I’m not a calendar guy when it comes to figuring out seasons. To me, the official start of summer comes on the Friday night of Memorial Day weekend. I know the calendar says it is June 21, but I am not buying that. It’s the same in the fall, when the calendar tells us, you are two-thirds through September before fall kicks in. When you settle down for the night on Labor Day, it is time to kiss summer good- bye.
It’s just like those things of your youth, which you just can’t let go of. When I was nine years old, the local baseball season began with a jamboree on Memorial Day weekend and the play-offs were in early August. Now, except if you are considered an all-star, the regular season is over about the time school closes, leaving the majority of youngsters with no organized activities throughout most of their summer vacation. Filling youngsters waking hours from dawn to dusk with a full schedule in May and June when school is winding down and then leaving them free time all summer, isn’t the best use of their time I say.
Thinking back to those days of little league, with purposely small letters, because you see the league in Bellows Falls and most surrounding towns, was officially Junior League, because you had to pay the bucks to be part of the official organization. The league began in BF in 1957 and the most active people I remember way back then were Eddie Kane, Jack Paris, Johnny Dagnoli, Charlie Russell, Paul Aumand, Bob Joy, Bob McCormick, Dick Brown, Cas Menard, Dan Keefe, George McAuliffe and Earl Gilman. If this was another day, I might recall some other names and forget some of those mentioned, but both those remembered and forgotten, made life a whole lot different for so many youngsters. They were the pioneers, the grassroots of the game in the Falls. Those were very special names in my formative years and I know, as I said, the years have clouded my memory on other important contributors of that time. If you have names to add to the list use the e-mail at the bottom of the article to remind us and we will pass them on sometime in the future. In addition, if you grew up in another area town and have similar memories to pass along, please drop us a note and we will make a mention.
A few weeks back, we passed along to you numerous area athletes, who played a fall or winter sport in college. Since that time, some readers made us aware of a few more. If you know of an area athlete, who attended college this school year and was a part of one of their college athletic teams, let us know. We will be mentioning the spring athletes in a column soon and want to make sure we recognize everyone, including those we missed the first time around from the fall and winter seasons. Please contact us.
High school play-off action begins in both Vermont and New Hampshire this week and there are very few local teams knocking on title doors. The only possible favorite is the Bellows Falls Boys Track Team. To a lesser extent, the BF Girls Track Squad could surface, as could the Green Mountain Girls Softballers. A longer shot at succeeding lies with the BF baseballers, the GM baseballers and the Black River baseball and softball teams, but they do all stand a chance. If anyone else captures a state title, they really blindsided us. We never saw them coming.
The BF track team qualified five individuals and a relay team for the New England Track Meet over the weekend in Essex. DJ Snide had the best day winning both the 110 and 300 Hurdle events, as well as placing fifth in the Triple Jump. Reno Tuttle had a fourth in the Shot and a 5th in the Discus, Keri Ticino was 5th in the Pole Vault and 6th in the Javelin, Emma Lawrence took 4th in the Discus and Jaden Luebbert was 6th in the Pole Vault.The Terrier Relay team of Sawyer Reis, Gabe Hakimoglu, Connor Smith and Cam Joy ran the 4 x 100 Relay team to 6th place to qualify.
It is nice to see the Yankees (honestly) off to a good start and back in the pennant race. The Red Sox do have the best team in the American League East division and I would expect them to win the division by 10 games or more. If someone else wins, they have really played beyond their capability.
By the way, If you are looking to go to Fenway Park this summer and don’t have tickets, as long as one gets there early, the odds are very good you will get a ticket, regardless of who the opponent is.
One Sox ticket employee told me this weekend, “We always have a few tickets to sell at our game day ticket window opposite the Cask and Flagon Restaurant.”
In the same conversation, another employee spoke of their scalp free ticket selling service further down Landsdowne Street opposite from the House of Blues. Tickets are turned in there to resell at face value or below. If you arrive at Fenway 90 minutes prior to first pitch, chances are, one way or the other will work. Do have some alternative plans in case one day proves different, but here’s predicting you won’t need them. Let us know If you try one way or another.
Television will be presenting the College World Series in both baseball and softball in the next few weeks. Do you think that the female game is more exciting on the tube than the men’s?
Green Mountain Softball coach Terry Farrell is very high on his 2017 Lady Chieftains and told us last week of how he had told his team early on this spring, that there was no reason not to consider themselves title contenders. He also told me the same day,
“I told them that, but I haven’t told them about Oxbow yet.”
Farrell had just scouted the Division III number one undefeated seed and came away impressed. Oxbow is really talented and will be the favorite to capture that crowd, if the Chietains make it that far, they will be determined to upset the Olympians cart. People who have seen GM play this spring have said some wonderful things about that local team.
For those who like to keep track of the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League, the Walpole Maples are still at the head of the class standing at 3-0 and the main reason they stand alone is because their cross town, the Walpole Wild Blue knocked off the Keene Summit A’s 7-1 to hand them their only loss. The A’s stand at 3-1, while Putney is 2-1 just ahead of that Wild Blue team which is 2-2. The other three teams in the circuit, the Connecticut River Ironmen, Brattleboro and the Claremont Cardinals are all 1-3.
I have had a couple inquiries lately about the Saxtons River Pirates. They have unofficially, played one game this year. They took on a strong Masssachusetts team at the Hubbard Complex under the lights and lost, but Dave Moore is still trying to scrape together a unit for more games, including a possible Fourth of July contest.
Any ideas about the 4th? If you really think you are good enough to play at that level, call Moore at 802-289-9006.
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