BRATTLEBORO -- Some families have unique traditions this time of year, whether it’s waxing their sleds and bolting down steep hills or a relaxing hay ride through pastures.

A night of dealer’s choice poker is how my relatives roll. On Saturday evening, it was all about Follow the Queen, Baseball, Jacks or Better, No Peek, Control, and Criss Cross, as we talked football and work and whatever else came to mind while eating a variety of different snacks.

And I have my own tradition, too. With 2013 almost over with, it’s time to give away my SC’s...

Fans of the Year -- Mikey Batts and Mike McCosker. If you visited "the Stable" during one of Hinsdale’s varsity girls basketball games, you would understand. Batts screamed encouragement to the players 24-7 and the school’s athletic director waved his towel to excite the crowd, helping the Pacers to an undefeated regular season.

Female Athlete of the Year -- Kayla Wood. What she did in the circle for the Brattleboro Union High School softball team is just incredible. She shut out all four of her opponents during the Colonels’ playoff run, threw a perfect game with 19 strikeouts in the finale, and on May 4 had promised assistant coach Jeff Rawson that the team would make it to the championship game. Wood finished her varsity career with a 13-1 record in the circle during the postseason and helped BUHS win three state titles.

Male Athlete of the Year -- Jamie Moore. The Bellows Falls track star won the 800, 1500 and 3000 to help the Terriers win the Division 3 state championship.

Performance of the Year -- Sarah Wells. The Bellows Falls field hockey star racked up five goals during her team’s 7-0 victory over Brattleboro on Oct. 8. She completed her hat trick in the first 30 minutes, but it was a give-and-go play with Anna Clark in the second half that resulted in her sweetest goal of the day.

Coach of the Year -- Buddy Hayford. Since he won the National award, how can I not give him this? All he did was guide the Twin Valley boys soccer team to a perfect 17-0 record, including 16 shutouts, and the Division 4 state title. Naturally, Terry Bonnette is in the conversation after coaching the Hinsdale girls to a perfect regular season on the court, along with Tim Eno (Bellows Falls track) and Kelly Markol (Brattleboro softball) for winning it all.

Kodak Moment of the Year -- Cross country meet in Brattleboro. On Oct. 16, photographer Kayla Rice and I were fortunate enough to be at the East Orchard Street course to capture the first career victory for Brattleboro’s Nevada Powers. The freshman took a slight lead at the start, dropped back into fourth and later blew by everyone to prevail by 32 seconds over runnerup Brynn Cairns of Rutland. The smile on Nevada’s face, as she crossed the finish line, told the whole story.

And it was a lot like my sister’s grin as she raked in a big pot during our traditional poker game over the weekend.

Shane Covey can be reached at or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.