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Hazen Hoop News

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by Ken Brown

HARDWICK – Head coach Aaron Hill has been impressed early on with several up-and-coming and returning players for his Wildcat basketball program this summer as camps and summer league get into full swing this week.

Earlier this month, Hill took his squad to the St. Johnsbury Academy (SJA) Hilltopper Boys Basketball Team Camp to face a who’s who of Division I and II powers that included SJA, CVU, Hanover, and Montpelier. The Wildcats went 1-1 in pool play on day one, thumping Lake Region before losing a tough battle with defending Division I champ CVU. They received a bye into the quarterfinals on day two, losing a dog fight with Division II powerhouse Hanover.

“We were the smallest school there, but I loved how our guys battled against that level of competition and overall, it was a really good experience for us. A lot of our returning players look like they’ve grown and come back bigger and stronger and some of our younger kids have been really impressive early on this summer. We are going to one more team camp at Lyndon Institute at the end of the month and it will be another great opportunity for us to grow and get better against some high level competition. I’m looking forward to the sixteenth year of our summer league getting into full swing soon and I’m excited for our Hazen Hoop Camp tipping off this week as well,” said Hill.

Hazen Union will have a Varsity Red and JV Blue team competing in summer league against seven high level teams from Lyndon Institute, Peoples Academy, Danville, and several teams filled with college players and former Wildcat greats. Games will be played on Mondays and Wednesdays for the rest of the summer. Hill’s Hazen Hoop Camp started on Monday with more than 60 athletes signed up, with grade three through grade six in the morning and grade seven through grade nine in the afternoon.

Baseball News

Northeast Kingdom – Due to the devastating flooding around the entire state, the Hardwick Senior Babe Ruth team, as well as surrounding teams, canceled their games last week and hope to resume their schedules as soon as possible. Hardwick currently sits at 2-6 on the season and were scheduled to travel to Northfield on Tuesday, Newport on Thursday, before hosting Franklin County at Hudson Fields this Sunday at 10 a.m.

Former Peoples Academy great and three-time state champion Ben Alekson, didn’t show much of a learning curve last week, making a splash early with Vermont Lake Monsters semi-pro baseball team. The big right-hander was named Vermont’s Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year this past spring and dominated in his Lake Monsters debut last week. Alekson struck out 10 over five scoreless innings, leading Vermont to a 13-1 road win over the Worcester Braveheaders. He plans to compete at the collegiate level for Fairfield University this coming fall. Alekson and the Lake Monsters will be back at Centennial Field against New Britain on Wednesday night before wrapping up their last road trip before the all-star break in Massachusetts over the weekend. Vermont is the host of the 2023 Future League All-Star game this summer. The home-run derby is scheduled for next Monday night at 6:35 p.m., and the all-star game is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:35 p.m., at Centennial Field.

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