HS notebook: Two baseball programs changing coaches

  • Claremont coach Paul Silva watches the action from his dugout in Norwich, Vt., on July 2, 2012. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file — Tris Wykes

  • Hartford JV assistant Dylan Spencer, left, and varsity assistant Bill Vielleux, right, look over a slow motion film of Vielleux's son, varsity pitcher Colin Vielleux, warming up for a game with Windsor at the Maxfield Sports Complex in Hartford, Vt., Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Cora Day

Valley News Sports Editor
Published: 7/20/2021 10:00:03 PM
Modified: 7/20/2021 10:00:09 PM

Two Upper Valley high school baseball dugouts are changing over for next year.

Paul Silva has stepped down as Stevens High varsity coach after 15 seasons, but he will remain with the Cardinals as head varsity football coach and a varsity boys basketball assistant. Meanwhile, Bill Vielleux has been elevated to head baseball coach at Hartford High after serving as an assistant to Kris Keelty this past season.

Silva, citing the physical aspects of the job, said on Monday that it was time for someone else to get an opportunity with the Cardinals.

“I don’t feel like I can do the stuff physically that I think I want to be able to do as a baseball coach,” Silva said in a phone interview. “I’m not getting any younger. In baseball, you’ve got infield to hit, batting practice to throw, hitting to the outfield, a lot more physical stuff. I wanted to go 10 years; I went 15. Time for somebody else to get a chance.”

Stevens athletic director Doug Beaupre said he was hoping to keep Silva in both varsity positions “as long as I possibly could.” But he understood why he would want to step down.

“I think he was just ready to go with one sport per year rather than two,” Beaupre said. “That’s a huge commitment, coaching two varsity sports. ... I certainly understand why he would stick with football and step away from baseball.”

Bill Bundy, Silva’s junior varsity coach and the past baseball coach at Claremont Middle School, was hired last week as Silva’s successor with the Cardinals, Beaupre said.

Up at Hartford, Keelty and Vielleux took over the varsity when Jarrod Grassi resigned two games into the Hurricanes’ season in April. They led the Canes to 16 consecutive victories before running into U-32 — and recent MLB draft pick Owen Kellington — in a VPA Division II semifinal defeat on June 9.

“Coach Vielleux’s longstanding connection to the community and his involvement with baseball in Hartford makes him an ideal person to take over a program which is on the rise,” Hartford athletic director Jeff Moreno said in a news release. “Bill brings a high level of baseball knowledge and experience as well as a passion for Hurricane athletics.”

Vielleux graduated from Hartford in 1993 and played two minor league baseball seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization after being drafted that year. Hartford High has since honored that accomplishment with a banner hanging from the left-field fence at Maxfield Sports Complex.

Capital all-stars: Fresh from a run to the top seed in the VPA D-III playoffs and a run to the state finals, Thetford Academy baseball has placed four players on the NVAC Capital Division all-league team.

Catcher/infielder Ryan Malloy and pitcher/infielder Ethan Marshia were selected to the all-league first team. Versatile Jackson Kingsbury landed on the second team. Pitcher/infielder Mack Briglin rounded out the group with an honorable mention. Kingsbury is the only senior in the group, which bodes well for Thetford next season.

“The Capital League has a lot of quality baseball teams,” TA coach Phil Chaput noted in an email. “I’m very proud these players were selected to the all-league team and recognized for their success and hard work.”

The coaches of the 10-team league choose the squad. Kellington — the U-32 pitcher selected by Pittsburgh in the fourth round of last week’s MLB draft — was unsurprisingly named player of the year.

TA enjoyed a 13-4 season this past spring, reaching the VPA D-III title game before falling to Peoples Academy at Centennial Field.

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All-state softball: The New Hampshire Softball Coaches Association included four Upper Valley athletes on their recent all-state list.

Stevens had three players selected as senior catcher Makayla Maccioli made the first team, senior second baseman Zoey Foote landed on the second team and junior pitcher/infielder Brianna Frisbee received honorable mention in Division II. The Cardinals were 10-4 on the campaign, eventually falling to Bow in the first round of the state tournament.

Junior third baseman Skouly Kachikis represented Hanover on the D-II honorable mention team. Hanover was 2-11 this spring, with a pair of wins over Fall Mountain.

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Day’s day: Recent Rivendell Academy graduate Cora Day was the only Upper Valley athlete to make the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American list over the weekend.

A goalkeeper and defender, Day landed with a group of 49 girls and 36 boys from around the country who combined excellence in the classroom (minimum 3.75 grade-point average required) with excellence on the soccer field. An Orford native, Day maintained a 4.0 GPA to earn her spot on the team.

Day backstopped Rivendell girls soccer to the VPA Division IV championship game in 2019 — the program’s first visit in nearly a decade — and the D-IV semifinals last fall.

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

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