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The 2015 class of the Vermont Principals Association Hall of Fame has been announced. There are twelve new inductees who will be honored at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Montpelier on May 1st.

Two of the inductees have a local flavor and I can’t think of anybody more deserving.

the Contributor category: Steve Marro of Rutland/Rutland Recreation Department and Sports Official.

Steve has provided a special kind of dedication and leadership to the youth of the greater Rutland area for well over 30 years. His positive and calm demeanor serves as a model for the young student. Athletes he has worked with and the generations of young officials he mentors. He is further described as selfless, genuine and caring having a positive impact throughout his career as a coach, official and mentor.

Lawrence “ Poody” Walsh of Bellows Falls in the Media category. He has been a sports reporter for a number of newspapers including the Rutland Herald. He has chronicled the stories of schools and athletes in Southern Vermont and is known for his thoroughness. thoughtfulness and commitment to publicizing the success of Vermont youth.

Speaking of Halls of Fame one of the inductees we haven’t mentioned yet who was inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame in November was:

Ernie Johnson, Brattleboro, baseball An excellent pitcher at Brattleboro Union High in the late 1930s and early 1940s, he went on a solid nine-year career in the major leagues including helping the Milwaukee Braves to the 1957 World Championship. He also was a broadcaster and executive for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves for close to four decades.

Graduated from Brattleboro Union in 1942 after going 6-3 on the mound as a senior including three straight one-hit shutouts striking out 20 in one game against Deerfield.

Signed with the Boston Braves in June 1942 and pitched for Hartford in the Eastern League before serving in World War II. Pitched in the Braves system after returning from the service and made his big league debut in 1950 for Boston.

Starting in 1952 he anchored the Braves bullpen for the next six seasons. His best was in 1957 going 7-3 in 30 appearances including three more with a 1.29 ERA in Milwaukee's seven-game World Series victory over the New York Yankees. He wrapped up his playing career with Baltimore in 1959.

Posted a 40-23 record in the majors with a 3.77 ERA pitching in 273 career games.

Became a Braves broadcaster in 1962 and called the games until 2000 on WTBS.

A member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, the Braves Hall of Fame and the Georgia Radio and Television Hall of Fame.

I will mention the final inductee from that Hall of Fame in a later column.

The State Indoor Track Meet was held last Saturday at Norwich University. In Division 1: South Burlington won the boys championship and Rutland finished 7th. St. Johnsbury won the girls championship and Rutland finished in a tie for 5th. In Division 2: Rice won both the boys and girls championships. Fair Haven finished 2nd on the boys side and 8th on the girls side. The Fair Haven boys 4X800 meter relay team of Ian Knapp, Isaac Nichols, Will Reed and Joshua Melen won the state championship.

The girls basketball playoffs get underway this week. This is unofficial, but the top four seeds in Division 4 should be: MSJ, Whitcomb/Rochester, Proctor and West Rutland.

Congratulations going out to Fair Haven girls basketball coach Kyle Wilson who last week picked up career victory # 100.

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of the Little League team from Chicago which had to forfeit its US championship because they used players from outside its geographical area. It reminds me of what the late and legendary Reggie Regimbald the former trainer for Rutland Post 31 baseball for many years used to say......”It takes adults to screw up a kids game!”

My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Julia Teta who passed away last week at the age of 78. Julie was the widow of the late legendary Rutland High baseball and football coach Joe Teta.

Catch you next week!

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Don Chioffi

Vermont Archery Board - Part Two

Perhaps you are among the few sportspeople that really care about the future of your shooting sports in this state. If you are, then you surely must be concerned with the recent actions of our FISH AND WILDLIFE BOARD. This is a board, appointed by the Governor, one from each County, supposedly to represent the views and wishes of the sporting public of our state. While they rely heavily on the Department to provide guidance and technical support, their mission, by statute, is to represent the best interests of the state overall and its sporting constituency, namely US.

Now, I have, on numerous occasions on these pages, gone into great detail as to how the whole process has been bastardized by the raw politics of the moment. One could say that since the whole board, even its chairman, is appointed by the Governor, that it can be easily manipulated by that governor, whomever she or he may be, and certainly the ideology, at the very least, will reflect the ideology of any sitting governor. This Governor has not only said that he does not want any early Muzzleloader season, he actually attended a board meeting (unheard of in any past administration) to specifically state HIS wishes to HIS board. Now, if that is not the total antithesis of what representative democracy is supposed to be, I don't know what is. Basically I say, "you appointed them, now leave them alone to do their jobs and represent the sportspeople----they don't just represent YOU".

But that is by far not the worst of the recent assault against our sportspeople. This board is going against every factual indicator of what the sportspeople actually want as expressed over and over at both hearings and also on the $30,000 SUPER PROFESSIONAL, UNDISPUTEDLY ACCURATE survey that their own Department conducted last year. This survey, though we can argue about its construction, timing, cost, and conduct, was touted to be the latest and greatest of widely accurate and representative sentiment of our hunting population. The board, in almost every one of its actions last meeting, went 180 degrees opposite of what the sportspeople of this state said on that survey. I am telling you, folks, I just cannot fathom how they can even look the hunters in this state in the eye after such hypocrisy. First of all, why in the name of this state do you spend $30,000 of scarce resources, hire an expert in the field, and go to such extremes of hunter input----and then totally ignore the results? This defies logic, sanity, and reason. Not only that, but in a management analysis, one could easily speculate that actions such as these might call for resignation due to mismanagement, fraud, and waste.

The waste, unfortunately, is not only in the dollars, time and effort of the survey data and hunter input to this process, but the potential waste of the very resource at stake---namely the game they are supposedly charged with responsibly managing. The actions of this board in its last meeting are putting this state on a course of certain destruction of the resource as they are making a scarce resource---our mature bucks---easier prey for archery and thus easier prey for significant reduction in numbers. Those numbers are already fragile, as statistically represented by our own department. Bow kills of all deer, and specifically bucks are up. Youth season kills are also up, and significantly mature bucks as well as spikehorns.

We all agreed, folks, that it was indeed a wise move to establish a youth season. I agreed then, and I still agree with all the valid reasons for this special season. But, I have to tell you that it is out of hand, it has gone way further than is either necessary or desired, and it cannot be justified on either its merits or any statistical evidence. No one is going to tell me that if a youth is restricted to only one buck in his or her youth season career (which may very well be 5 or 6 seasons) that it is going to diminish any of the valid reasons for this season. They are not going to become hooked, as they surely are if harvesting a nice buck, and then forsake hunting simply because we change the rule and then make them follow the adult rules. It IS DEFINITELY NOT necessary that a youth be allowed to potentially repeat killing buck after buck for 4 5 or 6 years just to prove a point. Political correctness is the only thing that continues to allow this to happen. It is only my opinion for both management goals and for better distribution of the resources to all classes of hunters, that youth should be restricted to the harvest of ONE BUCK AND ONE DOE and then their youth seasons would be over.

The rule changes approved on the first vote last meeting will significantly reduce the opportunities for the RIFLE HUNTERS in our state. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is true. There is also no doubt, whatsoever, in my mind, that the LATE MUZZLELOADER SEASON will eventually be redundant as a measure for doe control. We are already shooting too many does, in my opinion, as we have an abundance of ARCHERY days in which does, bucks, and button spikes are all legal game. And no one is counting the wounded ones that just go off to become Coyote bait. Couple this fact with an obvious overestimation of the size of our present herd, bring on a harsh winter (can you say---look outside!!), and you have the makings of a true catastrophe about to occur with our major game species in Vermont.

Truly, as most of you already know, the avid and most dedicated sports hunters in our state have long given up on our management practices. They simply have abdicated to other venues for the Rifle season, and many for the Archery season as well, Many have said to me that Vermont Rifle Hunting is a joke and they would rather spend their scarce resources where there is actually a greater % of harvest opportunity. How many lost sports dollars do you think this represents to Vermont, and do you think the Board really cares about this?

Lastly, lest you think that this is only the musing of an old codger with a sports column and a keyboard----consider this. Last week, Justin Lindholm, Rutland County representative to the FISH AND WILDLIFE BOARD, gave a brief explanation of the board's actions to the MENDON FISH AND GAME CLUB. Following that presentation, he asked for a show of hands as to how many were in favor of the rules as proposed. Out of 56 present, 4 were in favor and 52 were opposed. I guess I rest my case. If I had to bet on just how many "feet on the ground" that represented, as compared to our FISH AND WILDLIFE BOARD, I think I could easily win that bet.

PS. In case anyone really wants to know, the massive schools of Smelt have left the "Green Dump" area and are now clustered at the North end of Lake Bomoseen, near Eckley's point to the north in the just deeper water and around the Park at Crystal Beach, hopefully staging to run the brook this spring.

Until next week, good sports.

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