Sports

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott is easing some restrictions on school and recreational sports practices, effective today, Jan. 18. Among the changes, outdoor ski teams will be allowed to compete this winter, Scott said in his Jan. 15 news conference. Nordic skiers from Middlebury and Otter Valley union high schools could begin to hit the trails soon, although the Otter skiers appear to have a clearer path. OV skiers have a half-dozen meets on a modified schedule, beginning Jan. 27, with the first three meets set to be hosted by Woodstock, Mount Anthony and Brattleboro. Per state officials, the...

LIAM QUINN MARRIED fellow Middlebury College graduate Dana Isaac in 2014. Like Quinn, Isaac was an athlete at Middlebury — she played for the school’s women’s rugby club. The family lives in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of the Isaac Quinn family
SAN FRANCISCO — In 2001 the Vergennes Union High School boys’ basketball team won a Division II title for the first time in 32 years, capping off a 23-1 season with a 71-56 victory over Lamoille. Among those cutting down the net after the final horn were senior co-captain Liam Quinn; his brother Sam, a sophomore who sat out most of the season with knee woes; and their father, Pete Quinn, who assisted Coach Gene LeBeau and later led both the Commodore girls’ and boys’ teams to titles before his untimely 2018 demise. That moment remains a poignant memory for Liam Quinn, now an “academic success...

CATCHER QUINCY TROUPPE, left, and pitcher Sam “Toothpick” Jones in 1952 were the first Black battery (pitcher and catcher) in Major League Baseball. Trouppe and Jones also played for the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro American League. Jones was the first Black pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the Major Leagues, pitching for the Chicago Cubs in 1955. Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Memory Project
“The Yankees cannot lose.” “But I fear the Indians of Cleveland.”                                 (“The Old Man and the Sea,” Ernest Hemingway, 1956)   The Indians are my second favorite baseball team — and have been since I was a baseball-obsessed kid. I grew up next door to my five cousins. My cousin Charlie, the boy nearest in age to me, and I played a game in his ample back yard we called simply “tennis ball.” We inherited the game from his older brothers. It was just one on one, pitcher and hitter, with a wall as a backstop. If you get an old worn out (no fuzz) tennis ball, you can curve...

MOUNT ABE FORWARD Txuxa Konczal slipped this shot between the right post and Burr & Burton’s goalie, and it proved to be the winning score in the shootout that determined the D-II field hockey champion in a game played at South Burlington. Independent photo/Steve James
ADDISON COUNTY — The past year was not ideal for sports, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But once we all figured out how we could compete in many sports safely, the athletes and lovers of athletics among us found some pretty good ways to play and watch. Last week we recapped the active winter sports season, virtually non-existent spring season, and the emergence of at least some athletes over the summer. This week we look back at fall and early winter sports in Addison County. SEPTEMBER Sept. 8 was a big day — high school athletes could practice again while observing COVID-19 protocols,...

LINCOLN’S NICK MAYER brought down this 190-pound, 14-point buck this fall, one of many trophies deer hunters took as 2020 proved to be a banner year for deer hunting in Addison County. Records were set for overall kill, rifle season take, and buck weight for rifle season. Photo courtesy of Department of Fish & Wildlife
MONTPELIER — Final statewide deer harvest numbers will not be available until March, but the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department announced last week the final tally will be around 18,000 deer, the second highest total since 2000. Those deer will provide approximately 3.6 million servings of venison, officials said. The archery season harvest, which will be close to 5,800 deer, will be a new all-time record for that season, according to Fish & Wildlife officials. They attributed the uptick to several changes to archery hunting regulations that took effect in 2020. Those included...

PETE DIMINICO SAMPLES the water in the New Haven River in 2013 as part of the Addison County River Watch effort to keep our rivers clean. The founder of the New Haven River Anglers Association and active conservationist died on Christmas Day. Photo by Matthew Whitten
It was the first morning of the new year. I was searching through my e-mail folder for something — I don’t even remember what — when I stumbled on some correspondence from Pete Diminico. Having recently heard the sad news that Pete had passed away on Christmas Day, the e-mails caught my attention. One dated all the way back to January of 2006. The most recent came to me just this past August. I can’t remember what year I met Pete, but I know it was through the New Haven River Anglers Association, at a meeting held at the old Dog Team Tavern. Though the tavern burned down in September of 2006...

PANTHER MADIE LEIDT fires on the Hamilton net in a NESCAC semifinal. The Middlebury College women’s hockey team won the NESCAC regular season, earned a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, and were ranked No. 2. The tournament was canceled. Independent file photo/Steve James
Part one of two. ADDISON COUNTY — The year 2020 in sports will be remembered in many ways for what didn’t happen, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Winter high school and college postseasons abruptly halted. Spring seasons never started. Summer? No American Legion Baseball. No Champlain Valley Swim League. No armwrestling, tractor pulling or demolition derby at Field Days. Fall? No Middlebury College sports, and some athletes decided to take a gap year. And Vermont high school athletes began practicing late and began playing later than expected. Masked athletes took to fields, trails and...

KATE PERINE, KATE LIVESEY now, with her proud parents, Ken and Carolyn, sports No. 10 while holding the NCAA Division III Lacrosse Championship trophy that she and her Middlebury College teammates won in 2002. “10” was her favorite number in her years as a three-sport athlete at Middlebury Union High School and at Middlebury College.
The best uniform number in sports is 42, Jackie Robinson’s number. It’s been retired by Major League Baseball — no MLB player will ever wear it again. That’s a high honor, the highest. The Jackie Robinson movie was simply titled “42.” If you reverse 42 you get a pretty great number too — 24, the number of Willie Mays, only the greatest baseball player ever. Basketball fans, no doubt, will cite Kobe Bryant, but he also wore #8 for a while. Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds (Willie Mays’s godson), Bill Bradley, Lou Brock, are other notables who wore 24. For me, given my age and New England roots, 24...
BORMIO, Italy — Starksboro’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle claimed his first World Cup victory on Tuesday by winning a super-G event on the famous Stelvio course in Bormio, Italy. He prevailed by what is considered a huge margin in ski racing — 0.79 second. Cochran-Siegle, a 28-year-old graduate of Mount Abraham Union High School and longtime member of the U.S. Ski Team, had been coming on strong this season. He earned his first World Cup podium finish just 10 days prior to Tuesday by taking second in a downhill race at another Italian ski venue, Val Gardena. His victory this Tuesday marked the first...
ADDISON COUNTY — Although Gov. Phil Scott in his Tuesday, Dec. 22, press conference gave the go-ahead for schools to begin sports practices as soon as Dec. 26, local schools are opting to wait until after the current holiday break. Scott announced at the beginning of his weekly Tuesday press briefing the easing of several COVID-19 restrictions, including allowing what he called “a phased restart of youth, recreation and school sports.” He said this change does not apply to adult leagues, and spectators are still banned. Specifically, he said, youth, school and recreation teams would be...

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