Monday, June 25, 2012
New England Roundup: Vermont
By Roger Brown
Frank Pecora's last season as the Northfield High School varsity baseball coach ended like many others: with a state championship.
Top-seeded Northfield defeated second-seeded Blue Mountain 10-1 in the Division III championship game earlier this month. The victory gave Pecora his 15th state championship during his 38-year coaching tenure at Northfield.
After the contest Pecora made it clear that this season was his last.
“That [the 15 titles] says a lot for all the kids who played in this program,” Pecora told The Burlington Free Press. “I coached half their parents. Well, I always said that the first kid that walked up to me and said, 'My grandfather played for you.' I was handing him the keys.
“We haven't gotten to that point, but we're pretty close. It's been an awesome ride.”
Northfield's Billy Whaley pitched a complete game against Blue Mountain. He allowed two hits, and struck out 10.
Zach Daley collected three hits and had three of Northfield's seven stolen bases.
Northfield completed its season with a 17-1 record, which pushed Pecora's career record to 488-157-1. The Marauders had one losing season during his 38 years as the program's head coach.
Recapping Vermont's other state championship games:
Division I: Champlain Valley Union pitcher Curt Echo didn't allow a baserunner until the fifth inning as second-seeded CVU beat fifth-seeded BFA-St. Albans, 5-0.
CVU (18-2) scored four of its five runs in the third inning. Echo went the distance and allowed three hits.
Division II: Second-seeded Vergennes overcame a 3-0 deficit by scoring four runs in the sixth inning and hung on to defeat 13th-seeded Missisquoi Valley, 4-3.
Devin Hayes scored the go-ahead run on Tommy Shea's infield single. Vergennes finished with a 15-5 record. Missisquoi Valley, the first 13th seed to reach the Division I championship game, ended up with an 8-12 record.
Division IV: Top-seeded Danville scored during five of its six at-bats and repeated as the Division IV champion by beating third-seeded Mount St. Joseph 12-0.
Scott Remick, Brett Elliot and Erick Remick each had two hits and scored twice for Danville, which finished its season with a 13-5 record. Danville's Kyle Johnson pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out 10.
SOFTBALL: PROCTOR GIRLS FIND A WAY Fifth-seeded Proctor scored four runs in the first inning without a base hit and hung on to defeat third-seeded Whitcomb 4-3 in the Division IV championship game.
Proctor's first inning featured three walks, one hit batter and two Whitcomb errors. Proctor completed its season with a 17-3 record. Whitcomb finished 15-3.
Division I: Jordi Begin broke a 2-2 tie by hitting a home run in the bottom of the fourth and top-seeded Essex went on to beat second-seeded BFA-St. Albans 6-3.
Division II: Freshman Kayla Mathieu struck out 13 and held Lyndon to three hits to help BFA-Fairfax post a 4-1 victory. It was the program's first Division II state championship, and first title since 1981 (Division III).
Division III: People's did all of its scoring in the sixth inning and won its second title in as many years by beating Windsor 3-1. It was the program's 11th state championship.
BOYS' LACROSSE: REBELS SHOW GOOD TIMING Second-seeded South Burlington lost to top-seeded Essex twice during the regular season, but the Rebels defeated the Hornets 9-7 when the teams met in the Division I championship game.
Dan Cone scored three goals for South Burlington, which finished with a 17-2 record. Essex, which beat South Burlington 5-4 and 6-3 earlier in the year, ended its season 16-3. The team's two other losses came against out-of-state competition.
In the Division II title game, Hans Halvorsen tied the game by scoring with less than a second remaining in regulation and teammate Graham Quisenberry scored 23 seconds into overtime to give second-seeded Green Mountain Valley an 8-7 triumph over fifth-seeded Colchester.
GIRLS' LACROSSE: REPEAT PERFORMANCE IN DIVISION I Anne-Marie Farmer and Sarah Fisher each collected three goals and an assist to lead top-seeded South Burlington to a 14-11 victory over second-seeded Middlebury in the Division I championship game.
South Burlington also beat Middlebury to win last year's Division I title. The teams split two regular-season meetings.
In the Division II title game, top-seeded Rice extended its winning streak to 13 games by beating seventh-seeded BFA-St. Albans 13-11. Junior Emily Cutting scored five goals for the Green Knights.
GRIBBON JUMPS FOR JOY South Burlington's Mollie Gribbin won the triple jump (39 feet, 4.75 inches) at the 67th New England Track and Field Championship, which was held June 9 at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.
Gribbin also finished fourth in the long jump (17-9.25), sixth in the 100-meter dash (12.29) and sixth in the 200 (25-11).
St. Johnsbury's Elijah Doerfler picked up Vermont's other victory. Doerfler won the javelin (185-10).
Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been reporting on high school sports throughout New England since 1992.