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Sports Columns

Keeping Score: Staying Power

Good morning! Dave Whalen is an intrinsically upbeat sort who works for Bay State Reference Labs in Turners Falls drawing blood for Connecticut River Internists. Seeing him in his white smock with his full head of brown hair and trimmed goatee, a person wouldn’t think he’s endured 15 trips to the operating room. His remarkable resilience to adversity began in 1983 when he had a bone marrow transplant. “I was in isolation for 67 days,” said the 59-year-old phlebotomist. “Nowadays, it’s a week or two 0

On The Trail: Springtime buzz

Illuminated in a high, bright morning sun, it and a refreshing south breeze in my face, there it lay, clear as day: my trodden trail carved into a short March-brown hayfield, the thin, angled depression still easily discernible after a long, cold, snowy winter freeze, no foot-traffic I’m aware of in quite a while. I myself hadn’t taken that familiar route for months, probably last walking it in mid-January, before the fields iced over with treacherous ice that promptly left me with broken ribs and 0

Jaywalking: Decision time

Tonight is a big night for future Greenfield High School’s athletic fields. I say that as though the fate has not already been decided, even if I have a feeling that it already has. While the GHS building committee has not officially decided what to do with the fields behind the school, it does appear that a decision has been made. Not much has changed since I wrote a column back in January highlighting the options the committee had as to fields. There will be 0

Keeping Score: Slow start

Good morning! The yellow flag’s out at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., where winter’s lingering effects has owner Larry Cirillo spinning his wheels. “We’re going to wait until May 2,” said Cirillo. “One of the bathrooms had so much ice we couldn’t get the door open, so we took the roof off, put salt down and started chopping.” The snow stayed until April 3 and Cirillo was wary of any lingering frost in the ground. “If I don’t let the asphalt cure naturally it’ll wreck 0

On The Trail: Lessons learned

There’s something about flowing water that I find liberating, metaphorical to human thought and emotion — be it the rattle or roar, foaming riffles descending into roily runs and step pools, the gentle swirl of frothy eddies. All of the above are likely spots for lurking trout when you understand water and know how to use the natural flow to trigger aggressive strikes by dead-drifting lively bait through the fish’s feeding lair in a natural, drag-free presentation. Yes, mountain streams produce a certain damp, shady, 0

Jaywalking: Spelling bee

Ask anyone from the Frontier Regional School District what the name of their school mascot is, and let the fun begin. Did they answer correctly? Probably. But then take it a step further and inquire as to the spelling. That might be more difficult, since we now know that there’s no consistency. Proof was delivered in living color from Paul Franz photographs that ran in The Recorder on March 19. The photos were practice shots of Frontier track & field practice, one of which showed 0

Keeping Score: Spring picking

Good morning! Neither wind nor rain nor an endless winter will stop the start of the baseball season, which for the Red Sox is Monday afternoon in Philadelphia. The Carmines’ April schedule is a hump buster that’ll have skipper John Farrell hollering Mayday unless his team’s primed from the get-go. They play three games in Philadelphia, three in the Bronx, three at home against Washington, and finish with seven games against the Orioles and three each against Tampa Bay and Toronto. They play 22 games 0

Jaywalking: Labor of Love

When Dick “The Rev” McKelvey was young, he had a pair of events shape what would become a passion for the rest of his life. It all happened well before McKelvey grew up and moved his family from Germantown, Pa., to Deerfield, where he became a well-known baseball coach and teacher at Deerfield Academy. This story starts in 1933, when he was living in Wilmington, Del., and his mother was a nurse. One of his mother’s patients happened to be the young son of Bill 0

Keeping score: Cagey stories

Good morning! The information booth inside Roger Dean Stadium was stacked with free copies of Baseball America programs for the day’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros cost $6 and St. Louis Cardinals T-shirts were selling for between $25 and $53. Baseball was back in business on this warm gray day in early March. On a sidewalk near the center of this upscale Florida community a guitarist strummed ‘Sweet Caroline’ while a ruddy-faced scalper unabashedly hawked tickets as fathers all but shielded 0

On The Trail: Hermit tales

Mention in last week’s “Fish tales” column of a haggard roadside hermit familiar to travelers earlier in my lifetime along Route 5 and 10 between Greenfield and South Deerfield drew additional anecdotal information from near and far that’s worth reporting. The feedback started right off last Thursday morning, when waiting for me on my first email adventure was a comment from an angler who, like me, fished a section of Mill River containing the site of Deerfield’s first grist mill (1693) on Sawmill Plain, not 0