In some unfortunate and very scary local snowboarding news, Norwich-native Kevin Pearce, considered a medal contender in snowboarding for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics, suffered a serious head injury during halfpipe training in Park City, UT.
While attempting a double cork, twisting double backflip, Pearce hit his head on the edge of the halfpipe and was knocked unconscious.
He was flown to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
Just two months ago, Pearce had done an interview in which he talked about the difficulty of the double cork and how perfecting the difficult move would effect and influence the sport moving forward.
Pearce grew up in Norwich and learned his snowboarding skills at the local Okemo Mountain and Stratton Mountain schools and was expected to not only make the U.S. Olympic team, but challenge gold medalist Shaun White.
At press time, there was no further news on Pearce's condition, but let us hope and pray that the young man will be okay.
Local Hoops Action
The woes continue for the Bellows Falls Union High School basketball programs, as the Lady Terriers suffered another tough loss, this time at the hands of Windsor, 85-13, at Windsor.
Carlin Hood led the way for Windsor with 22 points, while Molly Bruno, Tegan Cooley and Abbey Wright all pitched in with nine points each. Sara Dumont led the Terriers with six points.
The Springfield High School girls' hoop team recently took a tough loss at Mill River, dropping a 52-29 loss in North Clarendon.
Chelsea Bagley led the way for Mill River, scoring 10 of her teams' first 12 points of the game while on her way to 21 on the night.
Her teammate Rebecca Day also had a strong game with 19 points.
Mill River's Alyssa Turgeon also played a big role in the win defensively, effectively holding Springfield's top scorer, Kayle Perham, to 11 points on the night.
Jenna Paul added six points for the Lady Cosmos while Taylor Thomas and Morgan Johnson each pitched in with five.
West Rutland boys' hoop team recently got a nice home win over Cabot, 49-21, at Westside. The win put West Rutland at 3-4 on the season.
Spencer Mumford led the way for the Golden Horde with 17 points, while Emmitt Ackerman and Adan Garcia pitched in with 16 and 10 points respectively.
Tim Ksepka led the way for the Cabot Huskies with six points.
Local Hockey Action
After recently winning their own Barry Van Gerbig Holiday Tournament, the Rutland Raiders boys' hockey team was quickly brought back to reality after suffering a 5-1 loss at the hands of North Country, at Spartan Arena.
Rutland actually scored first on a Greg Roy goal at the five-minute mark of the first period, but it would be all Falcons after that.
North Country got goals from Emile Hartman in the first period, Greg Bronson and Joey Rushford in the second period and Josh Bernier and Dylan Columbia in a very balanced attack.
Despite the loss, Rutland goalie Casey Greene played well, making 20 saves with quite frankly, not much defense in front of him. The loss put Rutland at 5-3-1 on the year.
Pats Playoff Picture
The New England Patriots head into the playoffs as a division winner, but without much momentum after blowing another fourth quarter lead at Houston to end the regular season.
Making matters worse, the Pats also arguably lost their most productive offensive player when wide receiver Wes Welker went down with a knee injury, ending his season.
On a good note, New England does get a home game in the first round against Baltimore, a winnable game indeed.
However the Pats would then have to travel to San Diego and take on the Chargers, arguably the hottest team in the NFL and currently on an 11-game winning streak.