Claussen's clan gears up for softball


BRATTLEBORO -- Like most other local fields this time of year, Leland & Gray's baseball and softball diamonds are soaked with mud and melting snow -- not the ideal location for a team practice.

That couldn't keep coach Tammy Claussen and her Rebels softball crew from taking a team practice on Tuesday, their first one held outdoors this season.

"Last year, we didn't even have indoor gym time," said Claussen, in her 23rd year of coaching. "This happens. It's just been so cold this year."

Luckily, Tuesday's weather was accommodating. "It's nice today," said Claussen. "But we were still in our boots and ski pants; there is still snow everywhere."

The Rebels were scheduled to host Twin Valley on April 7, but Claussen has her doubts, given the condition of area playing surfaces.

She said she called around Tuesday to try and find a scrimmage, but to no avail.

On Sunday, L&G practiced with permission from the Vermont Principals Association. During the past few days, Claussen said she has made the final cut to the team's roster.

Returning to the Rebels is senior Elizabeth Symanski. The hurler helped team green get all the way the Division 3 final in 2013, where they fell to Oxbow, finishing out with a 13-4-0 record.

The Rebs are in for a big challenge this year, according to Claussen. Currently, the team will remain part of the Marble Valley League, Division B, but a lot of Division A teams were bumped down, which means the Rebels will be playing historically tougher teams this season.

It all has something to do with their prior seasonal successes. Now, virtual every team Leland & Gray faces this year will likely be a Division 2 contender, with only a few exceptions.

"There are a lot of unknowns," said Claussen. "I don't know much about them, but we'll be playing Fair Haven and Hartford twice this year."

The Rebels are slated to play at Rutland, a D1 team, in their opener, Tuesday, April 22.

Players -- Seniors: Kelsey Broder, Kori Coburn, Sally Densmore, Elizabeth Gallup, Karli Knapp, Elizabeth Symanski. Juniors: Erica Cutts, Leah Gokey, Maggie Joyce, Emily Stockwell, Emily Thibault. Sophomore: Jordan Gouger. Freshmen: Rachel Borgesen, Jessie Stockwell. Coach -- Tammy Claussen.

David Aquino can be reached at, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.


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