Bellows Falls baserunner Trenton Fletcher (8) is greeted by teammates after he hit a two-run double to win the Terriers’ season opener, 2-1, over Otter Valley on April 8 at Hadley Field.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Bellows Falls baserunner Trenton Fletcher (8) is greeted by teammates after he hit a two-run double to win the Terriers’ season opener, 2-1, over Otter Valley on April 8 at Hadley Field.

Terriers rally to win baseball opener, 2-1

April baseball in Vermont is usually sloppy. Teams don't get a lot of opportunity to play outside, and working out inside is no substitute for taking ground balls off a dirt infield or catching fly balls on a windy day.

The Bellows Falls Terriers tried to play a couple of scrimmages but, according to coach Bob Lockerby, both were cancelled. So their season opener on April 8 at Hadley Field against the Otter Valley Otters marked the first time BF played baseball outside this season.

However, instead of a slopfest, fans got treated to a magnificent pitcher's duel that was won with a walkoff two-out, two-run double by Trenton Fletcher in the bottom of the seventh.

“We had great at-bats [in the seventh],” Lockerby said of the 2-1 victory in the opener. “That's the first live pitching we've seen this spring.”

The teams could not get a run across in the first five innings as BF starting pitcher Jamison Nystrom and Otters starter Jordan Beayon were dialed in for their first game of the season. Nystrom went six innings, striking out nine and allowing just four hits and one earned run, while Beayon went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out 13.

The Otters got their only run off Nystrom in the sixth inning when Beacon hit a long double to center field. He went to third on a fly ball to right by Isaiah Wood and scored on a squeeze bunt by Ben Adams.

After Beayon struck out the side in order in the sixth, Eli Allbee came into the game in relief of Nystrom in the seventh. Allbee threw a scoreless seventh with a pair of strikeouts to set up the Terriers' comeback in the bottom half of the inning.

Beayon struck out Walker James and Cole Moore and things looked bleak for the Terriers. But Jake Moore beat out an infield hit and Jesse Darrell drew a walk. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position for Fletcher.

“I was hoping for a fastball,” said Fletcher. “When [Beayon] got two strikes on me, I knew he was going to throw a fastball high and inside.”

His guess was correct, as Fletcher's fly ball to deep right field dropped in to score Jake Moore and Darrell and emptied the BF bench as everyone rushed out to congratulate, and pile on top of, Fletcher at second base.

“That was a great win against a really good team,” said Lockerby. “We didn't quit.”

The two teams will meet up again on April 12 in Brandon before BF gets another big test when the Terriers host Brattleboro on April 13.

Colonels win Unified opener

• Before a large and enthusiastic crowd in the BUHS gym, the Brattleboro Colonels Unified basketball team won their first game of the season over the Burr & Burton Bulldogs, 46-38, on April 3.

It was a good test for the Colonels, for Burr & Burton was last season's South division champions. However, as Colonels coach Tyler Boone said before the season started, he had a deep and skilled team and that came out in the opener.

“We have 17 kids on the roster, and they are all fighting for playing time,” Boone said, “That's a good thing, and shows that people want to be a part of this. When you see everyone cheering for you, you want to be part of it.”

Brattleboro took a 10-4 lead early in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs came back and cut the Colonels' lead to 14-12 by the end of the first.

Then Brattleboro guard Ben Stauffer took over the game. Between his tenacious defense and his outside shooting, Stauffer was flying all over the court in the second quarter and helped the Colonels take a 28-16 lead at the half.

“Burr & Burton's defense slowed us down, but Ben was awesome in the second quarter,” said Boone.

Brattleboro kept up the momentum, taking a 36-28 lead in the third quarter and not letting the Bulldogs get any closer.

The victory was gratifying, but what Boone and assistant coach Erika Bassett said they were most proud of was the number of students who signed the Pledge for Inclusion banner before and after the game.

Boone said that banner is part of a worldwide initiative called Spread the Word (, where people pledge to “make your school, your workplace, your community, and your world more inclusive” for the more than 200 million people around the globe with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“I'm proud of that banner,” said Boone. “Students with disabilities can contribute so much, and they have a place in our school.”

Wanted: More lifeguards

• Beverly Wright of Vernon has taught hundreds of people over the years to become swim instructors and lifeguards. But she says the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has thinned the ranks locally, enough so that “there is a shortage of qualified aquatics staff.”

She told The Commons that “local pools, camps, and beaches have been left to posting 'Swim at Your Own Risk, No Lifeguard on Duty' signs, limiting the amount of area available for patrons to swim in, and 'lifeguard sharing” between pools. Camps have gone to not offering swimming lessons and less free swim time. The lack of swim lessons has only kept us in this crazy cycle of no lifeguards.”

And Wright says the current lifeguard shortage means more of the same for this summer.

“We have many local pools: Brattleboro, Vernon, Hinsdale and Putney, to name a few. We have local beaches such as Spofford and Winchester, New Hampshire. Yet none of them is able to say they are fully staffed and manned this year, not to mention that some of these facilities are unable to offer swimming lessons due to the lack of certified instructors.”

To be a lifeguard, she said you need to be at least 15 years of age, able to swim at least 400 to 500 yards, and be able swim with a 10 pound diving brick at least 25 yards. Lakefront lifeguards need to have a lifeguard certification and an open water certification. These certification classes will be offered this spring and early summer.

The lifeguard course is 35 hours in-person, with pool time included. An open water course will be offered Sunday, June 18, for interested candidates who are 16 years of age. All of these courses are expected to be completed by the opening of our pools, lakes and camps. If you like to teach and help others and can swim, Wright says being a swim instructor might be for you. You must be 16 years or older, can swim all strokes or willing to learn them, and be prepared to learn to keep others safe.

Wright said that if you are interested in a summer position as a lifeguard at a camp, on a beach, or at a town pool, or perhaps interested in taking this job into a year-round position, such as a work study in college or even working at an indoor pool or park, you can look for courses being offered by the American Red Cross.

“We have local courses being offered in the Brattleboro area for full certifications and re-certifications,” she said.Email Wright at [email protected], or contact your local pool, beach, or camp. If you're 16 and would like to learn to teach swimming and gain Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certification, email your interest to the above address as well.

BOC announces 2023 paddling schedule, watercraft consignment swap and sale

• The 2023 Brattleboro Outing Club paddling schedule features 15 trips on local reservoirs, lakes, ponds & rivers in, and around the Brattleboro area.

According to BOC paddling guru Larry McIntosh, the northern most outing is North Hartland Lake (at the down-stream end of the Quechee Gorge). To the east is Spoonwood Pond in Hancock, New Hampshire (a place motorboats can't access). The southernmost outing is Tully Lake in Royalston, Massachusetts, and in the west is Somerset Reservoir, northwest of Wilmington. “There's lots going on in that big circle,” he wrote in an email to The Commons.

BOC trips are free and open to the public; just show up at the time and place noted with your boat or board and all the safety gear (and lunch) necessary for a day's outing. Life jackets (PFDs) are required. A list of all the trips planned for this season, and the recommended gear you'll need, can be found at (click on “Summer Paddling”).

Descriptions of all 'flat water' trips can be found in the third edition of the AMC Quiet Water books for Vermont/New Hampshire and Southern New England. River trips are shown on the Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail Maps, second edition. Meeting locations provide a place to car and boat pool.

Although there is no BOC sponsored camping trip this year, camping is available at or near seven of the paddling locations: Spoonwood Pond, Tully Lake, Grafton Pond, Somerset Reservoir, and at or near, all three Connecticut River locations. Paddlers wanting to include camping in their outing are advised to plan early. Reservations are required in most locations, and Connecticut River camping is first come, first served (locations are identified on the Connecticut River Paddlers' Trail Map).

• The annual BOC Consignment Sale and Swap of small human and wind-powered watercraft will be held on Saturday, May 13, from noon to 2 p.m. McIntosh said the location is yet to be decided.

Boats will be accepted on Friday, May 12, from noon to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. On May 13, boats will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m., until 11:30 a.m. The swap takes place from 11:30 a.m. to noon, while the sale starts at noon.

This is a consignment sale to fund the BOC Summer Paddling Program. Boat owners set the price, and BOC Paddling receives 10% of the eventual selling price. When two or more prospective buyers want the same boat, an “auction” will decide the eventual buyer.

For more information about the paddling schedule, or the watercraft sale/swap, email McIntosh at [email protected].

Senior bowling roundup

• With three weeks left in the winter/spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League, there is a very close race for first place. Fab Four (40-20) is in front, but close behind are Slo Movers (39.5-20.5) and The Markers (38.5-21.5). Split Happens (30-30) is fourth, followed by The Strikers (26-34), The A-1's (24-36), Trash-O-Matic (21-39), and 10 Pins (21-39).

Vikki Butynski had the women's high handicap game (259) and series (696). Alex Theilen had the men's high handicap game (237), while Duane Schillemat had the high handicap series (648). The Strikers had the high team handicap game (853) and Split Happens had the high handicap series (2,498).

Chuck Adams led the men's scratch scoring with a 611 series that featured games of 212, 207, and 192. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 600 series with games of 217 and 201, while Robert Rigby had a 599 series with games of 216 and 214. John Walker had a 550 series with games of 194 and 193, Schillemat had a 532 series with a 198 game and Marty Adams had a 530 series with a 192 game.

Debbie Kolpa had the women's high scratch series (451) that featured games of 160 and 154, while Nancy Dalzell had a 159 game, Butynski had a 157 game, and Carol Gloski rolled a 151.

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