BRATTLEBORO — Four area varsity teams will debut this weekend after state officials announced on Tuesday that Vermont's K-12 schools would move from Step 2 to Step 3 of the "Strong and Healthy Start" plan on Saturday.Bellows Falls boys soccer and football will each play host on Sept. 26, while Brattleboro's cross-country and girls soccer teams will both open up on the road that same day. The Terriers will take on Woodstock in this area's first 7-on-7 touch football game — quarterbacks will have four seconds to throw on each down and only passing plays will be allowed.
"We wanted to give our student-athletes an extra weekend for what has already been a shortened season," said Dan French, the state's secretary of education, at a news conference Tuesday.
Masks must be worn by all players, coaches, officials, staff and spectators at all times. Cross-country runners do not need to wear facial coverings, but are encouraged to distance themselves whenever possible.
New Hampshire had already decided to begin its fall season this week, meaning the Hinsdale varsity boys and girls soccer teams will start out on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively.
The area sports schedule up to Oct. 3 is shown below.
Wednesday, Sept. 23
Hinsdale boys soccer hosts Keene, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26
Hinsdale girls soccer hosts Keene, 11 a.m.
Hinsdale boys soccer at Keene, 11 a.m.
Bellows Falls boys soccer hosts Rivendell, 11 a.m.
Bellows Falls football hosts Woodstock, 1 p.m.
Brattleboro girls soccer at Springfield, 1 p.m.
Brattleboro cross country at Hartford, TBA
Monday, Sept. 28
Bellows Falls girls soccer at White River Valley, 4:30 p.m.
Leland & Gray girls soccer hosts Windsor, 4:30 p.m.
Twin Valley girls soccer hosts MSJ, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29
Leland & Gray boys soccer at Woodstock, 4:30 p.m.
Twin Valley boys soccer hosts Stratton Mountain, 6:30 p.m.
Brattleboro boys soccer hosts Mount Anthony Union, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30
Brattleboro football at Windsor, 4 p.m.
Bellows Falls football hosts Hartford, 4 p.m.
Bellows Falls field hockey hosts Rutland, 4 p.m.
Brattleboro cross country at Windsor, 4:30 p.m.
Bellows Falls girls soccer hosts Leland & Gray, 4:30 p.m.
Hinsdale girls soccer hosts Monadnock, 4:30 p.m.
Bellows Falls boys soccer at Arlington, 6 p.m.
Twin Valley girls soccer hosts Stratton Mountain, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 1
Twin Valley boys soccer at Rivendell, 4 p.m.
Brattleboro boys soccer at Leland & Gray, 4:30 p.m.
Brattleboro girls soccer hosts Rutland, 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2
Twin Valley girls soccer at Sharon Academy, 4 p.m.
Leland & Gray girls soccer hosts Rivendell, 4 p,m,
Bellows Falls boys soccer hosts Mill River, 4 p.m.
Bellows Falls girls soccer at Green Mountain, 4:30 p.m.
Bellows Falls field hockey at Brattleboro, 6 p.m.
Brattleboro football hosts Windsor, 6 p.m.
Bellows Falls football at Hartford, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3
Hinsdale girls soccer at Monadnock, 10 a.m.
Brattleboro cross country at Bellows Falls, 11 a.m.
Bellows Falls field hockey at Burr and Burton, 4 p.m.