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Here is another inductee to the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame:

Mae Murray Jones, Rutland, golf

Mae Murray Jones is the foremost woman golfer in Vermont history.

Jones emerged as a national figure at age 22 when she reached the finals of the Western Amateur championship.

She also qualified for the Golden Anniversary U.S. Amateur Championships at East Lake in Atlanta., winning her first three matches. In the quarterfinals, Jones played 12-time Argentine champion and future LPGA pro Fay Crocker in one of the longest matches in U.S. amateur golf. The match was suspended by darkness after the sixth extra holes. Upon resumption of play the next day, Jones won on the third extra hole. She was 2-under par for the 27-hole match, called “the greatest match, men’s or women’s, that I have ever seen” by the legendary Bobby Jones.

Jones won her semifinal match but lost in the 36-hole final, 6 & 4, to Beverly Hanson.

Jones also finished second in the North-South Tourament and reached the semifinals of the Canadian Women’s Open. She competed for the U.S. on the 1952 Curtis Cup team. She continued on to Troon, where she reached the semifinals of the British Open.

Jones began her career by winning the first of her six Vermont amateur championships at age 15 and won four consecutive New England championships starting in 1959 in Massachusetts, followed by victories in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and, finally, on her home course, the Rutland Country Club in 1962. No Vermont woman would win a New England championship for 30 years, when Holly Reynolds of Morrisville won.

Jones passed away in Lancaster, Pa., at age 78 in 2005.

The induction ceremony will be Saturday November 15th in Burlington.

Ed Bird and Peter Breen who will be inducted into the Otter Valley Hall of Fame on October 4th were our guests on WSYB Sports Talk last Saturday. They were great. Local radio doesn’t get any better than that.

The Rutland at Essex high school football game this Friday night September 26th starting at 6:45 will be video cast on the Northeast Sports Network,nsnsports.net. Check out the NSN website. There are an unbelievable number of high school and college sporting events being video cast every week. Business owners are really dropping the ball if they aren’t advertising on NSN. You really are!

Catch you next week!

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Finish Line

Battle at the Bowl on deck

While most area tracks are winding down or have ended their seasons the Devils Bowl Speedway will continue into mid October with a little twist. They are constructing a 1/3 mile clay oval inside the existing asphalt track and will hold a three race series beginning Friday September 26 at 7pm. The second race of the series will be held on Saturday October 4th also at 7pm and the series finale will be on Saturday October 18th with a 2pm start. Fonda Speedway closed out their season this past weekend with three nights of racing. On Friday night Jeff Trombley ended a long drought taking home the modified feature. Saturday night found Larry Wight in victory lane in the 358 modified feature and the Sunday finale the Super Dirt Series race Brett Hearn drove to victory and took over the series points lead. Former ACT Tour champion Wayne Helliwell of Dover, New Hampshire drove to victory in the ACT Invitational at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The ACT Tour will hold its second to last race of the season on Saturday September 27 at Airborne Speedway. Bear Ridge Speedway will hold their Crate nationals event the same evening.

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Don Chioffi

Another week of unseasonably warm weather and lack of fall rains have left the Salmon River (and I might add, all other streams both here and in NY) low and dry and warm.  And even though the internal, instinctive drive of migrating Salmon on their spawning run is strong, it still is driven at least in some great part by stream conditions and these present conditions are definitely not conducive to strong runs in the river.  All reports from that venue confirm my analysis.  The Estuary is starting to load up with more and more Kings, Cohos, and Steelhead trout, as well as a healthy number of large Brown Trout, some in the 8 to 10 pound range.  In spite of this, the majority of those fish are NOT moving in any great numbers up the river.  That is not to say that a few are not trickling up the river, and those relatively small numbers that are moving continue to challenge the large numbers of anglers that regularly schedule their trips for this time of year.  But, as most of you already know, when wall-to-wall anglers are trying for relatively small numbers of fish, the inevitable battles seem to focus more on angler to angler combat rather than fish fights.  In my last two trips to the Salmon River, I saw more fights over fish than with fish, and that is definitely not a pleasant experience.  The entire system needs some cool (in a lot of respects) and needs some rain, actually lots of rain, to trigger the massive runs that are sure to come.  The 350 CFS (cubic feet per second) flows on the Salmon are sufficient to sustain runs, but the temperatures in the river are not conducive to spawn runs.  Further, many of the fish that are "staging" in the Salmon River and just waiting for flows in the smaller creeks and streams because that is where they are destined to return, will NOT run those creeks as the flows in all of them is paltry low and definitely will not sustain runs in them.  In addition, Sandy and South Sandy Creeks are so pathetically low that all the returning fish are pocketed in the lower reaches of those creeks, in flat, wide, deep holes way downstream of any of their spawning locations.  Those fish will definitely NOT move upstream unless there are significant rains.  All this is just not so much brain surgery----rather just a patient waiting game, and I assure all you avid Salmon anglers that if you just wait until significant rains are predicted and plan your trips accordingly----you will be rewarded.

Lisa's first fish

Lisa and Cam in Boat

On a more pleasant and family oriented story line, I never cease to be amazed by my handsome and talented grandsons.  This past weekend presented a unique and pleasantly surprising opportunity for one of them.  My son Bill's boy, Cam, the World Champion Competitive fly fisherman Guides on many of the Mass and Conn streams for an outfit called Harrison Outfitters.  This story requires some prep work, however.  You see, back in the days so long ago (like 5 years) Cam's mother, Lisa Chioffi (not to be confused with her sister-in-law, Lisa Chioffi Hotchkiss) wanted to see if her son might be interested in starting competitive fly fishing with a PA group that she had researched on the net.  To her surprise, Cam rose to the suggestion and so began an incredible odyssey of excellence for both the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team, and personally for Cam.  And all this simply because his mom had those cherished maternal instincts and wished her son to be able to make contacts and develop friendships in far away places that might just last him for a lifetime.  But fish----no--no--no--Lisa no fish!  You see, she is one of those gentle spirits who actually feels that the fish "hurt" when caught, and rather than subject them to this penalty, she would just support her family and not moan too much----but not fish---ever!

My son, Bill, wanting to present an opportunity for a beautiful and rewarding outdoor experience to his family, contacted Harrison and asked them to schedule a guide trip for Cam without telling him who he was guiding.  So Cam shows up on the designated spot on the Deerfield River, and to his surprised amazement, there with a warming smile was his client----his mom---ready to experience her first fly fishing experience on a canoe with "the champ", her son, on the Deerfield.  As I run this experience through my own mind, I just smile the grateful smile of a proud father.  That pride, triggered once again by a son so thoughtful as to never say die on his wife---the non-angler---and give her a gift that no one could ever duplicate----an unforgettable experience with her own son that she would never in her lifetime have thought of herself.  WOW!!

For now, I will just let the captions on the photos tell the rest of the story, and until next week, good sports.

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