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This week would’ve been the MSJ -Rutland football week, but as we know that game is gone forever, but both teams did themselves proud last week.

Rutland High came back from 14-0 and 21-14 deficits to defeat Hartford 38-27 and clinch the #4 seed and a home field playoff spot in the wildcard round.

In  the victory Andy Kenosh ran for four touchdowns and threw for another and kicked an 18 yard field goal. The state giant slalom champ did everything but ski in the win. The Raiders showed a tremendous amount of heart in coming back twice. Many times when a team rallies to tie or go ahead and then falls behind again they don’t have enough left in the tank to rally again. That was not the case for the gutty Raiders who I think have become the team nobody wants to play in the postseason

Then there was MSJ which could’ve mailed it in against Mill River and didn’t, losing 40-38 to  one of the top teams in Division 3. That says a lot about first year coach Phil Hall who had his team playing hard to the end despite a difficult time this year. MSJ will still have a chance to get that elusive win against Springfield in the non playoff final game this weekend. I wouldn’t bet against them.

The post season starts this week in boys and girls soccer and high school field hockey. The MSJ girls soccer team should be seeded #1 in Division 4 and defending state champ Proctor #3.

in high school field hockey Otter Valley should be seeded #2 in Division 2.

It's huge news as the 2015 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Game will be played at Castleton's Spartan Stadium. It will be for one year as the game apparently will move back to Dartmouth in 2016 as Memorial Field will be going through renovations this will be interesting to see what the attendance will be with the game so far from the New Hampshire border and a not so convenient highway. Also we're talking about a three hour drive from Manchester and about a 3 and a half hour drive from the seacoast.

All that being said I'm thrilled the game will be at Castleton and more thrilled that the game is still alive.

Judi St. Hilaire Lyndon track and cross country is another inuctee going into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame on November 15t:

One of the nation's most accomplished distance runners, St. Hilaire was the first Vermont woman to compete in track and field at the Summer Olympics competing in the 10,000 meters at the 1992 Summer Olympics. She qualified for the finals in Barcelona and finished eighth. She also finished seventh at the 1991 World Track and Field Championships in Tokyo and was the national record holder in the 5K road race event in 1989.

A three-time winner of the Vermont State Cross Country Championship (1974-75-76), she led Lyndon Institute to three-straight team titles (Class I, now D-II). She won numerous state titles on the track in all the distance events pacing the Vikings to two Class L (now D-I) state team championships.

She went on to the University of Vermont and as a senior she won the 1979 ECAC cross country individual championship and finished fourth at the nationals.

On the track, she set UVM records in five indoor and six outdoor events (three stand today), she capped her collegiate career with a first-place finish in the 10,000-meters at the AAU Nationals in 1980. A New England and ECAC Champion in the 5,000 meters in 1979 and 1980, she still holds the New England Championship meet record in the 5,000 (16:03.6) after 34 years.

After graduation she joined the Nike International Team and won several major road races including the Peachtree Classic and Crescent City Classic. She set a U.S. record in the 5-K road race in Albany (N.Y.) in 1989. She also was a four-time winner of the elite Manchester (Conn.) 5-K road race and through 1997, a six-time winner of the ConnectiCare Corporate Classic 5K in Hartford, Conn.

Inducted into the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991, she was also the first track and field athlete-male or female- to be inducted into the VPA Hall of Fame in 2003. In 1999 Sports Illustrated ranked St. Hilaire 35th in its Top 50 Sports Figures From Vermont (1900-2000).

The Northeast Sports Network will be video casting the Rutland-Colchester game Friday night and also the Husson at Castleton game on Saturday afternoon. PEGTV channel 20 on the Rutland comcast system will also be televising the Castleton game. WSYB will be broadcasting Rutland-Colchester on Friday night and Mill River -Mt. Abraham on Saturday afternoon.

My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Jason Allen. Jason a former standout athlete at Mill River and a member of two Rutland Post 31 state championship baseball teams passed away last week. He was way too young.

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

Pretty much as predicted----the cooler weather and the rain came----and so did the Salmon! This past weekend, timed perfectly with the beginning of Bow season for Deer, the reluctant Salmon on the Salmon River out in Pulaski, NY finally started their push upriver on Sat and Sun, with pretty good numbers of Kings, Cohos, and Steelhead Trout, and a few nice Brown Trout thrown in for good measure headed upstream on their annual spawning run. Even the smaller creeks had a limited run of fish, but these will back out quickly if there is not more rain, as the amounts were just about enough to get them started, but will quickly recede as the water table is so low that much of the inch or so of rain was absorbed. This is all good news for the local economy in the region as the recent weeks have been pathetically slow for all the local merchants that rely on a steady flow of anglers.

For sure, there have been fish caught in all reaches of the river, however the numbers have been strikingly low and the size of the fish has also been remarkably down from traditional lengths and weights. This season will surely go down in the books as an epic low season by any known and recorded standards. As I stated in a previous article, the most reasonable explanation for all this is the hurricane Irene event and the devastation it wracked on the entire stream system in NY. If, in fact, this proves true, then we have to expect another 4th year low in the future (2018) for there are many, many less fish in the system right now spawning. That inevitably means that the survival rates for fry of all species will be markedly lower four years from now. That is just a mathematically predictable fact!

If the usual weather patterns of October prevail, we should see more fish as soon as we see more rain, as these events seem to continually trigger more and more pods of fish into the spawning run. The burning question that remains unanswered is just how many fish there really are to return, and time will just have to be the determiner of that answer.

Of course, I missed it all this last weekend, but for good and necessary reason. When your grandson has the honor and privilege of Quarterbacking an awesome Rutland Raider Football team, that is definitely not an event that any proud grandfather would ever miss. Not only that, but coming off a milestone 18th birthday just the day before, on Thursday, what a party the game on Friday night could prove to be. And prove to be it certainly did! The entire team rose to the occasion with stellar defense from minute one to the finish, including a defensive created touchdown fumble in the end zone, and a superb running game supported by equally awesome airborne connections. In short, the entire Raider team put on quite a clinic on just how to master all aspects of the game and this performance certainly showcased Coach Norman's success in both motivation and technical coaching skills for the Rutland community. Though the road may be tough, this team certainly has the ability to go all the way if they continue to play the caliber of ball they showed last Friday.

Though I only "played" the game with my loudly positive cheering mouth, I wouldn't have missed the "birthday boy" who just quietly and consistently performs in his element of sports excellence, continually justifying our pride in this exceptional young man. And don't you think he will cherish that "Game Ball" that already sits, proudly, on the hallway shelf? As much as I love fishing----there is not even the remotest of comparison to be made.

Archers----fare thee well! Let forth from your quivers one boldly accurate shot---and harvest your quarry. Until next week, good sports.

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