Seen at last Thursday's Vermont Mountaineers-Mystic Schooners baseball game in Montpelier was St. Johnsbury Academy trainer Chris Despins. Chris was on the Mountaineers' bench as trainer, and at one point tended to a nasty looking HBP in which a Mystic player was hit on the leg. It sounded as bad as it looked, but the kid hung in there and after a few minutes in considerable discomfort, limped down to first base.
What a terrific way to spend a summer evening -- taking in a ballgame. David Baker of St. Johnsbury and Gary Santaw of Waterford were there also, and it's always great seeing those guys, true sports fans through and through. It was at the Montpelier Rec Field and, being the last home game of the season, it was a near-capacity crowd cheering hard for the home team. One of 13 teams in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the Mountaineers have culled a solid fan base, if last Thursday's game was any indication. Vermont took a 1-0 playoff series lead into last night's second game of their two-of-three playoff series with North Adams (Mass.).
HELLO ROAD RACE, GOODBYE PIKE
Closer to home, last weekend's full slate of doings is followed up by Saturday's Melissa Jenkins Memorial 5K road race in Danville. This is more of a fun run-oriented event, unlike the more serious events we saw last Saturday in Franconia's Top Notch triathlon, and in Derby with the Kingdom Triathlon races.
Runners and walkers alike can participate in Saturday's 3.1-mile race, whose proceeds go to the Melissa Jenkins Memorial Scholarship at Danville High School. Registration (7:30 a.m.) and the start of the race (8:30) are both held at Sugar Ridge Campground (24 Old Stagecoach Rd.). In conjunction with the race is another first-time event, the day-long FAIR-well Pike Celebration (10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.), named after the road construction company that's been rebuilding Rt. 2 through the center of town over the past three years. Events include a parade, music, fireworks, food, games, and the friendly folks in Danville as they celebrate their gussied-up downtown area.
It all brings to mind school -- and how some things remain unchanged, i.e. how fast summer goes. Seems like the Danville Indians just a few weeks ago were winning the softball championship down in Proctor, but the fact is, it's only another few weeks before the fall schedules begin. SJA has football scrimmages coming up Aug. 17 at Woodstock and Aug. 24 at Colchester before opening the regular season Aug. 30 in Rutland. The Hilltoppers under first-year coach Rich Alercio play their home opener Sept. 7 with BFA St. Albans.