Brattleboro varsity softball coach Erin Cooke is back at the helm this season. The Bears open their season on April 12 in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Randolph T. Holhut/Commons file photo
Brattleboro varsity softball coach Erin Cooke is back at the helm this season. The Bears open their season on April 12 in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Unified basketball kicks off spring sports season

-Practices began last week for spring high school sports in Vermont. Weather permitting, some teams will have their first games later this week.

Meanwhile, Unified basketball got started on April 1 when the Brattleboro Bears traveled to Springfield to face the Cosmos in Dressel Gymnasium.

Unified basketball, which is run through Special Olympics Vermont, is an all gender-inclusive program that pairs athletes who may have disabilities with partners who do not have disabilities. At any given time, there are three athletes on the floor with two partners. According to Vermont rules, the partners are not allowed to shoot the ball, leaving all the scoring opportunities for the athletes.

The Bears have seven games on the regular season schedule this year. The home opener is April 4 against Twin Valley, which is fielding a Unified team for the first time this season. There is another home game on April 9 against Burr & Burton. As was the case last year, home games at the BUHS gym will start at 2:15 p.m., so that students can watch most of the games before they go home for the day.

Brattleboro then has a pair of road games at Twin Valley on April 11 and Otter Valley on April 30 before returning to the BUHS gym for a May 3 game with Rutland. The regular season ends with a May 8 game in Bennington against Mount Anthony.

Last year, the Bears made it to the state semifinals before being eliminated by Burr & Burton in the Southern Division championship game. Burr & Burton will be aiming for its third straight Southern Division title, but the Bears may have enough talent to prevent a "three-peat" by the Bulldogs.

The Bears lost Joanie Tuttle, Janessa Jones, Timothy Galdamez, Marcy Galdamez, Silvia Galdamez, and Alana Bell to graduation last year. Most of the key players from last year's team are back.

Tyler Boone returns for their seventh season coaching Unified basketball. Boone is a big believer in Unified sports, and what it means for BUHS.

"Kids are staying in school because of Unified," they said last year. "Kids are catching up with their work because of Unified. It's making a real difference in the school community and the school culture."

Boone is also excited that Twin Valley has a Unified basketball team this season, and helped that school get its program started.

Allison Kelley and Andy Oyer are the co-coaches for the Wildcats, with assistance from Seth McCoard and varsity boys' basketball coach Chris Brown. Twin Valley opened its season against Burr & Burton on April 1.

Busy spring ahead for local schools

• Brattleboro opens its baseball season on April 12 in Townshend against Leland & Gray. The Bears will host Mount Anthony at Tenney Field for the home opener on April 15.

The Bears will open the softball season against Northampton, Massachusetts on April 12, and will be at Sawyer Field to face Mount Anthony in the home opener on April 15.

The girls' lacrosse team begins its season on the road with games on April 9 in Northampton, April 13 in Keene, New Hampshire, and April 17 in Woodstock before the Bears have their first home game on April 19 at Natowich Field against Rutland.

The boys' lacrosse team also opens its season with five road games: in Rutland on April 16, in Manchester against Burr & Burton on April 18, at Stratton Mountain School on April 29, in Northampton on May 1 and in Bennington against Mount Anthony on May 3 before the Bears play their first game at Natowich Field on May 6 against Rutland.

The boys' tennis team opens the season at Hartford on April 15. The Bears will then hibernate for two weeks before their home opener against Mount Anthony April 29 at the BUHS courts.

The girls' tennis team opens at home on April 12 with a doubleheader against Bellows Falls at the BUHS courts, while the track team has its first home meet on April 16 at the Freeman Track. The Ultimate disc team get its season started on May 2 when it hosts Mill River.

• The Bellows Falls baseball and softball teams open their season on April 9 with a road trip to Fair Haven. The track & field team also has its first meet that day at Hadley Field.

The Terriers' home baseball opener is April 13 against Rutland, while the softball team has its home opener on April 20 against Hartford.

The girls' tennis team opens their season on April 10 in Manchester against Burr & Burton. With the courts at Hadley Field still awaiting repairs, the Terriers will once again play on the road for all their matches.

• Leland & Gray begins its softball season on April 10 in Dorset against Long Trail School, then has two more road games at Woodstock on April 20 and at Mill River on April 23 before the Rebels have their home opener on April 25 against White River Valley.

The Ultimate disc team opens its season at home on April 29 against Burr & Burton, while the track & field team has its first meet at Bellows Falls on April 9.

• The Twin Valley baseball team opens its season with three road games - at Poultney on April 9, at Mill River on April 13, and at Rivendell on April 16 - before the Wildcats host Leland & Gray on May 1.

The softball team begins the season on the road with games at Arlington on April 15 and Mill River on April 29 before they host Leland & Gray on May 1. The track team opens the season in Brattleboro on April 16 at a multi-team meet with Arlington, Green Mountain, Belllows Falls, Woodstock, and Burr & Burton.

No softball at Green Mountain this season

• Competition from other spring sports such as Ultimate disc, track & field, lacrosse, and tennis has put a dent in baseball and softball programs around Vermont, but I was surprised to hear that Green Mountain Union High School in Chester won't have a softball team this season.

According to a report in the Rutland Herald last week, Green Mountain's softball program did not have enough players to field a team. Fortunately for the GM students who still want to play softball, the Vermont Principals' Association's member-to-member program allows up to four players to compete at a neighboring school if their own school doesn't offer a particular sport.

According to the Herald, GM Athletic Director Todd Parah said Springfield High School should be able to accommodate everyone at GM who wants to make the commitment to play for the Cosmos this season.

Green Mountain has had some good softball teams over the years. This might be just a temporary blip, but it could be another example of what is happening at small schools around Vermont with declining enrollments and resources.

Green Street School celebrates centennial with 12th annual Tulip Trot

• On Saturday, May 4, Green Street School in Brattleboro presents the 12th annual Tulip Trot 5K Run & Walk.

This is a family friendly, non-professional fundraising event that is open to the community. Organized by the Green Street School PTO, it's the school's biggest yearly fundraiser. Proceeds from the Tulip Trot are used for school-wide and grade-level enrichment programs, field trips, winter sports, and staff appreciation activities.

This year, the Tulip Trot will also be celebrating Green Street School's 100th birthday. The event will have food available for purchase, raffle prizes, and birthday cake.

A special Tulip Trot merchandise store is open until April 12. Buy your Tulip Trot shirts at A limited number of shirts will be for sale the day of the event. More details on the race, including registration information, can be found at

Grace Cottage's family-friendly 5K is May 11

The 15th annual Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital's Spring into Health 5K is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, on the Townshend Common. You can run, walk, roll, stroll, or push your baby carriage for this fun, family-friendly event. The event begins with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Registration is $20 per participant (children ages 17 and under are free with signed parent/guardian permission) and registration is open now at A virtual option is also available. Register at the same link. For more information, email [email protected] or call 802-365-9109. All proceeds from this event will benefit healthcare services at Grace Cottage.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 13 of the winter/spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on March 28 saw little change in the standings. First place High Rollers (43-22) had a 5-0 week, while Stepping Stones II (40-25) also went 5-0 to move into second place, followed by Stayin' Alive (36-29), Four Seasons (32-33), Good Times (27-38), Four Pins (27-38), Hairiers (23-42), and Slow Movers (20-45).

Diane Cooke had the women's high handicap game (235) and series (637) while Al Dascomb had the men's high handicap game (257) and Duane Schillemat had the high handicap series (686). Slow Movers had the high team handicap game (863), while Four Pins had the high handicap series (2,466).

John Walker had the men's high scratch series (576) with games of 211 and 204. Peter Deyo had a 556 series with a 209 game, Schillemat had a 551 series with games of 190 and 200, Milt Sherman had a 540 series with a 191 game, and Robert Rigby had a 518 series. Those with notable games included Gary Montgomery (192), Charlie Marchant (191), and Dascomb (190).

Cooke had the women's high scratch series (451), while Nancy Dalzell had the high scratch game (174). Cooke had a 173 game and Carol Gloski rolled a 164.

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].

This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.

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