Raiders key in all-star bowl

RUTLAND The Southern All-Stars defeated the North 24-13 last Saturday in the eighth annual Vermont Seniors Bowl, and two Rutland Raiders heavily contributed to that win. Running back Connor Beerworth was the Souths leading rusher, carrying the ball 14 times for 81 yards. Hartfords Mike Wong carried the ball 8 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. Fair Haven running back Lucas Caballero had 8 carries and accumulated 38 rushing yards. The real attack came through the air, however, and it was orchestrated by Springfield quarterback Grant White, along with an injured Taylor Kelton. White went 12-for-19 for 141 yards and two touchdowns, with Kelton throwing for another 103 yards. Rutlands Mark Comstock caught five passes for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Allen White matched Comstock with five receptions for 85 yards, but was held scoreless. The eleven point win snapped a four game Northern winning streak, and the series is now dead even at 4-4. For some of these players, this is their final high school football game but not for all of them. Many of these players will suit up one more time when they represent Vermont next summer in the 2009 Shrine game against New Hampshire. New York-Penn League brainstorms for success Teams of the New York-Penn League may be adversaries on the field during the season, but a few weeks ago team executives from six organizations and League President Ben Hayes converged on Burlington, Vermont to share ideas and brainstorm for the 2009 season in the first annual New York-Penn League Brainstorming Session. In an expansion of the the collaboration of the different organizations was led by Tim Bawmann, the vice president and general manager of the Lowell Spinners, and put together by C.J. Knudsen and Nate Cloutier, the general Mmanager and assistant general manager of the Vermont Lake Monsters. Many organizations have tried-and-true strategies that work in their market that can always be improved or expanded upon and these meetings allowed for a constant flow of ideas throughout the league members. For the Lowell Spinners, every night is opening night, said Bawmann. These meetings allow for us to think of new ways to keep things fresh and exciting so fans are entertained whether they come to one game or 38. The meetings occurred over a two-day period with the host Lake Monsters showing the attendees downtown Burlington and the Magic Hat Brewery. Representatives from the Lake Monsters were joined by those from the Batavia Muckdogs, Brooklyn Cyclones, Lowell Spinners, Oneonta Tigers and Tri-City ValleyCats. Plans are currently being designed to ensure this becomes an annual event, with thoughts for 2009 shifting to Lowell, Mass.. or New York, N.Y. The New York-Penn League has roots dating back to 1891. The current 14-member league has teams in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts. Affiliates range from the New York Yankees, New York Mets to the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals. Its ownership even includes movie star Bill Murray of the Hudson Valley Renegades, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. of the Aberdeen Ironbirds and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis of the State College Spikes. Spartans eliminated in opening round The Castleton State Spartans mens soccer team was awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Tournament after capturing the NAC Conference Championship a few weeks ago. The Spartans won the NAC by knocking off the top seeded Husson University Eagles in the Conference Championship game. After the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie the Spartans won it by trouncing the Bears 6-1 in the penalty shot phase of the overtime. It was Castletons second straight NAC Championship, and their fourth in the past six years. But the Spartans quest for a national championship abruptly ended when they were shutout by the Rochester Yellowjackets 2-0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament last Saturday. Sean Hantes scored in the first half and Steve Welles in the second half for Rochester, who advanced to the second round with a 14-2-2 record. The Yellowjackets controlled the contest from the opening round, out-shooting Castleton 16-4. Goalie Michael Peacock needed to make just three saves to preserve the shutout win. Mike Anthony had three saves for the Spartans, who close out their season at 11-9. Senior guard Jessica Banks scored 18 points last Saturday to lead the Spartans to a convincing 65-39 opening game win over the Fighting Saints of Saint Joseph. The Spartans jumped out to a convincing 31-15 lead in the first 20 minutes and just kept adding to it for the final 20. Forward Laura Cary added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while local talent, sophomore forward Megan Johnson from Rutland, hauled in ten rebounds for the victorious Spartans. Michelle Thompson led the 0-2 Saints with 17 points.

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