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Sports Columns

Jaywalking: Friendly fire

Nicole Lavin-Williams never had any desire to be a runner. A wife, mother of two and teacher at Eaglebrook School? Yes. But, runner? No, not in her wildest imagination . “I felt is was arduous and not for me,” she said. But life evolves and, in Lavin-Williams’ case, the impetus came three years ago when best friend Jenna Mauthe was diagnosed with cancer. Jenna and Nicole had grown up together in Greenfield, living two houses apart, and had remained close into adulthood. Celebrating all sorts 0

Keeping Score: Old timers

Good morning! Mention of the Tuskegee Airmen Monument in Walterboro, South Carolina, stirred childhood memories for Mark Enoch of watching BAA track meets with his father at the old Boston Garden. It was the late ’50s, and the Boston meets attracted some of the finest athletes in the country. Among them was Mal Whitfield, a Tuskeegee Airman and three-time Olympic gold medalist who excelled in the 800 and was a member of the 4 x 400 relay team at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics. The 0

On The Trail: Opening salvo

Could conditions have been any more favorable for hunters allowed for the first time in more than a half-century to kill bears during the 12-day shotgun deer season? Well, not likely, with weather bordering on surreal and the woods literally full of a wide variety of wild foods. In fact, many hunters who were in the woods to experience the first go-round last month may never in their lifetimes see a better scenario unfold. Then again, who knows? With the planet said to be warming 0

Jaywalking: Farewell Tom

Thomas Richard Coughlin, 69, of Waterloo, N.Y., resigned peacefully from the New York Giants Monday afternoon. Coughlin served as Giants head coach for the past 12 years. During that time, Coughlin went 110-92, helping the Giants qualify for the postseason five times. He led the G-Men to a pair of Super Bowl victories, each over the heavily favored New England Patriots. But recent seasons had not been kind to the Coughlin-led Giants. The team has not qualified for the postseason since winning Super Bowl XLVI 0

Keeping Score: Free men

Good morning! The UMass football team won’t be celebrating Independence Day this year until Sept. 3, when they play the Florida Gators in Gainesville. That’s the day UMass actively joins Army, Brigham Young and Notre Dame as the only independent teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. UMass freed itself from the constrictions of the Mid-American Conference because it didn’t want to be a full member. “This is clearly not something we relished when we brought them in,” MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told Dennis Dodd of 0

On The Trail: Is seeing believing?

Winter finally arrived this week, leaving a thin yet significant coating of a filthy, frozen disaster that’s nearly impossible to shovel. But why dwell on the negative? Wouldn’t you rather backtrack to the good days of the recent surreal past, when springlike weather was receiving love from lollygaggers and fitness freaks alike and, for the most part, hate from deer hunters patrolling, warm, soft, snow-free woods? So, here we go. ... It’s 6 p.m. and the shotgun deer season has been over for about an 0

Jaywalking:What a year

Happy final days of 2015. As we do this time every year, we also reflect on the many things that happened over the past 365 days. When you write for a sports section in a local newspaper, it only makes sense to review the best stories from the past year. It’s become an annual Jaywalking tradition to make the final column of the year a Year-in-Review. Before we get into the list, a few things of note. Frontier Regional School celebrated the best year of 0

Going southward

Good morning! Satellite radio was playing Fats Domino’s 1960 hit “Walking to New Orleans” the foggy early morning I parked next to a dormitory and waited for two students I was driving to JFK Airport. The Uber era had begun in western Massachusetts, and the younger set was using its satellite-based technology for car rides. They came out of their dorm like convicts on the run, tugging their luggage and cramming it into the trunk over my own belongings. Once I dropped them off I’d 0

Jaywalking: Ivy star

Please excuse me for not realizing that Yale University men’s basketball star Makai Mason is originally from Greenfield. It’s rather embarrassing, actually. I am a college basketball junkie. I enjoy the college game more than the NBA, and my nights generally end by turning on the Pac-12 Network or ESPNU and watching west coast games. The Pac-12 Network isn’t even offered in high definition, but still I watch — that’s dedication. Yet I never realized an Ivy League hoopster grew up in Greenfield. Mason is 0

Jaywalking: Bourbeau rules national amateur billiard event

Does anyone remember County Billiards in Turners Falls? I sure do. It has a decade and a half since the pool hall — which opened in 1991 and was located in the SuperValu Foods (now Food City) parking lot — closed its doors in 1999. I can remember going over to see proprietor Al “Homer” Holmes when I was in middle school in the mid ’90s. Holmes is the best pool player I have ever been around, and is one of the best to ever 0