Jaywalking: Turner Time
It’s shaping up to be a beautiful weekend here in Franklin County.
The foliage is finally beginning to pop, something I’ve noticed as work winds down on the farm following another long summer season. For many, this weekend will be highlighted with some quality time spent outdoors. Whether it’s taking a hike, going apple picking at one of the local orchards, walking through one of the local corn mazes, or buying pumpkins, it’s the perfect time of the year to spend outdoors.
And for anyone looking for something to do, Saturday also marks the 11th annual Doug Turner Benefit for Athletics at Mohawk Trail Regional High School. The event honors former Mohawk athlete Doug Turner, who also fathered four athletes at the school. Turner died of a heart attack at 43 in May of 2003. A well-known, well-respected member of the community, his organs were donated to help five people in need.
The fall after Turner’s passing, the inaugural Doug Turner Memorial Walk was held at Mohawk, the school where he spent much of his life cheering on players and teams. That season, athletes from each of the fall sports programs solicited donations and participated in the event, which has endured each fall ever since.
This year, the event nicknamed, “A Day of Family Fun” begins at 9:30 a.m. with activities and food throughout the day. There is a raffle table and silent auction, a bounce house for children, a bake sale and concession stand, and Larry’s Famous Chicken Barbecue. There will also be Mohawk teams’ athletic events going on throughout the day.
The Doug Turner 3-on-3 basketball tournament to benefit Mohawk athletics will also take place that day beginning at 10 a.m. Cost is $10 per person, with a maximum of four players per team. Anyone interested in playing can contact Fred Redeker at 617-970-7453.
The day ends with the Memorial Walk, which features athletes from every team as well as any individuals who would like to participate. People can donate on the day of the event.
Anyone wishing for more information can contact Joni Sessions at 834-5371. Sessions is also the person to call if anyone has donations for the raffle or silent auction.
The event has managed to raise over $20,000, with much of the money going directly to the Mohawk Athletic Association. Ten percent of all the proceeds raised also go toward the Doug Turner and Ed Martin Memorial Scholarship funds.
I’ve received a couple of letters over the past month regarding some kids who played in World Series baseball tournaments over the summer. Neither of the kids are local, but they do have local ties.
The first came from the family of Curtis Frazier, who was a catcher on the Quincy Cal Ripken baseball team that played in the Cal Ripken World Series in Hammond, Ind. in August. Frazier is the son of former Greenfield resident Patty (Lewandowski) Frazier, and is the grandson of Stanley and Carolyn Ruddock Lewandowski.
Curtis Frazier and the Quincy team went 1-3 in the 10-team World Series. Frazier went 8-for-11 with three home runs in the tournament and was one of nine players named to the 2013 All-World Series team.
The second notice received was from Carolyn Organ of Greenfield, whose grandson, Brendan Organ, competed in the Babe Ruth World Series in Williston, N.D., over the summer. Brendan is the son of Dan and Paula Organ, who now live in Coventry, R.I. Coventry won the state and New England championships and went to the World Series, where it wound up finishing third. Brendan was the closing pitcher for the team.
And while I’m on baseball, I wrote about Andy Pelc trying out for the Team USA 12-year-old team a couple of weeks back. Pelc wound up going 2-for-5 with a walk during the tournament in Cary, N.C., and he got a hit off California’s No. 1 pitcher, who wound up making Team USA. Unfortunately for Pelc, he did not make the team, but he did have a great experience, which included meeting St. Louis Cardinals scout Tim Clark.
Eagerly anticipating the NHL season’s start tonight, my enthusiasm was increased because I no longer have a rooting interest in any NFL team.
Yes, yours truly is throwing in the New York Giants towel after just four games. That may seem premature to some. But those people probably have not watched the 16 quarters of terrible football I have.
The Giants are a disaster this season. The offensive line can’t block anybody, and it seems that offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride only has passing plays of 20-plus yards in his playbook. Kevin, mix in some short-yardage passing plays into your game plan. When your quarterback is repeatedly getting murdered in the backfield, can you slow that down by throwing screen passes and quick slants, please? Since the Giants have been inept at throwing screen passes since I was a teenager, it would be nice to throw some short-yardage passes, the kind that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have made a career out of. But no, we continue to try and bomb the ball 50 yards down the field. The result has been Eli getting sacked too much, which leads to interceptions, and that leads to the 0-4 start to the season.
In Sunday’s 38-7 debacle to Kansas City, the defense wasn’t terrible and actually kept the game close until it ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. Tough to blame the defense when Eli & Co. continually go three-and-out on offense. Needless to say, the whole thing is a mess and the fact that coaches are still holding on to their jobs only shows that management is now aiming for a top-five pick in the draft. I’ll take it at this point.
Turning to Patriot fans for a minute. I took the Pats to task last week but have to give them some love when they play well and they did just that on Sunday night. To go into Atlanta and beat the desperate Falcons was a good win and the team continues to get better every week. While you will have your hands full with Denver, and the loss of Vince Wilfork will be tough to overcome, it should be another exciting postseason for the fans around here. At least one local contingent of fans will be happy.
As for the weekly Giants prediction: New York has Philadelphia this week. Let’s see, the Giants have been blown out three weeks straight by a combined score of 110-30. I can’t even come up with a reason why this should be any different. It pains me to say, but Eagles 42-21.
As for the NHL season. The Bruins should once again be tough. In fact, they may be even better this year. I hated trading Tyler Seguin but love Loui Eriksson, who fits coach Claude Julien’s system beautifully. Carl Soderberg, who came over from Sweden late last year, will hopefully become more accustomed to the NHL and show why he was a leading scorer in the Swedish Elite League. Jarome Iginla, who snubbed the Bruins last year, realized his mistake and should help ignite the power play.
And then there are the young defensemen. Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski looked great in the playoffs and should only get better. And with one of the top goalies in the world in Tuukka Rask, there is no reason not to think the Bruins should get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Prediction time: Not going out on a limb in the Eastern Conference, where I have Pittsburgh and Boston playing for the right to go to the Cup. In the West, I’ll throw in a bit of a monkey wrench with Anaheim and Vancouver. Let’s go with a Boston-Anaheim Finals and the Bruins winning it in five games.
Jason Butynski is a Greenfield native and Recorder sportswriter. His email address is email@example.com.