As first reported by the Burlington Free Press, the annual senior all-star games between New Hampshire and Vermont are back on. The games had a 30 year run but the last year they were held was 2010. They were stopped though, because the organizers were no longer able to come up with enough funding to make them happen. But now the event is back on, but will just happen on a smaller scale.
This year's games will be played on Saturday, July 13 at Essex High School in VT. The girls game will be played at 6 pm, with the boys tipping off at 8.
The Twin State Classic used to be a tremendous, first-class event. The players, their parents, the coaches (and even some of the media) all got to stay in a nice hotel and have a fancy dinner and banquet the night before the games. The games were played on Division I college courts and were broadcasted by a professional crew with the DVD being given to each player afterwards. All of this cost money, and in 2010 the event cost over $26,000. Now they are bringing the event back, but without all of the bells and whistles. Organizers are now hoping to keep the cost under $5,000 for this year's event.
The bottom line though is that the games are ON for this year. So how will the NH teams do? Well the coaches and players have not been selected yet, but there's a pretty good chance that the NH boys team will be represented by some of the following players: Troy Pelletier (Manchester Central), Mabor Gabriel (Trinity), Brandon Len (Souhegan), Jeff Lunn (Bishop Guertin), David Hampton (Lebanon), Devin Springfield (Conant), Jack Preston (Nashua South), Dominic Paradis (Spaulding), Rene Maher and Matt Persons (Pembroke), Max Gouveia (Campbell), etc.
Regardless of which players end up representing NH on the boys side it will be a tough game, especially if Matt St. Amour plays for Vermont. St. Amour is a 6-foot-2 guard who passed up an opportunity to play D-I college ball at UVM to instead play at Middlebury College in the NESCAC. He scored over 2,000 points during his career at Missisquoi High.
On the girls side, both NH and VT are deeper in their junior classes, but the senior game this summer should still be a good battle. If Meghan Green (Bishop Guertin) and Moriah Morton (Lebanon) are both selected to play that will give NH a pair of D-I caliber players, as Green is headed to BU and Morton will attempt to walk-on at Dartmouth (where she should make the team). Other girls to watch out for if they're selected are Nicole Hayner (Bishop Guertin), Dina Pitsas (Milford), Emily Kehoe (Lebanon), Alicia Brown (Portsmouth), Caitlin Perry (Nashua South), Jillian Gilman (Trinity), Kate Cole (Merrimack) and Kelsey Schiebel and Bernadette Connors (Windham). You also have Lindsey Nerbonne (Bow) but she will be playing field hockey in the fall for Syracuse so that could affect her availability for this event.
It's time to see which state is better, bragging rights are on the line! The event used to be amazing, so it's too abd they can't still do it big like that anymore. But I can definitely understand the financial aspect of it. So if the choices are to have this event on a smaller scale or not have the event at all, I would rather have the event. The kids deserve it, it is a nice way for them to end their high school careers. Now, we wait to see who the coaches and players will be for team NH at this event in July.