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The North-South Senior All Star high school football game went to the
North as they defeated the South 31-28 to stop the South’s three game
winning streak. Mill River’s Chris Patch recovered a fumble in the end
zone for a South touchdown and Poultney’s Sam White also caught a
touchdown pass.

The North-South game is a wonderful event and it is very
competitive much better than the Shrine Game of course, but it is not
bigger than the Shrine game. The North-South game is played at a
perfect time of the year right after the regular season. I’ve said
before that if it were played in August at Dartmouth as part of a
doubleheader with the New Hampshire East-West game it wouldn’t work..I
cringe when that idea has been put out there. The East-West Game in
New Hampshire doesn’t work in June and I’ve been told it doesn’t “draw
flies.” That should be proof enough.

NSN video cast the game and DVD’s are available. You can order
them on the NSN website at nsnsports.net or call the Essex office at
802-316-4192.

What a season for first year Castleton football coach Tony
Volpone. The Spartans finish at 7-3 after a convincing 48-28 victory
over Norwich as the Maple Sap Bucket resides back in Castleton,. It
was the best season in the young history of the Castleton football
program.

I thought Castleton would win the game, but I was surprised
by the Spartans’ complete domination. The game wasn’t even as close as
the final score would indicate.

Mill River’s Leo Audy had an interception in the game.

As Tom Haley of the Rutland Herald pointed out last week there
is talk of moving the Castleton-Norwich game to earlier in the season.
I too think that would be a terrible idea. It belongs at the end of
the schedule and even though the history is a short one, it is already
a great rivalry. They aren’t playing the Harvard-Yale game or the
Army-Navy game in the middle of the season. Shall I go on?

Congratulations going out to Proctor’s Abby McKearin
who was one of the athletes featured in “The Faces In The Crowd
Section” of Sports Illustrated last week. It says....”Abby, a junior
striker at Proctor High, led the state in scoring for the 2nd straight
season,with 46 goals,and became the only player in Vermont
history,male or female, to surpass 100 goals as a junior. She has 124
career goals in 54 games. She had 2 assists in a 4-2 win over
Arlington in the Division 4 state final helping the Phantoms repeat as
state champion.”

Also congratulations going out to Rutland High’s Catherine
DiPalma and Brendan Wright who were 2 of the 10 Scholar Athletes
honored around the state who were recognized for work on and off the
field.

Castleton’s Kristy Pinkham, an Otter Valley grad and
the NAC field hockey player of the year has been selected to
participate in the 2014 victory tour sports/NFHCA Division 3 Senior
field hockey game on Saturday November 22nd at Washington and Lee
University in Lexington, Virginia.

The Vermont Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony was
held last Saturday night in South Burlington and one of the inductees
was:

Marilyn Cochran, Richmond, Alpine skiing

The eldest of the four “Skiing Cochrans,” Marilyn was the
first American to win a World Cup ski discipline, reigning in the
giant slalom at age 19 in 1969; no other American achieved this until
Phil Mahre (combined) in 1980. Cochran was also the first foreign
competitor to win the French Alpine championships.

In 1970, she won a bronze medal in the combined at the World
championships. She was a three-time U.S. national champion. In 1972,
she competed in slalom, giant slalom and downhill in the Winter Games
at Sapporo, Japan.

During her career, Cochran won two World Cup slalom races and one in
giant slalom. She had 15 podium finishes and 50 top 10 finishes in
World Cup events.

In 1971, Cochran won her first World Cup race at Mont St. Anne in
Quebec with her sister, Barbara (VSHOF ’13) finishing second.

After finishing eighth in the world championships in 1974, Cochran
retired. She was named to the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1978. She
also received the Beck International Trophy as the top U.S.
international skier in 1971 and the Buddy Werner Award for
sportsmanship in 1974.

A member of the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame, Sports
Illustrated in 1999 ranked Cochran 13th in its Top 50 Sports Figures
From Vermont (1900-2000).

Catch you next week!

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Finish Line

Mother Nature Pushes Devils Bowl back a week

Heavy rains on Saturday forced the postponement of the season finale of the battle at the bowl three race dirt series the 100 lap sportsman modified finale along with the sprint cars of New England and the Renegades mini stocks and coupes will now be held next Saturday October 25th at 2pm. There are a few points titles to be decided on the final day of racing. In the modifieds Vince Quenneville holds an 8 point advantage over Adam Pierson. Kenny Tremont sits in third just 20 behind Quenneville; however Tremont is scheduled to partake in the Eastern States 200 Weekend at the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY and will not be present. Frank Hoard III from Manchester will also be participating at Middletown. Also in the Northern Modified Challenge Series Jessey Mueller sits atop the standings with a 22 point advantage over Leon Gonyo and Quenneville sits 31 points back. Mueller has yet to participate in the first two dirt events so it will be interesting to see if he will be on hand for the finale. In the Renegades Billy Dupery holds a 3 point margin over Jamy Begor and Randy Miller and Frank Monroe are 10 points back from Duprey. Scott Richner has a 3 point lead over Rob Giola in the mini stock division and Jake Noble is 11 points out. Lets hope for a great weather day Saturday.

On a final night shifting to NASCAR despite the fact the many see this new chase format as a gimmicky attempt to mirror playoffs in many of the stick and ball sports the fact remains that in the end the cream rises to the crop. Four of the drivers who have consistently qualified and run near the front all season Brad Kesolowski, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick are still alive in the quest for the title despite the fact that marquee drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch were eliminated at Talladega.

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Don Chioffi

Now that the first weekend of the Rifle Deer Season is behind us, we can all log our stories of the one that either did or did not get away. And it always amuses me to watch the dutiful stories by the press about our annual traditions of deer hunting in this state. I really do not mean to be too critical, because it is really kind of humorous to look at an author's descriptions and thinking about a season and a sport that they really have no clue about. Any time that a discussion comes up about hunting with any of these types, one of the glaring comments that you will hear that is a dead giveaway is their very probing question about your hunt. They will ask, in the most serious of tones, "did you catch anything"? Did you ever wonder just why anyone would ask such a silly question? Do they really think that we are out there with snares and nets like we are on a butterfly hunt? The usual reason , I would suppose, in this politically correct world, is that these mild mannered, non-threatening, gentle types just cannot bring themselves to the point of saying the word "kill". It is, for sure, such a nasty, vile, dirty, unbecoming kind of thing to associate with the tender, fragile, doe-eyed, docile animals that they obviously view as unworthy of such a terrible fate.

The real truth of the matter is that the Vermont hunter performs the most valuable mission for the deer herd that one could possibly imagine. In states where the deer are politically protected, the survival rate is so high that most of those states have severe problems, especially in the more populated areas, with severe Lime Tick infestations. It is a proven fact with statistical analyses, that the more dense the deer herds in these areas, the higher the rate of Lime disease. Those states that have learned of this problem and the correlation have convinced the city dwellers to allow the harvest of large portions of the herd to reduce the density to appropriate levels with the allowance of shotgun and bow hunts. When the populations were decreased, the incidence of lime disease also decreased proportionally. In Vermont, fortunately, the herd is of such manageable size that we seldom see the density problems that cause this spike in Lime disease. This is largely due to the sport of hunting and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife's many programs to properly regulate the numbers of deer in our population. Without the regulated harvest quotas implied by our season limits and the doe control that we have used for decades, the deer herd would increase to proportions that are not only unsustainable by the available feed, but would be even more subject to predation by the coyote packs and the sad death that results from that and the slow starvation due to severe winters.

For those more "gentle" types who think that "natural selection" is mother nature's way and that we hunters are interfering with that, I would invite them to compare the slow, agonizing death of a mature deer at the fangs of a coyote pack, or even better, the almost always fatal pursuit of spring fawns and the wailing of those young while they are being eaten alive by coyotes, or the slow, painful death of starvation in a severe winter---compare that to the usually swift, sure, clean, and sportsmanlike kill provided by the weapons of hunting. I also know that they would never buy my argument that those animals killed by coyotes are "wasted", but in comparison to a family's winter long enjoyment of truly tasty, protein rich and low fat nutrition meals, I believe the rational, logical, sensible choice would be in favor of the hunter and the tradition of that hunter providing not only recreational sport, but also wholesome table fare.

So, in your travels, should you ever hear the phrase "did you catch anything" again, ask the person using this malapropism whether they think we are out at a baseball game in the bleachers waiting for a foul ball or a homerun ball---or whether they really think we try and outrun the animals so that we can spray them with anesthesia, rope them up, and put them in a bag---after we "catch" them. People who know little or nothing about hunting should stick to writing about mushrooms, and oh, by the way, speaking of mushrooms---did you catch any lately?

Why is it that we have heard absolutely NOTHING about any of the so critical ideas that were the subject of all the questioning, surveying, and regional meetings of last year? One would think, in any rational, thinking society that after all of this critical sampling of hunter opinion, that we would, through our representative on the F&W Board, Justin Lindholm, get some idea as to just what changes he and the other board members think would benefit the hunting public in this state. However, in my last conversation with Justin, things seemed to be quite "up in the air" as to the whole "comprehensive deer management" issue. We hear nothing about early muzzleloader season, nothing about starting seasons earlier and ending later (like this year's season), nothing about blanket or elder crossbow permits without all the doctor crap, nothing about changing youth hunts to allow only one buck. Yet all these had significant support in the survey results and the department said all along that they were doing this survey so that they could get a feel for what the hunters, in larger numbers, felt in our state. Like, for instance, overwhelming support for leaving the no spike law alone and continuing just the way we are now, to harvest only mature bucks. Interesting, isn't it, that almost every article written about early season results indicate that hunters are very happy with the size and racks of the bucks they are shooting. Yes, Virginia, we do shoot them---and we kill them---and we eat them, a trusted, cherished, and wholesome sport for the hunter-provider types in our society---equally good people, each and every one.

Congratulations to all the young men of the North-South senior classic. It was a whale of a football game and really was anyone's game to capture. Our South men played a tremendous game and although coming up a bit short, should have nothing but good feelings about their efforts. But for a couple of twists of fate, theirs could have been the victory. The true victory was for the National Football Foundation and the many good works of that group. You are all champions and did your schools and yourselves proud. Great memories for all of us in the stands.

Obviously, there is no deer hanging just yet---but never fear, three weeks left yet!! Until next week, good sports.

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