Amid the “clang” sound of alloy bats connecting with baseballs at Tenney Field during a Brattleboro Post 5 practice on June 18, a group of 26 high school football players were gathering at nearby Natowich Field for a training clinic for the coming season.
Brattleboro is still very much a baseball town in the summertime, but football is starting to make its move into the months of June and July.
For the young men who are playing high school football and have aspirations of playing college football after graduation, the reality is that pursuing that track involves a lot of work. As the old coaching bromide goes, “If you're not getting better, you're getting worse.”
Chris Redding is the executive director of Vermont All-Star Football camps, which hosts clinics all over the state. He was a receiving standout for Mount Anthony and Burr & Burton who set the Vermont state record with most receiving touchdowns (30) in a season. He continued his playing career at the University of New Hampshire. He coached high school football in Charlotte, N.C. and was on the coaching staff at the University of Albany.
On June 18, Redding and his team came to Brattleboro for Vermont All-Star's “Passing Academy,” a three-hour clinic that attracted players from Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Mount Anthony, Burr & Burton, Rutland, and other Vermont schools.
Redding said the camp was a chance to give players in southern Vermont a quick introduction to the skills and training they need to succeed in high school football and beyond, and a chance to meet players from other schools to see who they will be up against in the fall.
His staff for this clinic was a blend of high school and college coaches, as well as recent high school graduates who are now excelling in college football such as Brattleboro's Tyler Millerick, who is playing quarterback at Western New England University, and Mount Anthony's Gavin Johnson, who is now a starting tight end at Assumption College.
Brattleboro head football coach Chad Pacheco worked with Redding to bring the Passing Academy clinic to BUHS. He said that, with the competition level in Vermont rising, getting players to do off-season training is becoming increasingly important.
Players were not wearing helmets or pads, and they were not doing any contact drills. The emphasis was on improving agility and mechanics for players at the skill positions on offense - quarterback, running back, and receivers and tight ends.
Vermont All-Star will hold week-long camps in Rutland on July 11-15, and South Burlington on July 18-22, as well as one-day clinics in Rutland on July 10 and St. Johnsbury on July 17.
But the big event on their calendar is this Saturday at Burr & Burton, Vermont All-Star's annual 7-on-7 football tournament which gives teams a chance to work on their passing offenses. Pacheco said there will be a Brattleboro team in that tournament, and Mount Anthony, Burr & Burton, U-32, and St. Johnsbury are other schools that plan to be there.
Baseball may still a big deal in Brattleboro, but it's not the only game in town in the summer anymore.
Taggard to play in Twin State hockey all-star game
• Brattleboro's Will Taggard will play for the Vermont men's team in the annual Make-A-Wish Twin State All-Star Hockey Classic on Saturday, June 25 at the University of Vermont's Gutterson Field House in Burlington.
Taggard, a graduating senior, was selected as the Most Valuable Player in Division II for the 2021-22 season with 24 goals and 23 assists during his senior season. He is the career assists leader in BUHS program history and helped the Colonels win the state championship in the 2020-21 season. He'll be attending Tufts University this fall.
The Classic showcases top high school seniors from Vermont versus rival New Hampshire players. All proceeds from the event go to Make-A-Wish, which helps fulfill special wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The women's game leads off the evening of hockey at 4 p.m. with the men's contest following at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door - $15 per adult, $5 per student (ages 7-17), and free for ages 6-and-under.
Bingham, Clews named to Twin State baseball roster
• Brattleboro pitcher/shortstop Alex Bingham and catcher Turner Clews are among the top 18 senior baseball players from the Green Mountain State who have been selected to represent Vermont against New Hampshire in the 2022 Twin State Baseball Classic on Saturday, June 25 at Norwich University's Garrity Field in Northfield.
This is the first Twin State baseball game since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 contest, and no game was scheduled in 2021. Instead, the Vermont Baseball Coaches Association recognized its seniors with the 2021 Vermont North-South Classic at Hadley Field in Westminster.
Originally held from 1983 to 2004, the Twin State Baseball Classic returned to its current double-header format in June 2015. The two states split a pair in 2019, New Hampshire taking game one, 4-1, and Vermont winning game two, 11-3, the fourth split in five classics. Vermont recorded the lone sweep in this stretch in 2018 after the three previous splits all featured one-run games.
First pitch of game one of a pair of seven-inning contests is at 10 a.m., preceded by brief pregame ceremonies. Admission to the twin-bill is free. For more information about the Vermont Baseball Coaches Association, visit www.vermontbaseball.org.
GM's Mosher, Tyrell finish third in decathlon
• Green Mountain track & field teammates Eben Mosher and Grace Tyrrell both finished third in the Vermont State Decathlon Championships on June 13 and 14 in Burlington.
The two-day competition consisted of the 100 meter dash, discus, pole vault, javelin, 400 meter run, 100/110 meter hurdles, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 1,500 meter run.
Mosher was third after the first day of competition, and held onto that spot on day two to finish with 5,375 points. His best events were the 110 hurdles, javelin, and 1,500 meters, which he finished in 4 minutes, 42.83 seconds.
Terrell finished with 4,492 points for third in the girls' decathlon. She was ninth after day one, and moved up in the standings on the second day with strong performances in the 100 meter hurdles (17.4 seconds) and the 1,500 meters (5:40.39).
Unaffiliated athlete Bishopp Boutin won the boys' decathlon with 5,827 points, while Rice's Autumn Carstensen won the girls decathlon with 4,634 points.
Other area participants in the event included Brattleboro's Sylvie Normandeau, who was 11th in the girls' decathlon field of 53 with 4,110 points. Tela Harty of Bellows Falls was 21st with 3,370 points, while Brattleboro's Priya Kitzmiller finished 47th.
BF's Jonathan Terry ended up 14th in the boys' decathlon, with teammates Max Hooke finishing 22nd and Mack Ross coming in 29th. Brattleboro competitors included Jacob Girard (40th), Trevor Gray (45th), and Jackson Pals (58th).
Brattle Paddle comes to town on June 26
• The fifth annual Brattle Paddle event on the West and Connecticut rivers is set for Sunday, June 26 in Brattleboro. According to organizer Sandy Harris, about 70 professional paddlers from around New England are expected to compete in the 9-mile race, but there will also be a 5-mile event for recreational paddlers.
Anyone with a canoe, kayak, or standup paddleboard is welcome to come to The Marina off Putney Road, located at the junction of the two rivers, to join in the fun or just watch the races.
Race day registration takes place from 8:30 to 10 a.m., with the first race at 10:30 a.m. There will be an informal gathering for all registered participants after the races and snacks will be provided.
The entry fee is $25 and proceeds will benefit Groundworks Collaborative. For more information, contact Harris at 603-363-4868 or [email protected].
Soccer officials needed
• The fall high school soccer season is not that far away, and there are plenty of opportunities for people interested in officiating the games around Vermont. But before you can step onto the pitch as a soccer official, you need to be trained and certified.
A clinic for those interested in refereeing high school soccer this fall will be held Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Burr & Burton Academy in Manchester. Total cost will be $78 and includes the clinic, rulebook, insurance, and membership in the Vermont Soccer Officials Association. Classroom instruction will be followed by on-field officiating.
If you are interested, email Eric Evans at [email protected].
Senior bowling roundup
• The Brattleboro Senior Bowling League returned to action on June 16 at Brattleboro Bowl after having to take a few weeks off while the lanes underwent a renovation.
After Week 3's games, Good Times (15-1) moved into sole possession of first place. Angus & Company (13-2) is now in second place, followed by The Keglers (10-5), The Strikers (6-9), the Number 1's, The Anythings, and Trash-O-Matic (all 5-10), and Stayin' Alive (2-13).
Pat Bentrup had the women's high handicap game (240), while Carole Gloski had the high handicap series (637). Bruce Theilen had the men's high handicap game (254), while Bob Uccello had the high handicap series (645). Angus & Company had the high team handicap game (860), while Good Times had the high handicap series (2,486).
In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 608 series with games of 230 and 201. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 558 series with a 201 game, while Gary Montgomery had a 546 series with a 210 game. Robert Rigby had a 545 series with a 208 game, Pete Cross had a 525 series with a 192 game, and Fred Ashworth had a 517 series, and Marty Adams had a 506 series with a 195 game. Uccello had a 197 game.
Gloski had the women's high scratch series (520) with games of 193 and 184, while Bentrup rolled a 173 game.