THIS + THAT

 

Sports fans pick up their sports following habit somewhere. I was lucky enough to have a father, an uncle, and an aunt who showed me the way. I wish they were here today to help me figure out how much things have changed. I sometimes feel alone in an ever-changing sports world. Then again, I remember my elders had their troubles keeping up with things at the end. They were in their 50s when we first saw sports on television, so their world was never the same from then on. I remember when most of the professional games were only on radio. Back then it was fun listening to the picture the announcer would paint for his listeners. However, now despite the fact that I am a radio guy, I have to see the game on television. I am not satisfied with a radio broadcast any longer. I wonder what my forefathers would think? All the games are televised now. Maybe I am really blessed.

Last week in Vermont, high school football was strongly affected by the relatively new wet bulb/heat index rule, which doesn’t allow athletic practices or games to be held if the numbers add up to the safety danger zone. I wonder if my dad and uncle would accept that one. I know they would have had trouble with the present day blood rules, because they always told me that real men don’t worry about bleeding. You are tough when you suck it up and play. I am not making fun of those rules; it just takes old timers some time to get use to them. Both rules would definitely have saved some lives in years before they were instituted.

Last Saturday, Burr & Burton pulled off their second straight football upset in the Vermont Division II ranks. They surprised Fair Haven 37-7. When I heard the game was forced to start at 9 a.m. due to the heat index probability, I wondered if Fair Haven had trouble waking up? It is starting to look like Burr & Burton is really good though.

cross country
Lia Clark, the top Bellows Falls Terrier girls’ runner, finished third in the Russ Pickering Invitational this fall. Clark has been a strong runner throughout her Purple and White career. Photo by Doug MacPhee

I spoke to Bellows Falls Cross Country Coach Tim Eno, and for the first time in over a decade, his squad has enough female performers (and then some) for a team score. Remember, Eno’s boys team suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the state meet last fall, and they graduated three of their top four runners. Eno had hoped they would jump back near the top this year, but they have “been inconsistent,” to date, he says.

Nic Potter, Ian Wallace, and Tim Salter Roy are back to lead the boys squad and Lia Clark heads up the veteran part for the girls. The boys have been coming on lately, especially because freshman Colton Baldasaro “has stepped it up and challenged the others” according to Eno. “I thought we would be better at this stage, but with a little more consistency we will improve,” Eno said of the boys. There is an “impressive freshman on the girls side too,” Eno enthusiastically said, noting the strong start to Molly Hodsden’s career.

Eno’s team was hoping to run in a Marble Valley League Meet at Woodstock when we spoke to him Tuesday, but he was concerned the meet might be postponed because of the heat safety rules. New Hampshire has some heat guidelines as well, but few events are postponed there.

Fall Mountain is the biggest school in our reporting area. Regardless, we are impressed they offer eight sports during the fall sports season. The eight are boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ cross country, football, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ golf, and bass fishing. In all, there are 162 Wildcats competing this fall in one of those activities. To me, the most surprising numbers are 38 and 31. Those are the numbers for boys’ soccer and football. My shock is that there are similar numbers in both sports. I have always known that Fall Mountain is soccer country, so football may be in better shape than I realized. Winning games in football has been close to non-existent, but maybe this year’s high underclass numbers mean the sport is actually on the way up.

Fall Mountain has two prime time coaching openings. Both the varsity basketball and baseball positions are open. Interested persons need to contact Gordon Danserau at the school.

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