Vermont's student-athletes began their preseason practices on Nov. 28 in preparation for the 2022-23 high school winter sports season which will get underway this weekend.
• Girls' basketball begins on Dec. 9 with the first round of the Leland & Gray Tournament in Townshend. Arlington will take on Leland & Gray at 7 p.m., while Brattleboro will play Burr & Burton at 5:30 p.m. The tourney's consolation and championship games will be played on Dec. 10.
Twin Valley opens its season at Mid-Vermont Christian on Dec. 10, while Bellows Falls will open at home against Springfield on Dec. 12.
• The BUHS bowling team opens its season on Dec. 10 with the Kick-Off Classic at Rutland Bowlerama. Brattleboro has its first home match on Dec. 17 at Brattleboro Bowl.
• Hockey also starts Dec. 10 as both the Brattleboro boys' and girls' varsity teams open with a doubleheader at Riley Rink in Manchester against Burr & Burton. The girls will play at 5 p.m., with the boys to follow at 7 p.m.
The Brattleboro boys will have their home opener at Withington Rink on Dec. 14, at 7:15 p.m., against Woodstock, while the Brattleboro girls will have their first home game on Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. against Essex.
• Boys' basketball begins on Dec. 9 when Twin Valley takes on Poultney in the Bob Abramson Tourney in Proctor with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
Leland & Gray opens its season at Long Trail School on Dec. 10 with a 1 p.m. game. On Dec. 13, Bellows Falls plays its first game in the Green Mountain Tournament in Chester, while Brattleboro hosts St. Johnsbury at the BUHS gym in its opener on Dec. 13.
• Weather permitting, the Brattleboro Nordic ski team opens the season on Dec. 10 with a skating race at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton.
Brattleboro's only home meets on the Brattleboro Outing Club trails at the Brattleboro Country Club are a classical race scheduled for Jan. 18 and the Southern Vermont League relay championships on Feb. 15.
Record crowd sees World Cup races at Killington
• More than 37,000 people showed up at Killington Resort over three days of competition on Thanksgiving weekend during the annual Vermont stop of the women's FIS Ski World Cup tour.
While five-time champion Mikaela Shiffrin didn't win the event this year, the fans got to see some exciting racing as well as the routine miracle of Killington's massive snowmaking capabilities.
Despite big swings in temperatures in the weeks preceding the event, Killington was able to make enough snow on its Superstar trail in a matter of days to pass muster with FIS snow control officials. Considering that seven of the first eight events on the 2022-23 FIS World Cup schedule had to be cancelled due to lack of snow or poor conditions, this was no small feat.
The Killington event has gained a reputation on the women's World Cup circuit as a place with enthusiastic and vocal fan support.
“This crowd is quite special,” Shiffrin said in a news release. “Especially in the slalom, I can hear the crowd from the start. It's this deep rumbling that soaks into your bones and gives you some extra energy to try and get to the finish faster. Some places everyone has a favorite they're rooting for.
“Being my hometown, I think some people are going to be cheering for me, but I think if anyone on this stage comes down with a really strong run, it's deafening. The crowd isn't only cheering for one person, it's just looking for an amazing show. I think that's what makes it special, even if I'm not winning the race.”
Be bright at night
• Whether you walk or bike, the shorter days and longer nights make it especially important to see and be seen on the road.
To help prevent injuries, the Vermont Department of Health's “Watch For Me VT” program has launched Be Bright at Night, a road safety initiative that is distributing free reflectors and safety information for people and communities throughout the state.
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found road-related injuries involving pedestrians and cyclists have been increasing. Data for early 2021 showed cyclist deaths rose by 5% from 2020, and more pedestrians were hit and killed in the U.S. in 2021 than at any time in the past 40 years.
“Most motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists occur at night,” Allie Breyer of the Health Department's Injury Prevention Program said in a news release. “With fewer hours of daylight during the winter months we need to adjust our driving and walking habits accordingly. Wearing a reflector when you are out is one very easy thing you can do to stay safe.”
Studies have found that at night or low light, a person or bike without reflectors is first visible to a driver at a distance of 75 to 100 feet. With a reflector, people are visible at 450 feet. That difference means the driver has 10 seconds to react instead of two.
In Brattleboro, reflectors are available during business hours through the Boys & Girls Club on Flat Street, the Brattleboro Senior Center on Main Street, and Groundworks Collaborative on South Main Street. For more information, visit safestreets.vermont.gov/be-bright-night.
BOC offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
• Winter will be with us again before long and, once the snow arrives, the Brattleboro Outing Club (BOC) will once again groom and maintain more than 20 miles of trails for beginners to advanced cross-country skiers and more than 3 miles of well-marked snowshoe trails at the Brattleboro Country Club on Upper Dummerston Road.
The BOC ski hut is located at the far end of the main parking lot at the country club, and will be open on weekends and Brattleboro school vacation weeks, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the trails are open. Payment is on the honor system, and skiers should check in at the hut before venturing out on the trails. Check brattleborooutingclub.org/cross-country-skiing for trail conditions or call the ski hut at 802-246-7843.
BOC's ski program is totally run by volunteers, from the trail crews who work hard to prep the trails in the fall and groom them all winter to the program volunteers who share their love of winter and being outside with the many area schoolchildren who use the trails. If you're interested in helping out, email [email protected].
Rec. Dept. offers youth basketball clinic
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will offer a Basketball Clinic on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022 at the Gibson-Aiken Center. The clinic is for children in grades K-6. Pre-registration is required.
The cost for this one-day clinic is $5 per participant. The clinic is coed, and all abilities are welcome. Children in grades K-2 will meet from 10 to 11:15 a.m., and children in grades 3-6 will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
This is an opportunity to improve your basketball skills and have fun. Chris Worden and the Brattleboro Union High School varsity girls' basketball team will lead the clinic.
A minimum of eight participants is required to run each age group, with the maximum per age group at 24 kids. The Rec. Dept. will be offering free Open Gym and Game Room from 1:30 to 5 p.m. after the clinic.
Register online at register1.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/vtbrattleboro.wsc/splash.html?InterfaceParameter=WebTrac_1, call the Rec. Dept. office at 802-254-5808, or stop in at Gibson-Aiken Center Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 14 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League on Dec. 1 saw first place Keglers 4 (44-26) have a 1-4 week, but still maintain a six-game lead over second place Good Times (38-32), which also had a 1-4 week. The Strikers (36-24) are in third, followed by Lucky 7 (35-25), Split Happens and Trash-O-Matic (both 34.5-35.5), Old Farts (31-39), and Slow Movers (27-45).
Diane Cooke had the women's high handicap game (279) and series (703). Wayne Randall had the men's high handicap game (257) and Eric Brown had the high handicap series (676). Old Farts had the high team handicap game (867), while The Strikers had the handicap series (2,500).
In scratch scoring, Warren Corriveau Sr. led the men with a 591 series that featured games of 213, 206, and 172. Robert Rigby had a 559 series with games of 205 and 202, while Skip Shine had a 542 series with games of 208 and 142 and Marty Adams had a 505 series with a 177 game.
Other notable games included Duane Schillemat (192), John Walker (191 and 179), Gary Montgomery (178), Fred Ashworth (176), Eric Brown and Stan Kolpa (both rolled a 175), and Jerry Dunham (172).
Carol Gloski had the women's high scratch series (525) with games of 186 and 170. Cooke had the high scratch game (202) and Pat Bentrup had a 170 game.