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Brattleboro Bowl gets boost from Barstool Sports

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (WCAX) – COVID-19 has hit small businesses especially hard and that includes Brattleboro Bowl. But the business currently has reason to celebrate, thanks in part to Barstool Sports.

“I was pretty blown away,” said Kevin Napaver, the co-owner of Brattleboro Bowl.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Napaver’s wife, Andrea Papanek.

Andrea Papanek and her husband Kevin Napaver have owned Brattleboro Bowl for about three years. Needless to say, 2020 was a gutter ball.

“The initial impact was the cease of operations on March 17th,” Napaver said.

The lanes were completely empty for three months. And business has still not returned to normal. But, it wasn’t just the bottom line that was suffering. Brattleboro Bowl builds community.

“This place means a lot to a lot of people and it means a lot to us, of course, and we spend all of our time here really and the thought that it might go away was frightening,” Papanek said.

But the sports fans were not ready to call it quits. Cue a football analogy.

“It was like an 80 yard Hail Mary I could only throw it forty. So, we never pursued it and then one day we thought, let’s give this a shot,” Napaver said.

Their shot was a quick video to Barstool Sports. It’s a website dedicated to sports and pop culture. In December of last year, the founder of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy, created a fund to help businesses that were struggling during the pandemic.

“There is no right and wrong reason why we are choosing one business versus another. They speak to us for whatever reason. Again, I wish we could help them all. We are going to try to help as many as we can and try to keep these small businesses alive. That’s the plan. Is it perfect? Probably not? But it is better than nothing,” Portnoy explains online at Barstool Sports.

To date, the Barstool Fund has raised over $36 million and helped close to 300 businesses. A strike for those on the receiving end.

“It’s promising knowing that there is a future in this and there is an endgame and people will help you get through it,” Napaver said.

“For what might seem like a small amount of money for some people, for each business that has given that money, it is lifesaving,” Papanek said.

The business owners declined to tell me exactly how much money they got but they did tell me that it would cover the mortgage and payroll for the next three months. And while there is uncertainty with COVID-19 moving forward, they say the Barstool Fund gives peace of mind right now.

Copyright 2021 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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High school football and other contact sports can resume in San Bernardino County – San Bernardino Sun

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Redlands Citrus Valley coach Kurt Bruich said he never lost faith about some kind of a football season happening.

“I felt like a clown a few times when I kept telling people, ‘Well, they haven’t told us, no, yet’ ” Bruich said.

A season is on the brink now, as San Bernardino County has hit the threshold for outdoor contact sports to resume. The county posted the update late Thursday, Feb, 25, saying outdoor contact sports could proceed beginning Friday. Feb. 26.

When the California Department of Public Health released its initial guidelines for youth sports in December, only a handful of low-contact outdoor sports were allowed to have competitions when counties were in the purple tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan. But on Friday, Feb. 19, the CPDH announced amendments to those guidelines, allowing outdoor sports like football, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer and water polo to resume competitions once a county’s adjusted case rate (cases per 100,000 residents, adjusted for the amount of testing) was below 14.

Los Angeles and Orange counties both reached this new threshold on Tuesday, Feb. 23. San Bernardino County’s rate stood at 15.2 that day, but the rate dropped to 11.4 on Friday, Feb. 26, according to county spokesman David Wert. Riverside County updates its coronavirus numbers each Tuesday, and the county’s adjusted rate this week was 16.6. The rate has dropped each of the past six weeks, a good sign Riverside County will meet the threshold on March 1.

San Bernardino County football coaches expected to hear the news March 1, so the early announcement was welcomed.

“It’s exciting news for everyone,” said Nick Baiz, the football coach at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga.

“We have been waiting to hear something like this for about 12 months. The kids have been patient through it all, and they are eager for the chance to play again. Their spirits have picked up since the update came out last week.”

The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school sports, requires football teams to have 14 days of practice before playing an official game and 10 days of practice before scrimmaging another team. The first three days are for conditioning only. After those three days, teams can begin practicing in full pads.

The CIF Southern Section set an April 17 end date for the football season when it adjusted its schedule in July, and section officials said that date will not change. That means San Bernardino County football teams will have the opportunity to schedule up to five games, with the first possible game happening the week on March 15.

Bruich and his staff will hand out equipment to players Friday in anticipation of being able to practice next week.

“This is a big day, especially for those seniors who stuck around, believed and showed up every day,” Bruich said. “The seniors will have some kind of close on their high school careers. They are really fired up and ready to go.”

Greg Gano, the football and softball coach at Don Lugo High School in Chino, is excited for all of his players.

“Four weeks ago, I would have bet $1,000 dollars that we were not going to have a football season,” Gano said. “I’m happy most of all for our seniors that we can give them something to look forward to. Now, we have to go out and make the best of the situation we have. The kids are ready and excited to play.”

San Bernardino County high school water polo, lacrosse, soccer, baseball and softball teams also have the go-ahead for competition. The CIF Southern Section boys and girls water polo season was scheduled to begin in December, so those teams have only limited time remaining for competition. The start date for boys and girls soccer and girls lacrosse is Saturday, Feb. 27. Boys lacrosse can start on March 12, and baseball and softball seasons can begin March 19.

Weekly testing of athletes and coaches is required for football and water polo until a county reaches the red tier (adjusted rate below 7), and the decision whether or not to compete in certain sports will be made by each school or district. Many Inland leagues and school districts had several meetings this week to discuss the next steps.

This story is developing. Check back for more updates.

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Marla Miller retiring as MLB’s head of special events | Sports

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NEW YORK (AP) — Marla Miller is stepping down after 21 years as Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of special events.

Miller, MLB’s first female senior vice president, has been in charge of planning for the All-Star Game and World Series, arranging ceremonies and entertainment, including national anthem singers.

She helped launch the All-Star FanFest, the All-Star red carpet show, the All-Century team, Memorable Moments campaign and special events such as the Little League Classic since 2017, the 2016 game at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and this year’s Field of Dreams game at Dyersville, Iowa.

She also took charge of planning the winter meetings and owners meetings.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Islanders offer ominous blueprint on how to expose Bruins’ flaws

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Bruce Cassidy kept things simple when discussing the factors that led to Boston’s 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Islanders on Thursday night.

A succinct summary was appropriate, given the circumstances. After all, it wasn’t just one fatal flaw that doomed the Bruins down at Nassau Coliseum.

Had Cassidy delved deep into ALL of the numerous defensive breakdowns, passive play, rookie blunders and other miscues that buried Boston in a game like this, the length of his postgame Zoom conference would rival that of a Tolkien audiobook.

“We didn’t execute very well,” Cassidy said. “We got down on ourselves, tried to do too much there. A couple of pinches, shorthanded goal against.  … We just didn’t stick with it. We gave up a third goal that — a young kid just got caught a little bit, not moving his feet. Then we pressed, made some mistakes, gave their top players time and space and they buried us.”

As encouraging as the Bruins’ play has been for most of this 2021 season — amid injuries and a youth movement, no less — trips down to Long Island have not yielded the same fruitful results.

The Islanders have handed Boston three of its four losses on the season, with Barry Trotz‘s team outscoring the B’s 12-4 in those three matchups. It’s been quite the role reversal for both clubs — given that the Bruins entered the 2021 season with 9-0-1 record in their last 10 outings against the Islanders, with Boston posting an 18-2-1 record in their last 21 road contests versus New York.

But so far this season — whether it be due to injuries, self-inflicted errors, a stingy opposing defense or that frantic Islanders forecheck — Boston has often been put on the ropes against a New York team that can grind out points with ease.

And even though Thursday’s blowout will be put in the rearview mirror shortly with Boston resuming play Friday, all three of these losses against the Isles have all followed a similar course, in which the Islanders — a team that likely will meet the Bruins again in the postseason — have exposed some major flaws on this B’s roster.

Capitalizing against green skaters 



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