Jack Healey Commentary April 5th, 2018

The Masters gets underway today at Augusta National. It’s certainly on my bucket list. How nice would a trip to Augusta be? My choice to get that elusive Masters championship is Rory McIlroy.
Giancarlo Stanton hits a 458 ft. home-run, the day after striking out five times and being booed. Stanton also struck-out three times yesterday. Of course the Yankees won both games so it doesn’t make any difference how many times he struck-out. We all know the Yankees are awesome offensively, but they will strike-out a whole bunch too. Again so what?
Now to the booing by Yankee fans. Hey Yankee fans boo players too. They are no more knowledgeable or sophisticated than any other group of fans. They do root for the most successful franchise in sports, but it doesn’t mean they’re smarter than everybody else. They aren’t. Yes Red Sox fans booed Ted Williams and Yaz too. All fans boo their players. It’s what they do!
One of the most underrated weekend in sports is the Division 1 “Frozen Four” weekend in men’s hockey.
The “Frozen Four” is in St. Paul tonight with both games on ESPN 2:
At 6 PM it’s Minnesota-Duluth vs. Ohio State and at 9:30 PM it’s Michigan vs. Notre Dame in a battle of the two best fight songs in college sports. I give a slight edge to Michigan’s “Hail To the Victors,” but I say Notre Dame wins it all duplicating the feat of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team.

This past week I received individual notes from members of the Otter Valley Unified Basketball Team. They thanked me for mentioning their scores on WSYB. First of all it is my pleasure and it is my job, but the notes touched me deeply. Absolutely the nicest letters I’ve ever received. I want to make mention of their coach Brooke Haley Kimball. Brooke is also a teacher at Otter Valley. Brooke is the daughter of Tom and Robin Haley of Rutland. Yes Tom Haley sportswriter for the Rutland Herald and the same guy who I try to  “ beat to a story” every single day. Tom is a multiple time winner of the Vermont Sportswriter of the Year Award including 2017, but he and and his wife should be “Vermont Parents of the Year” for raising a daughter like Brooke, as well as the rest of the many children and grandchildren in their family. Thank You Brooke and Thank You Otter Valley Unified Basketball Team! Otter Valley is lucky to have all of you!

It was great talking with a couple of Rutland natives on the WSYB morning show last week. Rutland High grad Greg Kalil who is now in his 9th year as the PA announcer at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay. We got an extra treat because it was opening day and if you were watching NESN you could hear Greg flawlessly introduce the  players. Also MSJ grad Larry Hare who now is in his 13th year at Kansas who was at the “Final Four” in San Antonio. It was Larry’s third trip to the “Final Four” with Kansas. I’ve mentioned that Larry was at the “Final Four” several times with both the UCONN men’s and women’s basketball teams as equipment manager at UCONN. Larry told me that he never actually went to the “Final Four” physically with UCONN as he has only made the trip with Kansas. Unfortunately for Larry and the Jayhawks Kansas took it on the chin against Villanova in the semi.

   Ellie Whalen, representing Rutland Town and the Rutland BPOE Lodge # 345 won the girls 8 and 9-year-old division at the Elks New England Hoop Shoot Championships held on Saturday in South Portland, Maine. Ellie, a second grader at Rutland Town Elementary School, will now advance to the Elks Hoop Shoot National Finals in Chicago on April 21st. Whalen, was 19 for 25 in the Championship Round and then shot 5 for 5 in a tie-breaking shootout, to win the New England Championship. This marks the second year in a row that the Rutland area has been represented at the Elks National Hoop Shoot Championships as Ellie Whalen’s brother Ethan and Brandon’s Brennon Crossmon represented Vermont and New England at the 2017 National Finals.  Congratulations Ellie and best of luck in Chicago!

The Division 1 All State girls hockey team has been announced and named to the  First Team are Rutland High’s Meghan Hamilton, who is also the Division 1 Player of the Year, ,Emma Mazzariello and Maggie Schillinger.

Named as Academic All-Stars are: Kelsey Barker, Meghan Hamilton, Page Langlois, Megan McGee and Elizabeth Wideawake.

Rice Jr. Kam Farris has been named the Vermont Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year for 2018. Farris averaged 22.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. No disrespect to Kam, but I think Rutland High’s Noah Tyson deserved the honor. No question! Last week Noah was named the Vermont Boys Basketball Player  of the Year by the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association [VBCA}. St. Johnsbury Jr. Sadie Stetson was named the Vermont Girls Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year for 2018. Sadie winning the award for the 2nd straight year. She averaged 15.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3 steals per game. She also won the VBCA Vermont Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

       Former Otter Valley girls lacrosse standout Allison Lowell last week scored her first collegiate goal for Castleton University in Castleton’s victory over Maine Maritime in women’s lacrosse and Rutland’s Ben Davine has also scored his first collegiate goal in men’s lacrosse for Castleton in a victory over Green Mountain.

On the WSYB Proctor Gas Morning Show, Vermont’s most local radio show, over the last couple of weeks we have talked with the Rutland High cheerleaders who won the New England championship in Division 2 for the third time and four straight Division 1 state championships in Vermont, the Mill River cheerleaders who won their 2nd Division 2 state championship in three years, the Rutland High boys basketball team who won its 2nd straight Division 1 state championship and finished undefeated this year and has won 40 straight games and the MSJ girls basketball team which has won four straight Division 4 state championships. all the interviews are available on wsyb1380am.com. Check them out!                          


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