Our weekly five questions takes us to Arlington this week. As Vermont fall sports begin, we catch up with Eagles senior and boys soccer player Konnor Andrews. (@konnorandrews)
See more after the jump
Our weekly five questions takes us to Arlington this week. As Vermont fall sports begin, we catch up with Eagles senior and boys soccer player Konnor Andrews. (@konnorandrews)
See more after the jump
Back for another installment of the “Five Questions” series, this week we talked with Mount Anthony Union High School senior goalkeeper Pat Cody, who had just wrapped up winning his second Lee Goldsmith Memorial Soccer Tournament championship.
See the interview after the jump
The official start to soccer season isn’t until Thursday, but over the weekend the unofficial start of the high school season happened at the Lee Goldsmith Memorial Soccer Tournament at Willow Park.
Hosted by Mount Anthony, the event is in honor of Lee Goldsmith, a MAU soccer alum who passed away in 2009 after a battle with cancer.
This year’s edition, the sixth, featured teams from MAU, Burr and Burton, Hoosick Falls, Rutland and Long Trail, with MAU and Rutland each having two sides.
A little later than last week, but here are two more photos I dug out of the archive for #tbt. Both photos come from the 2005-2006 school year.
The first photo is of legendary Mount Anthony Union High School wrestling coach Scott Legacy. When I first saw this photo, I had to do a double-take to make sure I was seeing the same Scott Legacy I knew from this year.
Second is a Hoosick Falls bowler, Mr. Jake Colliano.
Enjoy the photos? Got some you want to share? Send them my way! email@example.com
Welcome to another first in a series of weekly ideas that Adam and myself will be rolling out as fall sports start inching closer: Five questions with…
The idea is simple: We ask people five questions. The who depends on the week and what is going on in the sports world.
For the first post, we sat down with Southern Vermont College men’s basketball coach Dan Engelstad. While Engelstad has been busy trying to pull in new players for his program next winter, he has also been leading a basketball camp for area kids.
Catching him between drills, I picked his brain on a couple of burning topics.
Check more after the jump
Ah, everyone’s favorite day on social media has hit the pages of Banner Sports #Extra.
In an effort to keep building up the blog, we are introducing #tbt (Throwback Thursdays) to help us remember some of our favorite sporting moments from the past.
The idea is simple: Every Thursday, we will pick out a few photos and toss them up on the blog. Execution, however, is always a bit more difficult.
Yes, we have a lot of photos stored away in the hallowed halls of the Banner, but we could always use more!
If you dig up any old photos and want to have them featured, just send the photo (and a caption) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: throwback thursday.
Hope you guys enjoy the photos we dig up!
SHAFTSBURY – For Mount Anthony Union High School alum Diane Peacock, her Blue Lollipop Road’s Play It Forward isn’t so much about playing soccer – it’s about spreading the love.
Now, in its third year, the event is starting to turn into the vision that Peacock, a 1995 MAU grad, had all along.
“The love is spreading more and more each year and people are spreading the word as well,” Peacock said. “There’s a lot of old faces here, but also some of the current players. It’s turning into a generational thing.”
The event honors former Mount Anthony soccer players Maria Greene and Brandy Brown, who died in a car accident in 1994.
Members from each family were in attendance, accepting a poster signed by all the players in the alumni game.
After Friday night’s Welcome Back Party, dozens gathered at Howard Park for the game and to remember good times and good friends. Then on Saturday night, people stayed in the area for a barbeque.
“It’s a great event, bringing in all the former Mount Anthony players,” said Mick Goldsmith, a referee for the alumni game. “It’s a good feeling of camaraderie through soccer. It’s the thing that everyone here has in common.”
Goldsmith has a unique perspective. His son, Lee, a 2002 graduate and a former Mount Anthony soccer player himself, died in 2009 after a battle with cancer. Now, MAU hosts the Lee Goldsmith Memorial soccer tournament, a high-level pre-season event for the Goldsmith family.
“A lot of people in the community don’t realize the support for [an event like this],” Goldsmith said. “Some of the people involved have traveled a long way to support it.”
BLR gave a scholarship to MAU sophomore Jami Mathers, who said she plans to use the money toward a school-sponsored trip to Italy next spring.
“Coach [Anna] Swierad said I should sign up for [the scholarship],” Mathers said. “I’ve always liked traveling and meeting new people.”
Mathers said seeing all different alumni play in the game was a cool experience.
“It’s really sweet to see all the people here, it’s awesome,” Mathers said. “It’s cool to see it go through the years.”
Mount Anthony Union High School third baseman Zach Bahan knew he wouldn’t get much to hit this season.
As one of the more prolific batters for the Patriots the past couple of seasons, his reputation for making things happen at the plate has been well-documented.
This year, with pitchers trying to avoid the 6-foot-3 senior, Bahan still put up some eye-popping numbers — even better than before — which is why he has been named as the 2013 All-Banner Player of the Year in baseball.
“He’s one of the best in the state, hands down,” said Mount Anthony coach Walt Parmenter. “He just crushed the ball this year.”
Bahan, a three-year varsity starter, batted .590 (23-for-39), with nine RBI, five doubles, a triple and two homers. Out of 54 total plate appearances, Bahan failed to reach base only 13 times the entire season, an on-base percentage of nearly .700. He was on the first -team for the Marble Valley League.
“He put up some hellacious numbers, that’s pretty awesome,” Parmenter said. “He rarely swung at bad pitches … he’d wait pitchers out to get his pitch and capitalize on it.”
Bahan’s prowess at the plate gave a boost to the rest of the lineup, giving hitters in front of him good pitches to hit, so they could theoretically face him with the bases empty.
“We faced Mount Anthony in a scrimmage and he hit the cover off the ball,” said Cambridge coach Jason Waite.
“He’s definitely going to be missed next year, it’s going to be tough to replace that offense,” Parmenter said.
Catcher: Cameron Bow, MAU, senior: Having the envious position of hitting ahead of Bahan, Bow, a first-team MVL all-star, made pitchers pay if they gave him something good to hit. Bow hit .468 (22-for-47), scored 13 runs, drove in 11 more and slugged .531. On defense, Bow had an accurate arm, throwing out his share of baserunners.
“Between he and Zach, they were the best 1-2 punch in the [Marble Valley] League,” Parmenter said.
First base: Noah Rizio, BBA, junior: Rizio manned the third spot in the Bulldogs’ lineup the entire year, helping BBA to the Division II title game. Rizio, a first-team MVL choice, hit .373, drove in 16 runs and led the team with nine doubles, including a game-winner against Missisquoi ace Matt St. Amour in the D2 semifinal.
Second base: Robert England, BBA, senior: England was the catalyst for the Bulldogs in 2013, leading the team in most offensive categories from the leadoff spot. He hit .500 (21-for-42), scored 30 runs, worked 16 walks and had an on-base percentage of .672.
He also was part of the most dynamic double-play combo in the area, using nearly flawless defense to help his pitchers.
Shortshop: Zack Stewart, BBA, senior: Stewart was the prototypical No. 2 hitter for the 17-3 Bulldogs. Stewart hit .444 (24-for-54), scored 26 runs, drove in 14 runs, walked 10 times and maybe the most impressive stat — he only struck out once. On the defensive side, Stewart used his remarkable range to prevent runs, most notably making a diving stop behind second base against Fair Haven in the quarterfinals to preserve a Bulldogs shutout.
Outfield: Caleb Rowland, Cambridge, sophomore: In his first year on varsity after switching from lacrosse to baseball, Rowland was steady for the Indians, hitting .280 with 12 RBI, 12 walks and seven runs scored. He also made a big difference on defense, keeping runners on their toes if the ball was hit his way, Waite said.
Outfield: Alex Alberti, BBA, senior: Hitting seventh all season behind teammates that got a lot more publicity, Alberti quietly had a terrific season at the plate. He hit .359 (14-for-39), driving in 12 runs, scoring 11 more and walking eight times. He was good at working deep counts, giving pitchers fits with long at-bats.
Outfield: Weston Lozier, MAU, senior: Leading off for the Patriots all year long, Lozier was the spark at the top of MAU’s lineup. Lozier hit .283 (17-for-60), scoring nine runs., setting the table for Bow and Bahan. He also played a nearly flawless left field, a tough place to negotiate with the hill near the warning track.
Utility: Cody Gaines, Hoosick Falls, senior: Gaines led the way offensively for the Panthers in a 15-7 season reaching the Class C quarterfinals. Gaines had a knack for getting on base, reaching more than 40 percent of the time. He hit .333 (27-for-81), leading the team in hits. He also scored 16 runs from the leadoff spot in Coach Mike Lilac’s lineup.
Alex Hawley, Arlington, senior: Hawley was called on to take the ball in the Eagles’ most important games, including their D-IV playdown against Chelsea and the quarterfinal against South Royalton. Hawley was at his best against Division IV rival West Rutland, striking out 15 and only allowing four hits in a gem as Arlington finished 5-12 in 2013.
Kealan Hitt, Hoosick Falls, sophomore: Hitt was a major surprise in his first year at the varsity level, going 7-2. He had a 2.33 ERA in 45 innings, striking out 46 — more than one an inning. In a tough stretch of consecutive games because of rainouts, Hitt answered the call each time, pitching a full game one day and three innings of relief the next to save the Panther arms.
Matt Upright, MAU, junior: With graduation hitting the Patriots hard on the mound, Upright became the de facto No.1 starter early in the year. He was the victim of circumstance regarding wins as MAU lost five games by one run in 2013. He threw 46 innings, going 2-4. He allowed 38 hits and only 13 earned runs, a 1.98 ERA, and struck out 32.
Jake Stalcup, BBA, senior: The Middlebury commit was the ace of the Bulldogs’ staff, throwing 53 ⅓ innings, allowing a mere eight earned runs for a miniscule 1.05 ERA. He struck out 58, more than one batter per inning and only walked 13. Stalcup, a first-team MVL all-star, had a penchant for coming up large when his team needed him — he came into the second inning in relief against Missisquoi, allowing two runs and giving his team a chance to come back.
Matt Parmenter, Cambridge, senior: Parmenter, a second-team Wasaren League all-star, and fellow senior Shaeden Mosso were a formidable 1-2 on the mound for the Indians. Parmenter was a power pitcher, striking out 58 hitters in only 32 innings, nearly two per frame, and had the lowest ERA in the area, at 0.34.
Shaeden Mosso, Cambridge, senior: Mosso, a first-team Wasaren all-star was nearly as dominant as his classmate on the hill, coming up with a 1.56 ERA in 25 innings pitched with 42 strikeouts in a treacherous Wasaren League schedule.
Weston Muench, BBA, senior
Brady Sausville, Cambridge, junior
Logan Brogue, Hoosick Falls, senior
Ellis Baker, MAU, junior
Dylan Beavin, BBA, junior
Olden Dwyer, Arlington, senior
Alex Trayah, Arlington, senior
Billy Pine, Hoosick Falls, senior
Boys lacrosse (14-2) — No. 2 seed, hosts winner of No. 7 Mount Mansfield/No. 10 Burlington in quarterfinals on Saturday at 2 p.m. With win: Would host semifinal on June 11 at 4 p.m.
Girls lacrosse (10-6) — No. 3 seed, hosts No. 6 Spaulding (6-8) in quarterfinals on Friday at 4 p.m. With win: Would face either No. 2 Middlebury or winner of No. 7 Mount Mansfield/No. 10 Rutland on June 11 at 4 p.m.
Softball (14-2) — No. 4 seed, hosts No. 13 Champlain Valley (4-12) on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. With win: Would host winner of No. 5 Missisquoi/No. 12 Rutland on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Baseball (5-11) — No. 12 seed, travels to face Rice (10-6) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. With win: Would face winner of No. 4 Colchester/No. 13 Spaulding in quarterfinals on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Burr and Burton
Baseball (14-2) — No. 1 seed, hosts No. 16 Milton (1-15) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. With win: Would host quarterfinal against winner of No. 8 Bellows Falls/No. 9 Fair Haven on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Girls lacrosse (14-2) — No. 2 seed, hosts winner of No. 7 Harwood/No. 10 Stowe on Saturday at 4 p.m. With win: Would host semifinal on June 11 at 4 p.m.
Boys lacrosse (5-10) — No. 11 seed, travels to face No. 6 Rice (9-7) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. With win: Would face winner of No. 3 Green Mountain Valley/No. 14 Mount Abraham on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Softball (5-11) — No. 11 seed, travels to face No. 6 BFA-St. Albans (11-5) on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. With win: Would face winner of No. 3 Brattleboro/No. 14 North Country on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Girls tennis (13-0) — No. 1 seed, hosts No. 5 Springfield (7-5) in semifinals on Tuesday at 3 p.m. With win: Would host state final on Thursday at 3 p.m.
Golf — Wednesday at Woodstock Country Club. Division I tee times begin at 9:30 a.m.
Baseball (5-10) — No. 9 seed, travels to No. 8 Concord (4-8) tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. With win: Would travel to face top-seeded South Royalton (14-1) in quarterfinals on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
“What are my chances?
“Do you mean not good like 1-out-of-100?”
“I’d say more like 1-out-of-a-million.”
“So you’re telling me there’s a chance…”
Nothing makes me feel more like Lloyd Christmas — Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber” — than first, frantic day of NCAA March Madness. Every year, I’m 100 percent right (like here) until my foundation of righteousness begins to crumble away before my very eyes, something that happens 100 percent of the time.
And it should fall apart every time, considering there are 9.2 quintillion ways the bracket could play out, according to an AP story earlier this week. Yet each March comes a chance to defy probability and it’s damn entertaining.
Sixteen games from noon to midnight Thursday, followed by 16 more games on Friday, just in case one day wasn’t enough. Then 16 more games over the weekend that usually cements your standing as a contender or a basement-dweller in your own bracket pool.
But it’s today, the true opening day, that really makes the tournament. In high school, it was almost a counter-culture celebration day for my friends and I. Other than the last day of the year, it was the best day of school after Christmas break.
CBS didn’t broadcast every game online then, about 10 years ago, and smartphones were still a few years out. But every classroom had a computer to check scores, so it became an afternoon of figuring out excuses to get online. Some teachers indulged a quick peek right before class started or right before it let out. If you had a free period you could spend in the library lab, you were set — and relaying scores to those less fortunate became your duty.
And if you were of the mind to maintain multiple brackets, those afternoons were exponentially more nerve-wracking.
In the decade since, I’ve grown up a bit, I think. I only tackle one bracket now. Too many times, I’d look at my two or three and, in my head, assemble all the best picks from the lot, thinking, “Gonzaga?! Who’s Gonzaga? Well why didn’t I just do that!”
Through some cruel twist of fate, it’s always seemed like if I crush the afternoon picks, nailing all the first eight games, the post-dinner slate strikes back. In rare years, I’ve picked 14 or 15 correctly on one of the first two days, but never that many on each of them. I’d usually settle for a one-day total of 12 or better. From 1997, with Arizona, through 2008 I only missed three national champion picks — Michigan State (2000), Duke (2001) and Florida (2006) — although that doesn’t win you any prizes.
Generally, I take too many risks with my picks. Years where multiple Cinderellas have killed off my Final Four picks have left me scarred for life. Now I usually carry two or three low seeds into the Sweet 16 — one or two too many (I’m looking at you, Bucknell, Creighton and Oregon). Then there are the teams — Georgetown may be the biggest culprit — that burn me both ways on a year-to-year basis, getting upset when I have them locked in and shredding my bracket when I don’t.
Thanks to the magic of Coppenrath and Sorrentine (see below; still get chills from that), who almost entirely sealed the deal on my college decision when their final year coincided with my freshman year, I have a bad habit of picking with my heart when Vermont, my alma mater, or Michigan, my next favorite team, is in the field.
And while Albany destroyed one half of those hopes, the other dominated my bracket. For better or worse, I’m riding the Wolverines this year. My heart is on my sleeve and my block ‘M’ is on my shirt.
Call me crazy, but I do believe I have chance.
So feel free to laugh, comment, or rub it in my face as I react to today’s action here on the blog, updating throughout the day, or on Twitter (@eadanforth) with in-the-moment thoughts.
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12:40 p.m. — Yes! Got our first “Send it in!” from Bill Raftery. The origin:
1:07 p.m. — First half in the books. Michigan State: Sturdy; Appling’s switching-hands entry pass followed by the 3-pointer is the most impressive thing yet. Valpo: Doesn’t look like I have to worry about an upset here.
If Raftery wasn’t calling this one, I’d be pitching a fit that Bucknell-Butler was marooned on truTV, which I don’t get with my cable subscription. But I could listen to Raftery call just about any game. The good news, if it gets even more ugly, is that one of the few things closer to my apartment than the front door of Ramunto’s is the side door.
2:23 p.m. — One-for-one so far with Michigan State winning. Time for Bucknell to turn it on again. The Bison’s 6-foot-8 Brian Scalabrine lookalike, Joe Willman, killed Butler with baseline jumpers as they took the lead about 10 minutes ago. The Bulldogs keep grinding though…
2:48 p.m. — And now I’m 1-for-2. Rotnei Clarke and Butler showed me once again why you pick against the Bulldogs at your peril in March. File that under “should have known better.” I’m going to say that makes three times in the last four years I’ve shot myself in the foot with that one.
3:28 p.m. — I didn’t realize it before, but this afternoon session could kill my tournament picks almost singlehandedly. The three lowest seeds I picked to advance — Bucknell (11), St. Mary’s (11), Oregon (12) — all play before sundown and Belmont (11) tips off against Arizona at 7:20 p.m.
On top of that, Michigan has to face South Dakota State and its one-man-machine Nate Wolters at 7:15. That could be the most fun game to watch today, but I’m only going to have fun if Michigan wins.
5:59 p.m. — Fifty-fifty. Half of my Cinderella picks — St. Mary’s and Bucknell — are gone and I’m 3-for-6 on the day, but only after Marquette stole one from Davidson in the final minute.
I like what I’ve seen from Oregon in one half but I’m still trying to figure out what shade green the Ducks are wearing.
However there’s already one problem in my plan for the day: This tight second half between Gonzaga and Southern, combined with the 7:15 start for Michigan’s game, means I’m not getting to the gym today. Too much basketball.
6:41 p.m. — With less than 3 minutes to go, this Gonzaga-Southern game is getting really real.
9:00 p.m. — It looks like I’ll go 0-for-11-seeds today — St. Mary’s, Bucknell are already down. Belmont down by 17 in the second half.
Finished the first half of the day at 5-3, which is OK as long as I don’t do the same or worse tonight. Michigan was toying with my blood pressure in the first half and then Trey Burke went do the deck, but the Wolverines have since put the clamps down on South Dakota State. Jackrabbits are bounced.
Between Gonzaga, with John Stockton in the crowd watching his son, and Michigan, with Tim Hardaway watching his son, it feels like the NBA on NBC days from when I actually watched the NBA in the mid-1990s.
Also on my second shift and third slice of pizza at Ramuntos today. My bare-bones cable subscription package means I can’t watch all the games online because TNT and truTV aren’t included. Frankly I liked it better two years ago when everything was broadcast regardless of what you pay for your cable service.
11:20 p.m. — I’m almost basketball’d out at this point, feeling like Akron against VCU. Havoc is officially too much for the Zips. I hope it’s not too much for Michigan on Saturday, but I’m looking forward to it. Seriously, though, with VCU up by 45, this is fierce.
Eight-of-13 right now, I’m just waiting on Missouri to come back, New Mexico (picked for the Elite 8) to get back in front and Syracuse to do its thing. Managed to tap-out after just three slices.
11:54 p.m. — My TV coverage has run out, the only games left are Syracuse-Montana and New Mexico-Harvard. It’s time for me to call it a day — not a great one, but a fun one.