softball

Brattleboro Union High School softball players ride along Main Street during Brattleboro’s Fourth of July parade after winning the 2013 Division 1 state championship.

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BRATTLEBORO — While recently researching the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) website for a nomination being done for the Brattleboro High School/Brattleboro Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame, I discovered fascinating results from the Brattleboro baseball and softball teams over the years.

As a former player and someone that has continued to follow the Colonels sports programs since my final days of playing in 1983, I knew that Brattleboro had some great baseball and softball teams but never knew how impressive the programs have really been.

Let’s look at the baseball program first, since this is the older program and stats on Vermont champions have been collected since 1938, with the last year recorded being 2019. Over this 81-year period of Vermont baseball tournament results, Brattleboro has played in the semifinals or finals a total of 29 times. So, out of all the years that the Vermont baseball tournament has been played, Brattleboro has played in at least the semifinals over one-third of the time. Of those 29 appearances in the semifinals, Brattleboro has moved to the finals 19 times, which equates to a 65 percent winning percentage. With a total of 19 appearances in the state championship game, Brattleboro has brought the crown home 10 times. The first championship was won in 1951, while the final trophy was brought home in the 2004 season. Brattleboro’s overall tournament record is 72-40.

Not only have the Colonels brought the trophy home 10 times, but their periods of excellence are almost as impressive. On more than one occasion the Colonels played in the state baseball championship game at least five times in a 10 to 11 year period; 1951-1961 (6), 1978-1985 (5) and 1990-2001 (7).

Now, on to the Colonel girls softball program. As impressive as the Colonels baseball program has been, the Colonel girls softball results are even more impressive. The period of stats on the Vermont softball tournament is not as long, but they still cover a period of 45 years. The first stats are from 1974, and extend, the same as baseball, to 2019. Over this 45-year period, Brattleboro has made it to the semifinals a whopping 27 times, which means they have made it to the semifinals 60 percent of the time. That sounds pretty incredible, but they have moved on to the finals on 17 occasions out of those 27 appearances in the semifinals, which comes out to a 63 percent winning percentage. But, even that isn’t the most impressive stat. Of those 17 appearances in the softball championship, the Colonel girls have come home with the championship trophy a phenomenal 11 times. This means they won the state championship 65 percent of the time they reached the finals. And, like the baseball team, their run of championships has run the full length of time the tournament has been played, with the first in 1978 and their most recent in 2013.

Like the baseball team, the Colonels softball program has seen some incredible periods of excellence. Over the 45 years of the tournament, the softball team has played in the championship game as many as eight times in one 10-year period; 1978-1985 (5 times), 1989-1999 (8) and 2004-2013 (4). The purple and white have an 86-33 overall record in the state tourney.

As one final thought on these two incredible sports programs and to show how impressive they both are, there are nine occasions when these two programs played in the state championship game in the same year, and on three of those occasions they brought the championship trophy home to Brattleboro in the same year; 1978, 1985 and 1997.

The BUHS softball team’s 11 titles are a Division 1 record, with Saint Albans being next in line with eight. The Brattleboro baseball team’s 10 D-1 crowns are second only to Burlington’s dozen.

Scott Nadeau is a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School.

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