COVID-19 concerns.

Nick's son, Wes Collins, and his daughter-in-law, Susan, were present to receive the Hall of Fame plaque, a great honor for a long and remarkable career.

Also, Zack Rounds, director of the Brattleboro Ski Patrol, was presented with a sign honoring the Brattleboro Ski Patrol for being affiliated with the National Ski Patrol since 1938.

Recreational sports on hold

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department says it has suspended all recreational sports programs, including organized and/or informal recreational youth and adult league sports, practices and games.

The opening of the Nelson Withington Skating Facility, originally scheduled for Nov. 21, has been postponed until further notice.

The department says it is doing this to comply with the most recent guidance from the state. If you have already signed up and paid for a program, they can either credit your account, or send a refund. To let them know how you would like them to handle it for you, email [email protected] or leave a message at 802-254-5808.

Gov. Phil Scott announced last week that recreational sports, which includes youth and adult leagues, are suspended until at least Dec. 15. “I hope youth sports will be one of the first things to reopen,” Scott said at his Nov. 13 news briefing.

This directive doesn't affect interscholastic sports, which follow guidance from the Agency of Education and the Vermont Principals' Association. High schools are still scheduled to begin practices on Nov. 30 for the winter sports season, with games not starting until at least Jan. 11.

SVL announces all-star teams

• The Southern Vermont League came out with its league all-stars in boys' and girls' soccer, cross-country, and field hockey last week, with many of our local athletes receiving honors.

• In the boys' soccer A Division, Brattleboro had five first-team selections - Ayoub Lajhar, Alex Lier, Magnus vonKrusenstiern, Paul McGillion, and Keegan Allembert. Brattleboro's Ben Diamondstone was a second team selection.

Willow Romo of Brattleboro was selected to the first team in the girls' soccer A Division. Brattleboro's Camila Shapiro, Brianna Paul, Cameron Allembert, Sylvia Normandeau, and Bella Powell were second-team selections.

Twin Valley and Leland & Gray dominated the list of boys' C Division all-stars. Riley Barton, Matt Emerson, and Luke Parker-Jennings were the Leland & Gray selections, while Izaak Park, Colin McHale, Finn Fisher of Twin Valley also made the first team, as did Jamison Nystrom of Bellows Falls.

Ayden Loos of Twin Valley, Jordan Persson and Dylan Greenwood of Leland & Gray and Elijah Ghia of Bellows Falls were all named to the second team. Leland & Gray's Chris Barton was named C Division boys' Coach of the Year.

It's worth mentioning here the accomplishments of the Bartons. According to Tom Haley of the Rutland Herald, Riley Barton, a senior tri-captain, became the all-time boys' soccer career scoring leader at Leland & Gray with 69 goals. Ben Shulgs' record of 56 had stood since 2006.

Riley is certainly following in his father's footsteps. Chris Barton played on the 1982 and 1983 state championship teams at Proctor, and has built up a successful boys' soccer program at Leland & Gray.

Carly Lane and Abby Towle of Leland & Gray and Emma Graham of Bellows Falls all made the girls' C Division first team. Sydney Bazin and Abby Broadley of Bellows Falls and Ansley Henderson and Ainsley Mayer of Leland & Gray made the second team.

Tiffany Spiegel of Twin Valley made the girls' D Division first team, and her teammate Haley Cole was named to the second team.

• Seven area cross-country runners were selected to the Southern Vermont League's All-Star teams.

Bellows Falls had three selections for the A Division girls' first team - Abby Broadley, who won her third straight Division III individual state title and helped lead the Terrier Harriers to their third straight Division III team title, and her teammates Steph Ager and Victoria Bassette.

Brattleboro's Tenzin Mathes and Nolan Holmes were named to the A Division boys' first team, while Hazel Wagner and Caitlyn Robinson made the girls' first team. Mathes and Holmes placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at the SVL boys' meet, while Wagner was fifth in the girls' race.

• To the surprise of virtually no one, Bethany Coursen of Bellows Falls was named the A Division field hockey Coach of the Year.

With BF making six straight trips to the state finals and winning four championships, including their second Division I title this season, it's hard to argue with the choice.

BF's Grace Bazin, Maya Waryas, and Grace Wilkinson made the A Division first team, while teammates Jules McDermid and Jaia Caron were second-team selections.

Brattleboro's Makenna Severance was selected to the B Division first team, while teammates Rosie Carignan and Brittney Wright made the second team.

Senior bowling roundup

• Team 4 (30.5-19.5) regained first place after Week 12 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl. Team 6 (34-21) is now in second place, followed by Team 1 (34-21), Team 3 (23.5-31.5), Team 5 (23-32), and Team 2 (20-35).

Debbie Kolpa had the women's high handicap game (270), while Josie Rigby had the high handicap series (722). Charlie Marchant had the men's high handicap game (243), while Warren Corriveau Sr. had the high handicap series (721). Team 1 had the high team handicap game (964) and series (2,678).

In scratch scoring, Corriveau had games of 226, 225, and 222 on the way to the high men's series with 673. Four men had 500-plus series: Robert Rigby (559), Wayne Randall (512), and Marchant and Fred Bump (508). Rigby had a 212 game, while Randall rolled a 203 game.

Josie Rigby had games of 224 and 210 on her way to a 623 series to lead the women. Nancy Dalzell had a 507 series and Kolpa rolled a 198.

It turned out this would be the last week for the league. Because of the latest COVID-19 outbreak, they had to cancel the remainder of the fall season, starting this week.

Wrong photo with Twin Valley win

• In last week's sports roundup, I inadvertently put in a picture of Twin Valley soccer player Colin McHale from last year's state championship team. His younger brother Jack played on this year's state champs and his photo should have been in that space.