Burlington's Centennial Field may be the home of Vermont baseball, but for the last two years it hasn't been the home for Vermont's high school baseball championship games. That will change this June.
After a two-year absence, Vermont's four championship games will return to Centennial Field this year. The announcement was made Tuesday during a press conference that included Bob Johnson, president of the Vermont Principals' Association; University of Vermont athletic director Bob Corran; and Burlington mayor Miro Weinberger.
Weinberger played high school baseball at Woodstock, which won a state championship at Centennial in 1987.
“I am one of the hundreds of Vermonters who has had the amazing experience of playing for a high school state championship on Centennial Field,” Wienberger said. “Twenty-five yeas later my memory of that spring evening under the lights in Burlington is one of my most cherished. I am very happy today to mark the return of these championships to our city and to know that hundreds more Vermont high school ball players will participate in this grand Vermont tradition in the years ahead.”
Centennial Field is home to the Vermont Lake Monsters, Oakland's Single-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. The state's four championship games will be played at Centennial Field for the first time since 2009. The championship games are tentatively scheduled to be played June 8-9.
“The Lake Monsters organization is thrilled to bring the high school baseball championship games back to Centennial Field and the city of Burlington,” Lake Monsters general manager Nate Cloutier said. “The Lake Monsters would also like to acknowledge the efforts from the Friends of UVM Baseball group in helping to return the VPA baseball championships back to Centennial.”
The four championship games were played at Centennial from 1993 to 2009, but were moved to Montpelier's Rec. Field in each of the past two years.
“The Vermont Principals' Association Is looking forward to the return of the high school baseball championships to Centennial Field,” Johnson said. “We appreciate the efforts of the Vermont Lake Monsters in making this happen and we look forward to working with the Lake Monsters in the future.”
COPLEY SELECTS QUINNIPIAC
Colchester's Brendan Copley will continue his cross country career at Quinnipiac University, a Division I school located in Hamden, Conn.
Copley was Vermont's top finisher in the 2011 New England Cross Country Championships, when he ran 12th in 16 minutes, 16 seconds.
BALLARD CHOOSES SNHU
Rutland's Meghan Ballard, a 5-foot-10 forward, announced recently that she has accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Southern New Hampshire University, a Division II school located in Manchester, N.H. SNHU competes in the Northeast-10 Conference.
Ballard, who originally planned to spend a year in prep school (Tilton) before she enrolled in college, averaged 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for Rutland last season.
The Essex baseball team strung together a three-game winning streak to improve its Division I record to 4-1. The most impressive thing about the streak? Essex didn't allow a run in any of the three games.
Essex beat South Burlington 9-0, Vergennes 8-0 and defeated Milton 18-0 in five innings.
Steve Jurkiewicz pitched a complete game and allowed three hits against South Burlington. He also tossed three innings of no-hit baseball in the victory over Milton.
Luke Salerno surrendered two hits and struck out six in a complete-game victory over Vergennes.
McCOURTY WILL CAMP IN VERMONT
New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty has committed to work the Vermont Football School, a two-day camp that will be held at Colchester High School on June 29-30.
The Vermont Football School is a non-contact camp for ages 7-16.
Those interested in attending can contact Colchester football coach Tom Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been reporting on high school sports in New England since 1992.