Sports Columns

On The Trail: Slowdown

The summer solstice has passed, gentle summer breezes are intermittently dislodging small white mock orange flower petals and dropping them to the ground by the bulkhead, the Connecticut River temperature had passed 70 degrees, and the American shad run is, for all intents and purposes, over. Although it has been many years since I’ve been down to the water’s edge to witness the annual phenomenon, I am quite familiar with the drill. By now, the female shad have established lairs, where small schools slowly circle

Jaywalking: Helping hands

You’ve probably heard by now or even seen the photos in Saturday’s Recorder, but somehow you know that PGA professional Jason Dufner was hitting balls at Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston Friday. The golfer, currently listed at No. 19 in the world golf rankings, was in the area over the weekend to host a number of events for the Jill E. Harrington Hanzalik Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit the Chase Your Dreams Now initiative. The event, billed as the Dream Weekend, was organized by executive director

Keeping Score: And all his horses

Good morning! All hail the Kings, winners of two Stanley Cups in three years, patched up and sent back onto the ice by trainer Chris Kingsley, the kid who grew up on Elm Street in Greenfield and hung out with his buddies at Jimmy’s Market, now JC’s on the corner of Conway and Willow streets. An exercise physiology major in college, Kingsley leapfrogged from Cushing Academy to the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs to becoming the Kings’ head trainer in 2006. The New Jersey Devils’ training job

On the trail: Shell, stone

The loud, sudden, crunching, crashing halt to a power mower’s roar — a sound you’d hate to hear when mowing your lawn — and a maiden voyage to the top of a familiar Pioneer Valley landmark are on the front burner of discussion this week. First, the grinding, earth-rattling sound I heard while walking the dogs Monday morning, having just turned the corner onto the short second leg of my daily Sunken Meadow ramble. It sounded bad, like the wide gray mower attached to a

Jaywalking: Catching cousins

Brody Markol and Morgan Ozdarski graduated from Turners Falls High School earlier this month. The cousins have grown up together, spending a lot of time with each other, especially around their grandmother’s house, located across the street from Morgan’s. When Brody was about 8, he put on the tools of ignorance during a Newt Guilbault League game and he liked it so much that he decided to make a career of it. A few years later, Ozdarski was playing for a team that needed a

Keeping Score: Trophy time

Good morning! At this writing the L.A. Kings were battling the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings’ trainer Chris Kingsley is a GHS grad who learned to skate on Highland Pond and at the Collins-Moylan Arena. Maybe he’ll bring the Stanley Cup to Greenfield, and maybe Robert “Shel” Evans will bring the Belmont Stakes trophy to Deerfield. Evans owns Tonalist, the winner of last week’s third leg of the Triple Crown. He’s also an Eaglebrook graduate and a

On the trail: Mystery solved

I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks. I again learned that lesson the hard way. The latest caper began with a lazy, unfortunate fact-checking mistake in a cutline I wrote three weeks ago. Or perhaps it wasn’t laziness at all, but rather just an innocent, misguided assumption about an old, far-too-familiar topic. The problem is that above the misidentification was a gruesome photo for all to see in living, gory color, the type of shot that pulls you in. As a result, I

Jaywalking: MIAA strikes again

This past weekend was supposed to be for some the fulfillment of high school dreams. It became a nightmare. The common villain in all cases? No! You won’t believe it: The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. It was not a good weekend for the folks at the MIAA offices, as eyebrows all over the state were raised due to a number of decisions spanning multiple sports. It all started Friday when two stories broke. The first thing I heard that day was that schools from across

Keeping Score: CC That

Good morning! Paul Matties says there’s a bettor at Belmont Park today who will wager $10,000 on California Chrome — all in $2 tickets. “He thinks he’ll be able to sell them as souvenirs,” laughed Matties, who lives near Saratoga and is a professional gambler. That’s one way to get more value out of a 3-to-5 shot. California Chrome is seeking to be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978, and un-cashed tickets from that race are selling

On The Trail: Spring hothouse

Hectic week, saturating overnight rains that were torrential at times, backyard brook roiled to a soothing roar. Although it may be impossible, I suspect the upper hayfields I walk each day grew eight inches in a day, downpours soaking our fertile, engorged Earth Mother, pushing seed heads toward the heavens, awaiting bright sunlight to stretch them higher. I just walk the dogs and watch the magic unfurl. And, oh, how the animals love it, moist, dense, gray air, them springing up over the cover, zigging