Community honors Coach Lockerby at season’s start

The Lockerby Family. Photo provided

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Lakes Region defeated Bellows Falls Post 37, 14-3 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in a game abbreviated to five innings by the 10-run rule. But this night at Hadley Field was about much more than baseball. It was about community, love, and paying tribute to a great man, intertwined in that community in so many ways.

Post 37 coach Bill Lockerby was killed in a hunting accident in Ohio between seasons. The Bellows Falls community showered his family with love in a pregame ceremony.

Lockerby’s No. 17 Post 37 jersey was retired in a stirring part of the ceremony and plaques were presented to Lockerby’s family members.

Shawn Burke, who replaced Lockerby as coach, was emotional as he spoke to the Lockerby family and the large crowd.

Burke thanked the Lakes Region organization for its heartfelt gestures during a difficult time for the Bellows Falls Legion team and community.

Burke said that two American Legion Posts, Fair Haven Post 49 and Castleton Post 50, which are both part of the Lakes Region team, each donated $500. Not only that, but Lakes Region will dedicate the game program to Lockerby at the Vermont State Tournament to be held at Castleton University and Rutland’s St. Peter’s Field.

“They are a class act,” Burke said of Lakes Region.

Doug Roberts represented Post 37 in retiring Lockerby’s No. 17 jersey. “The jersey will hang in the hall [of Bellows Falls Post 37], and be there for everyone to see for years to come,” Roberts said.

Roberts and Lockerby were teammates with the Saxtons River Pirates and Roberts called Lockerby “the best player I have ever played with.”

Roberts spoke of Lockerby not only being an outstanding baseball coach, but also praised him for his contributions in coaching youth football in the community.

The plaque was presented to Lockerby’s parents, Roger and Kathy.


Written by Tom Haley of the Rutland Herald

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