Fall school sports season opens this weekend
Colonels football coach Chad Pacheco talks with his players after their loss to Lyndon in a Division II playoff game last October at Natowich Field. Many of the players on that team are back this season, and will remember the disappointment of that defeat and use it to be motivated to do better in 2022.

Fall school sports season opens this weekend

Colonels take on BF in football opener; Terriers, Colonels field hockey teams both open at home

The fall high school sports season starts off this week with a great football match-up and a full slate of soccer and field hockey action.

• Hadley Field will be the venue when the Bellows Falls Terriers and the Brattleboro Colonels renew their football rivalry on Friday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m.

The Terriers are the defending Division II champions, but they lost several key players from last year's undefeated title team, including quarterback Jon Terry, running backs Jed Lober and Jeb Monier, and lineman Patrick Barbour. All played in the Shrine game a few weeks ago and all will be playing college football around New England this autumn.

However, BF head coach Bob Lockerby always finds a way each season to make the most of the talent on his roster. The freshmen, sophomores, and juniors on last year's team will be ready to step up, led by senior quarterback Jamison Nystrom and senior running back Caden Haskell.

Brattleboro made it to the Division II playoffs last season, where they were knocked out in the first round by Lyndon. They too lost some key players to graduation, such as receiver Aaron Petrie, kicker Reed Sargent, and linemen Hunter Boyd, Calvin Gould, Noah White, and Tyler McNary, but they have a deep and talented roster of underclassmen who gained much experience last season and are ready to put the Colonels back into the Final Four again this year.

Colonels head coach Chad Pacheco has put a lot of emphasis on preseason preparation. Several of his players have attended clinics this summer, and the Colonels were victors in the 7-on-7 tournament that was held at Burr & Burton. Look for a big year from the three key seniors - quarterback Devin Speno, running back Cam Frost, and wide receiver Tristan Evans.

• Field hockey gets underway on Sept. 2 when Bellows Falls hosts Springfield in a 4 p.m. game. Brattleboro opens its season at home on Saturday, Sept. 3, when the Colonels host Otter Valley at 11 a.m. at Sawyer Field.

Bellows Falls, led by coach Bethany Coursen, hopes to continue its run of success. The Terriers have been to the state championship in each of the last seven years, winning five of them - two in Division III, one in Division II and two in Division I. BF was a runner-up in Division I last season. Brattleboro, meanwhile, is slowly building up a stronger program under coach Erin Cooke.

• Boys' soccer also begins Sept. 3, when Brattleboro travels to Chester to take on Green Mountain in an 11 a.m. game. The Colonels' home opener will be under the lights at Natowich Field against Leland & Gray on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Twin Valley hosts Long Trail in the Wildcats' season opener on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at Hayford Field in Wilmington. Bellows Falls travels to Townshend to face Leland & Gray in the Terriers' season opener on Friday, Sept. 9 at 4:30 p.m.

• Girls' soccer begins on Sept. 2, when Leland & Gray takes on Green Mountain in the opening game of the Josh Cole Tournament in Ludlow at 8 p.m. On Sept. 3, Bellows Falls hosts Springfield in their season opener at noon. Brattleboro opens the girls' soccer season on Thursday, Sept. 8 when they face Hoosac Valley in the Lady Patriot Classic at Spinelli Field in Bennington in a 5 p.m. match. Also on Sept. 8, Twin Valley opens its season at home with a 6 p.m. match against West Rutland at Hayford Field.

• Bellows Falls will host Brattleboro in the first cross-country meet of the season on the BFUHS trails in Westminster on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Rec. Dept. announces youth activities for fall season

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department is now accepting registrations for fall youth activities and sports.

• Youth soccer programs will be offered for players in kindergarten, and in grades 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6. Kindergarten soccer will meet on Mondays from Sept. 12 to Oct. 17 (no session on Oct. 10). There are two time options available, from 4 to 4:45 p.m. and 5 to 5:45 p.m., with a maximum of 15 participants per group. The fee is $25 for Brattleboro residents and $40 for non-residents.

Teams in Grades 1-2 and grades 3-4 will have one practice and one game a week. Games will take place on Saturday mornings. Teams in grades 5-6 will have one practice and two games a week. Games will take place on Saturday mornings as well as some games during the week against neighboring towns. The fee for these three programs is $35 for Brattleboro residents and $50 for non-residents. Shin guards are required for all games and practices, and do not forget to bring a full water bottle!

• Field hockey for players in grades 2-6 begins Sept. 12 and will continue until Oct. 19. Practice will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Sawyer Field at Brattleboro Union High School. The fee for the program is $35 for Brattleboro residents and $50 for non-residents. Shin guards and mouthguards are required for all games and practices.

• The Recreation & Parks Department will be working with BUHS Varsity Football Coach Chad Pacheco and BUHS football players to offer NFL Flag Football for those in grades 1-6.

Players will need a mouthguard (required), cleats or sneakers, a jersey, and a flag belt. A NFL Flag Jersey and flags/belt are included in the program fee and will be provided. The fee is $50 for Brattleboro residents and $65 for non-residents. This program will take place on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting Sept. 11 and running through Oct. 16.

This program is open to non-experienced and experienced football players. Participants will work on basic skills and drills, develop agility for both offense and defense, and play non-contact flag football games. The emphasis will be on learning techniques and skills to play football safely.

In person registrations are available at the main office at Gibson-Aiken Center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m., or register online at register1.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/vtbrattleboro.wsc/splash.html. There is a $10 fee for late registration beginning Friday, Sept. 2. Anyone registering on or after Sept. 9 must come to the Gibson-Aiken Center to be added to a wait list and will be permitted to register for the program only if space allows.

New recreation trails coming to Stratton area

• The Southern Vermont Trails Association (SoVTA), a nonprofit group whose mission is “to provide safe, ecologically sustainable human powered multi-use trails and backcountry ski/snowboard zones for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors,” broke ground this month on the Stratton Town Forest, a new four-season outdoor recreation area located in the town of Stratton.

“We have been working with the town of Stratton's Selectboard and using the institutional knowledge of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association to develop a plan that was appropriate in size and usage for this property,” said SoVTA executive director Steve Petrik in a news release. “It was decided that a smaller trail pod was the best fit for the property and was in line with SoVTA's goal of providing smaller trail pods throughout the area to help distribute users and provide easy access to residents of our communities.”

The trail pod will consist of five non-motorized four-season multi-use trails and three backcountry ski zones featuring a 2.5-mile advanced directional trail that will have specific bike features like berms, rollers, and jumps; a 2.3-mile long summit loop boasting some amazing views of the valley below; SoVTA's first directional adaptive-friendly loop, and an access trail on the lower part of the property; and two winter use skin tracks to serve the backcountry zones.

The Stratton Town Forest's central location on the Stratton, Wardsboro, and Dover town borders provides the potential for making easier connections to other trail projects in the area, such as the Velomont Project, an initiative to build an interconnected statewide trail corridor for mountain biking.

The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) provided several small grants to SoVTA to do the planning for the Stratton project. SoVTA then received grants from the Lyman Orton Fund and an anonymous local donor-advised fundholder at VCF to support the first phase of the project, which includes a parking lot, the adaptive friendly access trail and lower loop, a more advanced trail and the creation of the first two backcountry zones.

According to Petrik, the Stratton Town Forest is slated to be built in two phases over the course of the next three years.

“We hope to have the first two trails open to the public for next summer and the backcountry zones following in the winter of 2023. And, while we'll have a crew working on these trails over the next few months, we will also be hosting regular evening work sessions throughout the summer and fall. We always love and encourage our members to come help our projects take form, and it's a great way to get involved and stake a little piece of ownership in this new recreation area that will be enjoyed by Southern Vermonters for generations to come.”

For more information about the Stratton project, and about SoVTA, visit www.sovta.org or follow SoVTA on Instagram for updates.

Program spotlights outdoor recreation in Hinsdale area

• Outdoor Hinsdale is a collaborative effort between Hinsdale, N.H. and the National Park Service to promote Hinsdale's natural, outdoor recreation areas.

The 2022 season of Outdoor Hinsdale will be running Sept. 16, 17, and 18, and their free guide-led excursions include seven hiking trips, two kayaking trips and one bicycling trip. Venues include Moon Ledge, Bear Mountain, Liscom Hollow, Mount Wantastiquet, the Colonel Ebenezer Hinsdale House, and more.

Visit www.outdoorhinsdale.org to book your adventure, or call Kathryn at 603-336-5727, ext. 17.

Senior bowling roundup

• The Brattleboro Senior Summer Bowling League wrapped up the season on Aug. 25 at Brattleboro Bowl with Angus & Company (44-21) having a 4-1 week to hang on to first place and win the season title.

Good Times (43-22) had a 5-0 week and finished in second place. The Keglers (36-39) also went 5-0 and clinched third place, followed by the Number 1's (33-32), The Strikers (31-34), Stayin' Alive (25-40), and Trash-O-Matic and The Anythings (both 24-41).

Pamela Greenblott once again had the women's high handicap game (246), while Nancy Dalzell had the high handicap series (668). Marty Adams had the men's high handicap game (251), while Dick Cooke had the high handicap series (639). Good Times had the high team handicap game (878) and series (2,498).

In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 629 series that featured games of 246, 222, and 183. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 594 series that featured games of 210 and 203. Jerry Dunham had a 540 series with a 200 game, while Marty Adams had a 529 series with a 222 game.

Fred Ashworth had games of 194 and 182, Robert Rigby rolled a 187, and Duane Schillemat had games of 183 and 181.

Dalzell (509) had the women's high scratch series, which featured games of 185 and 176. Greenblott (189) had the high scratch game, and Josie Rigby had a 180 game and Shirley Aiken rolled a 170.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates