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High School Notes: Julian Cup Has Played Its Final Round

A competitor tees up his ball on Woodstock Country Club's first tee beside the Julian Cup trophy at the start of the event's final run on June 27, 2013. Organizer Scott Peters has shut down the Julian Cup matches, pitting graduated Twin State high school seniors, after 10 years in charge.
Valley News file — Greg Fennell

A competitor tees up his ball on Woodstock Country Club's first tee beside the Julian Cup trophy at the start of the event's final run on June 27, 2013. Organizer Scott Peters has shut down the Julian Cup matches, pitting graduated Twin State high school seniors, after 10 years in charge. Valley News file — Greg Fennell Purchase photo reprints »

West Lebanon — Try as he might, Scott Peters wasn’t going to win a battle against teenage intransigence. That, ultimately, spelled the end of the Julian Cup.

Peters, the president of Golf & Ski Warehouse in West Lebanon, spent 10 years running the Vermont-vs.-New Hampshire all-star high school golf competition as a means of fostering the memory of his friend, former PGA Tour pro Jeff Julian, and raising awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that claimed Julian’s life in 2004. After several summers with less-than-full participation, Peters decided to call an end to the match-play event, ending its 15-year existence.

Initially conceived as the Gateway Cup in 1998, the Julian Cup pitted top graduated high school seniors from the Twin States against each other, with the tournament alternating yearly between the Country Club of New Hampshire and Woodstock Country Club. Selected athletes were treated to lunch and a presentation on Julian’s life before their afternoon matches.

In recent summers, however, Peters’ organizing committee was forced to come up with last-minute alternates when golfers who had committed to the tournament either pulled out or didn’t show at all. Vermont won last summer’s meeting at Woodstock, 22-8, buoyed by nine points out of the gate because of Granite State no-shows.

“There were frustrations, for better or worse, over the last few years that the event wasn’t resonating with the golfers, the kids, the seniors,” Peters said this week. “It’s disappointing, certainly, but I did think it was a nice event and a lot of kids that did participate felt it was a very worthwhile thing to do that. But, ultimately, one of the challenges was trying to get 24 (high school) seniors to commit to do anything. That’s ultimately where we were at.”

New Hampshire owned an 8-7 edge on Vermont over the 15-year life of the Julian Cup.

Peters — whose volunteer organizing group included current or former Upper Valley high school golf coaches Mike and Roy Hathorn, John Donnelly and Meredith Johnson — tried to do what they could to keep the Julian Cup going. Most recently, the tournament dropped from 12 to 10 players per team in hopes of limiting the no-shows. Even with that, New Hampshire had three absences last summer, only one of which Peters had time to fill. (His wife, Amy, completed the girls’ foursome).

Julian played the 1996 and 2001 PGA Tour campaigns after qualifying school successes and made appearances during the 2002 campaign as ALS — more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — began to have a palpable effect on his life. He had been a familiar face on the Upper Valley golf scene through that point, living in towns or playing out of clubs on both sides of the Connecticut River. Peters and Julian were lifelong friends.

Inevitably, however, Julian’s presence was going to wane in the years following his death and as Peters moved farther away from the Upper Valley to fill Julian Cup rosters. The event never was a charity fundraiser, as other summer all-star events are.

The Vermont Open golf tournament at Lake Morey Country Club still bears Julian’s name in memoriam. Peters doesn’t have other plans to honor his friend, but he’d entertain ideas.

“This was a natural because of who Jeff was,” Peters said. “He played out of New Hampshire, lived in Vermont; he coached in New Hampshire, played out of Vermont. On top of that, the Gateway Cup was going away, and it seemed a natural sort-of opportunity for me to get involved.

“I wanted to keep the thing going, if you will. … But if it’s not resonating with the kids, if the kids didn’t view it as significant, far be it for me to force the issue.”

Top of Their League: The Marble Valley League’s baseball coaches apparently have high regard for Woodstock’s Jason Tarleton and Windsor’s Don Swinyer, enough to name both the circuit’s coaches of the year in their respective divisions.

Tarleton’s Wasps buzzed to 10 straight wins to open the season and eventually made the Vermont Division II semifinals. Woodstock’s Doug Avellino and Zach Cole both made the MVL Division C all-league team.

Swinyer wrapped a 19-year career as the Yellowjackets’ coach this season, amassing more than 200 victories. Windsor’s Ethan Hill and Tyson Boudro both landed on the MVL Division B all-league team, with Matt Thayer earning honorable mention.

Hartford’s Codi Smith and Jordy Allard earned spots on the MVL Division A all-league baseball team.

Hartford softball coach Gary Gervais also took home MVL coach of the year plaudits for guiding the Hurricanes to a 10-6 mark in D-II play. The Hurricanes’ Kaitlynn Woodward, Courtney Murray, Jenna Yee and Paige Larmie joined Windsor’s Haley Wood, Mariah Marsh and Ashlee Bly on the Division B all-league squad, with Wood, Woodward and Murray making the first team.

Division I semifinalist Woodstock put Haven Lantz, Oliver Kaija, Nick Donaldson, Will Gault, Connor Fegard and Ben Orr on the MVL boys lacrosse all-league team, joined by Hartford’s John Borchert; the Wasps’ Nehemiah Wood made the second unit. The Wasps’ Annie Arthur and Lauren Kaija and the Canes’ Esme Cole were first-team all-MVL girls lacrosse selections, with Woodstock’s Abby Kaija, Holli Olson and Megan Dalton making the second squad with Hartford’s Alexis Lovell and Megan Potter.

The Brains of the Operation: Hanover High senior goalkeeper Chris Washington showed why Williams College wanted his services with his play in last month’s Twin State Classic. Becoming an Ephman, however, goes beyond athletics, and New Hampshire’s high school lacrosse coaches recognized that part of the Marauder’s resume by bestowing academic All-American status on him as part of their all-state selections.

Washington joined a prolific Marauder presence on the New Hampshire Division I all-state team. Hanover also landed Teddy Geraghty and Conor Austin on the first team, the quartet of Jin Kim, Andrew Huizenga, Jack Boillotat and Noah Huizenga on the second team and Brendan Forauer on the honorable mention squad.

On top of that, the state’s coaches bestowed coach-of-the-year honors on Jeff Reed and honored Chris Carroll similarly among assistant coaches. Reed retired from the Hanover coaching job at the end of the season. Kearsarge’s Keatton Hansen was the only Upper Valley player on the D-III boys lax list, earning honorable mention.

Hanover placed five on the D-II girls lax all-state list, with Evie Keating, Hannah Seibel and Liesel Robbins making first team and Christine Croitoru and Sophie Lubrano placing on the second squad. Lebanon’s Kyra Taylor and Emily Perryman joined Kearsarge’s Anna Stowell, Kate Scheuch and Libby Brooks on the D-III first team; the Cougars’ Eleanor Angus, Kaileigh Davis and Geneva Heffernan made the second team, and Lebanon’s Erika Moffitt was chosen for honorable mention.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.