PLAYOFFS: PANTHER TICKETS, PLUS H.S. HOCKEY, GYMNASTICS, AND DANCE JUDGING
OK, first up: Tickets for Saturday’s Middlebury College men’s hoop quarterfinal may be hard to come by. The Panthers (22-2 and No. 6 in NCAA Division III) will host Trinity at 3 p.m. The college is selling tickets for $5 for adults and $3 for students. They are currently available online. Those who want to go should click and buy now — almost 1,200 fans packed Pepin when the Panthers hosted Williams with the students out of town.
On to high school: On Thursday, we’ll have reports on the Tiger gymnastic and dance teams, both of whom competed in state finals on Saturday. Coach Meg Harris was happy with her gymnasts, who took a step forward this year and should do so again next year: No one will graduate.
She and I also exchanged a few emails afterward in which we discussed the fact that the boys who practiced on her gymnastics team weren’t allowed to participate at all. We can understand why their scores might not count, but they worked hard. Why not allow them to show what they can do on an exhibition basis? Isn’t it, as they say, about the kids?
As for dance, ace cub reporter Kaitlyn Kirkaldy will make her journalistic and photographic debut after covering the Tiger team at Rice. The dancers won a state title in one category and narrowly missed the overall crown. Kaitlyn said the team performed well and may have deserved better. When she was there, she didn’t know how right she was.
First, I made it to the championship announcements, and I have to say the Vermont Principals’ Association needs to upgrade the event. Scores were never posted or announced — seems to me that’s a basic necessity at an athletic competition, although it was nice of them to tell everybody it was “the closest ever.” Score sheets handed out to coaches were also incomplete. We knew the Tigers were two or three points out of first overall, but not the exact margin. Not acceptable.
Then at Tuesday’s hockey games, MUHS AD Sean Farrell said the dance competition was so close that if one judge hadn’t penalized the Tigers for showing too much midriff in one event, they probably would be state champs. According to Sean, her written comment was “too much tummy-tummy.” Well, then. I wonder how she felt about North Country’s tiny sparkly gold mini-dresses. I hope they had a defibrillator handy.
Anyway, apparently the judge wasn’t aware the Tigers had flesh-colored leotards on under their shirts. And based on her language, she has toddlers at home.
Sounds like the VPA and the judges need to step up and work as hard as the teams in this activity.
About those hockey games: Nice night on Tuesday for the Tigers. I covered the girls’ game for the Thursday edition; expect photos, too. It was a bit more one-sided than the 5-2 final would indicate. The coaches got every one in, and also talked afterward about how happy they were for the team’s half-dozen seniors, who were there for the 0-20 season two years ago, and it’s fair to say are having more fun this winter.
In stuff that didn’t fit in the print article, Coaches Tim Howlett and Wendy Leeds and I talked about their Northfield quarterfinal on Saturday. The 13-8 Tigers beat the 14-6 Marauders twice this year by one goal. Tim noted fairly that it’s always tough to beat a good team three times, but both agree Northfield has to have a seed of doubt and the Tigers a little bit of confidence.
Boys’ coach Derek Bartlett was also able to get time for all his skaters once the Tigers jumped on top, 3-0, after one period. Last winter, the Tigers came out flat in a stunning first-round playoff loss — no such mistake this time.
Check back on Wednesday night for quick thoughts on the first round of the Division II girls’ basketball playoffs, and in tomorrow’s paper for photos and a write-up of tonight’s Mount Abe-Springfield game in Bristol.
On the Ball will be back online no later than Monday afternoon with a look at the local D-II boys’ basketball seeds and schedules. Good luck to all the girls tonight.
And as always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.