Brattleboro’s Caden Russell (6) chases down a loose ball as Twin Valley’s Nathaniel Hernandez (12) looks on during the first half of their Unified basketball game on April 5 in the BUHS gym.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Brattleboro’s Caden Russell (6) chases down a loose ball as Twin Valley’s Nathaniel Hernandez (12) looks on during the first half of their Unified basketball game on April 5 in the BUHS gym.

Bears win Unified basketball home opener

-I can't recall ever seeing a coach wearing the colors of their team's opponent, but Brattleboro Unified basketball coach Tyler Boone likes to do things a little differently.

Twin Valley is offering Unified basketball for the first time this year. The Wildcats played their debut game at home against the Burr & Burton Bulldogs on April 1, and on April 5, played their first road game against the Bears at the BUHS gym.

Boone wanted to make the Wildcats feel welcome, which explains why they were wearing a Twin Valley hoodie on the sideline during the game and introduced each of the Twin Valley players and coaches to the fans during halftime. It was yet another example of the excellent sportsmanship that is a big part of the Unified sports experience.

"It was awesome," said Twin Valley co-coach Andy Oyer. "It was a nice touch."

Being neighborly has its limits, however, and the Bears made sure they took care of business and held on for a 38-36 victory.

Twin Valley was coming off a 52-20 loss to the Bulldogs, who were last season's state runners-up, while Brattleboro won its April 1 opener at Springfield, 55-44.

Boone tried something different for the Twin Valley game and started ninth-graders Alexx LaBounty and Caden Russell. "They really impressed me," Boone said. "They'll be a big help for us this season."

But it was the returning players for the Bears, such as speedy guard Austin Pinette and burly forward Jeffery White, who helped carry the load against the Wildcats. Pinette was the high scorer with 12 points, while White scored four points and pulled down several rebounds.

The Bears led the game all the way. A three-pointer by Tyler Bolduc, a pair of lay-ins by Pinette, and baskets by Ashley Cleveland and Labounty, gave Brattleboro an 11-4 lead after one quarter.

Twin Valley responded in the second quarter with a pair of baskets from Thomas Richard, with Nathaniel Hernandez, Brogan Boyce, and John-Michael Richard also chipping in on offense to cut the Bears' lead down to 18-16 at halftime. A three-pointer from Bolduc, and baskets from White and LaBounty accounted for all of the Bears' offense.

Brattleboro pulled away in the third quarter as Pinnette, Russell, White, and Cleveland contributed to a 14-6 run that gave the Bears a 32-22 lead. But once again, the Wildcats rallied back as Thomas Richard and Trevor Morris-Boyd each had a pair of baskets, and Chloe Lashway added another during a 10-4 run that cut the Bears' lead to 36-32 with 1:37 to play in the final quarter.

Brady Lackey and Pinette then traded baskets to maintain the Bears' four-point lead. John-Michael Richard scored with six seconds left to get the Wildcats within two, but they ran out of time and the Bears hung on for the win.

It was an unexpectedly exciting game, and the two teams will meet again on April 11 in Whitingham.

Rec. Dept. announces summer camp schedules

It's not too soon to be thinking about summer sports camps, and the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will be offering a variety of options for local youths.

• Youth basketball camp for those entering grades 1-8 will run from June 24-28. Grades 1-4 will meet from 9 a.m. to noon and grades 5-8 will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Both sections have a maximum capacity of 20 kids.

This camp will take place at the Gibson-Aiken Center and will be run by Jason Coplan. The fee for this camp is $130 for Brattleboro residents and $145 for nonresidents. Participants will take part in skills and drills that will help increase the level of play and understanding of the game. Players will take part in various forms of competition, but no player will be forced to participate if they do not feel comfortable. Campers should bring sneakers and a water bottle.

• A track & field program for youths between age 6 and 14 will be offered from June 25 through July 20 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 6 to 7 p.m., at the Brattleboro Union High School track complex. The fee is $35 for Brattleboro residents and $50 for non-Brattleboro residents.

Participants will do dashes, sprints, middle- and long-distance running, and relays, as well as long jump, shot put, discus, hurdles, and softball toss. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle.

• Baseball camp will be offered this summer at Living Memorial Park on the Lower Softball/Baseball Field.

Session one, for grades 1-3, will run from July 15-19. Session Two, for those grades 4-6, will run from July 22-26. Both sessions will run from 9 a.m. to noon. The fee is $130 for Brattleboro residents and $145 for nonresidents.

At this camp, participants will be trained in the fundamentals of baseball. Each camper will receive personal attention to help improve their skills through the use of proper playing habits. Experienced coaches will use their knowledge to help players take the next step in their baseball development. All participants must come with a glove, cleats or sneakers, and a bat (if you own one).

• Softball camp will take place at Living Memorial Park on the Lower Softball/Baseball Field. This camp is for those in grades 3-8 and will run from 9 a.m. to noon on July 8-12. The fee is $130 for Brattleboro residents and $145 for nonresidents.

With a focus on fundamentals, this softball camp will help participants develop good habits and proper technique. Instructors Jay Cudworth and Erin Cooke will help increase knowledge of the game, and build confidence at the plate. All participants are required to come with glove, cleats or sneakers, a bat (if you own one), a water bottle, and a snack for a morning break.

• Gymnastics camp will be held at the Gibson-Aiken Center for those 5-14 years old. Camp weeks will be held as follows: Week 1: June 24-28, Week 2: July 1-5 (no class on July 4), Week 3: July 8-12, Week 4: July 15-19, Week 5: July 22-26th, Week 6: July 29-Aug. 2, and Week 7: Aug. 5-9.

The fee for Week 1 and Weeks 3-7 is $115 for Brattleboro residents and $130 for non-residents. The fee for Week 2 is $92 for Brattleboro residents and $107 for non-residents. Camp runs from 9 a.m. (sharp) to noon, Monday -Friday. Participants should bring a nutritious snack, and a water bottle, and wear tight-fitting clothes. The instructors are Amanda Montgomery and Karen Gallivan.

• The Recreation & Parks Department and the New England Skateboarding Association will offer a skateboarding camp for those 8-12 years old from July 15-19, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Living Memorial Park's Perseverance Skate Park.

The fee is $175 for Brattleboro residents and $190 for non-Brattleboro residents. Participants should bring sneakers, skateboards, a helmet, elbow and knee pads, a snack, and water bottle. Equipment is not provided.

• National Senior Games Champion Gurudharm Khalsa will lead a Pickleball camp for those in grades 5-12 at the Living Memorial Park Tennis Courts. Camp for grades 5-8 will be held July 15-19, from 4 to 5:30 p.m . Camp for grades 9-12 will be held July 22-26, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The fee for this camp is $50 for Brattleboro residents and $65 for non-residents.

Participants will learn the basic fundamentals of the game, including the underhand serve, the drive, the dink, and the volley. Campers will work their way to learn the basic rules of the game for doubles play, and some elements of strategy. Warmups, stretching, agility, and mobility drills will be included. Bring a pickleball paddle if you have one and a water bottle.

• Individuals can register online at, and click on "Summer Camps and Programs," or in person at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street. For all programs, events, facility information, and more, visit Once you are on this page, hover over the "Departments" tab found on the blue horizontal bar. A new drop-down menu will appear and click "Recreation and Parks."

If there are special accommodations required for these programs, let the Rec. Dept. know at least five days in advance. For more information, call the Gibson-Aiken Office at 802-254-5808.

Watch your step on the trails

• Despite two recent major snowstorms, mud season conditions remain on Vermont's mountains and trails. The Green Mountain Club (GMC) reminds hikers that high-elevation trails on state land are now closed through May.

The GMC noted in a news release that the start of mud season for the trails has historically been April 15, but it's been trending earlier in recent years.

"This year, with such a mild winter, we saw mud season-equivalent conditions in every month of meteorological winter. And with sustained above-freezing temperatures throughout March, a messy mud season is here to stay. Even 20 inches of snow on the mountains in mid-March fell upon muddy, thawed ground, so mud season conditions are quick to return," according to the GMC.

Hiking on muddy trails makes them more susceptible to erosion, and hiking around muddy sections widens the trail and tramples trailside vegetation. The GMC advises hikers to seek out low elevation trails and durable surfaces during mud season. Dirt roads and rail trails statewide make for great long walks.

They also advise hikers to stay flexible and adaptable. Muddy conditions can exist any month of the year, so if you encounter significant mud on your way to a trailhead or summit, consider turning around and finding an alternative place to hike. If you do continue, hike directly through mud to protect the land around the trail. Wear waterproof boots, gaiters, and use hiking poles to improve stability.

You can check recent trail reports on forums such as Hiking in Vermont (, or post an honest trip report of your own to help other hikers and spread responsible trail stewardship. Visit for more information.

Vermont's trout season opens April 13

• Vermont's trout fishing season opens Saturday, April 13, and, despite lingering snow cover in many areas, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says anglers can still have fun and be successful early in the season if they keep a few strategies in mind.

"Just like any other time of year, anglers fishing early in the spring should adjust their tactics based on conditions," State Fisheries Biologist Shawn Good said in a news release. "Trout will become more active with warmer water temperatures. If you can find a good location and present your bait or lure without spooking the trout, you'll have a good chance of catching a few fish, and enjoy a nice day outside."

Good says finding a small- to medium-low-elevation river or stream that is not too murky from spring runoff can be key. Trout are coldblooded and may be slow to bite especially with low water temperatures, so it is important that they can also see your bait, lure, or fly.

While Vermont offers excellent and diverse fishing opportunities for wild trout, stocking also occurs in many lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers where wild trout populations are low or absent. This generally happens each year once the ice has melted and following spring runoff.

Good reminds anglers to check the department's website frequently as updates are made to the Trout Stocking page. Visit and click the "See What's Been Stocked" button to stay informed as the spring progresses. Also, check the 2024 Vermont Fishing Guide and Regulations, which is available free from license agents or online at A helpful overview of the fishing regulations can be found at

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 14 of the winter/spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on April 4 was postponed due to snow. They'll be back in action this week.

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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